Daily Archives: August 27, 2011

Painting the Old Timer

Friday we painted the cab of the 1932 Ford truck a beautiful, vibrant, blue. Next week we will paint the front fenders and the bed, then the truck will be ready to go back to the owner for assembly.

The first three photos show Jordan and I masking the truck to prevent the paint from getting on things that we don’t want the paint on. It’s a tedious job, but time spent here saves a lot of time cleaning up later.

In the third photo I am wetting down the plastic that I use to cover large areas so it will stick to, and seal around, the truck so the paint can’t worm its way through a tiny little gap.

The fourth and fifth photos show us cleaning the truck to remove all dust and oil so the paint will have good adhesion. The first step is to remove as much dust as possible with compressed air. Then the entire truck is wiped down with a strong degreaser that removes any oil that has been left on the truck from touching it.

We spray the degreaser on a section of the truck then wipe it down with a lint free rag, as shown in the fifth photo. I normally will wipe the entire truck two or three times to make absolutely sure that I didn’t miss any places. When the truck is thoroughly cleaned we close up the paint booth then move to the fun part … mixing the paint.

Paint is mixed by weight. I have a computer that tells me the proportion for each of the pigments that go into making a color. In the sixth photo you can see me measuring pigment out of a can into a larger can sitting on a scale. The can on the scale will, after all the ingredients are added, contain the paint that is sprayed on the truck. Today this truck will require two of those silver cans, or two quarts, for coverage.

The next two photos show me spraying the paint I just mixed on the truck. It will take several coats of color for uniform coverage. The color layer will shine only while the paint is wet, then will try to a dull flat finish. It is the clear coat that is applied next that provides the protection and shine.

The last three photos show the result after the clear has been applied. This truck is not receiving our High Performance Finish so this part of the truck, once dry, is complete. Even without the wet sand and buff, this old truck looks a lot better now than it did with it arrived in the shop.

In case you are wondering … the buckets in the last two photos are my low-tech solution for reaching the top of the truck. It’s not fancy, but sometimes it is difficult to improve on the tried and true methods.

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