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At Last!

This Leopard Has Changed Its Spots

By Mike Harrington

All the hard work has come down to this moment. Anyone who has done any type of bodywork preparatory to painting a car knows that lots and lots of work is involved. When that's done, there is lots more still to be done. Next time I get the idea into my head to paint a daily drive, try and talk me out of it, will ya? The hours spent sanding, scuffing, guidecoating, and even more sanding do have an end goal in sight. To tell you the truth, it felt like it we would never reach the finish line, but we did.

If you have followed along thus far, our adventures in the realm of prepping a car for paint began in our August issue. It all started with an ugly crease in the Camaro and a very aged paint job circa 1988 that was rapidly fading. Believe it or not, when we first started on this project there were naysayers and scoffers-a-plenty. Our most common reaction was "You're going to do what?" or "Why don't you just take it to some one day paint place?" The answer is simple: I'm as broke as the Ten Commandments, so spending a few thousand dollars at a shop is simply not an option. We could have just done all the prep work and stopped there, then take the car to a shop to have it painted. We decided, however, to go all the way and see what we can do with some help from experienced friends. Friends like Roy Landgrave at the Chino High School auto body program.

Like we had mentioned in our last installment, we are going to use Auto Air Colors for our paint. Auto Air Colors is not a urethane-based paint, but water-based. This paint is a new animal and does not behave like urethane paints, even though it contains the same pigments found in most urethane paints. One obvious advantage to using water-based paint is the environmental factor. Since there are no harmful chemicals it can be used practically anywhere, including the home garage with out fear of harmful vapors. Another advantage to using this paint is for the novice painter. We noticed that Auto Air paint lays down beautifully. If you follow the directions and spray it on in light guidecoat-type applications, you can't mess it up. There will be no runs or tiger stripes. If you take a look at their Web site (www.autoaircolors.com), it contains tons of useful information about their product, more than we can fit in this article. They also have flakes, pearls, and solid colors. Auto Air colors recommends using a urethane primer and urethane compatible clearcoat, which is just what we did. You may have a favorite brand to use or you can ask Auto Air Colors which brands they might suggest. Follow along and see how well we did.

SOURCES
AUTO AIR COLORS
14 Airport Park Rd.,
East Granby
CT  06026
Chino High School
5472 Park Pl.
Chino
CA  91710
By Mike Harrington
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