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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #1
As the time approaches for my '79 Coupe to go in for paint, and I'm narrowing down the shops, I really need to get some key information about the Western Saddle Firemist paint so that it doesn't get screwed up.

90Brougham350 said that Cadillac used a metallic clear coat over the Firemist paints, is that on all of them? Because mine is lacquer.. I didn't know they were into clear back then. I really need to get some solid facts on this, right now I don't know how many stages my paint is!

Also, has anybody done anything with the color matched body side molding? My '79 has it because it came standard with the Phaeton package, and I'm getting told that nothing can be done about it, that it'll probably break when it's taken off, and they want to replace it with a stick-on molding that looks similar. Is there any other way? I would have liked to keep the car as close to original as possible. There's nothing wrong with what I have except for being faded. Although when the front fender was redone before, they took a black molding and painted the insert to match the car, so not that's starting to chip.

Please help,
Ben.
 

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94 FWB, 93 SDV, 94 FWB (sold), 90 Brougham (sold)
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After doing a little investigating, my '90 was painted with lacquer as well. The metallic clear coat was used only after the switch to base/clear was made around 91 or 92 I believe. Unfortunately, the fact my Brougham was painted with lacquer originally made for a headache when I purchased some touchup from paintscratch.com They sent me two cans, base and clear. No wonder it never looked right, which is what led me to doing the sides of my car in black, but that's another story.

Sandy's knowledge might come in handy here, I wish I knew more about the Firemist paint jobs when they still used lacquer.

Brian
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Although, you know, I'm having it done in base coat-clear coat, so then Saddle still wouldn't need the metallic clear because it didn't have it originally right? It would just take regular clear.
 

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77 CDV, 06 DTS III, 69 FWB
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I'll start out saying that I know little of the mechanics of paint processes. However, in the original "Magic Mirror" lacquer paints, which is what your 79 came with, the metal flake that makes up the "firemist" is an integral part of the paint. I would think that even with base/clear, the base would still have the flake mixed into it, with a plain clear applied over it. On modern cars, I think this is a five-stage process (2 coats of base, 3 of clear). You can still get a lacquer paint job from a top-end restoration house, but it costs $$$$ because of all the environmental regs.

As to the side rub mouldings, do NOT go with a tack-on replacement. They never go on straight, they usually discolor rather quickly, and they also tend to fall off, taking the paint with them. Very trailer park. If you want the original style mouldings, either 1) find a shop that can salvage and reuse yours, or 2) go the way they did when the fender was redone. If these style mouldings are reproduced, they likely are available only in black or white and must be painted or dyed to the desired color.

In any event, take your time. Your car looks fabulous as it is, so what's the rush? Investigate your vendor options, and consider looking at shops outside your immediate area that may have more experience in dealing with older cars. Good luck, Ben.

Craig
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks,. that's what I thought about the paint. I decided to go with clear coat because of the high shine and availability.

One place I went to said they could paint the side moldings, then when I went back a few months later they changed their minds and wanted to put on the fake ones. I'll just have to talk to them about that, and work something out. Mine are in good condition, none missing or anything, so I'd think they could be saved easily.

I've been to three shops, and the one that I really wanted to do the car went out of business... The other one over charged a ton for what they wanted to do, and the third I like. He's honest, and I've asked him everything I can think of about masking, surface prep, I've gone into detail about exactly how I want it to come out, and we seem to see eye-to-eye. the only thing is the side strips. I guess I'll just have to tell him the tack-on's are a no go. You see, good bodyshops are scarce in my area. But when you do find a good one, their AMAZING and cost pennies. So it's feast or famine.

On a side note; I think I saw reproductions like mine in JCwhitney, I could check there I suppose, even though I usually avoid them like the plague.

Thanks for your help, Craig!
 

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1993 Fleetwood Brougham
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51 Posts
I have been painting for about 40 years. Base coat/clear coat, in my opinion, the biggest crap ever dumped on consumers. If you want a paint job that will last, go with acrylic enamel with a clear urethane topcoat. Single stage urethane is also very good. It is similar to the old Imron, as it dries very hard and has a great shine, as does the acrylic enamel/clearcoat. Everyone has their own likes/dislikes, but I never recommend BC/CC to anyone.
 

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1988 SDV; 1997 SDV D'Elegance
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Agree 110% with fleetwood350, Ben. Acrylic Enamael with a good clear urethane wil give you a bullet-proof finish - but since you mention the main prob with your current paint is the fading, have you considered the judicous use of MILD compounding to buff up the paint, perhaps giving it back its former glory WITHOUT adding anything to the mix?

Just a thought.
 

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Cadillac
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Both of the gentlemen above are correct IMHO. Having just spent $5,200 painting my Onyx Black pick up, I can attest to the wisdom of thier posts.

As with most anything, preperation is the key to a great end result.
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #9
Agree 110% with fleetwood350, Ben. Acrylic Enamael with a good clear urethane wil give you a bullet-proof finish - but since you mention the main prob with your current paint is the fading, have you considered the judicous use of MILD compounding to buff up the paint, perhaps giving it back its former glory WITHOUT adding anything to the mix?

Just a thought.
That's what I'm getting... what other BC/CC are you guys thinking about?

I've been there-done that with the compound. I spent a weekend solid out buffing that paint. The sides shined up, but the hood & trunk are just... dead. I'll compound them out, and it will be much darker for a day or two. Then after that this white film creeps back on top of the paint, like cataracts. I've never seen anything like it, the paint re-oxidises within 48 hours.

The system I did was clay bar>polishing compound>scratch remover>polish>wax. And it looks exactly how it did before I started!
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #11
I know there's studs going into the body, not sure if their also screwed or anything.
 

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1979 Coupe Deville
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I know there's studs going into the body, not sure if their also screwed or anything.
If it has the studs/clips, they shouldn't be all that difficult to remove. The short fender moldings are usually held on by two clip/fasteners that fasten though the body/fender with two nuts. If you raise your hood you should be able to see the nuts, fairly easy to remove those.

The doors and 1/4 panels have the welded on studs (that's the mounting system used with conventional stainless steel moldings too). The moldings snap on over the studs with plastic clips, and are usually not too difficult to remove. Soaking the moldings with hot soapy water during the removal process might help preserve some of the clips (sometimes will break due to age).
 

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1993 Fleetwood Brougham
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Base coat/clear coat Is NOT the same as acrylic enamel top coated with clear urethane. Base/clear is the stuff that you see on newer cars that is peeling off. It is a paint system of its own. You mix the base color with a basemaker and shoot the car. It dries dull, no shine. After drying, you reshoot the car with the clear urethane. If all goes well, the two parts fuse together. However, as can be seen everywhere, this does not always happen. A small chip or scratch in the clear will allow air and moisture to get under it and the peeling begins. I am not telling you what type of paint to use, but if the shop says basecoat/clearcoat, this is what you will get. Be sure to specify acrylic enamel topped with urethane clear if this is what you decide on. Another advantage to acrylic enamel/urethane clear is that when sprayed properly, it produces an outstanding finish. However, if you want a show car finish, it can be color sanded and polished to an absolutely perfect glass-like finish.
 

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1979 Phaeton Coupe, 1990 Brougham d'Elegance 5.7 liter
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Discussion Starter #16
Base coat/clear coat Is NOT the same as acrylic enamel top coated with clear urethane. Base/clear is the stuff that you see on newer cars that is peeling off. It is a paint system of its own. You mix the base color with a basemaker and shoot the car. It dries dull, no shine. After drying, you reshoot the car with the clear urethane. If all goes well, the two parts fuse together. However, as can be seen everywhere, this does not always happen. A small chip or scratch in the clear will allow air and moisture to get under it and the peeling begins. I am not telling you what type of paint to use, but if the shop says basecoat/clearcoat, this is what you will get. Be sure to specify acrylic enamel topped with urethane clear if this is what you decide on. Another advantage to acrylic enamel/urethane clear is that when sprayed properly, it produces an outstanding finish. However, if you want a show car finish, it can be color sanded and polished to an absolutely perfect glass-like finish.
Alright, one shop I talked to just said base/clear. But the one I was serious about that I'll probably have the car done at said specifically acrylic enamel with the urethane topcoat. And I do want a show car finish, they're supposed to buff it. I want this paint to come out better than new.


The chrome base is held on by studs, but the color inserts are just glued in IIRC.

Right, I can see the metal studs going from the chrome into the body, but I think the vinyl is just glued to the chrome. On my Cutlass the vinyl sort of slid into a groove and was kept in place by end caps. This is different.
 

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Benzilla, by all means do the enamel/urethane job. It will be color sanded and buffed. The result will truly amaze you. Then in about 6 months get some Zaino and don't look back.
 
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