View Full Version : Help...is my paint too far gone to save?

water walkin warrior
06-24-10, 05:01 PM
From 5-10 feet away my hood looks pretty decent, but up close it is not so nice. It looks like it has little chicken tracks (scratches) all over it. I've been told that the paint on my hood and trunk is too far gone to be buffed or saved. He said the only thing I could do was get it repainted. My uncle sells and distributes detailing supplies for Malco. Here's the pictures. By the way, I saw the thread with the Junkman videos, but the hood he was working on was not nearly as bad off as mine is. And my car is black. I'm willing to try anything before putting money out to paint it and I'll do the work rather than paying someone else to do it.

Your expertise is appreciated.
The splotches are probably where one of the previous owners let bird doo sit on the car for too long. Is there any hope?

06-24-10, 05:11 PM
Get the sandpaper out mate.....it's shot.

water walkin warrior
06-24-10, 05:13 PM
Is there a clear coat on the '89s? If I start to sand it down, won't it damage the paint job?

06-24-10, 05:47 PM
Yeah... I'm gonna say sand it clean and away you go.

Or just blast it and repaint if its in the budget.

06-24-10, 06:19 PM
yeah man hard to tell without being able to feel it but I'd say it looks pretty bad. Definately will need some sanding

06-24-10, 07:19 PM
What does it look like from 5 or 10 feet away - even 20 feet? Have a picture to share? Are you trying to achieve perfection with this car or is it a daily driver that looks good enough to satisfy you. I've seen worse finishes than this come back to life with a talented auto detailer who truly knows how to operate a buffing wheel. If you're seeking perfection just dip into savings and have the car repainted and you're done. :)

06-24-10, 09:30 PM
it's shot....

I thought I was a bit blunt when I posted it before....

I meant sand it off and start again....

dunno what you guys call that cracking but down here we call it "crows feet" and its generally accepted as terminal.

06-24-10, 09:31 PM
Fear not - black is much easier and cheaper to reapply that the Firemist colors.

06-24-10, 09:37 PM
it's shot....

I thought I was a bit blunt when I posted it before....

I meant sand it off and start again....

dunno what you guys call that cracking but down here we call it "crows feet" and its generally accepted as terminal.

Spidering is the term I've heard.

06-24-10, 10:59 PM
It depends on if you're trying to achieve a show car appearance or improve what you have to be usable and presentable. Seeing the rest of the car will tell the whole of the story.

06-24-10, 11:33 PM
Yeah that paint is shot. "Crows feet" was pretty common on black GM cars from that era. Buick Grand Nationals suffered from that same problem.

The problem isn't with the clear coat, which can be sanded, buffed, and corrected. Its with the base coat screwing up.

06-25-10, 12:25 AM
yeah its too far gone, sorry man

06-25-10, 12:33 AM
Shot. Repaint is in order.

06-25-10, 02:45 AM
Spidering is the term I've heard.


No, it's Crow's Feet, but we'll accept that too, because Spiders are
nearly-as-cool-as crows.

Up The Aussies for terminology!

Looks like my piantjob in a year, but with a lot less rust:D

Wonder what we'd call that.

If you have the time (as in, it's not a car you need to have 24-7) and the funding, sand her down and paint her anew.

Neil Clarke
06-25-10, 08:20 AM
Looks like mine

And yes its toasted
Make sure you prepare it well ... mines going back to bare metal... or it will craze up under the new paint

water walkin warrior
06-25-10, 10:20 AM
What does it look like from 5 or 10 feet away - even 20 feet? Have a picture to share?

Here ya go...
This next one is my absolute favorite. I want to try to get it in a Cadillac calendar or something.
This is another favorite.
I'm also thinking about getting into car photography. Besides our God and our families, we love our cars next usually. I'd love to make lasting memories of great cars for people. (Sorry, that was an infomercial)

The car looks really good to me already, but the scratches just bug me when I look at it close and I do want to get it looking show quality even though I drive it everyday for right now. I'll probably just work some extra jobs and get it painted Sable Black again. But in the pinstripe, I want to get "Cadillac" inserted in the old style font towards the back above the Brougham emblem.

Thanks for the prognosis everyone. :crying: Maybe I'll price the paint job to see what I gotta come up with down the road.

06-25-10, 10:46 AM
looks really nice from those pics but from the close up pics it's scary!

water walkin warrior
06-25-10, 10:50 AM
looks really nice from those pics but from the close up pics it's scary!
Looks nice :shocked2: Oh my what nice crows feet you have! LOL

06-25-10, 10:56 AM
That is a great looking car! I would employ the best auto detailer or body shop to professionally buff that car and that will get you by until you feel you need to paint it. So many people have a view that everything must look brand new and anything even slightly worn or aged is unacceptable. It's an old car and those battle scars, that probably only you notice when you look up close, give it character. Plus, as it is, you can drive it every day and have few worries unlike how you may feel if you work extra jobs to save $$$ and finally repaint the car for $2 grand and then you feel guilty to drive it regularly because you don't want to get a rock chip or risk a door ding or a scratch. :)

water walkin warrior
06-25-10, 11:11 AM
Battle scars...I like that. Your right, she is old and definitely has a lot of character. I thought about just getting the hood and trunk repainted and leaving the rest of the car alone. But it might end up being different shades of black.

06-25-10, 11:30 AM
Just a quick funny story about paint perfection. As some of you know I owned a few RR's in the past. The very best one was a 1984 Silver Spirit which was purchased and maintained by the same RR dealer from new, and I purchased the car from the same dealer and serviced it there. Impeccable history, car was truly immaculate. It won numerous RR club awards at the annual concours d'elegance including, in separate years, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in touring class and the preservation award or outstanding originality. I drove this car to every event, cross country, near or far, and put 70k miles on it in 6 years, that's a ton for a RR!

Anyway, these cars are not without their flaws and one of the common problems on the 1980's through 1990's sedans is a place on either side of the roof where lead is used to attach the roof to the top of the pillars, which, over time, causes the paint to spider. My car had this problem on both sides and it was ever so slightly noticeable - you really had to look for it - and it didn't bother me because I can accept a little imperfection - and this was little. :)

This isn't turning out to be a quick story :) - anyway, I sold the car in late 2006 to a good friend, Jim, who begged me to sell him the car after my car beat his maintained as-new, hardly driven, 89 Corniche in the concours d'elegance that year. Jim is beyond anal retentive - he's so fussy and picky that he won't allow people to eat in the car (much less ride in it), he wipes off the exterior after every drive, never goes in the rain, etc. I always jabbed him that if he looked under the seats of the car he'd find french fries and sesame seeds, that I drove the car in the salty MN winters regularly, took it to home depot and once hauled home a wine chiller in the back seat which marred the leather trim in a couple of places when I forced it in through the back door (subtle damage he hadn't noticed until I pointed it out one time), and, the thing that makes him cringe - I pretty regularly smoked cigars in the car. :) I did keep the car very, very nice and it always detailed up for the car shows but Jim keeps it every day like it's going to a car show. :)

Long story longer, Jim coincidentally winters in Sarasota pretty close to where I live and we met in January at an annual car show - I posted pictures back then because it's the biggest in FL and there were lots of Cads. I saw Jim with my old red RR and he was proud as a peacock as the people admired it and he bragged about its history and awards, when one guy started looking over the car as though under a microscope and noticed the slight paint cracking on one side. Jim was aghast that this guy noticed and said to the guy that it bothers him greatly too and he ponders regularly whether he should repaint the whole car so it will look right because he would never blend in a repair. My jaw dropped as I looked at this car with its original deep mirror-like paint that has endured so much in its life and won so many awards - sitting on display at this car show but looking like it should be at the Pebble Beach Concours. The guy left and I asked him what the hell he was thinking saying that he would repaint this magnificent car and Jim came out of the haze and agreed he would never be so silly to actually do it. Just then I remembered, but bit my tongue, that I had the very front of the car repainted a couple years before because of stone chips, it was blended in, the RR dealer did it and the job was so PERFECT that no one could tell, even Jim or the guy who was looking at the car so closely at the show. I chuckled to myself and realized, as life so often teaches, everybody sees the world through a different prism. :)

06-26-10, 12:30 AM
You can detail it all you like, it won't look any better. I had the same issue on the hood of my '89 Sixty Special. Only a repaint will correct the problem. So, decide how important it is to you, and plan accordingly. But when you do finally repaint, go for a good quality job. The car deserves it. :thumbsup:

06-26-10, 03:05 AM
Honestly I'd get the whole car repainted. If you do a quick and dirty respray of the hood and deck lid, you'll have to blend it into the fenders and quaters. Since those are faded slightly, it'll be a bitch to get it to blend right and match. A cheap shop with questionable work will do the hood and trunk for pretty cheap, and it'll look pretty cheap IMO.

A good, high end, shop that really cares about what is rolling out the door would charge you a fortune to respray the hood and trunk because it would require a lot of labor to get everything just right. Hell they might tell you it would never look right and to just get the whole car repainted.

06-26-10, 10:21 AM
The car will never be perfect with its current paint. It is certainly sexy enough to look dazzling in photographs and that's more than alot of people can say about their rides.

I acquired a 78 Sedan deVille d'Elegance about 10 years ago that had about 100k miles when I got it and it had really tired paint although it was a pretty decent car otherwise. I drove it several years and finally repainted it - then the vinyl top looked a bit aged in comparison to the shiny paint. I realized what a mistake I had made because this car would be a never ending project if I wanted it to look like new so I sold the car to a young guy who worked near my office to let him deal with the continual pursuit of perfection on that old car. You'll always find something to improve on an old car and, if you actually drive your car as every day transportation, the list never ends, especially if you're picky. :) After deciding to retreat from that 78 deVille I found my current 79 Sedan deVille d'Elegance at a local dealer about a mile from my house, unbelievable that it would be traded in at a dealer so close to me right when I was looking for a 77-79, and the car had 61k miles and was in ship shape - I just had the mechanicals updated to my liking and off I went! :) It's so much easier to maintain an already nice car.

water walkin warrior
07-01-10, 12:08 PM
A friend of mine that owns a car customs shop is gonna help me buff out the hood and trunk with a high speed buffer tonight. He also said he could do a paint job the right way on the trunk and hood for $200-$300 since it's just black. We're gonna see how much better we can get it to look before I try to get it painted a little down the road. I'll take some pictures and post them here if I can get it looking better.

07-01-10, 08:47 PM
Mine looks close to the same on the hood and trunk. The crows feet aren't quite as bad. Detailer told me to keep a good coat of wax on her till I get her repainted. Not sure when a repaint will be in the budget...lol.

water walkin warrior
07-02-10, 09:30 AM
Well, I got to the shop last night and my friend said, "Whoa, I wish I would have looked at this first." lol The good thing that came out of this meeting is that he let me borrow an orbital buffer to get her looking a little bit better and he said he is actually painting two black fenders in about 2 weeks. He said to bring it when he does them. As long as I help sand it down and tape it down to the red pinstripe, he'll paint them for $200 the right way. Not sure if I want to pay for that yet, but the opportunity has arisen. I will probably try to take advantage of it if I can.

07-02-10, 03:33 PM
Repaint is the only way. The paint is physically damaged and all the buffing in the world won't save it.

07-02-10, 09:43 PM
If you don't even have 200 bucks to spend right now then for the time being look at your car from 20 feet away and marvel at its overall beauty and save your schillings to paint the car correctly when the time is right. :)

07-03-10, 10:44 AM
One more thing you may want to try to limp your current paint along. Try colored wax. I used it on two RR's I owned - one was red the other a deep dark red. One car had stone chips, the other had some cracking, similar to yours. Worked great. :)

07-03-10, 04:21 PM
One more thing you may want to try to limp your current paint along. Try colored wax. I used it on two RR's I owned - one was red the other a deep dark red. One car had stone chips, the other had some cracking, similar to yours. Worked great. :)

What is the name of this "colored wax"?

07-04-10, 03:46 AM
hey junkman, how nice of you to join us here lol

07-04-10, 11:16 AM
last time I bought it at the local auto parts store. do some googling and I'm sure you can find it near your. It worked pretty well on a red Rolls I owned that had some stone chips, there is a bit of dye in the wax and it filled in the areas with color. You need to apply it every so often to keep the color but it's a quick remedy to make your car look acceptable until you repaint the flaws. :)

07-04-10, 02:41 PM
Junk Man has a GREAT post in the lounge section of this website that may offer a solution for this car:


08-26-10, 02:57 PM
are they cracks or scratches?
scratches can be somewhat dealt with by doing a good buff with rubbing compound and then i would pull out some good old turtlewax. the best one for dark painted cars is the turtlewax color cure. or if its black spend a little more and get the turtlewax black box.
you may be suprised but these products tend to hide the white in the scratches, it is colored wax.
http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://www.buythecasesales.com/images/products/detail/T736.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.buythecasesales.com/turtlewaxcolorcurecarpolishblue16oz.aspx&usg=__XKA4P2RmDhUYU9NAbFwGYIbnryw=&h=500&w=500&sz=25&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=Lq-NWn18Zeu6YM:&tbnh=149&tbnw=149&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dturtle%2Bwax%2Bcolor%2Bcure%26um%3D1% 26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26biw%3D1366%26bih%3D588%26tbs% 3Disch:1&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=731&ei=Drl2TIqvIpKisQOXzYGhDQ&oei=Drl2TIqvIpKisQOXzYGhDQ&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=23&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:0&tx=83&ty=88

water walkin warrior
08-26-10, 03:35 PM
are they cracks or scratches?

The pictures are on the the first page of the thread. It looks like little birds feet in the paint. I think it's called "crow's feet". Probably gonna get it painted down the road, but I'll try anything until then. Thanks for the suggestion.