Going to by painting my car: Need advice (Pic intensive)

My car got vandalized last year with some flooring glue, the glue lifted the paint. I took the cash settlement from the insurance company and have been waiting for the summer to attempt my first bit of body work and paint job. I have painted three bumpers before, each time a little better (but still with TONS of orange peel). What I’ve read is that I need to turn up the PSI on the gun, I was using about 30 before on a HVLP gun.

Anyway’s I’ll get to the specific painting related stuff later, I’m far from that stage at the moment.

Let me preface this with a little disclaimer: I am no professorial, I am an avid backyard mechanic that has learned everything I know from working on my car. I’ve replaced engine’s and transmissions but now it’s time for me to learn a few things on the bodywork side of things. I’m not trying to make a show car, or spend a lot on the project. My goal is to fix the flaws where I can and learn as I go to create a decent looking final result (as we know, your paintjob is only as good as your prep).

Okay now to the pictures:


Flaw in fender

Dent in hood from leaving a wrench in the bay while closing hood

Flaw in door

This is partially where the glue hit, and where a thief broke into while with the previous owner

Rear quarter rust

Old emblem remnants

Not sure what’s going on here on the hatch

Spoiler bubbles

Other side rear quarter rust

Any specific advise on fixing these issues? As for where the glue hit on the doors and such, I realize I will have to sand down to metal and go from there. As for the rust on the rear quarters, I realize to fully fix this I would need new metal welded in, this will be too costly for me as I cannot do this myself, what’s my next best alternative?

I’ve never used Bondo either, any tips on that?
The weather seems to be slowly improving here in Vancouver, so hopefully this project will be underway shortly!

Any thoughts and input are welcomed! Thanks guys!

The driver-rear quarter has been repainted before, it seems… much more orange-peel there compared to any other area on the car.

I hate red, simply because its hard to make it ‘blend’ in with the other panels that aren’t re-sprayed with the new color. Are your plans to paint the entire car, or just the repaired panels?

Yes, 30psi is way too low with an HVLP heheh… you’re looking for closer to 90+psi and adjust your fan to the type/color of paint you’re using. For metallics I tend to use a more wide-fan, and a slightly more narrow fan for more solid colors.

As far as the rust… If you aren’t going to replace the metal, make sure to grind out as much of the rust as you can, as you said, to bare metal. Fill any imperfections with said bondo (easy to use, its the cleanup that is the bitch if you let it dry on your plastic putty spreaders & other tools). If you have parts that are eaten through the metal, or deeper than 1/4" (as per most bondo/body fillers instructions) use something more heavy-duty, like a fiberglass-reinforced product, like MarGlass or what-have-you. You use it in the same fashion as bondo, but its stronger and will hold better over time.

For these areas that were heavily rusted, you’re going to want to spray or brush/roll them with a product called Por15, or RustBullet or any other proven rust inhibiting product. This will heighten the chances of your repairs remaining rust free.

Any other areas that you’ve filled or sanded should be sprayed with a sealer (or thin/reduced coats of primer) before spraying the full car/panel in primer… the idea here is to try and reduce the chance of your bondo leaving an ‘island’ or impression in the finished product… If your repair is 1" in diameter, you want to spray a light sealer-coat say, 4-5"… let it dry until you can sand on it (as per instructions on can, usually 30-50min) and blend it in with fine paper, 500gritt type stuff. Then fully prime the panel.

If you can get the primer to lay down flat enough and cover well enough, you can go straight to paint without waiting too long. If you have imperfections in the primer, you WILL see them in the paint. Let the primer dry… Deal with the issue, weather it be a run or imperfections in the body work, or whatever, and re-seal/prime.

Same idea with the base-coat color. One or two light “tack” coats( to give good adhesion when you start laying it down heavier), then start putting it down. Allow 10-15min during the heavier coats. The paint dries pretty quick, but naturally, be extremely careful. If you wait long enough you can wipe the surface with a tack cloth if you have any lint or things sticking to it. Same as the primer, if you have any issues in the paint, clear wont hide much of anything. Fix the issue and re-start if necessary.

Clear is where the magic happens! Colors come to life once you hit them with clearcoat… But its a whore to work with if you get too courageous and put coats on too thick or too fast. You want it on the verge of running, but right where it doesnt. You want it to look wet…

Many people say that “a good painter can lay down clear good enough to not need a colorsand and buff afterwords” while that is true, that is definitely skill and prowess at using a paint gun… But at the same time, I’ve always thought jobs look cleaner once they’ve been sanded (1500/2000) and polished out with some good buffing compounds and a somewhat coarse FOAM buffing pad.

I gotta jet, but I’ll be sure to check in on this thread and try to offer any other insight I can… Not that Im a pro but I’ve done a few paintjobs heh.

Wow unified that’s exactly the kind of assistance I was looking for :bowdown: . I know red is a bitch to match, that is exactly why I didn’t want my insurance company to just paint one side of the car (as my hood and bumper are already slightly different colors :whisper:) Needless to say I will be painting the WHOLE car!

As for fixing the minor imperfections (hood, front fender etc), should I just sand these down or use a grinder?

For my door handle, how should I go about fixing this? I tried to remove a handle at the junk yard and failed miserably, mostly due to all the rods going in there. I’ve used some plastic friendly paint stripper before, would this be my best bet here?

With this type of help I’m really itching to start the work! :bowdown: Thank you so much! :bowdown:

Unified that was awesome! Thanks man, I am sure you helped a bunch of people with that! Including me, I need to paint a front end on my new car. Can I just drop the car off at your place and pick her up in a month? :stuck_out_tongue:

You can use a sander or grinder, either one works… but id take it down to bare metal in any area that you plan to use a bondo/filler.

The door handles aren’t too hard to remove, but can be a pain. You don’t have to strip the handles… just scuff em so the paint will adhere. You can fill any chunks or dings with the regular body filler stuff.

Hahahaha. Sure thing man, just bring it by!

I’ve said too much already, I should be getting paid for this :wink:

Went to my local autobody parts store to see if they have the stuff you were talking about. I have some questions (as i’m sure you expected)

There are way too many kinds of primer lol.
I saw 1k, 2k, self-etching etc…
I also didn’t see this ‘sealer’ you speak of.

As for the rust inhibiting stuff, I didn’t find the exact names you recommended, but found this stuff that seemed right, it said it dries rock hard and is paintable etc…

Also with regards to the primer, there are several panels where the paint is just fine, no touchups are needed. Can I just scuff these area’s and apply color or is it a must that the whole car is primered?

Self-etching or Direct To Metal primers are great to use if your doing real big areas of bare metal. Like my car for instance… I stripped the whole car to bare metal, then used a direct to metal primer to cover the entire thing. This actually bonds with the surface of the car better becase, as the name implies, it ‘etches’ itself to the metal. The benifit of this is that it is much less likely for the primer to chip from the surface, or otherwise adhere poorly.

We use 2k primer at our shop… By ‘sealer’ what I mean is a very thin coat of primer. You know how you reduce your primer, say, 4:1? Reducing it 4:2 (2:1) will make it thinner… on the can it should say the ratios of which to dilute it, I’m merely throwing numbers to get the idea across. You want to ‘seal’ any of your smaller door-ding size bondo/repairs and any spots of bare metal you see. Remember to spray a bigger area than your repair to make sure you don’t create an ‘island’

Thicker ‘primer’ should be used to cover the bigger areas and bigger repairs… these primer areas will need to be sanded before paint because the edges/transitions of the primer and other areas WILL show through the paint. All transitions need to be very gentle and non-abrupt.

The reason I suggest shooting a sealer coat over the entire car is, depending on how translucent the paint is… the discrepancy of color underneath (primer, old paint, etc) can sometimes show-through. I suppose it is avoidable if you spray the color thick enough. Also, when keeping if the same color its easier to get by without sealing the whole thing… But its a chance you take. When doing a color change, its virtually always a need to seal or ‘blank’ the whole car out and start with one solid-colored surface.

Okay so today was my first work day, I got the fender sanded and primed (no bondo necessary) . Onto the hatch

First here, looks like somebody patched the emblem holes. Looks like a bad job to me. Before I go ahead I just want to clarify what i’m actually doing here. What i’ve gathered is I want to take the grinder to it, grind it down and tad so when I bondo over (obviously way more coverage that the two holes), it will create an even surface.

This is where the spoiler was. It apears to be bondo all around the hole; and it’s quite weak. If I do decide to delete the spoiler, how do I fix this?

Same Idea here, but metal. How would I delete these holes? Bondo-Glass was my initial thought?

The correct way to fix all of those holes would be welding. It sucks doing the wing-delete by welding because the metal is so thin, and the hole so big, that it is very easy to warp the surface.

Fiberglass re-inforced filler would be the next best bet… there is some other stuff id recomend, but for the price it wouldn’t be worth buying for only those few holes.

Yes, you want to sand/grind down to bare metal (remember, an area bigger than the actual dent/hole/flaw you are trying to cover) if you were filling a 1" wide dent, grind a 2" area to bare metal, and ‘scuff’ the paint in a 3" area around the repair. (Think of a bulls-eye or something) then take your bondo/filler and get to work. When sanding id use a block or something flat to ensure a level finish.

When using your hand to check for a even/flat surface, an easy trick is to use a rag or a t-shirt rather than your bare hand… this makes it much easier to feel flaws and inconsistencies in the finish. If you’re having a hard time seeing how level your repair is, you can spray it with primer/sealer… that will show the flaws. Then re-sand/re-fill and try again.

On a different note, I was giving some thought today about doing something subtly different with the new paint. I want to keep the same color (rio red) but add a flare. Is it possible make the paint metallic? What about adding flakes?

It all depends on your local paint shop…

Sometimes when you give them a paint code to match, you’ll just get a match with no deviation from the original color. In cases as such its easier to go with a different color. One that is close enough to your original color, but that has the pearl/flake you’re wanting.

When picking my color, I gave the guy m fuel-door and told him I wanted a match, but slightly darker. He replied with “Well, you either want a match, or you don’t…” I’m not sure if he was just being an ass that day or what though lol.

So you’re saying I can’t have my cake and eat it too? I can’t have my original color mated with some pizzaz

i’m pretty sure the painter can mix up anything you want. it’s just that later down the road if you need a body panel repainted, it’ll probably be hard to match. but i could be wrong. :stuck_out_tongue:

when mixing color U can tech put in whatever u want, heres the thing, if u have no calculated way of how much of each product you added and 99% of paint stores won;t just “add” things for you, thats something you often have to find someone with connections to a paint shop or a paint rack in order to do that. The paint rack is the rack of toners, binders, and other additives that paint stores and most shops have that they mix each formula from.
If you want something with more “flare” id find a color on another car you like and get that code for the paint shop. It will make EVERYTHING easier for everyone.

As for your spoiler holes, Id really try to get someone to weld them for u, if thats no way an option then some time of fiberglass filler will work, maybe try to put something behind it for reinforcement. If you lived closer to PA id weld them for u.

It always cracks me up seeing these tegs and how many old layers of paint are under there, I just redid my wifes 91, I stripped the hatch bc it had seriously been painted 5 times. I can tell all sorts of other horror stories of other spots I found on the car when I redid it. Luckily urs does seem to bad

I do paint/body work, so besides Unified, we should be able to get you through this adventure

Thanks for the advice bmkisbmx. I’ve decided to keep my stock color (rio red) after seeing some pictures of hella shiny rio red tegs, looked quite good imo. And I forsure have noticed the many layers of paint you speak of :stuck_out_tongue:

As for the spoiler holes, I’ve decided to keep my spoiler on, so no need to worry about those :slight_smile:

As of today, the bad fender is done, the hatch is done and the spoiler and hood are almost done (just need to put that thin lightweight skim over a couple spots the primer showed). By done I mean flaws fixed and primered!


Hood, Driver side fender, hatch, spoiler pretty much done. They are primed, I just need to fix a couple islands.

Time to tackle the rust. Bellow are the pictures of my journey. I started off by grinding out as much rust as I could. I then applied some rust killer primer stuff (the black glossy stuff). I then tackled the holes and pits with some fiberglass and Kevlar reinforced body filler. Topped that off with a lightweight skim filler in order to properly feather.

It also looked like there was an attempted rust repair by the previous owner. There was this black hard plastic like material in some of the holes, and the paint that chipped off from the rust spots revealed the oem paint underneath.

And then, After all that, I realized my new bumper support (found out my old one was rusted to shit) was off a 92-93 and does not fit my 90 :frowning:

weird man, did you get that support off of a four door?
i have a 92 support and all i need to change/modify was the styrofoam.

[QUOTE=90_DA;2217739]weird man, did you get that support off of a four door?
i have a 92 support and all i need to change/modify was the styrofoam.[/QUOTE]

Might of been, honestly can’t remembner… but that would explain a lot