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Technical Making old bad paint job look better

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 56don, May 17, 2019.

  1. The 48 Ford I bought last year has what I would call a home made paint job on it. It looks good from 20 feet but up closer you see the areas where the paint isn't thick enough and looks like a dry spray. It may have been someone's first paint job. I don't know what kind of paint it is but I think its enamel. Probably about 20-25 years old.
    I would like to get the paint looking better so that it will take a wax job but don't want to make it worse. I have cut and buffed urethane single stage before and it came out good, but it was also fresh.
    Has anyone had good results with wet sanding then compounding old enamel? I don't want to repaint this old car, just drive it around. I should probably just leave it and drive it as is, but I can't seem to leave well enough alone...
    OLSKOOL57 likes this.
  2. Crocodile
    Joined: Jun 16, 2016
    Posts: 134


    I wonder the same thing. My 40 was sprayed in 1973, for $80! Got the receipt with the car! I think I could wet sand and rub some dry areas to get more shine. But I am also worried it will show it's flaws more. And I don't want to pick and choose areas in fear of it looking like a calico cat.
    Sure wish he had ponied up $120.
  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 23,118

    Jalopy Joker

    start on a lower section of CD rear fender - with so many unknowns about what has been done no use on going too fast now with trial 'n' error research
    loudbang likes this.
  4. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,630

    from SW Wyoming

    Is it a single stage metallic? You might be better off leaving it alone if it is. If it is a solid color, you should be able to do what you want, as long as you stick with it until done, and there is enough paint on it that you don't sand or rub through it.
    loudbang likes this.
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  5. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 4,386

    anthony myrick
    from al

    We have 3000 - 5000 grit now
    These remove the slightest of material
    I used some on a single stage metallic and it helped.
    Squablow likes this.
  6. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,859

    from Alabama

    [​IMG]0638843_10210061010938680_7763083619531741752_n by Travis Brown,
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    Don ,
    Elbow grease. On that one...up was the only direction.
    The Fairlane is another story.
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr
    Absolutely horrible paint job 45 years old...
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Untitled by Travis Brown, on Flickr

    what makes this hard is by the time all that mess is cut down even, there's not much left. This was one of the thicker areas. As you can see it still needs more but now it super thin.
    BigO likes this.
  7. Yeah, my roof paint looks thin to start with I guess because the car is so tall it was hard to reach. I would be better off with orange peel I think because I have worked with that before and got it to flatten out. Since I think its painted with old enamel I wonder if it will ever buff to a shine.
  8. missysdad1
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,714


    Wash the car with dish detergent and Comet Cleanser. Put the detergent in a bucket of hot water, then add the Comet to the bucket - maybe 1/2 to one cup more or less. This will take all the grunge and scurvy off the paint, glass, stainless and chrome but will harm none of them. If the paint is badly oxidized you can use more Comet applied directly onto your wash rag or sponge and then onto the car. Keep it wet doing one section at a time, keeping the Comet suspended in the water by frequent stirring of the mixtuure and then rinse well. You won't believe how good the car looks when you are done! Add a little Comet to the wash water every time you wash it and it will just keep looking better and better.
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
    Steve Ray likes this.
  9. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,086

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    Without a pic its really hard to tell.
    Yes, old enamel polishes up real nice.
    The comet trick works great too, followed by a buffer can do wonders.
    My old white unibody had some horrible paint on it. I gave it the comet with bleach treatment and scrubbed it up good with a sponge. then hit it with compound. I regretted it when done, as the shine showed how bad the body work was. Eventually I did the comet/bleach on an old scotch brite and just ran it dull. But it sure came back to white.
  10. Mine isn't oxidized, its shiny but has a rough surface in a lot of places where it looks like the painter did not put enough thickness in those areas. Its like very fine orange peel but not that thick. I have cut and buffed urethane a couple of times and it comes out nice, I am just not sure what kind of paint this is. It is fairly old so I do not think its catalyzed enamel. I think its old school straight enamel. I would post pics but my camera took a dump. I dont have a smart phone with a camera.
    I will probably give it a try later on when I get caught up on everything else I have been putting off.
  11. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 657


    We used to call that a Babo bath. (different brand cleanser)
  12. just wait until you see my post on the 1959 Chevy SD......sad.....
  13. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 1,859

    from Alabama

    The Kate Smith Hour presented by Bab-O 1952
    missysdad1 likes this.
  14. Steve Ray
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 670

    Steve Ray

    I did this with my o/t project, but I used Bon-Ami. It's far finer and less scratchy; even more so than rubbing compound. Turned out pretty nice, at least from 20 ft.
  15. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,506


    Don,Don ,Don, Leave that car Alone. It's called character.
  16. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 13,841


    I special ordered some 3000 grit for my dad's 57 Chevy which had 40+ year old, rock hard paint, and I was really impressed with how it turned out. I wouldn't be afraid to try. I'd rather have thin paint buffed to a flat shine than some dry orange peel paint anyway, and if you're using a block you should be able to stop wetsanding before you get to the bottom of the "pits" in the orange peel, thus assuring that you won't sand through, just get uniform thickness. Slow and steady progress is the key.
    anthony myrick likes this.
  17. If the paint were original I wouldn't think of "improving" it. But its hard to wax with the rough surface. However, having said I want to make it look better, I am also a lazy procrastinator so it may never get done anytime soon.

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