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Old 04-11-2010, 07:40 PM   #1
PlasticCarsRock
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1995 SL2
Default Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Shouldn't be too hard, since the only things body color are the (removable) plastic panels, trunk, hood, and roof, right? There are a few areas that need primer--I assume I'll be fine using generic "adhesion promoter" from a spray can from a FLAPS, or is there something better? There are also a few areas that will need a bit of filler. I once did a bumper with some pretty serious dents with spray on "flexible body filler" from Advance, but they don't seem to see it anymore. I don't have anything too serious, this time, but I will need a bit of filling on some scrapes and chips--what can I use (it needs to be flexible, of course, for the plastic body panels)?

For areas that don't need primer (full coat of paint, already), in the past I've just wet-sanded the top layer of clear/base coat, and painted the new base coat right over that--is this the best way, or is there something that should go in between? What grit should I use for the final wet-sanding?

In the past, I've never done any sanding after applying the final coat of primer (just put primer, base, and clear on in one day). It is necessary/recommended to wet-sand before the clear coat? If so, what grit?

I have an enclosed, semi-clean garage to work in, and a decent HVLP gun (and regulator).

As I said, I've painted body panels before (never an entire car though), with decent results (not as good as factory, though). If anyone knows a good website with step-by-step instructions, that would be great (at a high level, for professional results--not the very basic "touch up" instructions).

Will two quarts be enough base coat for an entire '95 SL2 (going from blue/green to blue (not light blue, not dark blue))? How much clear do I need? Since I don't need any specific paint code, is there an online surplus store or somewhere that sells generic or mis-color paint cheaper than having it mixed at an auto paint store?

Thanks!

...
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:58 PM   #2
Mark T.
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Just let a body shop do it.

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Old 04-11-2010, 10:32 PM   #3
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Happy Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Saturn automobiles are finished with a basecoat/clearcoat paint system. This process consists of an immersion primer on all steel and space frame components, a spray-on primer on all composite panels, and a high solid waterborne basecoat and catalyzed urethane clearcoat.
The refinish process is the same for steel and rigid plastic parts, flexible additives are not required for use on acrylonlite/butadine styrene and polycarbonate (ABS + PC) or polyamide, polyphene ether. (PA + PPE) and sheet molded compound (SMC) materials as long as OEM equivalent urethane top coats are used.
All exterior flexible plastic parts used on Saturn automobiles are a thermoplastic olefin (TPO) compound. Refinishing requires the use of flexible additives in the primer surfacer and clear coat. Flex additives need not be used in the basecoat. Additionally, 3M Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter P/N 5907 or D820 equivalent must be used over all bare surfaces.

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Old 04-11-2010, 10:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. View Post
Just let a body shop do it.
I can do a much better job than a cheap paint place like maco, and I cannot justify spending $3k+ for a good paint job when the entire car probably isn't worth that much, even with the new paint job.

I should have some free time this summer, and since I have all of the equipment, for a few hundred dollars, max, I can have my car looking almost as good as new (and in a color that I actually like). In theory, I should be able to get it as well, or better than factory, but it never seems to come out quite so well (probably because my environment isn't as clean as a paint booth, and I don't have the necessary air circulation to keep dried paint in the air from landing on the wet surfaces).
Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2 View Post
Saturn automobiles are finished with a basecoat/clearcoat paint system. This process consists of an immersion primer on all steel and space frame components, a spray-on primer on all composite panels, and a high solid waterborne basecoat and catalyzed urethane clearcoat.
The refinish process is the same for steel and rigid plastic parts, flexible additives are not required for use on acrylonlite/butadine styrene and polycarbonate (ABS + PC) or polyamide, polyphene ether. (PA + PPE) and sheet molded compound (SMC) materials as long as OEM equivalent urethane top coats are used.
All exterior flexible plastic parts used on Saturn automobiles are a thermoplastic olefin (TPO) compound. Refinishing requires the use of flexible additives in the primer surfacer and clear coat. Flex additives need not be used in the basecoat. Additionally, 3M Polyolefin Adhesion Promoter P/N 5907 or D820 equivalent must be used over all bare surfaces.
Thanks for the info! In other words, I only need to use a flexible primer, and add flex agent to the clear (last time, I added it to the base as well--is that bad?)? Am I supposed to use a second primer over the adhesion promoter--I thought that was the primer? Depending on how the mixing process works out, I may end up having extra clear coat, containing a flex agent--is there any reason not to use this on the metal panels (hood, roof, and trunk)? Should I just use it on the entire thing, to make it more uniform, or does it make absolutely no difference in the appearance? Other than aforementioned metal panels, are any of the exterior panels not considered flexible?

Do I need any primer or other surface prep substance between the OE clear coat I will be painting over, and the new base coat (assuming there are no scratches or chips through to the plastic/metal underneath)?

Thanks!

...
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Last edited by PlasticCarsRock; 04-11-2010 at 10:47 PM..

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Old 04-11-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

just make sure that you do every single part at once. even opening the tent can change the final color (a bigger deal with candy and other super hard effects).

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Old 04-11-2010, 10:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Quote:
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just make sure that you do every single part at once. even opening the tent can change the final color (a bigger deal with candy and other super hard effects).
Oh, really? I had planned on doing it in two or three separate sets--I guess this isn't a good idea?

How long do I need to wait between coats? (primer to primer, primer to base, base to base, base to clear coat, clear coat to clear coat)?

...
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Uh... since when does a paint job at a shop cost $3k? shouldn't really go for no more than $500, and even still sometimes Maaco offers deals on paint jobs for $300.

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Old 04-11-2010, 11:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

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Uh... since when does a paint job at a shop cost $3k? shouldn't really go for no more than $500, and even still sometimes Maaco offers deals on paint jobs for $300.
since he already said he didnt want a craptastic macco paint job, heck macco is even with a well done rattle can paint job.

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Quote:
Originally Posted by adventureoflink View Post
Uh... since when does a paint job at a shop cost $3k? shouldn't really go for no more than $500, and even still sometimes Maaco offers deals on paint jobs for $300.
As Leafy said... since I want it to look halfway decent. If I wanted a $300-$500 Maaco quality paint job, I'd spend $20-$30 on spray cans, an hour to to tape off the trim, clean it (maybe...), spend an hour spraying it, and be done. For $30 and three hours, I'd end up with something just as good, if not better.

None of that is relevant, though, because I want a decent paint job... the idea is to make the car look better, not worse.

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Adhesion promoter is clear and should be the first thing to go down. Dupont, SEM, and Bull Dog make good promoters. What paint system will you be using?

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Quote:
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What paint system will you be using?
Good question--it's one of mine, too. Any suggestions? Since I don't need it to match any particular paint codes, I assume I can get it cheaper than having it mixed to match, but where?

Do I need a primer on top of the adhesion promoter, or is that the primer?

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

No, the adhesion promoter is not a primer. How is the base coat? Are there scratches/chips? If there are light scratches, use a High Build/High Solid's primer. If the body is in mint condition with not a single nick or scratch(which would probably be impossible..lol) you can use just a sealer.

Go to an automotive paint supply shop to get the paint. DO NOT use dupli-color.

I recommend you try NASON for the primer/paint/clear. They are a less expensive paint system made by Dupont. I use there clear and it works great.

To break it down quick. It goes like this

Adhesion promoter, primer, sealer, base coat, clear coat.

After the primer has dried, block sand it with 400-800 grit paper.
Depending on how the sealer lays down, you will have to do the same for it too.

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:50 PM   #13
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. View Post
No, the adhesion promoter is not a primer. How is the base coat? Are there scratches/chips? If there are light scratches, use a High Build/High Solid's primer. If the body is in mint condition with not a single nick or scratch(which would probably be impossible..lol) you can use just a sealer.
I guess that explains why my bumper re-paint is starting to flake off after 3 years... no primer.

There are scratches/chips on some of the panels, but not all. Should I just use adhesion promoter and primer on the areas that are through the base coat? The entire panel, where such damage exists? Or the entire car, to start with a consistent color?

What about areas that need a bit of filling for deep scuffs/scratches? Is high build primer enough (spray it, then sand it, then repeat until it's flat)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. View Post
DO NOT use dupli-color.
Thanks; I know--did some research, read some reviews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. View Post
I recommend you try NASON for the primer/paint/clear. They are a less expensive paint system made by Dupont. I use there clear and it works great.
Can I get this at a local auto paint supply store, or would I have to order it?

Does NASON make sealer too, or do I need something else?

Would there be any noticeable benefit going with something better/more expensive than NASON? I'm willing to pay more, if it will make an appreciable difference, but if the difference is minimal, I'm not going to waste my money.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. View Post
After the primer has dried, block sand it with 400-800 grit paper.
Depending on how the sealer lays down, you will have to do the same for it too.
Does that mean I definitely have to sand the sealer, or only if it's not flat?

How long do each take to dry, so that they can be sanded?


Thanks for all the help, Mark!

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

You will notice a bigger difference in the quality of paint job with a better space to paint in then a higher grade paint than NASON.

For nicks in the paint that go to the plastic, use a DA and feather it out about 5 or 6 inches out from the nick. Sand it all the way down to the plastic. Clean it, then use the adhesion promoter. If there are nicks in the actual plastic, fill them with Flexible Polyester Glazing Putty from EverCoat.
They make some of the best in the industry.

If you have any spider webing, you will have to do the same thing too. If you don't, the original paint will fail over time and start to chip.

On parts that are in good shape, sand them with some 220-320 and you ready to go for primer. Make sure you get flexable primer too.

Dry times vary depending on the product. When you get the paint at the paint shop, ask if they can give you a copy of the Tech Sheet, it will tell you how to mix, reduce, spray, re-coat.

If NASON doesn't have what you need, get Dupont then.

Depending how much orange peel is in the sealer, sand it will 600.

What gun and compressor are you using?

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

You can prep, prime, and sealer the parts off the body. Fully assemble the body parts before you spray the base and clear.

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

Quote:
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You can prep, prime, and sealer the parts off the body. Fully assemble the body parts before you spray the base and clear.
Do you mean put all the body panels back on the car before the base and clear? Wouldn't it be easier to put them on after, especially since I'm changing the color? I need to get all the edges and stuff, that would normally be hard to reach with the panels on the car. Also, while I certainly have to be careful re-assembling the car, I don't have to worry as much about masking everything to prevent over-spray--and there is less chance of an accident. If I chip/scratch a panel putting it back on, I can always sand and re-spray it... if I get paint on something it shouldn't be on, it could be a lot worse (not very likely, if I'm careful, but accidents do happen, no matter how careful you are).

I'm not sure what kind of gun I have. All I remember is it's an HVLP gun with the paint container on the bottom. It uses suction to draw the paint from the container, rather than gravity, or having it pressurized. I'll check what kind it is, tomorrow.

...
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:18 PM   #17
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

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Uh... since when does a paint job at a shop cost $3k? shouldn't really go for no more than $500, and even still sometimes Maaco offers deals on paint jobs for $300.
maaco? I wouldn't let them paint my fuel door. it cost $150 for my saturn approved body shop to paint a the 95/96 SC2 front fascia that I installed on my 92 SC and it matched to look like it came from the factory. no way would I trust a maaco $300 paint job for an entire saturn.

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Old 04-13-2010, 09:32 AM   #18
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

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Do you mean put all the body panels back on the car before the base and clear? Wouldn't it be easier to put them on after, especially since I'm changing the color? I need to get all the edges and stuff, that would normally be hard to reach with the panels on the car. Also, while I certainly have to be careful re-assembling the car, I don't have to worry as much about masking everything to prevent over-spray--and there is less chance of an accident. If I chip/scratch a panel putting it back on, I can always sand and re-spray it... if I get paint on something it shouldn't be on, it could be a lot worse (not very likely, if I'm careful, but accidents do happen, no matter how careful you are).

I'm not sure what kind of gun I have. All I remember is it's an HVLP gun with the paint container on the bottom. It uses suction to draw the paint from the container, rather than gravity, or having it pressurized. I'll check what kind it is, tomorrow.
Considering your limited experience with painting, you can very easily have panels that don't match. Exspecially if you are going to spray a metallic, Pearl, or Candy paint. It's hard to explain, but it will be hard to match the way the flakes lay down with other panels. It's the same way with the clear coat too. You could do one panel that comes out like glass, and another one with a lot of orange peel.
If you paint it together, the inconsistencies in the base/clear will be less noticable because it will fog in with other parts. Not just one solid panel.

...
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

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Originally Posted by Mark T. View Post
It's hard to explain, but it will be hard to match the way the flakes lay down with other panels. It's the same way with the clear coat too. You could do one panel that comes out like glass, and another one with a lot of orange peel.
What if he props or suspends the panels right next to each other and sprays them all in one go (moving from one panel to the next, just as if they were on the car)?

Interesting thread, and thanks for the tips from experience!

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Old 04-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #20
Mark T.
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1999 SL2
1996 SL1
Default Re: Painting the my SL2 a different color...

That would work too, but the easiest, and best way would be to mount them back on the car.

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