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L98 Corvette and LT1 Corvette Technical Info, Internal Engine, External Engine

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Old 12-28-2005, 02:21 AM   #1
MNorlander
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Default Can I paint my car myself?

Hi. I'm an 18year old student who was lucky enough to find a good deal on an '86 vette. Would it be possible to do a paint job on my vette myself? The hood really needs it and the body kit and back could use a touchup as well. As you could guess I really enjoy this car and am trying to get it looking, running, and sounding really nice. It's just that I work for every cent that's spent on it and I really can't imagine paying $600 just for a hood paint job.. argh.

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Old 12-28-2005, 02:33 AM   #2
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I learned all my painting tips from www.autobodystore.com
They have a discussion board and you can even by their painting 101 video.I bought the video and it was OK.Was hoping for more but gave a beginner like me the important insights.

Learn all you can before doing anything.That way you can practice and get really good at it.

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Old 12-28-2005, 03:05 AM   #3
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For the cost of having someone else paint your hood (your $600 quote) you could give your entire car a nice paint job yourself...if you already have a good compressor (or rent one)
Check these forums http://www.a2zautoforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=49
http://autobody101.com/forums/viewforum.php?f=5
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:10 AM   #4
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Have you ever painted a car before? If not do you really want to test your skills on your vette?
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:04 AM   #5
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I learned some tips on painting after doing the front of my friend's mustang. Used Duplicolor spray paint.

I learned that wet-sanding by hand on intricate surfaces is a bitch (but can shine very well), that some imperfections/mistakes cannot be fixed without starting over, that spray cans suck, spray paint is too soft and brittle, that only an idiot would pay someone to rattle can their 15k car, and most importantly........

That I will pay a professional to get my car painted.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralCoaster
I learned some tips on painting after doing the front of my friend's mustang. Used Duplicolor spray paint.

I learned that wet-sanding by hand on intricate surfaces is a bitch (but can shine very well), that some imperfections/mistakes cannot be fixed without starting over, that spray cans suck, spray paint is too soft and brittle, that only an idiot would pay someone to rattle can their 15k car, and most importantly........

That I will pay a professional to get my car painted.
So how many cans are you going to use?
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:17 AM   #7
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I painted my first truck when I was 17 in 1988. You can do it, don't let anyone tell you can't but you are in for a lot of hard work and your own personal scrutiny that it will drive you nuts with everything that can and will go wrong. Paint is expensive, has to be applied in the right conditions, and the prep work of the car is the key to everything turning out the way you want. Without prep work you are just another rattle can painter that will have nothing to show for no matter how much you spent on paint. The professionals get paid what they do because of years of experience and they deserve every penny of what they charge. In California as I'm sure it is in many states finding an acceptable place to paint is another thing entirely in of itself as residential painting is a no no and could subject you to some nuiessance fines. Talk to a few shops, ask around at car shows, and maybe even the local automotive parts supply shops about painters. Maybe you will find somebody that does work on the side and is looking for a little bit of cash. Trust me I was happy with what the outcome of my truck was but the night after night sanding and wetsanding and taping and body adjustments was worth what a professional painter would have charged and would have been done in a heck of alot quicker fashion than I could ever do. No one here is discouraging you as much as we are trying to steer you in the right direction but if you figure just your time at $10 an hour plus supplies you'll be ahead in the long run to have someone do the job for you every time. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuisinartvette
So how many cans are you going to use?

Do you mean how many cans is the professional idiot going to use that he plans to get to spray his car.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:30 AM   #9
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Since nobody else mentioned it, what about the environmental concerns? He does live in California.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:45 AM   #10
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That's some good advice for you. I painted my first vette-in California, but that was many moons ago. First, like stated the prep work is the key to your success, read everything you can get your hands on, and then get yourself a hood or two from a junk yard and practice on them first-don't need to be vette hoods.Just remember-you can sand the heck out of metal-but you can't when it comes to fiber glass-or in our case SMC.
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Old 12-28-2005, 10:18 AM   #11
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The first paint job I ever did was in 1963 when I was 13 years old. It was with enamel which is harder to shoot than some of the base coat/clearcoat products we have today.

Regardless of what product you are using, the most common rookie paint mistake is to believe that the key to a good paint job is their ability to spray on the paint. A good paint job is in the preparation as is the vast majority of the work and time. On their first paint job, most everyone thinks that the paint will cover everything up. It is QUITE the contrary in that the paint will bring everything out. Any sanding flaws or improper body work might look good without the paint, but once the paint is on, it will be OBVIOUS to ANYONE that it was an amateur job.

Looking like an amateur paint job does not have to be the case. Although there is a MASSIVE amount of work involved in a good paint job, patience is a more important trait than the willingness to work hard. You must be patient and use lots of scrap paint along the way for a proof coat. What I mean by that is that once you THINK that you have an area straight, dust some glossy paint from a spray can across the area so that you can see if it is straight. You will then be able to see if it needs more work. You can then easily take the scrap paint off once you are sure that the area is straight.

WHATEVER YOU DO don't think that you can get a satisfactory job with ANY spray can product because you CAN NOT!

I would encourage you to do LOTS of reading and study and as a previous poster suggested, do some practicing on a few pieces from the junk yard. When I say practice on these pieces I don't mean to only use them to learn to spray on paint, but go through the entire preparation process including featheredging, prep sanding, primer coat and final sanding, THEN once you think the piece is ready for paint, spray on the same paint products that you plan on painting the car with. Unless you are a very patient, very studious person, that first scrap part that you paint will be a HUGE eye opener.

I strongly encourage you to do this paint job, but you need to realize that your first paint job will cost quite a bit, because of the tools and equipment that you will need. I would strongly recommend that you buy a good DA sander, an air file, sanding blocks, a GOOD paint gun and a compressor that will keep up. You need to buy a compressor so that you will have it for the air tools, not just for shooting the paint. If you do this, I'm sure it will take more time to come up with the money for the project, but you have your whole life in front of you in which to recoop the benefits of the investment.

The personal pride that you can have in a good paint job will be a HUGE reward for all the work. Developing these skills will be very worthwile IMHO.

Best of luck,
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Old 12-28-2005, 10:44 AM   #12
cuisinartvette
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I believe you can legally spray up to a quart w/o being in a booth.
At least thats what a few painter have told me, could be BS though.

Last edited by cuisinartvette; 12-28-2005 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 12-28-2005, 10:49 AM   #13
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short answer: yes, you can paint it by yourself and save a TON of money.

is it going to look like something off of Boyd Coddington's show? probably not, but you can get it dang close.

I just did this project in July/August. Everyone is right, prep work is the key. I took the car off the road for the entire time (some people do drive them during the project). Take off all the lights/emblems/belt line/wheel wells etc. wet sand the ever living heck out of it. Then when you think you are done, wet sand it again. The wet sanding and disassembling took me a month of after work and weekend time. Then make sure you have a real good compressor with a really good air dryer on it. Read as much as you can, and ask around town. Check with your local corvette club, there is probably someone that is willing to help for little or no pay.

keep us updated on your progress and if you want a really deatiled listing of what I did, email me and i'll look through my stuff and lay it all out step by step for you.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:42 AM   #14
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Default Paint it yourself

Go to NAPA, and get one stage enamel. You can get the hardener, reducer, paint, mixing sticks, measuring cup, paint gun, coveralls, gloves, primer, masking tape, filler, respirator, and sand paper there.

Their paint guy will also give you the mixing proportions.

All you need is a air compressor with a line dryer and pressure regulator.

Practice on something first, read the manual. Try different pressure and flow rates until you get the paint to flow and lay down correctly. I like the gravity feed guns.

A little practice and you will be painting like a pro on your own driveway.

Read up on prep and paint.

Find a clean place to spray. No wind, no bugs (I paint a piece of cardboard to set the flow and pressure on the gun first and leave it next to the car to give bugs something to land on while I am painting the car.)

If you are painting on a concrete or paved driveway run water while you are painting to wash overspray away.

Mask EVERYTHING you don't want overspray on. Overspray carries for remarkably long distances. Donít assume that any part of your car is too far away from the work to not need masking.

Remember the paint is only as good as the prep.

Have fun.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:45 AM   #15
Slalom4me
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Before purchasing the paint and solvent materials, read the labels then
go do a little research. You might be troubled by what you find out.

In addition to the tools & supplies mentioned in the posts above, you
will want to factor in some additional funds for mask/respirator, gloves
and possibly a body suit. Can the car be painted without this stuff,
sure. Is it healthy, no.

So, you stand to incur personal health risks, there is the environmental
issue, not to mention the expense of renting and buying materials and
tools. All for an uncertain outcome on a one-shot deal.

My suggestion. Find a shop that will work with you so that you can
reduce the price by doing the mechanical disassembly and some of
the pre-paint prep work yourself. Pay the shop to do the final prep
and actual painting.

You will still have to buy some tools and possibly replace some parts
you break because you don't yet have the knowledge that the
professional brings to the job. You will have to decide whether to have
the shop perform any reassembly or do it yourself (and risk marring the
paint finish).

But you will wind up with the satisfaction of having contributed to the
work yourself, you will have learned new things about your car and
yourself. Best of all, you will have a car with a professional paint
finish. (As an added bonus, you won't have to worry about forgetting
where you left your keys or struggling to draw a breath.)

.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:49 AM   #16
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Default One more thing

The paint guy at my local NAPA told me that there is a local painter who rents out his booth.

Ask around where you are and see if anyone will rent you a booth for the afternoon.
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:52 AM   #17
cuisinartvette
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Makeshift booths work
The entire backyard of this house I used to rent and the road behind it was dirt....Got up at the crack of dawn and turned both the yeard and the road into a "slightly muddy" conditon....Not an ounce of dirt in any of the parts....Did a boat trailer for a 36 ft. boat back there too, came out mint. Just have to do your homework and plan. Used a cheap hvlp gun and had some help mixing paint/gun setup.



Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:02 PM   #18
Slalom4me
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That is a better setup than some professional industrial equipment
painters use in my part of the world.

But the original poster is an 18 yo student. Check out the neighborhood
in the picture he posted.

.
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:09 PM   #19
cuisinartvette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slalom4me
That is a better setup than some professional industrial equipment
painters use in my part of the world.

But the original poster is an 18 yo student. Check out the neighborhood
in the picture he posted.

.
Good point. If I were him I would save my dollars, wetsand that sucker down as good as possible and have Maaco spray it. Get a buddy with some know how to help color sand it later. Its expensive buying all the materials/tools.
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:23 PM   #20
kopbet89c4
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I spray painted my old CRX and made it look a LOT better! By all means, I'm not a pro but I'm glad I did a better job than expected. Just took a lot of time and patience, maybe it was luck good luck after all.
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:23 PM
 
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