Somebody once told me that painting a car was like going on a date; you prepare and invest all of this time, only for it to be over in a couple of hours. I couldn’t help but to laugh at this analogy because those of us in the car world know it to be so true.
Preparing your car for paint is the hardest task, as your paint job is only as good as your prep work. With new sheet metal replacement available for some classic vehicles, the painstaking bodywork stages can be tackled much more quickly. Such was the case for our ‘64 Impala, as we opted to use a Cars Inc. front end that only needed minor bodywork to blend in with the rest of the Impala. After three weeks of bodywork, this Impala was ready for paint!
For those of you wishing the actual painting process was easier, it is! The painting process has evolved to the point where novices can spray like the pros, as manufacturers like Dupont have developed paint lines that meet EPA and government regulations and are easier to spray. In this tech, we use Dupont’s Cromax paint to spray this Impala and restore it back to a showroom finish. Now follow along, as this Impala gets a new Dupont paint job.
1. Primed and ready
2. The Dupont paint was ready to be mixed and shot.
3. The key to a good paint job is a good foundation. Before the car was sprayed with anything, it was completely wiped down.
4. To make sure there was no dust, the Impala was blown clean one last time.
5. This Dupont Chroma Seal was mixed to make sure that it wasn’t going to bunch up.
6. After adding some activator, the sealer was ready to be sprayed.
7. Steven started off by sealing the small parts that were being sprayed separately.
8. Jesus took his time to assure that no parts were left without sealer.
9. After 30 minutes, the sealer was ready to be coated with paint and was wiped down to pick up any dirt or debris that might have landed on the car.
10. We used Dupont’s Cromax Pro water base paint.
11. The controller is added depending on the amount of base being used. After adding the controller to the base, we were ready to spray.
12. Just like when the car started getting sealed, they started off with the small parts.
13. Because this is water-based paint, they started from the inside out.
14. The rear trunk lid was the first part to be sprayed, as it received even coats.
15. As you can see, you want to follow the wet surface, so the left half of the trunk lid was painted from the center out.
16. While the paint was drying in certain areas, the door jams were going to be tackled next.
17. Jesus moved on to the door jams.
18. The last part of the paint job was the inside of the trunk lid.
19. If this had been a traditional solvent paintjob, this paintjob would have had to come to a complete halt.
20. After using some prep, all the imperfections were feathered out.
21. The spot job was done in the traditional style, as the spot was given a coat followed by the panel or area.
22. As you can see from the image, the roof was blended and you could not see the cover up.
23. With the base dry and ready to be clear coated, it was wiped down to pick up any dirt that might have become trapped in the clear coat finish.
24. The car and parts were now ready to be given a final clear finish.
25. The clear was mixed and ready to be loaded and sprayed.
26. The small parts started the final process.
27. The final clear took about an hour from start to finish.
28. All that was left was to color sand and buff the paint job.