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1971 302 C4 auto convertible, Grabber Blue/white/white
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey…my Mustang is going together as a driver, fun car, not show car…
is there any huge advantage or disadvantage going either way?
My brother and I are going to paint it ourself this fall after final bodywork….

it will be two tone, Wimbleton white over grabber blue( think 72 Mustang Sprint theme)

He seems to want to go single stage and thinks blends/repairs/fixing any issues will be easier with single stage…..

we have use of a 100x100 metal building , we are going to build a paint booth inside where we can keep temp and humidity relatively stable….he has extensive experience with automotive paints, using them on large scale remote controlled jets and other aircraft, so prep, sanding, filling, mixing, air guns, masking, cleanup etc he can do, we just needs to scale it to a 20 ft car rather that a 8-9 foot long jets….
 

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I've really struggled with this decision too. Not that I have enough money to paint my car yet anyway -

But here's the crux of the issue: Base/clear is the trendy solution. It looks better, lasts longer, way pretty results, and easy for the painter. It's what all the cool kids use. Unfortunately, as it ages, cars with it start to flake, and get mangy looking. Big scabrous patches of faded basecoat, right next to still-shiny clearcoated sections. I hate that look.

When a good single-stage paint job ages, it just fades away, gets dull. It acquires patina.

Now here's the kicker: You can't get the old 'baked enamel' paints anymore. They don't make them. The paints they used on our cars were acrylic enamels I believe, but a different formula from what's available now. Nowadays, most of what you can get is a urethane enamel, and it's really not quite the same. I have heard people say they're good, and people say they're bad. I am not a pro painter, nor have I had enough paint jobs done to know the truth of the matter.

Most of the painters I talk to just want to shoot base/clear, and tell me that's the best. Sure, it's the best today. But in 20 years? And I intend to drive this old girl. I don't want her to have the "mange".

Hope someone with some good in-depth knowledge chimes in here!
 

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7T03T121875 - 10/5/66 build
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Really depends on what you want out of the car, and how much $$$$ you're willing to spend. If you want period correct and about as simple as it gets to spray, go single stage. If you want it to really pop, base/clear is the way to go.

Whatever you decide to do, don't buy paint based on price. You get what you pay for. I used Axalta's Chroma system urethane base/clear on mine and it put a big dent in my wallet. Finished product was worth it to me though. It looks like it's about a foot deep if you catch it in the right light.
 

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For a hobbyist painting a car at home, I would recommend base coat/clear coat. It's inevitable that you're going to get dust nibs and runs in that paint job. With a good clear coat, cutting and buffing will remove all those imperfections and look great.

As mentioned above, the single stage paints you can get here in the 21st century aren't the same as the 1960s single stage paints. Sprayed on by a pro in a pro paint booth, they look great. I've heard various opinions about how well those cut and buff. I had much more confidence in the SPI Universal Clear and it turned out great.

Maybe your brother has the chops and maybe your building can filter out all the dust. I wouldn't know.

That's my take anyway.
 

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Hy-Lux makes an industrial enamel designed for tractors. Two part with a catalyst, reduces with acetone, (needs about 30% reduction to spray). Don't tell anyone, you are not supposed to do that on account of EPA regs. Comes in basic colors like red, white, blue etc. Their white is an off white, but not as off as Wimbleton white. You want a single stage enamel, this is it. Just limited in colors. I have used probably 3 gallons of it over the years. Pretty nice stuff. Durable, lays down real nice and very sticky.
 

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I’ve painted a number of vehicles over the years. BC/CC is head and shoulders better IMO. I painted my 66 in 2002. After 20 years of mostly track abuse, it still looks great (except for the beat down the front apron gets)!

Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire

Window Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive tire
 

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PPG Concept single stage here, I like it for non metallic colors as the intensity is a little better with no clear coat acting as a "lens" to look through. Easy to repair, buff or whatever you feel like. I usually will add about 30% clear in the final coat for a little more depth. None of these were show quality finished, just sprayed and the worse imperfections buffed out and all are basic daily drivers.
Base/clear is preferred for metallic though, hands down.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Land vehicle



Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Car Hood Automotive lighting

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Land vehicle
Tire Automotive parking light Automotive side marker light Wheel Land vehicle
Automotive parking light Car Wheel Tire Automotive side marker light
 

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It is not my intent to discourage you from painting it your self. You absolutely can do this. But, you need to appreciate the fact that larger panels represent larger problems in terms of the gun work.

I have just about given up on using BC/CC or two stage paint because of the difficulties with the clear. Applying it to large panels is just beyond my abilities. I have had no trouble with using two stage on motorcycle panels as they are small, but a hood, a quarter panel/roof body shell is a whole different thing.

I know that every pro painter in the country uses two stage successfully and most probably prefer it. But, for an amateur like myself there are just too many problems, so single stage is my choice.

The colors that you mentioned, Grabber Blue and Wimbelton White are good choices. They are solid colors. Metallics are more difficult, again, worse yet for larger panels.

You mentioned that you are planning on trying to shoot color in the fall. This is also great. I can only shoot color in the fall and spring. Winter is too cold and summer is too hot. Again, pros paint year round but I can’t emphasize it enough, avoid shooting color in high ambient temps.

I’m sure that you are aware that the reducer comes in different drying speeds. I always use a slower reducer than might be indicated. In other words if I am painting in mid to upper 70s I will chose a reducer for the 80s. If I am shooting in the upper 80s I will use a reducer for the 90s. This will mean that I will have to allow longer flash times than the tec sheets might suggest. More time gives that coat time to perc off the solvent and avoid solvent pop. It also reduces the risk of a run in the next coat.

Also, be aware that the catalyst or activator also has different speeds. Use slower activator rather than fast for the same reasons that you use slower reducer.

My paint booth (home made) is a down draft design. What I mean by that is that the fresh air is coming in from the top. The booth is located in a metal building. What that means is that the air on top of the booth is hotter that the air at the floor, especially if it is sunny outside. You need two thermometers. One in the booth and one near your air intake. Monitor those so that you can keep up with the changes. For example, if you are going to paint 4 coats, keep in mind that as the day warms up your mixtures will change over the course of the job. If you calculate that all the coats will take 3 hours to complete and the temps will rise to mid to upper 90s for that day, you might want to start earlier or wait for more cloud cover (cooler day).

I remember a scene in one of those custom car shows (located in Texas I think) where the owner wanted the car painted that day but the painter told him that if he painted it today they would just have to do it again. So the painter came in at 4:00 or 5:00 the next morning and got it done.

Good luck, Art.
 

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'65 convertible, A code 289, CR 4 spd, factory front discs.
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Depends on what you want. I prefer single stage buffed and polished for an OEM factory paint job look.
Painted the upper panel of this door, wet sanded, buffed and polished, matches the surrounding original paint very well.
Car Vehicle Land vehicle Automotive lighting Hood
 

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It is not my intent to discourage you from painting it your self. You absolutely can do this. But, you need to appreciate the fact that larger panels represent larger problems in terms of the gun work.

I have just about given up on using BC/CC or two stage paint because of the difficulties with the clear. Applying it to large panels is just beyond my abilities. I have had no trouble with using two stage on motorcycle panels as they are small, but a hood, a quarter panel/roof body shell is a whole different thing.

I know that every pro painter in the country uses two stage successfully and most probably prefer it. But, for an amateur like myself there are just too many problems, so single stage is my choice.

The colors that you mentioned, Grabber Blue and Wimbelton White are good choices. They are solid colors. Metallics are more difficult, again, worse yet for larger panels.

You mentioned that you are planning on trying to shoot color in the fall. This is also great. I can only shoot color in the fall and spring. Winter is too cold and summer is too hot. Again, pros paint year round but I can’t emphasize it enough, avoid shooting color in high ambient temps.

I’m sure that you are aware that the reducer comes in different drying speeds. I always use a slower reducer than might be indicated. In other words if I am painting in mid to upper 70s I will chose a reducer for the 80s. If I am shooting in the upper 80s I will use a reducer for the 90s. This will mean that I will have to allow longer flash times than the tec sheets might suggest. More time gives that coat time to perc off the solvent and avoid solvent pop. It also reduces the risk of a run in the next coat.

Also, be aware that the catalyst or activator also has different speeds. Use slower activator rather than fast for the same reasons that you use slower reducer.

My paint booth (home made) is a down draft design. What I mean by that is that the fresh air is coming in from the top. The booth is located in a metal building. What that means is that the air on top of the booth is hotter that the air at the floor, especially if it is sunny outside. You need two thermometers. One in the booth and one near your air intake. Monitor those so that you can keep up with the changes. For example, if you are going to paint 4 coats, keep in mind that as the day warms up your mixtures will change over the course of the job. If you calculate that all the coats will take 3 hours to complete and the temps will rise to mid to upper 90s for that day, you might want to start earlier or wait for more cloud cover (cooler day).

I remember a scene in one of those custom car shows (located in Texas I think) where the owner wanted the car painted that day but the painter told him that if he painted it today they would just have to do it again. So the painter came in at 4:00 or 5:00 the next morning and got it done.

Good luck, Art.
I'm surprised you had so much trouble shooting the clear. My Mach 1 was the first car I ever painted. Large panels were no trouble at all. I had a few runs, but that was in smaller, tight areas. FWIW, I used SPI Universal Clear shot through a Tekna Prolite gun.
 

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I have painted lacquer, enamel and base clear and base clear with a mid coat (pearl).
I don't paint often but it's the highlight of a project.
The base clear (BC) is a great process for us do it yourselfers. I can still get solvent based paint so all good. Allows you to scuff out bugs and dirt from the base, apply the clear and scuff out bugs and dirt from each successive coat till you get the thickness you want to cut and polish.
But,,,, if you don't want a really shiny paint that is not the process yiu want.
That is where the single stage has the advantage. It's a different look, which some people prefer on an older car, but harder to deal with scratches and has no UV protection.
Tractor paint is attractive but will dull out after a while. Definitely get a patina look which is not bad.
Some people may have different experiences with tractor paint, but that has been my observation. Attached is a recent pic of a chev van. Paint is about 3 or 4 years old. Doesn't have much of a luster any more , but still looks really good
 

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The car before the Mustang was shot using PPG top quality clear as recommended by the dealer. There was no mention of different temp catalyst. I ended up dumping the remainder of the 2 gal. of that clear because I just could not get it to flow. On the second try they gave me a different clear(of course I had to pay for that) which was supposed to be more user friendly. Still no mention of different temp catalyst. Still a nightmare. Went on dry, would not flow so I kept trying to get it to flow and lay down but it wouldn’t. What it would do was run and pop. The following coat would wet the previous coat and produce huge runs or fields of solvent pop.

I went on forums, not here but painting forums. All I got was beat over the head with “FOLLOW THE TECH SHEET EXACTLY!!!!! EXACTLY!!!”. This after my initial description of my problem were I stated I had followed the tech sheets.

It wasn’t until I had an old time painter mention the different temps of catalyst that I understood the problem with higher ambient temps on clear coats. I later would find that the new supplier (not PPG) told me that he had been talking with his manufacture about the problems all of his customers were having with the heat that year.

As I stated in my previous post, professional painters paint all year round. But, I won’t use it again. Except, that is, to continue trying to fix the previous car that I painted with BC/CC.

I finished that car back in 2016. I finally got it to look pretty good initially but months or even years later I still have problems that pop up with it. This new problem is with it cracking. It showed up this spring and I think it is just from having too much paint on it. It’s a trailer queen, full concourse show car (not a Mustang) so no mileage to speak of. I think it just got too cold over the winter and then warmed up too quickly. I am going to have to take it back down and start over. This will be probably the forth time I have painted the body shell on this car.

I’m glad you had luck with yours.

Art.
 

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We've all had bad luck. Sometimes through no fault of our own, but other times,,,
I did a colour change on a project. Car was blown apart.
Base, mid coat then clear coat. Pretty involved project not including all the body work (replacement panels, some accident damage but no rust).
Was humming along really well. Base down. Flash off, slight scuff with white scotch Brite pad.
Mid coat down. Wow - wooks awesome.
Clear coat on shell, quarters and jams. Wow, this is going great. Go to mix second batch of clear for doors, fenders and hood & trunk hanging off walls - and it hit him like a ton of bricks.
Wtf...
I accidently mixed first batch of clear with reducer meant for the base. NOOOO....
At this point there was no turning back. I cleared the rest of the panels with new clear (and put some on the shell) and let it set for a couple of days.
So I'm starting to cut and polish. Paint is looking really good, but...
The spray bottle of water is sitting on the roof. I grab the bottle to work a new area and I see a ring on the paint from the bottle. Its not a stain but an actual depression. I start freaking out but then notice the mark is slowly dissipating. Wtf ?
So I figure I've accidently created a paint that fixes itself. Scratches be a thing of the past lol.
In reality the paint was still curing and shrinking as it did so.
It's been about 10 years now. The clear has split in some areas where it couldn't stretch anymore and is cracked in other areas. But only the shell.
At the time I was painting I was nursing a Sleeman's Honey Brown (great beer if you've never had). So I blame my inattentiveness on the beer, but in reality a rookie mistake i should not have made.
Car still looks good from a distance lol,,
So good luck, prepare well with whatever you decide, buy your materials from someone who knows **** from shineloa, take your time and have fun.
And always work sober ;)
 

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1971 302 C4 auto convertible, Grabber Blue/white/white
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for replies, what tips do you have on order of adjustment, fitting doors and fenders, etc…
and for 2 tone, mask and spray lower blue first, or Wimbledon White followed by mask and spray blue, etc…what about spraying jams and underside of doors weeks or months before the rest of the car?
 

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Fit the doors to the quarter panels and rockers, then the fenders to the doors and hood. I usually choose to spray the color that is easier to mask over first.
 
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