The Steps

These are the steps of the body work and paint process. This is assuming the project has already been stripped to bare metal, and all metal fabrication is already complete.  Of course, some projects may require a slightly different process. 
  • Vehicle on its suspension, on a flat and level surface. 
  • Preferably, the engine and drivetrain should be in, so all the weight is close to being correct. 
  • Door seals, weatherstrip, or any other seals and rubber bumpers should be in. 
  • Adjust panels as close as possible. 
  • If needed, grind and weld door gaps to make them perfectly consistent. 
  • Clean all metal with wax & grease remover and lacquer thinner. 
  • Sand blast any welds or pitting. 
  • Prep metal first with a finer abrasive, such as 150 grit d/a or a 3M clean & strip disc. 
  • Prep metal with a high quality and sharp roloc disc, about 50 grit. 
  • Start with filling the lowest areas first. 
  • Put a couple small ‘dabs’ of body filler in the door gaps, which keeps the panels completely solid, and can’t move at all. 
  • Rough in body filler first with 40 grit, and then block sand mostly with 80 grit. 
  • Re apply body filler over 80 grit , not 40 grit. 
  • Almost always, entire panels will need to be skimmed with filler. 
  • Body work and block sand the vehicle as one big panel, not each panel individually. 
  • Do majority of block sanding with 80 grit. 
  • Finish filler in 150 grit. 
  • Fill pin holes with body filler. 
  • Polyester primer, 5 medium/wet coats. 
  • Good polyester brands: Spies Hecker, Standox, Glasurit. 
  • Block sand polyester with True Blox and 100 grit and 220 grit. 
  • Sand with a soft block and 400 grit. 
  • Take all body panels apart. 
  • Finish door jams. 
  • Finish sanding with 400-600 grit cloth sandpaper on a soft sponge. 
  •   Sealer apart. 
  • Base Coat apart 
  • Carefully assemble body panels, just enough so the whole outside of vehicle can be base coated together. 
  • Disassemble panels and clear coat apart, 5-6 medium coats.
  • Wet sand with 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000 & 5000 grits
  • Buff with wool pad first, then 2 steps of foam pads

1932 Ford Victoria owned by: Phil & Deb Becker

Paint: The Refinery by Adam Krause 

Built by: Dave Lane of FastLane Rod Shop


3 comments

  • I clean my surface rust with muriatic acid then cleaned it with vinegar and it left a film how do I prep the metal now for poly primer thanks

    Orlando cortez
  • I didn’t see before or after polyester an etch or epoxy primer, after polyester I didn’t see a 2K primer do you use these or polyester only all the way through. Do you wash the panels after there bare metal with a metal conditioner ie acid. The rest is similar to how I do things give or take on sanding grits.

    Mitch Case
  • I never done that but I’m willing to try with a friend that knows

    Juan

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