How do I paint this 1957 Mercedes 300SL roadster?
As a preface, I virtually (pun-intended) learned how to paint with the help of Len's video and this site. About a year ago, I painted my first complete car and this year that 1969 280SL has won 3 out of 3 Best in Class at some of the biggest car shows in Southern California. Thanks a lot for that.
Now I have been assigned to re-do a 1957 300SL roadster that was recently completely restored, but it has gotten so many nicks and little damage all around the car, that the owner has decided to have me completely re-paint the whole car. I think I will have a go at it. What I lack in skill and experience, I make up for in persistence.
Now, for my question: The 300SL has those famous "gills" (enclosed pictures) behind the front wheel arches and I can't figure out how they painted those without getting either a very course clear coat coverage or runs, etc. or without a visible transition zone, if they painted it in two sittings. I'm guessing they may have been painted from the inside before the body went back on the frame, but I definitely am not removing the body. By the way, the vent louvers do not come out of the body and it would be extremely hard to sand and buff in there if the clear didn't turn out very smooth.
That's why I am thinking about leaving the opening and louvers untouched and masking the whole gill opening about 1/2" inside the outer edge of the car and using feather tape or such to create a soft edge. I did my own car recently with some similar creative masking and "building" a kind of baffle to create a soft edge leading up to the roof line, making sure that I didn't shot the base coat quite as far under my baffle as the clear that goes on top of it. If you look a little closer you can see the transition and I also had the advantage of fading out into a body crease...
With the gills, I'd be fading into the horizontal and vertical walls of the square opening and I'm worried that even if I can blend the base coat nicely "around the corner", I will see a transition zone if the clear at least on the lower surface of the opening that is easily visible?... Keep in mind that I have very little experience, or great success with any kind of techniques that involve, slowly fading out the paint flow, reducing air pressure or using a highly reduced mixture of clear coat. But I'm willing to try it with a little guidance.
What do you guys think? I'm looking for 99% perfection and I will be using (I think) a light beige uni color Glasurit base/clear system.
Last edited by tomcolitt; 06-20-2009 at 03:34 AM.
Reason: add pictures