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101 Paint And Body Tips

By , Photography by Team Super Chevy

48. If you use a chemical stripper to remove old paint, make sure to rinse the part and surrounding areas thoroughly. That stuff can linger and hide in tight spaces and could come back to ruin all your fresh paint.

49. If you strip anything down to bare metal, don’t let it sit outside unprotected. Rust can start showing up in one evening because of the moisture that’s present in the air. You are better off covering the metal with spray paint or duct tape and removing that when you are ready to work the area again.

50. Another bad thing to let sit out in the sun is masking tape. If you have to push you project outside for any substantial amount of time you are better off removing the tape before the glue dries out and the paper becomes brittle making it very difficult to remove.

51. To get the best coverage from your paint, you can tint the primer to a similar color. Primer is cheaper than paint so covering as much area as you can with color-tinted primer first before painting will save dough.

52. Speaking of cheap, if you’re building a mild custom, look into using single-stage enamel paint instead of two-stage. It’s much cheaper than the cost of a two stage, base coat/clear coat product.

53. Use glazing putty to fill small pinholes and light gouges for quicker results.

54. An often-overlooked area to detail is the small lip on the wheelwell openings. Make sure you get in there and sand it as well so the paint will adhere to it properly.

55. When you are finished spraying anything, make sure to clean the gun right then and there. The longer it sits the more chance the primer, paint, or clear will dry up in the small passages and turn a quick clean up into a scrubbing nightmare.

56. Read all the instructions that come with your materials! Even if you have used a product before you never know if the company made a small change in the formula that will require a different procedure for applying it.

57. Make sure all components are compatible. If you don’t know, don’t mix them. Call your supplier and make sure your sealer, primer and paint won’t react in a negative way.

58. Buy a wall thermometer and humidity gauge (hygrometer) because this will help you pick the right speed reducer so you will mix the paints properly for your temperature.

59. Also make sure the car itself is at the same temp as the booth. If it has been sitting out in the sun and you pull it in the cold garage, you have to let the sheetmetal even out with the temp in the garage before spraying.

60. Install a water trap in your air line. Nothing will screw up a paint job faster than a bunch of water entering the gun from the air line.

61. If you are having a custom color mixed, it might be a good idea to get an extra quart added to the order just in case you need to touch up something later.

62. Spray the jambs with the doors off first, then after they are dry bolt them back on and start spraying the exterior.

63. You can’t be too clean before painting. It’s a good idea to wash the car right before you plan on rolling it into the booth. Once in the booth, hit it with some wax and grease remover and then with a tack rag.

64. On your final coat of paint, go ahead and over-reduce the paint by one more part. This will help it lay flatter, but make sure to turn down the air just a bit.

65. When spraying metallics on a disassembled vehicle, make sure all the panels are orientated as if they were on the car. That way the metallic paint will lie down uniformly. This can also be applied to flakes.

66. Speaking of flake, a good way to spray it is to use a gun with a 2.0 tip. The large tip allows the flake to come out evenly. Add the flake to some clear, drop in a small, brand new nut in the paint gun reservoir to act as an agitator, and then crank up your air psi and spray away.

67. If you have never sprayed candies, then don’t try it on your ride during your first paint job. If you are going to try and spray candy paints for the first time, then cut the candy mixture a little more with an intercoat clear. This will help prevent blotches, but you’ll have to lay down more coats.

68. When spraying the candy make sure to start at one end of the car and walk the whole side as opposed to doing it in panels. This will help keep the coats uniform down the whole side.

69. When you are spraying clear, make sure your first coat is a very light coat. Let it flash off and then you can start laying on thicker coats from there.

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