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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I decided I need to practice my mad body work skillz before I get to my mustang. So, I just happened to have a large dent on the back of my Toyota Corolla, about the shape of my foot (hmm... wonder where that came from). Anyway, I learned how to pull the dent, fill it with body filler, sand it down and prime it (used a spray can to prime it). Then it sat like that for 3 weeks, unpainted. I was waiting on the guy that helped me do the body work so I could paint it, but he's a pain in the ass and I am impatient, so I gave up waiting and decided to do it myself.

So I prepped the area, cleaned it, wet sanded it (400 grit) and used a gray scotch brite pad over the whole trunk. Then I decided it would be easier to paint if I took the trunk off, so I did that and cleared out the garage with just the trunk lid on the floor. Here's where things went bad.

I put the already-reduced paint into my crappy siphon feed gun that came with the compressor (Husky piece of crap tools, compressor ain't bad though). It was at this point that I made several vital mistakes. 1) I didn't realize you have to adjust the gun before using it, I thought it somehow magically dumped out the right amount of paint 2) I also didn't realize that a spray gun isn't an on/off binary-type situation, it is more analogue, in that the more the pull the trigger, the more paint comes out. Well, thinking that the trigger was just an on/off deal, I aimed the gun and pulled the trigger all the way back.

Well, it turns out that the people at the factory like to play jokes on us, the uninformed. Specifically, they set the speed setting of the gun all the way up. At this point the full 135PSI my tank put out (and whatever CFM it's cranking) came right out of the tip of gun, along with about 1/8 of a liter of paint all compressed into one 4" section on the hood.

Apparently this is not the way it's supposed to happen, or so I've since been informed. Anyway, I ruined the paint job so I decided to give up for the day, but of course I looked up and it is about to rain any minute (Tropical Storm Bonnie or whatever), isn't that perfect because my trunk isn't on the car and it's sopping wet with paint. So I hauled ass up to Autozone to get Lacquer thinner because I ran out, and on my way a friend of mine passed me and pulled me into the break down lane. And as it turns out, he is a friend of mine who happens to be fluent in body work. So he came back and hooked me up, we sanded the whole trunk and primed it again. At which point I put the trunk lid back on the car and misran the tunk popping cable so I couldn't pop the trunk. And wouldn't you know it, the key didn't want to work. So it took me two days to get back into the trunk. I am currently looking at HVLP guns that I can buy so I can give it another shot when the wether gets less humid (gotta love New England weather).

Needless to say, my mother and my girlfriend are thinking twice about letting me practice on their cars before I get to my rustang.
 

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I don't know if this will make you feel any better, But I have painted roughly 40 vehicles over the past 20 years, and I STILL learn something every time I paint.
The best advice to beginners I have is to find a small paint shop that will allow you to observe them paint. That's how I got started, and I wish I never had.... :)
 

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Well, on the bright side you learned something in the process (and so did I). Keep at it....that is the only way to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
You know what, that's what I wanted to do. I talked to my girlfriend and told her I wanted to get a part time job (very part time) at a local auto body shop and work for free. I could mop the floors or something. She called me an idiot though, so I haven't done it. That and my time is spread thin as it is.
 

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haha, that was great, thanks for the laughs. i think i've done just about the exact same thing, execpt it was with primer and not paint. its taken me about a gallon and a half of primer to finaly figure out what all the knobs and what not do on the gun, lol.
as far as getting a new gun, don't bother (imo). figure out how your gun works and use it for a little bit. its not going to lay the paint down like a $500 gun, but it will work well enough. you're supposed to run the gun at about 35 psi if its a regular non hvlp gun.. i imagine 135 made quite a mess. likewise, there is a knob on the back that you can use as a trigger stop, give it a try ;)

the others advice about practicing on a piece of metal first is a good idea. to add to that, i would go get some supper cheep primer (you can get stuff thats like $25/gal) and practice with that untill you get the feal for your gun.

good luck,

- Jason
 
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