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What is the best method, short of stripping, to prepare a body panel, door fender etc. for painting. i.e. multi grits or what, primer etc...

For repair spots, what filler is best, we'r talking minor dings etc not sections.

What about spots that you can't flat out sand like the undreside of trunk lid? rought it and primer?

I want to prepare most of the body for paint and turn it over to the pros for the final touches.

And prep steps after sanding like cleaners then primer?
 

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Short of stripping. Thats tough. Unless you know for a fact that the factory finish is the only finish on the car, no matter what you do will end up being no better than the worst prep the other guy did. Surprises will happen if you do not strip the old finish first, virtually a guarentee. Try this link for specific questions.

http://www.autobodystore.com/cgi-bin/config.pl?index
 

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I totally disagree... Original paint is not compliant with new finishes or primers. If you have old acrylic laquer paint on yrou car, you need to get rid of it, or seal it. acryli-seal.

If you are just filling small dings, no more than 1/8 inch deep use polyester skim coat. USC Icing, or Evercoat Thin Ice. Something to that effect...

the best way to prep things like the unnderside of a hood is with a red scotch-brite pad. use it to feather out all chips or whatever, then paint right over the old finish, or seal first then paint. but do not use a sanding primer under there, it's too much work to sand out. If you like doing lots of work for something that will only be seen when you need to get the spare tire out, or the dead body out of the trunk, then go ahead and wetsand under there, without a block, little pieces in your hand, and use red scotch-brite pads dry for cracks adn things that you can't reach with the sandpaper.

For prepping panels for paint short of stripping to bare metal, assess the damage, then scuff in the damage and 3 inches around with 80 grit or coarser, then do fill work, sand out with 80 grit, then finish sand on a DA with 180 or 220, then scuff around the area 4 inches with a red scotch-brite pad, adn primer within the repair area. mask off the rest of the panel first, leavin the repair area exposed. do not spray all the way to the masking lines as this will make a hard line that is not easy to block down. feather it. feather everything...

Then put a guidcoat over the whole panel after unmasking with a color you can see on both the primer and the rest of hte panel. use 2 different colors if you have to.

then wetsand the whole panel. use 400+ grit on a semi-hard block, not liek a block of wood, but like a hard sponge backed block, or one of those dura-blocks. something liek that.
work in long strokes and go until all the guidecoat is gone. don't bite through the primer over the body work.

then seal, or paint.
 

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Since when did ford use acrylic laquer on vintage mustangs? If the car was repainted in the past, you disagree that that is the lowest common denominater for the final durability of your new topcoat? My. I can put a finish on Ice, but it won't last. Yeah, you can prep it to hold new paint, make it look pretty, but it still won't hold any better than the finish you put iton. trust that finish, then your ok, if not, its a throw of the dice. Sorry, but this one is a fact, not a judgement.
 
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