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Paint Job from Hell on its way to Heaven?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chevy48, May 31, 2012.

  1. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    I have to say, I know about as much about painting a car as I do about astrophysics. Nothing! I need to learn more about it!


    When I bought this car, I figured it needed a paint job. Still at 15 feet, with one eye closed and the other one blurred, it looked great! (See my avatar) However, the paint was developing gas bubbles that would grow, and grow, then crack, and leave a blister. (See photo) I knew this wasn’t good, but it turned out to be far worse than that. After finally finding someone capable, who would take me in this century, and at a reasonable price, in the car went to the paint shop.

    When quoted on the paint job, they planned to do a chemical paint strip, and then patch up some body-work, then paint as usual. But when he started to remove the outer layer of paint, there was 1/32” to about a 3/32” of bondo skimmed coated (Hand laid) over the entire car then re- painted. (65 years in a family business they never saw anything like it.) They also theorized the gas bubble were there because the prep was not done correctly. Others claimed the last painter never removed the stripper properly.

    But anyway, these guys loves old cars and making it a personal commitment to do this car right. NO EXTRA CHARGE!!!! :D

    So…they (The new guys) decided to “hand-sand” off the outer layers down to the original metal. Luckily, there was only a small amount of body work to be done, no rust, and minor dents. (The dents were not even pulled out, the previous paint-guy just filled them with bondo. A cheese job!!) The most serious body-work was when rear-fender was replaced, they didn’t bother to pull out the dent in the body of the car but instead filled it with about ½” of bondo. Even the new body-guys say the guy was probably a master sculpture…lol. It even, sort of, fooled them! But, not for long, and actually they did see something wrong there but couldn’t quite put their finger on it.

    This is what is now theorized:

    The first time the painter painted it, it probably looked fantastic. But then the bubbles started to form for the customer. So the customer went back and said WTF? Rather than strip off the old paint and prep it properly, he simply, skim coated the whole car with bondo and sprayed it again! Apparently, to hold off the blistering for a while! It was even blistering under the window rubber!

    I included some photos of the current state of the job. It is expected to sanded this week and then painted next week sometime! I can’t wait! They have 3-guys working full time ”like animals” on this car, and I may be the luckiest customer in the world for what I paid for this job! The materials alone must have cost $3K.

    When this job is done, I will be one happy camper! :D

    The new paint method (According to the new-paint shop)

    1. Sand back down to the original metal.
    2. Fix any dents and other probs.
    3. Spray bondo the whole car. (Thin)
    4. Basically sand it down/off again.
    5. Spray bondo again and fine sand.
    6. Seal the car
    7. Color paint (PPG)
    8. Clear coat sand clear coat again sand...(I forget how many clear coats.)
    9. Let harden for two weeks
    10. Final sand and buff.
    11. Reassemble stainless, glass, chrome….etc.

    Any advice, suggestions, or comments will be greatly appreciated and well take positive or not.


    Attached Files:

  2. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    I'm glad your car is getting done right. Should look great. Your thread also made me remember a question I was going to ask recently.

    In the latest issue of one of the car mags (can't remember if it was, Hot Rod, Street Rodder or R&C) the writer of a story on doing body work had covered an entire fender with bondo. In fact, a lot of the car was covered in bondo. I believe the car was a 40ish Ford coupe. Now, I have ZERO knowledge where body & paint work is concerned, so here's my question: Is it correct or incorrect to cover a large area with bondo and then sand it down smooth? It didn't appear that the layer was thick, but it basicly was covering the whole car.:confused: It wasn't sprayed on, it was applyed by hand.

    Perhaps a paint & body guru will answer this for me and I appoligise if this hi-jacks your thread.
  3. Yes, it is common to skim a car with modern glaze fillers. This is basically a thinner version of filler. And Bondo is one thing, Evercoat fillers are to Bondo wha tthe Starship Enterprise is to Icarus.
  4. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,399


    It was R&C and a 49-52 Chevy. He used Evercoat Rage Gold filler. I'd never heard of covering an entire car in filler until I saw Boyd's shop work on his tv show.
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  5. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796


    I thought it was bondo, missed the filler part. I never would have known the difference. Thanks.
  6. I gotta follow this 1
    Get the popcorn goin.
    Joined: Aug 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,260


    BONDO THE WHOLE CAR? Thats alot of unesasary sanding. When they say they sprayed the whole car they probly meant with a hi build type of primer?
  8. Get a copy of John Kosmoski's book on paint prep. My amatuer 2c; Delete points 3-5. Insert- etch prime/ hi- fill prime/ prime.

    Very cool body style you got there.
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  9. CharlieLed
    Joined: Feb 21, 2003
    Posts: 2,459


    If that shop is going to wait for 2 weeks for the clear to harden then they have far more energy than I do. The sooner you colorsand the easier the job. 2 days maybe...2 weeks is making the job much more difficult.
  10. Hellfish
    Joined: Jun 19, 2002
    Posts: 6,399


    I thought "Bondo" was a specifc brand of "filler", like "Kleenex" is a specific brand of "tissue"
  11. Yes the term Bondo has become a catchall to those that don't know. You can still buy that crappy Bondo brand stuff at the hardware and autoparts store. As said, Evercoat products are lightyears ahead and better. And yes, primer-filler is amazing stuff.
  12. coolbreeze1340
    Joined: Aug 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,342

    from Indiana

    I think almost all the 50 plus year old cars you see at the shows that look flawless have had the "coat the entire car" method done at some point or at least the multiple spray coats. If you want to look the side of your ride and have it be straight as glass it has to be done.
  13. Is it correct or incorrect to cover a largeareawith bondoand then sand it down smooth? It didn't appear that the layerwasthick,but itbasicly was covering the whole car.

    I think It's a better end product to do it that way than to have multiple feathered spots in A panel. The majority of it is sanded off to the point of transparency and the result is much flatter, straighter, and better looking panel than one done any other way. Taking the entire panel down to flat is much easier than bringing several spots up to meet each other and the metal.

    Tricky part is to put it on thick enough to fill the lumps, thin enough to not waste material, and smooth enough to sand out without spreader marks or pin holes. Nothing more frustrating than trying to patch up a skim coat.

    The majority of people alive can not finish metal to a degree that a panel is ready to paint. Some can and that is amazing.
  14. The majority of people alive can not finish metal to a degree that a panel is ready to paint. Some can and that is amazing.[/QUOTE]

    Boy aren't you right! I have been in the business for about 16-17 years, and I have met VERY few true metal workers.
  15. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,008


    Nice sedan delivery! Looks like its in good hands now!
  16. Tinbasher
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 274


    Time, Time, Time that's all it take. about 300 hours for a good prep job.
    Clean metal, Epoxy prime, fill dents as required. epoxy prime, 3 coats of surfacer, block sand with 180, three coats of high build primer, block sand with 180 and 240 sandpaper, 3 coats of high build primer reduced 20% finish sand with 400 and 600 wet sandpaper. clean up and paint. Yup 300 hours. If yo want a show car keep going 500 -800 hours for perfection. The Old Tinbasher
  17. Chevy48
    Joined: Oct 12, 2011
    Posts: 201


    Thanks for the replies!

    Sorry for layman choice of words. I believe he described it to me in a way a no-nothing can relate. It is not a spray bondo per say, I think it is some sort of modern, filler applied thin using low-pressure spray. However, when they originally removed the first layer of paint, it was literally body filler that was hand applied and very thick. The painters had used the bondo to sculpt the metal, not repair it. This was the odd part. There was thick bondo even where it was not needed.

    The grey color you see in the photos is what he calls the spray bondo. He will sand it off, and reapply it many times to fill any type of blemish.

    Yes, I asked about multiple color sanding as I had read about it. I think the spray filler that he sands off and coats again, is what he calls color sanding. When he lays the actual color, he doesn’t sand anything until the clear is applied, and then a final sanding and buffing 2 weeks later.

    As far as hours….I think your right! And he mentioned the endless hours. Why he waits 2 weeks? He says to make sure everything underneath is dry and cured. He mentioned something about chemicals bleeding in/out of the metal and different layers.

    I’m not qualified to critique his methods, and I’m careful to make sure he knows I don’t know jack shit about any of it. Pissed off paint guy = crappy job!:eek:

    I asked to see his work. He showed me a black SS Chevelle that was like a mirror. I was blown away! No waves, orange peel, fish-eyes, swirls or dirt specs. Like clean glass. I asked if mine will be that good, and he said better! I can’t imagine it.

    He wants to break into the hotrod/restoration end of things. I offered to pass out flyers and cards for him at shows. Around here, to find a “great” paint guy to take your car for under $10K to start is impossible. Never mind the waiting period. My car is going to represent him, he says, so I’m confident it will be decent. I attached a photo of his next restoration. A ’52 Chevy w/350 drive train.

    I may get John Kosmoski's book and read online about this stuff. The chance I will ever learn to do body work and paint, is probably nil. Although, I’m pretty good with a can of rustoleum.

    I will take more pics and post them when I see him next week..

    You guys are great! I love the hearing about all this!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012
  18. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    from Minn. uSA


    To bad you guys are in Boston. Way too far for me to go. I've got enough projects to keep him going for a year, even at his pace. Not that I have that much $$$, but still... :D .

    For what he charged you, if that lasts for 5 years, killer. Longer, unbelievably cheap.


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