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Paint and Body Maintenance & Repair



  • I just a used 1996 Ford Ranger and the bed is all scrached and faded. What can i use to paint it.THANX
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    on the drivers' door jamb will be one or two paint codes, about on the bottom third of the label. these two or three letter + number codes specify the paint color.

    you need to take the "body color" code to the paint shop of your choice and buy appropriate primer, rust-killer if any is needed, and paint for the job.

    assuming you had to ask the question, you won't be an auto paint pro. so for scratches with rust, you will want a 3M rust remover pen, and a brush-in-cap bottle of primer, both of which will be used to fill in scratches and scratches ONLY.

    depending on the mess you have back there, you may want to just cover the scratches, in which case you get a brush-in-cap bottle of top color coat with the paint code you pulled... or something like 4 cans of dupli-color lacquer of the same production code (inked on the bottom of the can.) it will take 2 or 3 cans of dupli-color clear top coat to put a "gloss" coat over the color.

    you need to also get another can of paint to practice your technique on painting, so you don't end up with a job that looks like it was done by putting a firecracker in a can of latex paint, and running.

    - OR - put in a bedliner after killing any rust and primering... OR use a gallon of HercuLiner "brush on bedliner" and screw the color coat. both of these options will take a little more whanging and banging than paint.

    you will want to cut and destroy any wax in the bed before any painting... small areas, 99% isopropyl alcohol from the drugstore (ahnydrous isopropyl) and a rag will work. larger areas, you could wash the bed a couple times with Dawn dishwashing detergent, and rinse well with the garden hose.
  • Found a "rubbing compound" by 3M that is safe for clear coats on the shelf with other do-it-yourself body work products at Wal-Mart. It is a liquid in a black bottle. Says that it removes medium scratches on the label. I tried it by hand on a soft 100% cotton cloth, changing spots often and buffing by hand when dry. It did an amazing job and left the paint with a deep shine. I just did it a little at a time until the scratches were gone.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    To me generally rubbing compounds are serious stuff. Generally start with something milder then go harsher.

    Please describe the conditions which you are trying to remove and describe the general paint contidion.
  • ltsengltseng Posts: 9
    I found a raw egg white dry out on my car this summer in Texas after returning from my vacation. I washed it, buff it, and curve it, but couldn't get it off. Is there anyway to remove it. Thanks.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    the frescoes on ancient European churches done from 1200 on... frescoes being painting with egg white being the paint base... last to this day. good luck on that one, it is almost certain in my humble opinion to involve professionals, serious abrasive dusts, and an artists' touch with a powered buffer.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    I'm looking at a "project" that looks like it would be fun. It seems to be mechanically sound, except it needs new paint. Badly.

    My idea is to change to a paint that was popular on Mercedes' in the '60s and '70s, but I don't have any idea how to go about finding someone (even if I keep the original color) who can do a job which you folk described above as "better than OEM."

    I've read back over the last 40 or so posts and don't have an idea of how to "shop" for people who will do the job right. I really don't want the car to end up looking like a kit car -- even in five or six years.

    Advice will be very welcome.

    Thanks and take care.
    Joe W.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Take a look around at custom car shows and things, ask the people there who does the paint on their cars, alot of times just a paint shop not a bodyshop will do it. i know here in Minneapolis, MN there is a place called House of Color. They have the best painters in the state from what ive seen. ask around to people and they will usually tell you the best place to go.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Are you near a large metro area? That would help. As bigfur said, places where custom cars are found are a great source of info like Hot Rod clubs and places where all the rods gather on a Friday night. Talk to the guys with the realy great looking paint jobs. Or car dealers that specialize in classic cars and used high end cars like Bentley and Rolls. Ask them where they have their body and paint work done.

    Most old cars are not worth the money for this kind of paint job though.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Can yo9u take me to the next phase -- assuming I get 2 or 3 names?

    Obviously I'm new to this phase of my possible project.

    Your suggestions are good, I think. I have a connection to the New England president of the hot rod association so that's a good place to start. And have a wonderful garage about 20 miles away that specializes in Maserati's and Ferrari's.

    I'm sure I won't get the same information from everyone, so I'm wondering how I can qualify conflicting reputations -- what are characteristics beyond reputation that a "consumer" can use to improve chances of an excellent job.

    As you said, I'm sure this will be a lot of $$ so I want to make it right.

    Thanks again.
    Joe W.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    i know how people are about restoring cars and the paint they used at the time, but tell them when they do your car to do two stage paint (base coat/clear coat) it will keep the shine alot longer than single stage or anything else
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Spend some time with the shop people, talking to them and ask to look at some of the jobs they have in process. Get down close, with some really good light and look for imperfections and "fish-eyes" in the paint. Ask the guy to explain exactly what they are proposing to do. How many coats, how long between coats, wet sanding and/or polishing between coats. Dissasembly of the trim. What about the door jams, trunk lid, underside of the hood, etc. Go to more than one shop if you can. After the second or third visit, you'll be suprised at how much you will know about paint.

    The clear-coat is like an extra layer of paint without the pigment, only the shine. As bigfur said, it will keep the car shinier longer. Almost all new cars have clear-coats. But if you keep your car washed and waxed regularly it's not that big a deal, and not having a clear-coat makes it easier to polish out any scratches or abrasions or oxidation in the paint after a few years on the road.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    Thanks. Your clarity is helpful.

    If you have the energy (and patience) to go on --

    are there particular paints, brands or whatever, to avoid?

    How many coats make a good job? I'll bet the answer to that one is based on taste and .... Is one coat the minimum, or more? What would be desirable: I'm thinking of depth of color, longevity, maintenance, and so on.

    Several times the expense is mentioned. How expensive do you think you should expect? Or is the question premature? Maybe later, then.

    Again, much appreciated.
    Joe W.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    in practice, especially if you are covering a different color, a "good coat" will be several "flash coats" thick. a "flash coat" has a considerable amount indeed of solvent in it, so the solvent evaporates and the paint is floated more evenly over any irregularities. you can see the last of the solvent evaporate on a flash coat, there is a sudden noticeable change in the paint, and at that point more is sprayed on, so you build up to one REAL layer of paint in little baby steps.

    the durability of paint is dependent on a certain thickness of vehicle, or binder if you prefer, and well-adhering to whatever is below it. it also depends on the chemistry of the paint being stable in temperature extremes, and compatible with the shrink-and-stretch rates of the underlying layers and body of the car.

    goop it on too thick, you will have adhesion issues and finish issues from bad drying. too thin, it won't make the minimum requirement and is more likely to be damaged by temp extremes.

    this also applies to clear coat, because that is just vehicle and no color.

    if you see a lot of good jobs come out of one or two shops in the area, and they stay good over a couple of years or more, the shop is likely to know what they are doing. they will charge accordingly; painting correctly means a lot of labor went into preparing the surface and insuring what is underneath is stable and will work with the paint going on top. labor costs a lot. some of the newer paints are also darned pricey, but it always costs much more to screw up the job and have it redone, including taking the car down to primer or metal if the job was really hosed up.

    so a lot of answers sort of follow directly from picking a good shop in the first place. they will not recommend using lawn chair paint, and if you really want a swimmingly-deep floating look on your ride and don't want to see any changes for years, that will narrow it down to their higher lines of paint usually. at some point, you'll have to trust 'em to be as good as they were on all the sample cars.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    I'm a little confused. I was under the impression that several coats of color, spaced about a day apart, with some polishing between each coat would result in the most durable paint with the highest gloss. I was also under the impression that clearcoats tended to be either single coats or rather thin.

    A couple of years ago, a buddy of mine had an old 912 repainted. If I remember right, he was talking about 4 coats of paint, with the car completely stripped inside and out. I think it cost him about $6K here in San Diego. Which I thought was a pretty good deal given how much work was involved in stripping the body down for painting, and given how much the shops get on the small jobs. I think the shop had the car for 2 weeks.
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    You guys are great with the information.

    I'll get back with more questions once I've spoken with a couple of the people who are recommended. This may take awhile...don't think I've wandered off. Back to lurking.

    Take care.
    Joe W.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and current practice may vary. what I know and saw in demos was that the color was put down in flash coats that built up to a solid coat, this was about a 10:1 dilution in solvent. the end result if the flash coats were immediately followed up would have been one solid coat of color that should have been well-levelled out.

    it does take a day or two for the chemical cure in the paint chemistry to complete. additional curing and solvent loss is why traditionally customers have been told don't wax or wash the paint until next week, like you're not supposed to drive on "dry" but partially-cured concrete.

    EPA has rattled a lot of cages in the past few years, and there may not be such a thing allowed as a 10:1 reduction any more.

    who's currently painting? -- are we down to Dutch Boy Eggshell yet, or just what is the current state of trying to stay legal and get paint that stays on.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
    Driving home from work today, a semi either blew a tire or kicked up a chunk of blown tire that hit my car. There is no dent and, as near as I can tell, no scratches. There is, however, a big black scuff mark on my front fender. I wiped over it with a quick detailer which seemed to remove some of the dusty stuff from the edges, but the bulk of it remained in place. Any suggestions on removing it? Thanks in advance.

  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    and maybe bug 'n' tar remover. rotate some goo gone and use that real lightly... test an inconspicuous area first, etc etc, because that contains some stronger solvents like acetone in small amounts.

    it's going to be a slow process getting the scuff off, but anything aggressive on cutting through the rubber is going to be equally aggressive on the paint and plastic that make up what passes for bumpers nowadays. rubber is really petrochemical plastic, and not that different from the bumper vinyl and/or abs... or for that matter, the vehicle in paint.
  • kominskykominsky Posts: 850
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    with two stage paints...base coat clear coat. usually how it works is this. do your body work if neccecery. then prime it, block sand it and prime it again. after the second prime you sand it. apply your first coat of base to the car, wait 10-15 minutes for it to "flash" (look dull not wet) then add another coat of base. two coats of base color is usually all you need, sometimes three. after that flashes off wait about 20minutes and appply the first coat of clear coat. same thing, wait 10-15 for it to flash off and apply another coat. Two coats will usually do it for clear coat for if it is put on too heavy it will start to peel and come off. Granted this is the basic idea of painting newer cars with two stage paints. and unless its changed in three years(which i doubt) this is how they still do it.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    Then you bake it at about 180degree for half an hour for it to dry. pull it outta the paint booth make sure it looks ok, then you start the wet sanding adn buffing to make it look perfect.
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    Happened recently on my father's car. I went to an auto paint supply store and got 3M General Adhesive Remover. Kleen Strip Surface Prep, and 3M Tar, Sap and Wax Remover would also probably work as well. I got about most of it off with a lot of hand rubbing. Then I used Meguiars' Dual Action Cleaner polish to finish the job. Meguiars Swirl Remover is less abrasive, but should do almost as well. Then I re waxed. Looked absolutely clean.
  • caramocaramo Posts: 93
    After an intense emotional discussion regarding a close friends problems, I backed up my car right into a post, smack in the middle of the bumper. Her husband said he'd pay for damage, since I was there trying to help with a difficult situation. Took my car to our body shop, and they recommended replacing bumper, possible hidden damage, multiple areas needing repainting, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Total estimate over $1,400.

    Well, my own inspection after I had calmed down leads me to believe the bumper won't need replacing, no visible cracking or anything, so I spoke with Dent-Pro about the chips and scratches, and their estimate is $203. That I can live with.

    Maybe I'll regret this down the line, but it seems to me like the car really pretty much bounced back into place (5mph safety bumper and all that). . .

    Anyone else have a similar situation with the new plastic bumpers? Do you think I'm making a mistake if I only take care of the obvious cosmetic problem if I can't see potential other problems?
  • jwilson1jwilson1 Posts: 956
    That process explanation was the piece I was missing. I'm going to try to get to East Coast Sports Car this weekend to start getting some names.

    Take care, Joe
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    process is still about the same as I saw it.

    you get too much paint (or clear) on at the same time, as bigfur mentioned, you get the big round globs known as "orange peel". also shows up if the paint mix is not kept well mixed.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    ACTUALLY...(god i sound like a know it all) orange peel is when you put the clear on too dry. when you put it on too thick and it starts to sag we just called them a "run". you get orange peel...count on a few hours of wet sanding and buffing, lots and lots and lots of buffing. ok enough of that bringing back bad gonna have nightmares tonight. later all
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    swschrad, bigfur, thanks for the clarifications. I just got back from Baja and am catching up with things. One question: the flash coat process sounds like a good process for high throughput body shops, but isn't there an advantage to let each coat cure and then polish it smooth before the next? What about painting custom and show cars, the exotics and restored classics?

    The reason I ask is that the shop we use, which does a huge amount of business with the collector and show car people, insist on having a car for a minimum of 1 week, even for rather minor work. The reason (as best as I remember) was that they insist on 24 hours and polishing between coats, with multiple coats of paint. I've seen some really great restored classics there that have been in process for weeks.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    these guys want each coat to chemically cure almost completely before moving on. maximum strength. bet their work doesn't come off in a driving rain ;)

    that's how you do it if time and money are no object, all right... and you have plenty of space to store all those vehicles... or in their case, the two or eight that they can do a week, whatever their capacity is.

    I strongly suspect they are at the top end of the price scale, even if only because they don't have the volume that the neighborhood fender shop has, and still have to amortize all their expenses across income like the rest of us.

    bet if you look at their clearcoat jobs, it's like seeing a perfect (pick_color) image of yourself in a mirror at the bottom of a deep pool of perfect water, with not a ripple on the surface.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Yeh, their work is pretty nice ;-)

    ..... I once had to wait 6 weeks to get the car in. But it was worth it. In all the times we have used them, and all the years we have had the cars after they did their work, we've never seen any evidence of masking, or differential fading, chipping, or oxidation. You'd never know it wasn't all original paint.

    On average, for the occasional fender bender kind of work we have had done, they come in about 50%-100% higher than the other bids we have obtained for insurance. But we have always insisted on them, and they have always found a way to work it out with the insurance companies.
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