Paint and Body 1962 Impala - Bodywork

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by Davedacarpainter, May 20, 2017.

  1. Ok, here we go. I've been working on the car for a couple days and have some pictures.

    I'm trying to decide exactly how to do this. It'll be part showing you progress and part tutorial for y'all.

    I'll just get started, how about that?

    Here's the car. This is what I saw when the guy started asking for my help. It's a '62 Impala SS convertible with a 409. It's totally factory optioned out. It will have a value of roughly $125k when I'm finished. Before the guy working on it realized what a massive job he had undertaken, he had stripped the doors, fenders and hood and sprayed a couple coats of epoxy primer on the bare metal. This may be a problem later. I'll explain later.

    The intent is to make this an absolute stunner of a car. I won't be doing the bodywork, of which I'm both thankful and worried at the same time. Once I have the panels stripped and epoxy primered, I wait on the bodyman to do his work. I have given him stern warnings of what I expect. I will block this vehicle completely at least five times with varying grits of sandpaper.
    IMG_0655.JPG IMG_3088.JPG IMG_3089.JPG

    This car was restored somewhere in it's past. A complete strip and refinish.

    So it was restored, what's the problem?

    The entire vehicle developed bubbles in the paint job. Bubbles are bad. Here's a couple pictures as i went through the layers stripping it to show you exactly where the trouble came from. As you can see, the various layers have a stain in them. The rocker panels were so bad that I mistakingly thought the previous refinisher had sprayed a rocker chip guard! IMG_3119.JPG
    Getting close to the metal you can see the little surface rust spots that where everywhere on this vehicle. IMG_3096.JPG
    So, if you see bubbles in your paint job, just start shaking your head:nonono: and say to yourself quietly, "Sht, Sht, SHT!".

    In this car's case, the fault lays solely on the previous restorer. In order to have this level of problem with bubbling paint, they had to wait WAY too long to seal it up with a paint. From the amount of bondo that I had to remove, I would say they might have had this car in bare metal for a month or more.

    Soooo, our first lesson! When stripping a panel to metal, do not let it set for any period of time without some sort of coating. ANY PERIOD OF TIME. Zero!

    The stripping phase of refinishing is a time to be ultra careful. Bare metal will begin to rust to some degree almost instantaneously once exposed to the environment. Look at the pictures above again. This WILL happen to you.

    When I've stripped the panels on my blue car, if they sat for anytime before I begin the straightening stage, I will sand them again with 180 grit to remove the flash rust and wax and grease remove them before I spread any mud.

    Another key point! Wear gloves when you're finishing the stripping stage and are preparing to coat the bare metal. Your funky skin will leave oils on the panel that will bubble up the paint just like rust. The way you'll know is that you'll have a hand shaped bubble print in your paint job. Seriously.

    I have stripped the rear end almost complete this week. IMG_3097.JPG For some reason I didn't take a picture with the right quarter stripped too. Normally as I strip a panel I will stop and epoxy primer it to prevent contamination. What's different about this job is that Sikkens has a wipe that coats the metal with a metal prep ( a type of acid etch). I'm trying these out with the theory that they will provide a minimal protection for the metal.

    Understand, you don't want to have an etch on the bare metal and use an epoxy on top of it. The acid will break down the epoxy. They do not mix.

    What I will do is remove the etch prior to primering with the epoxy. I'll do this through sanding and sandblasting. With this vehicle, stripping it is so time consuming I decided that the time involved with reprepping the panel is worth the small effort it will take.

    The previous restorers (PR), in my opinion, didn't restore a '62 Impala SS. They took an Impala SS and covered the entire body with layer after layer of mud and carved out something that looked like an Impala SS.
    Some parts of the body had over 1/2" of mud. Absolutely crazy. Anyplace you see bare metal on it now had a layer of bondo on it that I stripped.

    My next step tomorrow will be to finish up the details of stripping the quarters and decklid and get them in primer. I will be removing the decklid (trunk) and strip the jambs as well.

    The PR coated this poor car in two separate coats of polyester primer, a high build urethane primer, and ALL of that mud. The jambs won't be easy.

    BTW, I'm using my 8" hog to do the main stripping of the car with 80 grit sandpaper. IMG_3114.JPG

    That's it for today, or yesterday I guess now. I have been leaving work at five and going to work on this vehicle afterwards.

    Tomorrow is Saturday, I'll spend the whole day with the car. I'll finish stripping the back end and get it in primer. I'll post tomorrow night.

    Attached Files:

    #1 Davedacarpainter, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  2. I will cover why and how I'm using an epoxy primer on this job as opposed to what I'm doing with my cars tomorrow.

    And BTW, if you have any questions to why I'm doing what I'm doing during the process, just ask.
    Nutty 5.o, FoxMustangLvr and TOOLOW91 like this.
  3. Ohh Ohh,...I have a question,.....maybe it's been asked already..

    Why aren't you charging the guy more?
    I have been in more than one situation where I went to a shop that does your kind of high quality, and asked how much a paint job would cost me if i brought them a prepped, ready to mask and shoot car.
    More times than not, that price was always way more than 4k.

    And they weren't stripping the car. I'd have to do that.

    You're selling yourself short Dave,..That impala job is worth way more than that and he'd still be getting a deal when the end result is in front of him..
    Whatya wanna bet that you end up messing w/ the finished body work anyway?

    And....for a minute before I added it up,....I was thinkin that you were saying that a Puerto Rican did the original paint job....But then I figured it out.
    #3 CarMichael Angelo, May 20, 2017
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  4. I will charge more for future jobs.

    I agree, I undersold myself by a margin. Like I mentioned in other places though. It's kind of a calling card.

    Also, I don't know if I've mentioned it before, I'm not paying for any materials. That will be a couple grand + in itself.

    I've already thought about the bodywork thing a bit, and I agree, I will probably end up doing some bodywork. At a price though. The agreement was that he would do the bodywork. He has already mentioned he's having a hard time getting his bodymen friends to help out. Yet he hasn't directly asked me to help out. He may not understand that I can do bodywork yet.

    I'll subtly drop that I have some experience while showing no desire to do so with this car. I might be able to bargain for enough to buy most of the new parts I need for my blue car.

    I have mentioned that I dropped out of the bodyshop community during the fifteen years I was at my last job. I was working so many hours there that people kind of forgot about me.

    This Impala will be my "I can still paint" card. Next job of similar demands will be $5.5k. Then after that second one, I should be able to demand what I want in the future as long as I do my part to make these first two really impressive.
  5. as always, amazing work you do Dave. That job should be double the price,
    Davedacarpainter likes this.
  6. Calling cards,
    There is a guy local here that has a list of cars that he has painted over the years, one that he painted over 10 years ago that still looks perfect, he gets top dollar, is very picky about body work that he paints over, you will not have a problem getting stupid money for your work.
    Bossed and Davedacarpainter like this.
  7. My buddy who painted my coupe is the same way . He has cars he painted years and years ago that still look just as good as the day he did it . He just did a 79 Malibu for a friend at work . Had to patch the drivers quarter , hang a new door , new steel cowl etc. that was right around 10k when he was done . But that included materials . Don't sell yourself short Dave . You have hands of gold bud
    Davedacarpainter likes this.
  8. Thanks guys, I'm getting my shoes on and getting ready to head across town to get back after it.

    It will be late before I post again. I'll be there most of the day.
    Revogen and RaggedGT like this.
  9. Sooo....this guy bought you more than just a plane ticket? It's cool to see what you are really capable of. This will be fun.

    Davedacarpainter likes this.
  10. Lol. I wish I would have had a week or two to spend at Mike's. Beyond the booze of course:p.

    I would have loved to do the stuff I'm doing to this car to his.

    It really takes time to do these things.

    There's a guy on FEP right now that was btchin' that a shop would take five weeks to paint his car:nonono:.

    It's also physically demanding. I'm freaking beat right now. To strip three panels and coat them in epoxy primer took me 17 real time hours. No Bondo, no fitting of the panels, nothing else. The quarters and deck lid are now ready to be straightened. That's it. Mind you, those quarters are really big and that trunk is a good five body size.
    RangerJoe and RaggedGT like this.
  11. So I'm done for today. Holy crap I'm tired. I'm not in my thirties anymore, lol.

    I got the rest of the quarters stripped including the jambs and rocker panels. But, first, isn't this the coolest little tach? IMG_3120.JPG

    The panel between the decklid and the convertible top has some pretty heavy pitting that my little blaster just won't clean out. So when you see the pictures later, you'll notice I didn't put primer on it. I have a really good metal treatment/rust converter that will fix this, but I left it at work. So monday night for that panel. IMG_3126.JPG

    A brief talk about epoxy primer and why I'm using it here. Epoxy primer adheres to bare metal without acids. Fact is using an acid etch of any sort will ruin your epoxy. So it's a simple one step process to cover the bare metal. Bondo will also adhere to most epoxies even without sanding the primer for a period of time (2-7 days after application depending on the product). This really does work, btw. Bondo will really adhere to it.

    But you will run into the same problem as usual with putting mud over a substrate that is relatively soft compared to the metal surface. Mud will harden to a much stronger product than epoxy will any day of the week. The epoxy may stay attached to the metal and the bondo, but since it's strength is less than the metal or bondo, it can "tear in two". Your mud will get knocked off with the epoxy still attached to it in an accident.

    So, my recommendation for this size job is to use epoxy to protect the metal (THE all important issue), then grind to metal just prior to applying your mud.

    Anywho, back to the subject car. Like I said, I finished stripping it. Stripping the jambs is so much easier with a fiber wheel and a die grinder. I used the fiber wheel on the bottom of the rocker panel as well. IMG_3124.JPG

    I found pitting rust in a few places (no rot though!). I used my hand held mini sand blaster to clean most of it up.

    Once all the old paint was off, I needed to go back and resand the areas that I had wiped with that metal prep wipe. The acids needed to be removed before i sprayed the epoxy.

    I wore a pair of rubber gloves during this prepping to avoid contamination from my hands. I masked it up and wax and greased removed it. IMG_3132.JPG IMG_3133.JPG IMG_3134.JPG Contamination of the metal surface prior to bondo caused the bubbles in the previous paint job, you'll want to do what you can to keep it clean. Kind of like welding, clean, clean, clean metal is the best.

    Now that it's coated we don't have to worry about rust. Sure, there's a possibility of contamination from our hands while working on the surface, but the oils will remain on the surface and can easily be wiped away with the proper wax and grease remover. IMG_3136.JPG IMG_3137.JPG
    Monday I will begin blocking the hood, because the bodyman working on it said it was ready............ok. Mayhaps it will be. I might be talked into doing bodywork at this stage. I have a little blue reason wanting floor boards and Kenny Brown SFC's that would like for me to do this.
    stangboy, Bossed, Nutty 5.o and 6 others like this.
  12. Hmmm my car has been in metal for a few weeks...

    I still have to hit it with 180 anyways so I don't get dieback from the rougher grit used to strip it.
  13. What grit did you use Jon?
  14. 60 or 80 I think.
  15. So, Monday. What will be happening then.

    I mentioned I can start the initial blocking of the hood. The main thing I think we'll do is to put all of the panels back on the car for the initial fitting.

    This should be interesting with all of the bondo i ground off of those quarters.

    I'm not sure how difficult this stage will be. I've mentioned that it seems the PR had basically carved an Impala SS on top of a real Impala SS. Can the gaps be adjusted enough to compensate the loss of mud? How bad of a job was done with the patch panels on top of the quarters? How much did the mud around the decklid jambs fill in gaps?

    The next stage of fitting is the reality check. Hopefully we'll end up with some gaps/bodylines that match up easy enough. Like fender to door. I bet the doors will need to stay on while the bodywork is done to the quarters though.

    I'll help him to mount the doors and decklid, then I'll start to block the hood.
    #15 Davedacarpainter, May 21, 2017
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  16. You should be good for primer if that's just bare metal. Mud will need to be finised in 150-180. Metal won't allow a full depth score from your sandpaper. Bondo will.
  17. Hmmm it's been sitting in its current state for about two weeks. Other projects have come up (honey dos)and I was fully intent on going over it with 180 plus we don't have a ton of humidity in Az and I think we'll be triple digits this weekend. Should I plan on just hitting it with 180 anyways to make sure there was no flash of rust to be had ?
    #17 old_blue, May 21, 2017
    Last edited: May 21, 2017
  18. Absolutely. Being in Az is a benefit. But the sandpaper will help remove another contaminates that may have attached to your panels. Wax and grease remove as well.
  19. Sub'ing.

    Don't know what products you're using, but the manufacturer of the epoxy I'm using (spi) wants 80 grit da scratches on bare metal for adhesion strength (mechanical bond).
  20. That's about right.

    It The epoxy I'm using is a Sikkens product. The rest of the car will be shot with Sherwin Williams.