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tai_180sx

Painting your car in 2pak paint

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Ok there are a lot of people that ask how you paint your car your self either in your back yard or in a spray booth.

 

i will write this article out and include pics of my car being painted in my back yard (inside a tent/spray booth). I'm sure i will leave little details out here and there so if you have any questions just reply at the bottom of the article, and i will do my best to update it.

 

Now this is how i painted my car, i'm not a professional spray painter by trade, but i generally know what i am doing. There are many different way's to paint a car and many different techniques. This is my way, if you don't agree, then feel free to send me a pm and if i agree that i'm doing something wrong. though i am more than happy with the way my car has turned out, and the pictures prove it!.

 

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Here is an image that shows how my car started off. not only did i respray my car but i fitted and fibreglassed in the complete widebody kit. i used a custom green mix and did the bonnet and roof black.

 

Now to start..

Remove all the panels and fiddly parts from your car - you will have to pull out everything : the antennas, windscreen washer jets, indicators, lights, rubber around windows, door handles and anything else that can be removed.

 

The first part of prep would be sanding back the car, i used a slightly coarser sand paper to make life a little quicker and easier, around a 320grade. I don't go all the way back to metal, just enough to get under the original layers of paint that are on the car. Make sure you use a sanding block so that its all flat. DO NOT use an electric sander as it will leave un-noticable dints in the paint (until you paint it that is, and see the shocking result).

 

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This photo shows my car dis-assembled and sanded back.

 

once you have sanded the whole car back with a block, it should now be looking fairly straight. to check that it is run some water over the paintwork and look straight down the panel. you will be able to see high's and low's in the paintwork by looking at the reflection. if you do see imperfections you will either need to spend more time on this area with the block and sandpaper or bog up the low's and sand them back till they're smooth.

 

now you are ready to wash down all the sanding dust off the car and mask it all up, you need to use wax and grease remover to make sure there is no silicone in the paint. If you paint over silicone it will cause bubbles in the paint work where the paint doesn't stick.

 

When using wax and grease remover only do one panel at a time and make sure you use a clean rag to put it on and a clean rag to rub it back off, make sure you remove it all. I would recommend leaving the car for a day or two before you start any painting just to make sure any water lying in behind panels is dry, other wise when you paint you will blow the water out onto you paint and stuff it all up.

 

once you have masked up all the windows, wheels, lights and anything else you don't want painted, you are ready to put a primer coat on the car. This is a must, it will allow the paint something to stick to properly, especially if you use bog. Primer will basically not soak into or react with the paint that is already on your car. if you paint your final coat of paint straight over your standard paint they can react with each other and stuff up your job, so painting primer down is a must. It also needs to be proper 2 pak primer, not just any primer off the shelf.

 

I use a separate gun for the primer, you need something with a larger tip, around the 1.8mm and spray it on pretty thick. you have to mix the primer 3 to 1 with hardener and use about a 10% thinners on top. go to your local paint shop and buy a mixing stick. it has exact measurements of 3:1 and the thinners you need, so you don't actually need to measure anything.

 

When painting the primer i make sure i do a light dust coat first, this is a very very light coat of primer as a first layer, its looks like just over spray or dust on the paint work. this helps the paint to stick properly.

once you have done the dust coat then you are right to spray all the primer down. i usually do about 3 thick coats of primer. Don't worry about any rough patch's in the primer coat, remember this all still has to be sanded back. it is a good idea to have a black spray paint ready, and to do whats called a guide coat over the primer. this will allow you to see where you have sanded and if you have any bumps in your paintwork. basically its just a dust coat of black over the white primer.

 

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Here is a photo of my car fully primed, i have also fitted the panels back on just for the photo. i painted all the panels off the car.

 

Once the primer has completely dried then you are ready to start sanding it back. use an 800grade sandpaper and the block - which helps the paint to be dead flat. You will see as you sand over the black guide coat it will disappear. This is what you want. If you are sanding over the black layer of paint and it doesn't come off then you obviously know there is a low part of your paint and you have to get it all straight in that area.

 

Once you have sanded the whole car back with 800grade sandpaper and it is completely flat and smooth, you are ready to paint. You should be able to run your hand over the primer and it shouldn't' be rough and you shouldn't' feel any high's or low's in the paint.

 

You will have to wash all the car down again and get rid of any dust. now if your in a garage/backyard or spray booth it is a good idea to wet down the floors and walls to make sure you don't' blow up any dust on your paint when you are spraying.

 

You are ready to mix up the paint. With 2 pak paint you can get it in a couple different options, i use 2k which means i get the paint and just mix it with 1:1 paint to thinners. If you get the other type of 2 pak paint then you have to mix the paint with 2:1 paint to hardener and then 10% thinners. I find using a 1:1 mix of thinners to paint a lot more economical because the thinners is cheap and you get 2L of paint from only 1L.

Make sure you always mix the paint correctly. If you don't use enough thinners the paint will not be glossy, it will look very rough.

 

Because the paint isn't very thick you have to stand back and bit and don't paint it on to thick or you will get runs. use a fairly broad spray pattern and adjust the gun to spray more air than paint. Use even strokes and go back and forward, top to bottom. Do the roof and bonnet/boot first. Learning to paint isn't easy, you have to spray the paint on perfectly, it has to be as thick as you can get it, without it running. this will give you the glossiest paint work, you will be surprised how thick you can paint the paint on without it running, as it dries very quickly.

 

Once you have painted the whole car with about 3 coats of paint you are ready for the clear.

 

The clear is mixed 2 to 1 clear to hardener and 10% thinners. the clear has to be painted on with thick glossy coats, but it is easy to get runs in the clear because it is very slow to dry, so be careful. If you do get runs in the clear coat just leave them, they are easy to get out once the clear coat has dried.

 

Paint on about 4 layers of clear.

 

Once the clear has dried test fit all your panels back on, don't do them up tight or you will mark the clear coat. just sit them all on. rub back all the clear with a 1200grade sandpaper and then wash it all off. Paint a couple more coats of clear over the whole car. this will match all the paint up and make sure that it all looks the same colour, also by sanding the clear coat back it will make the paint look even smoother.

 

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Here is of my car after i have painted the clear coat on the paint.

 

Once the clear coat is finished, leave it to dry. If it is in a booth the heat will dry the paint quickly, if you are in your back yard then leave the car for about a week in the sun. take off all the paper and sticky tape and start putting your panels back on properly, start putting the lights and rubbers back in.

 

Once its is completely dry and hard, sand the whole car back with a wet and dry 2000grade sandpaper and then either buff it yourself or take it to a car detailer and get them to buff it properly.

 

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Here is of my car completely finished.

 

now you want to make sure you spray inside your doors, boot and bonnet, so when you are masking your car up, make sure you can still open these parts of your car. the most important part about painting your car is the preparation. I'd suggest practicing on other panels before you attempt doing your car and make sure the primer layer is very smooth and clear of any bugs/dirt/grime.

 

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This is a pic of my engine bay when it was painted. obviously you have to remove your engine to do this proprelly.

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Very nice Tai, but I'm sure you knew that already. Just a query, the Origin-Labs front bar seems to have a fitment problem. What was the reason for it? Was the reinforcement bar in the way?

 

Jon

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Origin-Labs???

 

the front bar was crap from the company i bought it from, a lot of work had to go into the whole bodykit just to get it where it is.

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Sorry, from the photo, I thought it was an Origin-Labs, Streamline front bar. It could also be GP Sports. Not sure. But body kits are always a problem to install. Often it cost more to install than to purchase the kit.

 

Jon

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its a complete BN blister kit, and is a copy made if fibreglass. they are always a pain to fit properlly. come to think of it, the front bar wasn't the problem, its the widebody guards that didn't and still don't fit very well.

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Everything looks good from the pictures, only the front bar appears to be very slightly out of alignment

 

Jon

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Nice job!

 

Ive painted a few cars in acrylic and they havent looked like that.

 

What type of spary gun did you use for the 2pak. Also what type of respirator idi you use?

 

Thanks

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buy a special respirator that is designed for 2pak paint. you should also use a full body suit because it is a checmical paint and can cause cancer.

 

a gravity fed spray gun with a 1.6mm tip.

 

took me a couple days the first time i did it, but from start to finish i could do it in a weekend pretty easily (if the cars straight and in good condition to start with).

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That is a mighty fine job there mate. Thanks for the article.

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Great writeup and great result. I have been working with acrylics over the past couple years purely due to the carcinogenic properties of 2 pak. Can you go into some detail about the safety measures you take to avoid this and also if you filter the surrounding air. Do you know of any kits you can buy to setup a tent inside a shed?

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what size compressor did you use? what do you think is the minimum size L, HP and/or L/sec required for 2pak?

Car looks nice :)

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I just sprayed my sedan in 2pak. I used a gravity feed with 1.4mm tip (got told any bigger and it won't spray finely).

 

I really suggest that in the area you are painting is well fukn clean. I did it at my workshop and yeah as i left it over night the shit from the ceiling fell, so alot of shit got into the paint.

 

Don't know if said but if u get drips and dust in your paint don't worry about it as 1500/2000 sand paper and a good cutting compound liquid and cutting foam pad will basically take most if not alll out.

 

Also if dust and shit fell in your paint and after you rubbed it out alot and you can still see a dip, you just sand that area downwith 1000 mask it up a little further away not directly around it then get your clear set the fan on gun to the smallest setting. pretty low pressure but just enough more not to make it splatter out of the gun and just go over the sections that need more clar to fill the dip. Wait it it dry's sand the whole area and buff it up.

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dude this guide is gold! thank you very much for the post! i finaly understand how to paint properly! well at least getting that good looking results! big thanks!

 

also if u can give us just equipment rundown for somone say like my self who wants to paint e.g bodykit but i dont have any of the equipment but i am intrested in buying them and hopefully a budget brand as i know profesional ones they can /would hurt the wallet.

 

also just for anyone who is readin this u might want to take extra care with the paints and where you do it, the more enclosed area the better, i was told that even if u r protected from it its very suprising as how far paint fumes can travel and could be easily at ur neighbours backyards as well. i know there are paint booth air filter etc to stabelise the air movement inside a booth and to suck all the flying particles. i also know some people who make thier own and still do a great job!...

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I payed 160 for my gravity fed gun. The compressor i used was a decent sized compressor wasn't small I'll check on this but it shouldn't matter to much.

 

I painted a sedan with 3Lt of paint, got 4Lt of 2pac primer and 4LT of Clear i think eveyrhting in materials cost me 600-700.

 

Also you can hire spray booths by the hour down here in slacks creek, i'll definately be doing that next time round. Its in Dan St, Slacks Creek.

 

Definately get a good mask, when the bad stuff of 2pac gets into you you can't get it out no matter how healthy you are. It'll just sit in your blood.

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That is an awesome write up mate you deserve huge props. your car is absolutely immaculate.

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Few pointers, there a 2 kind of 2 pac's DG(direct gloss) which you mix with hardeners like 3:1 to 10% and you dont have to clear these then there are BC (base coat) most of the time mixed to 1:1 and with these you have to clear over the paint. You get different grades of clear such as medium solids and high solids, Wont really go into these because it's pretty complex but usually 2 coats is enough and if you think it will get more gloss with more coats thats wrong.

Dont leave the car outside for a few days till it dries because it can actually dull the paint off and dont buff for about 2 days till after you painted it.

As for it been bad for you, get the correct mask and a suit and wear gloves even when wax and greasing use gloves because the solvents are bad for you. At work i wear a non static suit and a air hood but you need a specials filters between the compressor and you and its pretty hexy, my suit and hood cost well over a 1g.

Spray guns you can use between 1.2mm to 1.4 for a proper finish. Use 1.4 for BC and 1.3 for solids and clears. You really want a HVLP gun when spraying, for my 200 i only used 1.5L todo my car campared to 4L normal gun would use and when over a $100L you do save alot . At work i have 4 different guns for different situations but you can get away with one gun but each guns is over the 600 mark . Compressor size you need something aroun the 15cfm with 3 hp motor and a oil and water seperater

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ok because this is a "do it yourself at home" type of article, i haven't really gone into huge detail, because a lot of it you wont need to know.

 

i mean if your a business then obviously a spray gun costs hundreds of dollars, safety equipment costs thousands, in a workshop environment you need to have special drain filters because every part of the paint has to be filtered before going in any drainage... i.e when sanding back 2 pak paint with wet and dry sandpaper it is illegal to let that water run down any drains, when painting the car all teh air has to be filtered inside the spray booth so that no toxic paint fumes escape into teh environment, there are a whole lot of extra's that can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars if you a cought and fined.

 

 

so basically for a do it at home type of paint job... i had a gravity fed spray gun with a 1.4mm tip that cost me $150. i work at repco and we have just got in some new types of spray guns that are HVLP (High volume, Low pressure) spray guns and i think they are $100 for 2 guns and an air regulator. these are very good prices for anyone thats doin it at home.

i didn't bother with a full cover suit for painting, i just bought a good mask that was designed for 2 pak paint.. costs about $80.

a long time ago i used a small compressor, and it worked... just. i ended up blowing up the compressor from overusing it. since then i have a 17cfm 3.5HP compressor that runs off 15amp power (this compressor wont normally run at home, but i had a special power point installed).

if you a looking for a decent compressor for use at home, then just look for one of the bigger 10AMP compressors. usually 2.5HP with about a 40 to 50Lt tank and are around teh 12 to 14cfm.. they usually cost a couple hundred dollars.

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Nice job on the car man.

Id be keen on doing this except i live in an apartment haha so i dun wanna paint my baby on the street :P

If anyone in adelaide is keen on doing this maybe we can get together and give it ago :)

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Very nice finish, getting my 180 resprayed in bout a week due to loss of license. lol but this is going to come in handy, will send my car off primered and just get them to do all the fussy things. :P Any way getting new vertex kit for $500 brand spanking from gforce. thanks for this article mate. good work .. ps nice turnout.

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Do you have to remove the doors before you paint the car? Is it complicated to paint the area where the door hinges are if you leave the door attached?

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yer i'm doing the back yard job to got a big garden shed to do mine in your's looks pretty good hope mine turns out that good you save sh*t loads of money when you do it your self all up i think i spent about $500 to $600

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in one of the pics the front bar is only just sitting there, the RH front fits up ok... its not too bad, but it isn't great. i'll never buy shitty cheap fibreglass front guards again, or rear guards for that matter, they were all crap to fit.

 

i did it all in a big tent, so it was away from bugs.. i did get one little bug in it though.

 

i left the doors on the car, you can remove them, but i found it just as easy to get in behind the doors to paint everything..

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Is it the same process if your painting the colour the stock colour say a metallic charcoal is this acrylic or 2pac cheers, will be doing this real soon = )

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If you don't want to remove the engine to paint the bay, are there specialists that can do that? how long does it take to remove everything and then paint it?

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how much cash u want to spray my car?

 

seriously......

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