buick5563

55 Century Convertible project

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MIKE, please explain "colour sanding". From what I can gather, at this stage you're not sanding the base (colour) coat at all but rather the clearcoat. Maybe the term is left over from the days of single stage paint, where you'd be cutting into the finish paint, as opposed to body filler or primer. One website shows the use of a thin guidecoat of opaque paint over top of the clearcoat, to help find low spots. However, that's entirely removed in the course of sanding, so the colour of the guidecoat seems to be irrelevant.

Hey, I've seen finishes as nice as that - in a blown-glass studio! Wow.

Edited by Rob McDonald
zoomed in on paint photos (see edit history)

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The term "colour" sanding ;) is a holdover from the single stage days. Basically, you are sanding imperfections (orange peel, bugs, dust, etc) out of the top layer of paint. I put four to five coats of single stage acrylic enamel on Willie's car. No clear coat. That was per his request. It duplicates the original finish better than clear coat paint jobs. I am probably sanding through (with 1000 grit paper) to the third layer of paint in some sections with heinous orange peel. Then 1200, 1500, 2000, 2500 then buff the car.

I can't answer your opaque clear coat question since as I have told Old Tank numerous times trying to convince him I wasn't the right guy to be doing this....I am not a professional painter.

I like the "I don't restore second place cars" line. I might have said that in passing but I'm gonna use it.

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There are no short cuts to quality paint jobs...also there are no ways to fake hark work, honest effort and yes expertise.

Old Tank seems to me, to not be one to endure amateurs results, so you must be doing something right like a pro.

Love the work....

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Mike,

Looks wonderful. Glad to see you are back in the swing of things! I bet Old Tank is getting antsy after seeing nice pictures of an excellent paint job! Look forward to seeing more. Matt

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Mike, that job looks fantastic. I love to see these paint jobs shine like that.

On the few paint jobs I did, I put three coats of color and then wet sanded the next day with 1500 grit paper. Then put another three coats on. What I noticed was the second three coats looked so much smoother than day one's result. But I have then wet sanded with 2000 grit paper. I buffed using a micro polishing compound and on the GS, I hardly used any pressure with the buffer. That top coat just buffed right up and I was really surprised it was so easy.

But I am tempted to try the following scenario on Red winds 89 Lesabre T Type, with single stage metallic paint:

Day One, three coats of color

Day two wet sand with 1000 grit then put on two more coats

Day three wet sand with 1500 grit and then put on another coat.

Then depending on the results either leave the car with no wet sanding or polishing, or hit it with 2000 grit and put one more top coat on. This top coat might be thinned a bit more if the paint seems amenable to that. But the final top coat will not be wet sanded at all, nor polished for at least 30 days.

I don't know how this will work, but the theory is to leave the top coat intact at the end.

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I'm back!

For some reason, I am having issues getting on Forum Runner (where I usually post my pics from).

been color sanding Old Tank's 55 conv. I'm going to be good at this when I paint my car!

Thanks everybody for your concern. I'm ok.

Hopefully, Willie will post the pics I sent him earlier, for proof

See y'all around soon.

Good to see you, Mike! We have missed you.

.

Ben

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Looks great Mike. What kind of primer did you use, and how many coats?

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Looks great Mike. What kind of primer did you use, and how many coats?
We are using lacquer based primer (go ahead and sic the epa onto us!). The car was previously painted with nitrocellulose lacquer and and although the paint was failing, the existing bodywork was holding up well. The finish coat is single stage acrylic enamel (catalyzed). Back when the contemporary paints were acrylic lacquer or acrylic enamel, the same lacquer primer was used and so far the catalyzed product is apparently compatible too.After I finished the convertible I painted my blue/white Century with lacquer and I think it was my best effort yet. But a few months after it was finished I was driving through a road construction area and a hose on a tar sprayer burst and sprayed the car, softening and ruining the paint. JCTaylor paid for a new repaint, but I was not inclined to do it myself again. A local restoration shop attempted to paint BC/CC urethane on top of my recent lacquer body work; the attempt was a dismal failure, so back to bare metal again and they did the BC/CC urethane with compatible materials.I hate BC/CC!...at least on a 55. It looks fake, you lose edge detail and sculpting detail, because it just looks THICK. And on top of that large panels have the hint of wave (called urethane wave). In addition the compatible urethane primer is shrinking, showing underlying bodywork...a problem I never had with that ancient nasty lacquer stuff.I checked the best work of some local restoration shops and what I saw was not flat... you should see the same reflection in the hood as the windshield like my previous paint jobs. Working with Mike, we are achieving that goal. Mike will say this is his first paint job, but other work he does is second to none in attention to detail and the added bonus is that this is he has never been around a commercial paint/body shop to learn a lot of bad techniques.OK, the the acrylic enamel is not as durable as BC/CC urethane, but the car will be leading a sheltered life, and it will probably outlast me.Another bonus is that the materials are cheaper, so it is not as painful while practicing/learning.Willie

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Looks great Mike. What kind of primer did you use, and how many coats?

We are using lacquer based primer (go ahead and sic the epa onto us!). The car was previously painted with nitrocellulose lacquer and and although the paint was failing, the existing bodywork was holding up well. The finish coat is single stage acrylic enamel (catalyzed). Back when the contemporary paints were acrylic lacquer or acrylic enamel, the same lacquer primer was used and so far the catalyzed product is apparently compatible too.

After I finished the convertible I painted my blue/white Century with lacquer and I think it was my best effort yet. But a few months after it was finished I was driving through a road construction area and a hose on a tar sprayer burst and sprayed the car, softening and ruining the paint. JCTaylor paid for a new repaint, but I was not inclined to do it myself again. A local restoration shop attempted to paint BC/CC urethane on top of my recent lacquer body work; the attempt was a dismal failure, so back to bare metal again and they did the BC/CC urethane with compatible materials.

I hate BC/CC!...at least on a 55. It looks fake, you lose edge detail and sculpting detail, because it just looks THICK. And on top of that large panels have the hint of wave (called urethane wave). In addition the compatible urethane primer is shrinking, showing underlying bodywork...a problem I never had with that ancient nasty lacquer stuff.

I checked the best work of some local restoration shops and what I saw was not flat... you should see the same reflection in the hood as the windshield like my previous paint jobs. Working with Mike, we are achieving that goal. Mike will say this is his first paint job, but other work he does is second to none in attention to detail and the added bonus is that this is he has never been around a commercial paint/body shop to learn a lot of bad techniques.

OK, the the acrylic enamel is not as durable as BC/CC urethane, but the car will be leading a sheltered life, and it will probably outlast me.

Another bonus is that the materials are cheaper, so it is not as painful while practicing/learning.

Willie

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Thanks for the info Willie. I didn't know you could still get that stuff. When we painted my car (back in 83), we sanded it down but not to bare metal, and used some sealer/primer product over the paint - can't remember what it was but at the time my cousin said the car body was very solid and we couldn't beat the factory baked on primer so left it on. We also used a single stage acrylic enamel - it had the right kind of gloss to it like the original lacquer, it was easy to apply, wet sanded well and cost effective and it has held up pretty well in service, although it is kind of checking like mad now on the roof but after 29 years it owes me nothing. While "touching up" the car over time, I've kept with the acrylic enamel for those reasons. Not meaning to hijack Mikes thread, but being a neophyte on new primers these days and heading into my own bodywork project - was planning to stick with the same paint, go to bare metal, and was wondering about what to use and the order to apply it in - an epoxy primer, an etching primer, etc. ?? Prime all the metal, prime with etching primer, then fill, then reprime? Fill over bare metal then prime with epoxy primer, then prime with a filler primer and sand then wash all the dust off it? What works best? Have found numerous articles on this on other sites and it seems like its all over the freakin map. Frustrating. I can get through metalwork, welding in a patch panel and grinding it smooth, and using products from the same manufacturer for compatibility, but what to do, what to use for primer and filler, and in what order after the grinding is done up to shooting the first coat of base seems like a plethora of options and opinions. I'm looking for a simple effective way to get from a to b that lasts. Or I'll make the bodywork right and shoot it with something. Literally. :) I'll repost this elsewhere if this doesn't fit the thread. Boy Mike is doing a nice job on your 55. Sorry to hear about the tar baby - what a freak event. Bet that sent you "high order".

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)

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It's ok Ken. This whole thing pertains to 55's (and is good info). Hell, I started this hijack. I needed to talk about something. ;)

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Ken, I recommend you ask these questions at your local auto paint store. The folks at the shop in Schenectady NY are so helpful, and their recommendations were right on the mark! They don't want you to do a bad job or you'll have no reason to be a repeat customer. They can help you with explanations of the newest products and get you set on every aspect of what paint to use first through last.

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Ken

hijack away -- it ain't my thread. Besides I hijacked his project by introducing mine (along with $$$$$). Mine is a unique situation...that's why I selected the products that I did. If yours has already been repainted, then stripping to bare metal would be best. Also you could use any system you wanted. My 51 Ford truck was painted with single stage urethane, but not color sanded and buffed (it could be buffed, but I don't even like to wash that thing with all the corners and edges!) and it looks good to the point that it is an acceptable choice. The water borne systems are interesting and mostly safe, but the final clear is still catalyzed toxic solvent paint (the ones I have seen: the primers and paint (base) look and smell like latex house paint). Commercial shops will repair a panel, bondo, primer, paint and buff all in one day... that's where I think that shrinkage in the finish shows up later. For most of us it is days or weeks between stages and the products have a chance to settle or cure.

All of this depends on whether you are doing it yourself or having a shop do it. Most shops are set up for only one system of paint and will not deviate.

Willie

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Thanks Willie - going through your chronology on your website recalibrated me. I've been procrastinating fixing bubbly rust and a rotty rocker panels and dogleg almost as bad as procrastinating on the dynaflow. My budget allows me to do some weld patching and touch up until both kids get done charging me for college then can do it right. All the folks restoring mid-fifties Buicks are inspiring and the work, craftsmanship and common sense to repairs and improvements just impressive. Look for me to be bringing up the rear.

Mike - Rereading your post end to end and going through my pics from charlotte of your ac install was a good shot in the arm. Decisions decisions of what "little" project to start next (I want to add AC too and absolutely hate sanding).

John - who are the folks upstate you would trust I could call and talk with for a bit? Reading all the various auto body and paint web sites gave me analysis paralysis. Plus i think too much. You can pm if you'd like.

Thanks guys

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)

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"i think too much"

KEN, that's totally my problem, too. I've restored my car ten times, in my head. One Day At A Time is the only way to keep moving.

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Indeed Rob. Chipping away at it over a long enough period and you get to re-restore things you did 20 yrs ago so it comes apart easier the second time and you make less mistakes. That's my story and I'm stickin to it :D

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I color sanded and buffed as well as I could. Parts of it look great. Other parts need a little mo' lovin'.

I have used a guy here in Austin before who is a true detailing master. He always has high end cars (Mercedes', Lexii, etc) which he takes the factory orange peel out of to make em super slick. Honestly, I just wanted the car gone ;)

He flattered me by asking if I had really never painted a car before.

Edited by buick5563
Added ego boost (see edit history)

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Try not to bail on your project like SOME forum members have done recently :)

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Once this bad boy is out, I believe I have learned some techniques to make the project go quicker.

I will obviously still be taking on (hopefully) smaller projects (less than a year) to keep the dough rolling in.

Personal life changes and stability can't hurt.

I have nothing but respect for my fellow forum member who made a good decision. I would not have done anything differently. Any of you overseas folks want a half finished convertible for sick money?

What....I kid!

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Try not to bail on your project like SOME forum members have done recently :)

Sometimes I feel like I abandon my project for weeks or months at a time. Matt:p

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Bout dang time.

Willie's car off for final buffing...6eresuru.jpg

I've heard of folks getting upside down in a restoration. So did Willie just get sideways?

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If you are talking about money, I stopped billing six months ago.

If you're referring to the lopsided car pic, he only had a strap on the axle on the left side.

:D

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