Stripping and Painting Tips

masking for paintingOkay, you’ve got a fender or hood or a whole car that has coats of chipping paint and caked rust on it. It’s too big for a sand blast cabinet and will obviously take many coats of a chemical stripper. A grinder would work, but the result would be hundreds of “digs” into the metal surface once the gunk is off. What would a good alternative be to get to a manageable surface for painting?

Well, we asked ourselves, “How about a belt sander?” How about that, indeed! We tried our trusty old sander with a 36-grit belt and went outside (expecting lots of dust and sparks) for a test.

It worked amazingly well! There was enough dust to warrant the outdoor activity, but the sander dug through all the years of accumulation in record time. We were done within 10 minutes and all that was left were the little detailed edges that weren’t reachable by the sander. Scratches into the surface were minimal and can easily be sanded down and filled with a couple coats of filler or primer.

Another bonus was that the sanding belt showed virtually no wear. We estimate that an entire car could be stripped with 3-4 belts, making this a very economical solution. It’s a little drastic and takes some practice, but it works great!

The nozzles on spray cans are precision-engineered and the orifices are typically laser-drilled for accuracy and spray pattern. Once used there is a film of paint left inside. This film can affect the spray pattern and atomization in subsequent applications.

To keep nozzles clean or to renew a clogged nozzle, soak it in lacquer thinner for a few hours then put it back on the can and invert to spray out the solvent. Keep a few extra used nozzles around as backups. Sometimes a new can of paint won’t spray well and the replacement of a nozzlefixes the problem.

When using masking tape, remove the tape within a few hours of painting to minimize the “rough edge” effects common to masking. If a sharp edge is absolutely necessary, gently run a new razor blade along the edge of the tape before removing. Special tapes specifically designed for this application are sold in auto paint stores.

After restoring paint or other main components of your classic car be sure to re-value the vehicle on your Classic Car Insurance! Call toll free for your new quote 1-800-866-6440

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