Help with Painting Front Clip
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RWD 19xx-1984 DeVille and Fleetwood,
1985-1996 Fleetwood and Brougham Forum Discussion, Help with Painting Front Clip in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hey y'all, I need some help painting for the first time. The body that I have doesnt have all the ...
  1. #1
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Help with Painting Front Clip

    Hey y'all, I need some help painting for the first time. The body that I have doesnt have all the parts needed so I have to paint to match. The parts I'm looking to paint are the Hood, fenders, header panel and trunk. The pic below shows the tools I have for the job(Harbor Freight), the larger gun also has a 1.8m tip. I also have some paper for the DA, 120, 240 and 360 grit. I've never sanded, blocked or painted before and was hoping to have some of y'all kinda make sure I dont mess it up. I'm looking for a great turnout with a smooth finish. I want to put a few layers of base down and some clear with some wetsanding in between. Probably gonna need some filler to smooth out the body parts also. The body thats already painted has five layers of base. The paint will be PPG black. What other supplies do I need? When I buy the paint, how much would I need and do I buy just the base and clear coat or is there something I have to mix into the base paint? Thanks.



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    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    first thing is make sure your compressor can handle the DA sander. Compressor is rated at 3.8 SCFM @ 90 PSI so make sure your DA doesn't require more than that. I just bought a craftsman DA and it requires 3.1 SCFM and my compressor is rated at 3.7 SCFM @90 PSI so it's kind of tight. Probably going to make the compressor work a lot but should be OK.

    Second, make sure you get some pressure regulators with air trapping filters something like this: http://www.toolsource.com/filter-pre...rceid=googleps, although I've never used that exact one. This will help cut down on water dripping from the gun.

    You'll want to DA the whole thing. Use 80 grit (or even a grinder) on anywhere you're going to fill and get it down to the bare metal then block the filler to get it smooth.

    Once it's smooth, you can start feathering with your DA. Go from 180 to 220 to 330 (or whatever grits you bought) and make sure you feather out all of the scratches from the previous grit. to do this, a can of spray on primer is great. Not self-etching though. I've had bad experience with that. Just spray on a light coat and let it dry. You'll see the scratches right away. Then you can work the scratches out, spray a little more, etc. keep going until you're happy with the results.

    You'll be spraying in black so this is key. You want as few blemishes as possible. Black shows through a lot of blemishes. Once you're happy with the looks then you can prime the thing with a good primer/sealer and then get to painting. Ofcourse, first coat light and tacky. Second coat a little thicker, etc. I usually do 3 coats, but I also usually do single stage enamel so I can't really help you much with the base coat/clear coat steps.

    Anyways, looks like you've got everything you need to get started. Just take your time and remember that attention to detail will really pay off in the end.

    If you run into any problems just remember, nothing is unfixable. You can always sand it all back down and start over

    Good luck.

  4. #3
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    Thanks, Outsider. How big of a sand block would you get for doing the hood and fenders? How would I prep the front header panel? I've already rattle canned it once a few years ago, can I use the DA on that? What grit paper do I use before I start spraying paint? I heard the 360 grit should be good for painting.

  5. #4
    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    Yeah I use 330 for my final hand sanding before spraying so 360 should be good too.

    I would recommend just a normal hand sanding block (think it's like 4 or 5 inches long?) that you get from any hardware store. That's all I've used.
    I've seem some people who prefer the longer ones when working on large body panels but I've never used one. You can absolutely use the DA to break down the rattle can paint.

    One thing I didn't mention is do not DA as your last step. The 360 grit should be done by hand and always go in one direction. (up/down or left/right). When I say by hand, I mean not with a block or anything. You can probably do it with a block but when I do my final rub down with the 330 grit I just fold one of the DA pads in half and use that in my hand, nice and gentle.

    Also, once you've got it all sanded and primed use a good wax/oil stripper solvent and wipe down the whole thing with that (i usually use paper towels. one wet, one dry) this will help you remove any oils or contaminants from the surface and get better paint adherence and less blemishes. after this step DO NOT TOUCH THE BODY WITH YOUR HANDS! You will get oils from your skin onto the panels and that can be bad.

    Also remember, you're not in a professional paint booth so you have to assume some amount of dust to be flying up while you spray. You can cut down on this by wetting the floor with water (wet dust doesn't fly as much as dry dust) and I've even heard tail that hanging a chain from the bottom of the car (under the car) can help group the car and cut down on dust? I don't really understand it, sounds like a wive's tale, but I always do it anyways lol


    To prep the front header panel I would just do that all by hand. strip off anything you can, tape up anything you can't remove, and you should be OK.

  6. #5
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Alright, ill probably go to the store and grab some more supplies today. red rooster usually has all the paint stuff. Just remembered I have to paint the doors also.

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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    See if you can borrow a bigger compressor.

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    SafariOne is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    For sure Jay, the sanding stage can burn up a cmpressor as you could possible be sanding for a couple days anyway. Rent one for two days and save your own. I used a 60 gallon stand up compressor and it was hot all the time.

  9. #8
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Can I connect two compressors?

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    outsider is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    read your sander's rating. If it's SCFM is below what your compressor is capable of then you should be OK to use it. Just keep an eye on your compressor and if you feel it's working too hard then stop using it. As mentioned above, you don't want to burn out your compressor. I don't know that I've ever seen or hear of anyone running two compressors interconnected however I have in the past used two smaller compressors when doing lots of sanding. Giving one compressor a break and switch to the other to avoid overheating etc.

    I've never used one of the gravity fed paint guns, let me know how they work out for you

  11. #10
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    The da is rated at 4

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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    I've done lots of reading over on this forum. Tons of info, and you should be able to find anything you need to know.

    http://www.autobody101.com/forums/

  13. #12
    csbuckn is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    That site scares me with all the warnings. Caught a break, my friend that does autobody will be in town this weekend and said he will stop by on Thursday to get me started. Old timer, too. Been at it for 30+ years. I do need to find another compressor, thanks for the heads up. That one is loud and gets hot so I'm gonna get another.

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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    Go for a 60 gal upright, oil cooled. You can find them used for 2-250 (or less), and new around 350 (Lowes/HD/Harbor Freight). Big enough to run just about anything.

    Nothing better than learning from someone who has experience.

  15. #14
    Mark 78 Coupe is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    I was also going to recommend autobody101.com. It is an excellent site, and like this one, full of informed and friendly people. I have quite a lot of auto body and paint experience (hobbyist level) and have learned alot from the site. There is a series of dvd's available on the site for about $120 which I got and learned a bunch from. I think the guys name is Kevin Tetz. Auto body and paint work is all about prep and following directions. If there is one place where following directions to the letter is important, it is in body and paint prep. Good luck, and pay attention to your friend.

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    Re: Help with Painting Front Clip

    Kevin is the guy on the Trucks! TV show on Spike on Saturday mornings. He really knows his stuff.

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