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Well, if you have the time to put into it, a rattle can job can look pretty good. After I got a dented fender I did that, used lacquer, black as a base on the new fender and put clear over it (make sure the paints match so one doesn't eat the other). Used lots of wet 600 and polishing compound along the way and got it smooth.

But doing a whole car with rattlecan well won't be cheap, either.

What's your timeline and budget, and what kind of final paint job are you looking forward to?
 

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Whether it's a good idea depends on a lot--if you're getting married in 2 months, you likely aren't going to have too much free time coming up, and if you want it to look decent, it's going to take some time.

My feeling is that you need to think about what the short term and long term goals are--if you're tired of the primer look, and you would be happy in both the long and short term with a good but not great job, this approach makes sense.

But if you want in the long term to have a great job, and keep the car for a long time, I'd suggest you do something that you can live with for the time being that you won't later have to undo or spend a lot of time undoing--for example, priming the whole car black or white. I guess I'm thinking it doesn't make much sense to spend a lot of time on a finish if you're going to sand it down again in a couple of years....
 

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HackAbuse said:
Someone offered to sell me primer paint and clear coat enough to do the car for $150 shipped, he says he bought it 3 years ago for about $500 and never used it.

I'm just a little nervous because If I screw up, paint will be hard to fix than single stage rustoelum, or whatever.

Plus i've never painted anything before.
Ok, keep in mind, I'm not an expert--I've painted a couple of cars with base/clear with a good compressor and gun, and done a fender and some other bits with rattlecan. I do have quite a bit of experience with painting houses, inside and out, with sprayers (liquid/line and those b&d electrics) and without. Some of the same issues apply to both, some don't.

No real reason to be afraid, really. Check out the other painting thread in the lounge, ComposiMo has some really good advice there.

I don't think it will be any harder to fix, really, since fixing will be sanding it down. The main issues with rattle can are you don't get much square footage per can (and it gets expensive because of that), you get a different texture and pattern as the pressure fades, the paint tends to glop at the tip, and you don't get a nice fan consistent fan pattern. You'll also spend more time trying to sand/buff it smooth. If you're going flat with primer, those issues don't impact you that much.

On the other hand, if you get base/clear, and you rent a compressor, or use any kind of sprayer that's any good at all, you're a lot further ahead than rattle can. And it sounds like you might have a good line on the paint.

In terms of learning and doing a good job, I think time is your best friend. I was asking a coworker today about slumping lexan, he said something that applies here, he said he had to be careful when he was doing this kind of thing because he's not very experienced or talented.

I'm sure you can find a lot of DIY sites on painting, so do your research. One thing to do is to start by spraying a big cardboard box, to get the feel of how fast the paint goes down. Keep the gun moving, and try to err on the side of too little instead of too much--sags are worse than thin spots.

Spend time on your sanding, and any cosmetic work. When you think you've got your prep work at each stage really done and nice, you're probably only half way there. It's amazing how hard it is to see a minor imperfection in flat or bare metal, and just amazing how much it will stand out with a glossy finish when you really can't do much about it (if you want an example, ask me about touching up a sprayed white ceiling with a brush).

Don't get in a rush, when I rush, I make mistakes. And think about what else you want to do, if you're going to take the whole car apart for the paint, you've got an opportunity to go through everything pretty thoroughly, and that's pretty rare.

Also, very important--you don't like what you've got, and what you'll get will certainly be better. And you'll learn a lot.

Sorry, I'm rambling, and this topic is one I'm working through myself....
 

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HackAbuse said:
Well time is something I'll have alot of this summer. I already have a nice air compressor, and I can get an HLVP gun from harbor freight for a sprayer.

I'm just afraid that since it will be my first time, I feel like I will screw something up.
Oh, you will, but the nice thing about paint is you can generally fix it if you fix it before you move to the next stage. ('
 
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