Daily Archives: August 29, 2012

A two-fer

Sometimes all it takes is a nudge, or in this case, a crash, to get you to do something you have been meaning to do all along. Take this Chevrolet truck for example. You can see in the first three photos it took a pretty good whack to the right side. The fender is torn away, the inner fender is damaged and the rear bumper is mangled. This obviously has to be repaired for the truck to look decent again.

So, while the truck is in for these major repairs, the owner decided he would have some work done on the left side of the truck as well. It is not uncommon for an owner to bring me a car or truck that has had some fairly serious damage that insurance is paying for and, while the car is in the shop, have me repair additional damage out of pocket. Such is the case for this truck. Insurance is picking up the tab for the damage on the right side, the owner the bumps and bruises on the left.

The fourth picture show an example of damage to the left side. Nothing serious, something that the owner didn’t feel warranted a trip to the body shop on it’s own. But since it the truck was in the shop anyway …

Picture five shows the tailgate removed from the truck and repairs started. The tailgate was only lightly damaged and you can see in the picture that little more than a sand and paint is going to be required to make the tailgate like new again.

Obviously the right side, with the exception of the tailgate, was too far gone to save and we are going to have to have replacement parts. While waiting on parts, we attacked the much less damaged left side. Pictures 6, 7 & 8 show how we touched up the bumps, rubs and scratches with a bit of filler and sanded it smooth. These areas will be painted later with the rest of the truck, but getting all the preparation work done while we wait on the replacement parts means we can paint almost as soon as the parts arrive.

After getting the body filler sanded smooth, we masked up and primed the repaired areas. You can see me masking the truck in picture nine, and the primed areas in picture ten. Primer seals the repairs and protects them from the elements, ensuring a long lasting repair. It also gives the paint a surface that it can get it’s teeth into for good adhesion.

Once the replacement parts arrive we will be ready to get big red here painted up and out the door.

Into the paint booth!

While the Nissan was out catching some rays, the Ford was masked off, scuffed up, and rolled into the booth.

The first picture shows the truck with the left bedside sanded flat. We will use this panel to blend the repair at the corner and the existing paint has to be roughed up so the new paint will stick.

Blending is a technique  painters use for hiding a repair. The human eye is very good at distinguishing between two colors, even if they are very close in color. An added complication is that it is very difficult to exactly match a color. You can get it close. Really close. But getting it close enough so the eye can’t pick out the difference … that’s hard. Really hard.

Luckily for paint and body men there is a way around the problem. The eye can only distinguish very subtle changes in color if, and only if, the color are adjacent and divided by a clear line. Blending denies the eye that clear line by carefully feathering the new color into the old. This blends the transition, hence the term, between the colors and the eye looks right over the change in color, if there is one, without seeing any change. It’s a handy skill for a painter to have in his tool kit.

The last three photos show the truck after painting. The application of the clear over the sanded area restores the gloss and the truck looks good as new.

We still need to put the truck back together … install the tail-lamp, tailgate and emblems, but for all practical purposes, this truck is done.

Ready to unwrap

First thing this morning we got cracking on this Nissan. Because the car was ready to paint when we called it a day yesterday all we had to do to get started on it this morning was our standard before paint wipe down with a tack cloth.

After the car was painted we let it dry in the booth for a while, then once the paint was dry enough so that dust and debris would no longer stick, we hustled it out into the sun. This not only speeds the drying of the paint by taking advantage of the sun, but it also cleared the booth so we could get something else in there for paint.

These two pictures show the car just after it came out of the booth. The paint is still too soft for us to unmask it, but even with the masking hanging all over it, this is still a good looking car, and that color isn’t hurting it any.

After the sun bakes the paint for a bit we will be able to get the wrapping off the car then, after a quick cleanup, this one will be ready to go home.

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