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Paint Scratch Repair - Lacquer


TexRiv_63
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I have a pretty unsightly group of scratches on the right front fender of my 60 Buick. I actually did this almost a year ago right after I got the car, its large width plus a metal box sticking too far off a shelf outsmarted me and I have been too embarrassed to discuss it until now. The front end is painted with what I assume to be acrylic lacquer as the scratched area shed paint like little chips of glass. I also assume it to be the original code CV-9 Arctic White but not absolutely sure. I can smooth this out and prep it keeping the total area as small as possible and I know spraying will be needed but I do not want all the problems associated with a full on spray gun. Here are my two main questions:

  • Can an air brush be used for applying both primer and color?
  • How can I obtain original style lacquer in a matching color?

Thanks for any assistance you can offer.

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Airbrush can be used to apply color - I painted a pedal car with an air brush once! yes the whole pedal car.

Primer - get a rattle can of sandable primer,  gray would be best because you are putting a light color over it.. Etching primer because you will be down to bare metal to even the surface. You will then need lacquer primer on top of the etching primer , again sandable.

Perhaps someone here can direct you to a auto paint supply place that can mix your white color. acrylic lacquer will work fine.   You will need to get some sand paper - not the stuff for wood  at your local hardware store, . 400, 600, and 1,000 or 1,200. One sheet should do it of each. Use a rubber pad about 3/8 inch thick maybe 4 x 6 inches to wrap the sand paper around.

 

How familiar are you using an air brush and what size tip to you have for the one you intend to use?  Go to an art supply store of some substance/merit and talk to the counter people there. Due to the small flow of the air brush it will take some time and some coats to lay on enough paint.

Edited by Walt G (see edit history)
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Before spraying I'd try cleaning the area well with compound to remove the red and other stuff transferred to the car's paint from the box.  Next, remove any loose paint chips.  Then clean the area with solvent.  I'd then attempt to fill the damage (i.e., the scratches and chips) using a brush.  Apply several coats allowing time for each to dry.  when the level of the repair is level with (or slightly proud of) the surrounding area, then carefully wet sand the repair area with 400 wet/dry paper.  Use an appropriate block or sandpaper backer and be careful not to sand on the original finish.  If there are still low spots, apply additional coats of paint to build-up thickness.  When enough paint has been applied you should be able to feather the repair into the surrounding finish.  Wet sand the entire area with 600 then 1000 wet or dry paper. You should then be able to compound and polish the entire area.  Since this is white I think it's worth a try before getting more aggressive and sanding down the entire area for a spray blend job...

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1 hour ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Paint fades over the years and new paint may not match. But, a good body man can can adjust the color by eye.

I agree. If it were me I would remove the white headlight bezel if possible and take the bezel to a good auto paint supply store that mixes paint. They can use the bezel to tint the paint to match.

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18 hours ago, Walt G said:

Airbrush can be used to apply color - I painted a pedal car with an air brush once! yes the whole pedal car.

Primer - get a rattle can of sandable primer,  gray would be best because you are putting a light color over it.. Etching primer because you will be down to bare metal to even the surface. You will then need lacquer primer on top of the etching primer , again sandable.

Perhaps someone here can direct you to a auto paint supply place that can mix your white color. acrylic lacquer will work fine.   You will need to get some sand paper - not the stuff for wood  at your local hardware store, . 400, 600, and 1,000 or 1,200. One sheet should do it of each. Use a rubber pad about 3/8 inch thick maybe 4 x 6 inches to wrap the sand paper around.

 

How familiar are you using an air brush and what size tip to you have for the one you intend to use?  Go to an art supply store of some substance/merit and talk to the counter people there. Due to the small flow of the air brush it will take some time and some coats to lay on enough paint.

Thanks Walt. I have all the pads and sandpaper as I used to paint cars regularly up to about 22 years ago. The airbrush idea is so I can minimize overspray and keep the worked area as small as possible. I do not own and have no experience with one but it will not be the first time I have bought a bunch of tools for a single bit of problem solving. I also have plenty of time to practice and slowly apply the results.

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Don

If you have experience working with lacquer but not the means to spray it on ( air brush) you already are half way there. When you get your air brush - need a small compressor for same, jar or tin to hold paint ( get one that hangs below the air nozzle like a regular spray gun, not one that stays above that can take a while to get used to). What you need to get used to- practice with is the adjusting of the time pf the air nozzle that will let you adjust the spray patter to the largest possible. that will most likely be about the size of a quarter at maximum. practice on a piece of masonite or stiff cardboard ( not corrugated) to get used to the flow, how much you can /have to over lap. Since you are working with lacquer if it gets a few runs it doesn't matter the paint isn't going on that heavy. The paint will "flash off" very quickly to recoat. Air line may cause moisture to build up and water mist/drops may squirt out on occasion. You need to practice a bit with it to get the feel of it. Humidity may play havoc a bit with the spraying too.

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23 hours ago, Walt G said:

Don

If you have experience working with lacquer but not the means to spray it on ( air brush) you already are half way there. When you get your air brush - need a small compressor for same, jar or tin to hold paint ( get one that hangs below the air nozzle like a regular spray gun, not one that stays above that can take a while to get used to). What you need to get used to- practice with is the adjusting of the time pf the air nozzle that will let you adjust the spray patter to the largest possible. that will most likely be about the size of a quarter at maximum. practice on a piece of masonite or stiff cardboard ( not corrugated) to get used to the flow, how much you can /have to over lap. Since you are working with lacquer if it gets a few runs it doesn't matter the paint isn't going on that heavy. The paint will "flash off" very quickly to recoat. Air line may cause moisture to build up and water mist/drops may squirt out on occasion. You need to practice a bit with it to get the feel of it. Humidity may play havoc a bit with the spraying too.

Thanks Walt. Do you or anyone have specific recommendations on a good airbrush setup?

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If this were my car or someone brought it to me to repair I'd be leaning toward a blow-in or blend-in job because the scratches are rather large and there's too much missing paint. That's a lot of area to repeatedly brush fill and sand flat especially without damaging or going through the original surrounding finish. Also all those jagged zig-zag paint edges are going to keep cracking & lifting and will only cause problems until repairs are properly made. You can look at the top of the end E of the LeSabre script and see the paint surface was compromised, moisture got under there and the paint is also lifting in that small area. I'd remove the script and fix that at the same time. If it were me I would sand all that damage away, carefully feather-edge the upper crest of the top scratch and try to blend the paint (after gray priming of course) basically from where the upper light reflections are seen in the last pictures down to maybe the top of the S of the script and continue down underneath the headlight bulge where the color line won't be as noticeable. However, the most critical part of the whole repair depends on the experience and talents of the guy at the paint store mixing the paint. I've never used an airbrush but I have a lot of experience with large & small paint guns and that's what I would use with a lot of thin coats, then color sand, compound and buff the new paint into the old. Good luck with whatever direction you decide to go, I'm just suggesting the way I would do it might be a more permanent fix. 

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3 hours ago, The 55er said:

If this were my car or someone brought it to me to repair I'd be leaning toward a blow-in or blend-in job because the scratches are rather large and there's too much missing paint. That's a lot of area to repeatedly brush fill and sand flat especially without damaging or going through the original surrounding finish. Also all those jagged zig-zag paint edges are going to keep cracking & lifting and will only cause problems until repairs are properly made. You can look at the top of the end E of the LeSabre script and see the paint surface was compromised, moisture got under there and the paint is also lifting in that small area. I'd remove the script and fix that at the same time. If it were me I would sand all that damage away, carefully feather-edge the upper crest of the top scratch and try to blend the paint (after gray priming of course) basically from where the upper light reflections are seen in the last pictures down to maybe the top of the S of the script and continue down underneath the headlight bulge where the color line won't be as noticeable. However, the most critical part of the whole repair depends on the experience and talents of the guy at the paint store mixing the paint. I've never used an airbrush but I have a lot of experience with large & small paint guns and that's what I would use with a lot of thin coats, then color sand, compound and buff the new paint into the old. Good luck with whatever direction you decide to go, I'm just suggesting the way I would do it might be a more permanent fix. 

I agee,no airbrush.Airbrush will be to slow and you wont be able to keep a nice wet application.Spend some money and let a pro do it.

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19 hours ago, The 55er said:

If this were my car or someone brought it to me to repair I'd be leaning toward a blow-in or blend-in job because the scratches are rather large and there's too much missing paint. That's a lot of area to repeatedly brush fill and sand flat especially without damaging or going through the original surrounding finish. Also all those jagged zig-zag paint edges are going to keep cracking & lifting and will only cause problems until repairs are properly made. You can look at the top of the end E of the LeSabre script and see the paint surface was compromised, moisture got under there and the paint is also lifting in that small area. I'd remove the script and fix that at the same time. If it were me I would sand all that damage away, carefully feather-edge the upper crest of the top scratch and try to blend the paint (after gray priming of course) basically from where the upper light reflections are seen in the last pictures down to maybe the top of the S of the script and continue down underneath the headlight bulge where the color line won't be as noticeable. However, the most critical part of the whole repair depends on the experience and talents of the guy at the paint store mixing the paint. I've never used an airbrush but I have a lot of experience with large & small paint guns and that's what I would use with a lot of thin coats, then color sand, compound and buff the new paint into the old. Good luck with whatever direction you decide to go, I'm just suggesting the way I would do it might be a more permanent fix. 

Totally agree, I do not plan to use a brush to paint something like this.

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