Final Paint

Once again winter is approaching and if this project is going to be painted this year it needs to be soon. Body prep work is already done and I won't go into how all that stuff was done except to say... it took a lot of time. Although my work wouldn't win any awards or trophies it is better than average when it comes to "backyard mechanic" bodywork.

OK. So here is how I painted this project. The days of painting your car in the driveway are long gone. Not only will your neighbors be upset with you, your local city government might not take too kindly to what you're doing either. The best way to keep everyone off your back is to build a paint booth in your garage and then paint when few people are around to smell the fumes. If you do this it will also help if you paint on a day when there is a slight breeze which will help dissipate the fumes before they make it to your neighbor's open windows.

Building a booth isn't really that hard. If you have to buy all your materials it will cost you about $75. In my case I had a bunch of lumber left over from a previous project so I just used that. The only thing I had to buy was 4 rolls of duct tape and some staples.

The booth frame was made of 2x3 boards and the walls were made of plastic sheeting. A couple doors were made to get the car in and out and a door at the far end was made to get in and out of the booth between painting sessions. Here are a couple pics of the basic framework for the booth. This one shows the door framwwork.

With the doors open you can see the ceiling and one wall are already covered with plastic sheeting.

In this pic you can see where the fans will be mounted. These fans will have inexpensive furnace filters and will be blowing fresh air INTO the booth. There will be one more fan located on the other end near the floor which will be sucking air out through another filter. This will be a pressurized booth. I like this type because the air movement in the booth is not turbulent however the air in the entire booth can be exchanged in just a couple minutes.

Now a word about safety. If you're going to paint in a booth you need breathing protection. Today's ISO paints can kill you if you're not careful so use an approved mask at a bare minimum. Those cheap charcoal masks aren't good enough to protect your lungs and painting a car isn't worth risking your health under any circumstances. Here you can see both the painting air lines and further down the wall is breathing air. This is provided by a "Hobby Air" system which is especially designed for this purpose.

Here you can see how much pressure is actually created by the two box fans.

Here is a shot of the completed booth with the car inside. I purposely didn't make the booth long enough to have room to walk around the front. Nothing forward of the firewall needed to be painted so it was just easier to save the materials and space rather than make the booth larger. Ase it is I easily have 4 feet on each side and the back to maneuver in while painting.

OK. Enough about the booth. The paint I used (which I have mentioned before) is a urethane enamel from NAPA. Under other circumstances I would have used DuPont or HOK but the closest jobber for either brand is 3 hours away.

Here is the car fresh out of the booth. 1964 Ford Candy Apple Red.

And after the lights, handles, and mirrors have been reinstalled. I do have trim rings and hubcaps to install yet, but will wait as I need to remove the front tires when I change out the wheel cylinders for a slightly larger bore to improve front breaking. All that is left now as far as paint in concerned is to color sand and buff the surface to remove dust nibs. I'll wait a week or so before I do that to let the paint fully cure. With a single stage paint its better to wait for it to cure so you have less chance of burning through when you buff. This step isn't necessary with BC/CC paints. All that said, this was the first car I've ever painted where I didn't have a single run anywhere.... and I'm a bit proud of that.

Next, after cut and buff I'll be finishing the door panels and window garnish moldings along with a few other minor details on the interior.

Check back often for more updates...

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