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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Triumph Spitfire Body Work #1 - Painting Materials

Welcome to the first in a new topic called Body Work. I've always kept it separate in my head, as more of a milestone than anything else (and to make me feel good about my progress), that "body work" means getting ready for final paint instead of fixing rust.
Since I've finally decided on the way I was going to go with my painting materials and supplies, it was time to dive into documenting this new phase of the restoration.

Here's links to the "hardware":

Gun. I bought this direct from Amazon used,  about $155. New it's about $195. Not cheap, obviously, but in my research it is the "low" model at the professional level and much, much better (and feels that way) then anything from Harbor Freight!

Mixing Kit. Just about everything I will need, I think, and probably a lot I won't use. About $20.

Squeeze Bottle. I intend to use these for lacquer thinner. About $9.

DeKups Demo Kit. Not sure if I needed this, but it was recommended to me. Demo kit, so not too bad price-wise, but this stuff is like printer ink / razor blades and can add up. About $35.

Gun Stand. So I have somewhere to put it between coats. About $14.

I also ordered epoxy primer on Monday. Let me tell you, if you're like me and think that the primer you want for your car is comparable to Rustoleum as far as price...it's not! I knew a good spray gun would cost me money, but I didn't think the primer would cost just as much, or more! I had sticker shock at a local place (I mention it in the video); about $250 for a gallon of epoxy primer, and that did not include the activator or the wax and grease remover. Needless to say, I was very surprised and, frankly, a bit frightened at the cost.

However, on a recommendation from someone on my favorite forum, I checked out Southern Polyurethanes, SPI, in  Blairsville, GA.  I had contacted them via their website a few times about general questions and they got right back to me...on a Saturday morning, so  I knew that was a good sign.  I called them Monday morning, spoke to the same guy who had replied to my emails (he remembered me) and promptly ordered some expoxy primer. While I ordered only two quarts (that was their recommendation for the whole car, since it's a 1:1 split with the activator), it cost me about $180 for those, two quarts of the activator and a gallon of their water-based wax and grease remover. Shipping is free. I don't know how long it'll take to get to me, but it should have shipped on Monday (they ship same day for orders before 3pm).

As for my choice of epoxy primer, minimal research will tell you (or at least told me) that this was the way to go. It is a direct-to-metal (DTM) product, meaning that it is designed to be sprayed on bare metal. If you've been watching my "underneath" videos, you can see that I'm going down to bare metal underneath. However, in talking with the SPI guy, as long as you scuff up the existing paint with a maroon Scotch-Brite pad (the colors signify different "grits", like sandpaper. Red, or maroon, is about 320-grit) and are confident that the underlying metal is not corroded, you're fine . So, for the interior portions, I intend to clean it all up really well and then scuff it up.

I have three main reasons for this. First, there is little to no corrosion in the interior that I haven't already adressed. Second, it will not be directly exposed to the elements like the bottom of the car will be. Finally, it will be a LOT more work to take the interior of the car to bare metal than the underneath. So, once I verified with SPI that I didn't HAVE to go to bare metal, I decided scuffing was just as good.

The  great advantage of epoxy primer is that it waterproof when cured. I'm pretty sure I replaced the bottom 4-inches of Dorothy because of corrosion...caused by water. So, yeah, as a base primer, that's a big plus for me. I will use a different primer as I build my way to my topcoat on the "top", but epoxy is going to be my basecoat primer everywhere first. Here's a quick read from Hemmings.

That's about it. I bought some stuff for constructing a make-shift spray booth like plastic sheeting and a few furnace air filters. I have a box fan as well.  We'll see how that goes and, of course, I'll document it all as I'm sure that will be an exciting adventure!

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