A Brief Outline

This is a more brief outline, with a more in depth outline in the post following this one. 

This outline is only to highlight the main and broad steps of the body work and paint process.  Each of these steps will be broken down in much great detail later on.  

These steps are assuming the vehicle has already been stripped to bare metal, and all necessary fabrication work as been completed.


  1. Vehicle on its chassis, if applicable.  All body mounts torqued evenly.
  2. Vehicle on its suspension.
  3. All body panels assembled and adjusted.
  4. All seals and weatherstrip installed.
  5. Panel edges and flushness checked and adjusted using long sticks of aluminum c-channel or flat stock.  High and low areas fixed in this step.
  6. Panel gaps adjusted.  Panel edges filed and/or welded if needed to make consistent and exact. 
  7. Body prepped for epoxy primer.
  8. Epoxy primer applied, 3 to 4 coats.
  9. Epoxy allowed at least several days to a week, or more, to dry.  The drier the better.
  10. Epoxy prepped for body filler, by thoroughly sanding with 100 or 120 grit.
  11. All body work completed with 80 grit.
  12. All body lines taped and dialed in.
  13. All panel gaps finished .
  14. All body work block sanded with 120 grit, and the 80 grit completely gone.
  15. Bare metal spots dusted with epoxy (very light and dry).  Let dry for at least several hours, and lightly scuff with a red scotch brite, and then 120 or 150 grit.  Polyester will not adhere to unsanded epoxy.
  16. Polyester primer vehicle.
  17. Put small dabs of filler in all panel gaps to keep them from moving when sanding across panels.
  18. Block polyester with 100 grit until straight and not remaining texture in the polyester.  It must be completely flat with 100 grit.
  19. Clean and guide coat thoroughly with dry guide coat.
  20. Block sand with 220 grit.  Check for remaining scratches.
  21. Clean and guide coat again.
  22. Sand with a softer block, like foam, with 400 grit.  Also dry sanding.   Check for remaining scratches.  
  23. Disassemble body
  24. Finish body working jambs
  25. Polyester prime jambs, and sand up to 400 grit.
  26. Sand everything with a cloth sandpaper, which is softer than sandpaper, and is around 500-600 grit.  3M soft back sanding sponges, using the ‘Super Fine’ grit.
  27. Paint process.
  28. Sealer must be used over polyester primer.  It’s optional whether the sealer is wet sanded or not.
  29. Base Coat
  30. Clear coat, 5 to 6 medium coats.
  31. Wet sanding, grits: 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 
  32. Buffing, beginning with a wool pad
  33. Buffing with a medium cut foam pad.
  34. Final polish pad
  35. Assemble and adjust body