Daily Archives: June 14, 2012

Just a small Tribute

Here is my small tribute to keeping cars on the road and looking good. This bumper off a Mazda Tribute was a bit worse for wear from a small fender-bender. Or in this case, a bumper bender.

In any case this is another one of those quick rip and replace repairs where you rip off the bent or broken piece and replace it with a freshly painted piece. No muss, no fuss because the only thing damaged is the one piece that is being replaced.

I painted the bumper this morning, put it on the car this afternoon, and the vehicle will be ready to return to the owner tomorrow. Like I said … no muss, no fuss.


Yesterday we painted the fenders and the underside of the hood on this 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. Today, we painted the rest of it.

The first two pictures show the car in the booth, masked to protect the portion of the car that will not be painted and cleaned. Notice how the driver side door and the right side fender area painted but very flat. That is because those two panels have been sanded to give the new paint some bite when we blend the color into those two panels.

The third photo shows the hood, also in the booth, ready to be painted along with the rest of the car.

In pictures four, five and six, I am spraying on the sealer. The sealer is a type of primer, sprayed on just before the base coat. Its job is to seal all the layers below, provide a consistent gray base for the paint that follows, and to promote the adhesion of the base coat. The sealer is available in seven shades of gray, from almost white to almost black. The gray that is used is specified by the color of the base coat. As a general rule, light colors use a light gray sealer, darker colors, like this red, use a darker sealer.

After the sealer is applied the base coat is applied. That is what I am spraying on the car in pictures seven, eight and nine.  The base coat is the actual color of the car. It dries to a near flat finish, which is ok, because it is the next step, the addition of the clear coat that provides the luster.

If you look at the leading edge of the drivers door, just under my chin, in picture nine, you can see a slight difference in the paint color. That difference is noticeable because the paint on the leading edge of the door is wet, but it shows where the new paint has been feathered into the old.

The last three pictures, number 10-12, show the car after the application of the clear. Notice how the clear makes the paint appear deeper, richer and more vibrant? That is the magic of the clear coat. Not only does it provide protection to the base coat, it also provides the gloss as well.

This was a late in the day paint job, so the car will have to sit in the booth overnight so the paint can dry before we reassemble the car. But that little bugaboo of a crash …  it doesn’t appear it is a problem any longer.

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