Daily Archives: May 15, 2012

Painted pony

After smoothing up the bumper and filling in the small dent, this pony car was ready to paint.  So we got right to it this morning.

The first two photos show the bumper and quarter panel after the base coat is applied. The base coat always dries to this near flat finish. But that’s ok, because as you can see in the next three photos, numbers three, four and five, adding the clear coat makes that dull, lifeless finish come to life. It is the clear coat that is the magic of the two stage paint system, providing not only protection to the paint underneath, but the zing and pow to the finish to boot.

The last three photos are of the custom battery cover going into the car. Not content to have just a stock, black, plastic cover as provide by Ford, the owner of this car has a beautifully crafted metal one.

As nice as it was to look at in bare metal, we kicked it up a notch by painting it to match and complement the colors of the car. Yesterday we paint the cover gray, today we masked them off and added the red. You know, the battery cover looks pretty good right now, but tomorrow, after I clear it, it will look even better.

It is funny … I repaint the nearly half this car and nobody will even notice anything has been done to it. But the minute the hood goes up people are going to notice that battery box and go, “Now that’s cool.”

And that is just exactly the way I like it.

That baby looks good

Yesterday we got the Scion prepped for paint. Today, we painted it.

The first photo shows the car as we left it yesterday so the primer covering the repair could dry. Having dried overnight, the car was ready to go into the booth for paint today.

The second picture is the replacement bumper, freshly delivered and being cleaned prior to painting. In the second picture I am wiping the bumper down with a tack cloth to remove any dust from the light sanding it received so the paint would stick.

A tack cloth is nothing more than a lint free cloth treated with a chemical to make it just slightly sticky. Wiping the cloth over the panel to be painted removes all the loose contaminates that would affect the paint when it is applied. The two most important steps in painting … sanding and cleaning. You get those right, you are 80% of the way there.

The third photo has me prepping the bumper for paint by coating the bumper in a primer like product that helps the paint stick to plastic.

Finally, after all the prep work, in the fourth photo I am painting, spraying on the base coat. The base coat is the part of the automobiles finish that is the actual color, white in this case. You can see the bumper and back of the car after the base coat has been applied in pictures five and six.

The base coat dries to a near flat finish … it is the clear coat that provide the sizzle to the finish. The base coat and clear coat work together as a unit to produce the luxuriant finish that automotive finishes are known for.

The final three photos, 7, 8 & 9, show the car after the application of the clear coat. Notice how much deeper the paint looks and the luster that now reflects the lights of the paint booth.

The Scion was the last car I painted today, finishing just before leaving for home. Allowing it to dry overnight means we can put the car back together first thing in the morning. And that means this baby can go home to its owners tomorrow evening.

It could have been worse

Toyota builds some tough trucks … of that there is no doubt. This Tacoma took a smack to the rear and you are looking at the worst of it. Can’t see it? I’m not surprised … the damage is very light, the truck protected by the heavy bumper and the hitch.

In the first two pictures it is difficult to see any damage at all, but if you look at the last photo you can see that the line between the bumper and the fender of the truck is not even. It is wider at the top than at the bottom. Also, if you look at the picture closely you will see that a bit of paint has been knocked where the edged of the bumper contacted the sheet metal, though it doesn’t appear that the metal was damaged.

We are going to try to straighten the bumper first, to see if we can get the slight downward tilt adjusted out by repositioning the bumper. Failing that we will have to replace all the brackets holding the bumper on.

So yes the truck is damaged, but the owner was lucky. To have been rear-ended and only have this much damage … in most cars it would have been much worse.

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