Complete Color Change?
In order to save some cash, I'd like to prep my car for a complete color change and I would like some tips and advice from you AutoBody GURU's
I know I have to remove engine, gearbox, all trimming, windows, interior etc, but what's the process for preparing the surface of the body for a color change?
Do I have to bring it back to bare metal or not?
What's the best process for doing this? Orbital Sander with what grade paper?
Any advice/guidance would be appreciated.
Color change prep..
The way in which a vehicle is prepped for paint depends on several factors.
1. Is the paint now on the surface the only coat or is it a repaint?
If it's been painted before you'll probably want to strip it.
2. Is the paint now on the surface in good condition with no cracking or peeling?
If it already has problems you won't want to put paint on top of it.
3. Is the paint now on the surface going to react poorly with the new paint?
This can be difficult to determine but if the chance exists then you want to strip.
4. Is the project vehicle worth the effort for you to strip prior to painting?
This doesn't mean how much money but how much it means to you.
Stripping is almost always the best approach, color changing or not, but it's also the most costly in time and money.
When you change a color you also want to consider using a good quality paint so that there's a better chance that it covers well. Coverage can depend on several factors including the quality of the new paint, the color of the new paint and the manor the new paint is applied. Some high quality paint colors need several additional coats to achieve coverage. Some yellows, reds or metallic colors can take more paint to achieve coverage. If I'm afraid that the color won't cover I will purchase a "high hiding" paint close to the same color or spray the vehicle with a tintable primer before I apply my top coats.
We almost always strip using a slowly rotating sander/polisher with 80 grit paper. If we strip the jambs (unlikely) we remove the panels and use chemical stripper.
If you prep the existing paint you can either sand it by hand using 400 dry or 600 wet sandpaper or using an orbital or jitterbug type sander with 400 grit paper. Our shop now uses all AirVantage sanders, they're well engineered and less expensive than most other "good" sanders.
Awesome information there. Thanks a lot.
As far as I know, the existing paint is the only coat. Car has never been re-painted.
Personally, I'd prefer to strip it for best results and since I'm going through the trouble of gutting the whole interior, engine bay etc etc, I want to do it all properly.
I'm thinking of going to a Lotus color, called "Saffron Yellow", or perhaps the Porsche "Speed Yellow".
I'll check out the links you suggested below. Thanks!
Oh, I don't have any tools for this, so I'm going to be purchasing some new tools. Any recommendations on what I should buy and what specifications etc?
Once again, THANKS!!!
What would you consider to fall into the "high hiding" category. Is this brand, type, or color?
I'm a BASF/Glasurit user myself but I'm sure there are other good materials available. If you use Glasurit I can help you pick materials but there are others here on the forum that have experience with other types of paint. I would pick the color I want then just undercoat it if the color is not a "high hiding" product.