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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally repaired all the mechanical/functional issues of my car after that shitty accident last August. However, the paint is in a big mess. I got two fenders, gold and brown, on my black car. The rear bumper was scratched by insurance company when it was towed for their inspection. The hood, roof and trunk lid got extensive sun burns. So I finally went to Fremont Maaco to get an estimate.

Well, I walked out of the door dumbfounded. You can check out the details in the attached picture. I am still kinda willing to go for it. But wife shut me down pretty sternly. So the only way left is to do this myself. So I need some good advice on tools. Since I can use these tools in the future, I don't mind to spend a bit more to get some quality tools. (It also helps that wife does not watch over my tool budget.)

Now I have a 6 gallon compressor, hoses and connections etc. Not sure whether they will be helpful. But the new addition would be

1. A good quality sander and some good sand paper. Which features should I look at and which brand/model is highly recommended?
2. A good buffer that can buff paint smooth.
3. Do I need a paint guy to apply the paint and clear, or I should just use rattle cans. My car is black. I used some Rustoleum rattle cans before and the color look okay. So I do not have to go for special mixed paint. Which brand of rattle can primer, paint and clear are good?

It would also help a lot if someone can point me to a good YouTube video on this. My current plan is to do the whole car in sections. So I won't be totally overwhelmed. I will

1. Sand the panels smooth till all foreign color and sun burns are gone.
2. Clean really well.
3. Apply primer (do I need to buff primer?)
4. Clean, then apply paint once and buff after dry
5. Clean, then apply paint once and buff after dry
6. Clean, then apply clear once and buff after dry
7. Apply wax or sealer

Does it sound proper? My Camry with three mis-matched color will thank you for any suggestions!
 

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2015 4 Runner SR5
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Hey qq -


I would go PlastiDip. You can fill any deep scratches yourself to get a more or less even surface, then Dip it. I am probably going to do the same with my Camry and my son's Explorer. You can get the entire kit - paint, top coat, spray gun system - for under $500 to just over $500. And when/if you don't like the color anymore you just peel it off and put new on. The thing keeping me from jumping in right now is a space to do the painting. No car port yet.





I am seriously leaning towards this kit for my Camry - what he calls Motor Oil. Look up that YouTube video - the color looks nice: https://www.dipyourcar.com/products/motor-oil-car-kit?variant=12099973742660


The 6 gal compressor you have will give you limited tooling capability. Much better than nothing but you won't get much run time out of it for things like grinders or such. You need a CFM of at least 13 or so to really get into tooling and painting with a compressor. You are better off sanding by hand anyway, to me at least. And you can get a cheap polisher from Harbor Freight that is not air based.



For sanding you want to go wet, and get grits ranging from 800 - 3,000. You can buy kits on Amazon cheap. You can take down a bad clear coat with 2,000 or so grit (wet sanding). Rough rust spots you can go 800 and move up to blend. Lots of good paint videos on YouTube.


Your only good option is rattle can or the Dip system that sells you the gun and compressor. The latter will be more consistent, but if you go for a matte color rattle cans should work just fine. PlastiDip is a bit more forgiving on the surface, unlike true auto paint. The Dip will fill in some low spots (like small scratches) whereas paint you would need to get smooth to not have bad effects. Meaning you could hit deeper scratches with a paint touch up pen, smooth it out with wet sanding, then Dip over it all for a uniform nice look.
 

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Hey qq -


I would go PlastiDip. You can fill any deep scratches yourself to get a more or less even surface, then Dip it. I am probably going to do the same with my Camry and my son's Explorer. You can get the entire kit - paint, top coat, spray gun system - for under $500 to just over $500. And when/if you don't like the color anymore you just peel it off and put new on. The thing keeping me from jumping in right now is a space to do the painting. No car port yet.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQHOMHr1TcU


I am seriously leaning towards this kit for my Camry - what he calls Motor Oil. Look up that YouTube video - the color looks nice: https://www.dipyourcar.com/products/motor-oil-car-kit?variant=12099973742660


The 6 gal compressor you have will give you limited tooling capability. Much better than nothing but you won't get much run time out of it for things like grinders or such. You need a CFM of at least 13 or so to really get into tooling and painting with a compressor. You are better off sanding by hand anyway, to me at least. And you can get a cheap polisher from Harbor Freight that is not air based.



For sanding you want to go wet, and get grits ranging from 800 - 3,000. You can buy kits on Amazon cheap. You can take down a bad clear coat with 2,000 or so grit (wet sanding). Rough rust spots you can go 800 and move up to blend. Lots of good paint videos on YouTube.


Your only good option is rattle can or the Dip system that sells you the gun and compressor. The latter will be more consistent, but if you go for a matte color rattle cans should work just fine. PlastiDip is a bit more forgiving on the surface, unlike true auto paint. The Dip will fill in some low spots (like small scratches) whereas paint you would need to get smooth to not have bad effects. Meaning you could hit deeper scratches with a paint touch up pen, smooth it out with wet sanding, then Dip over it all for a uniform nice look.
I would recommend vinyl wrapping instead of platidipping but it mostly depends on your application. Plastidip is "easy" to remove but it really isn't. Plastidipping can peel too if it is hit by debris. You could blame me being impatient and improper procedure but what little plastidip I did use it was on my steelies and the window trim chrome. My plastidip was never "uniform".

The plastidip still sorta holds on my wheels but is peeling and I eventually took off the plastidip of my trim because one small section ended up torn. When removing it, I attempted to do a "peel-off" but in reality it was more like a "goo-off" with WD-40 because it would not peel-off.

I ended up buying four new window trim's and I ended up vinyl wrapping the entire trim and for the top trim I was able to tuck it under the weather stripping.

Here is a video that sorta explains what I mean about plastidip.
 

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From what I have seen, prep and application are the main reasons Dip has trouble peeling off nicely. If the can/sprayer is too far away from the surface then it goes on in a powdery dry kind of mist which makes it tough to peel off. It's a bit different than spraying with paint as you need to be closer. I have not tried this, but from what I have seen you can fix tears by rubbing the edges with a solvent to make it gooey again, then blending in new spray.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the suggestions. I still prefer to have real paint here. I am going to do some research and take some notes here. If anyone notices anything wrong or have some good ideas to suggest, please do chime in.

This is a good video to follow



The tool I need is a DA (dual action) or palm sander. Use an interface pad. Use 320-360 sand paper to remove old paint till primer. Then use 400-600 sand paper to smooth the primer before paint. Clean with wax and grease remover. (Here you don't want to use a higher grit sand paper because the paint needs small scratches to stick.)
 

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Good luck with all that. A 6 gallon compressor does not have volume to run any sanders long enough to do the job. You need about 10x that much. You need some sort of air drying system or, you paint will end up contaminated with water.
Body and paint is a pain and takes a while to learn.
You could spend way more that the $1500 you were quoted for the paint job, and end up with bad results.
$1500 is not much for a paint job.
The body and paint work on a classic car restoration is easily 10 times that!
 

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If the idea is to body work including paint, then you are looking at needing:


Compressor with at least 15 cfm to avoid having issues with the spray and clear coat. Many of those are 240V so you need 240V in your space.

HVLP setup for the paint gun

Large enough space that you mask off from the outside (but still have some filtered air flow) to do the paint job. Otherwise the paint will get fouled by stray winds, bugs, dirt, grass, etc.


Bunny suit (not required but overspray mist will probably get on you)

Respirator




The big thing keeping me from going all out on the paint is the space: I don't have it right now. And, I have had dirt fly up and get between my 2,000 grit sand paper and the paint, making a nice gouge in the blending I was trying to do. Sanding outside in the wind with the elements around you sucks. If you are going down to base metal no big deal, but when trying to do the blends and touch ups, again having an enclosed space is really, really helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks a lot for your comments. I did some research and indeed the painting stuff are not cheap. I probably need to spend 400 or 500 hundred bucks and end up with shitty results. Also a lot of those things are toxic or down-right poisonous (2k primer or clear). Might not worth it to do it myself.

I priced all the stuff on Amazon, after tax.

An okay random orbit sander is $40
An medium level respirator is $45
Some sanding blocks $10
320/400/1500 grit sand papers. $30
Tack cloth $20
A buffer is more expensive


Don't know how much I need for the following items

A small bottle of Toyota black paint in rattle can is $40
A bottle of 2k clear is $25
A bottle of 2k primer $30
Wax and grease remover $20/can
Masking tapes $??

These things add up pretty quickly. I am not looking forward to a perfect paint. I just need an okay paint so that nobody will be embarrassed driving my Camry. Anyone knows a good place in Bay Area? I initially thought Maaco would only cost about $900 tops.
 

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About a year ago I stripped the front of my pickup truck hood (original paint). It was peeling clear coat, with rock chips going back 22 years and some rust spots. Hit it with my drill and scotch brite, then sprayed the Rustoleum paint and primer combined. The last Echo I bought I used the same method and painted the hood, trunk lid and top of the fenders and quarter panels. Sanding process was different.

$5.95 a can. I got good coverage on the hood and trunk with 2 cans. I couldn't imagine it was not available in black. Since it is paint and primer if you're not happy with it then it is primed anyway. I painted 300 cars all over a long time ago and the materials cost is just insane these days. You can try it and just sand the mistakes away and recoat. After a year it is holding up very well on the truck, with no more than a few wash jobs, sitting outside.

For prep I would wet sand it with 400 grit. Go through the clear and base coat to the primer then stop and you have the original factory primer if it has not been repainted. You can see from the photo I got it pretty smooth for a spray can. The secret is to never pour it on and try to get it slick, instead try a thin coat that starts out slightly dry, with no chance of running, even if it has a dry texture you can just spray the next coat more wet. IF you run it then you have to sand the run out and basically start over. Get it right and it would look decent. Black paint is the cheapest to use and you can just spray it black with no clear and polish it to a mirror shine.

The problem is the clear coat, over time it gets "soft" and looses it's adhesion to the color underneath. Once you get rid of the soft clear the rest is still good, but the factory primer is the most important thing to keep is possible, since it was applied in a very controlled environment.

I knew people who died in a matter of years stupidly spraying straight enamel on cars without protection. Wear a respirator, or better yet a separate air supply, but don't mess around with the catalytic hardening paints they use today. They claim they can actually poison you though the skin and should be treated as highly toxic, with a space suit and dedicated air supply.
 

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That hood is actually one coat of paint, the difference in color from the original is that the factory primer was gray and the thin coat was not enough to get the color darker and it would match better. The guy who bought it got the second can of paint almost full, so two cans applied properly would have covered the hood and trunk lid. Black would do even better, but don't push it and try for to much in the first coat, dry is always better than running down the panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That hood is actually one coat of paint, the difference in color from the original is that the factory primer was gray and the thin coat was not enough to get the color darker and it would match better. The guy who bought it got the second can of paint almost full, so two cans applied properly would have covered the hood and trunk lid. Black would do even better, but don't push it and try for to much in the first coat, dry is always better than running down the panel.

Thanks! Yeah, the most expensive primer and clear are also the most toxic. Kinda scary. Do you have Amazon links for the paint+primer and clear you used? Also when you strip old paint, you wet sanded by hand? If using a sander, is it easy to go though the primer and hit bare metal?
 

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Wet sanding eliminates the need for an expensive compressor, the exposure to toxic dust, allows precision in removal and it's cheap. You can wrap the sandpaper around a paint stirring stick (or a piece of one) and use that as a block sander for even greater precision. Just wash it off (the car) when your finished and no dust comes out of the cracks to contaminate your paint job. Wait for a low wind day when pollen isn't falling on everything and you can do a good job with little expense.

Use the base original black coat as a go no go gauge, when you go through it, STOP. No reason to go further than that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wet sanding eliminates the need for an expensive compressor, the exposure to toxic dust, allows precision in removal and it's cheap. You can wrap the sandpaper around a paint stirring stick (or a piece of one) and use that as a block sander for even greater precision. Just wash it off (the car) when your finished and no dust comes out of the cracks to contaminate your paint job. Wait for a low wind day when pollen isn't falling on everything and you can do a good job with little expense.

Use the base original black coat as a go no go gauge, when you go through it, STOP. No reason to go further than that.

Thanks. The panels I am trying to paint are brown and gold. Not my original black. But I shall try to stop before I hurt primer. Please give me some links when you are free. I searched on Amazon, but I cannot find exactly the product. The only primer and paint I found are Krylon. Not sure how it compares to Rustoleum.
 

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The rustoleum was what I used on my truck, the krylon was what I used on the car, if iz had to choose it would be the truck paint since it has held up well for a year. The car paint is all gone, still have some truck paint left, so that's the best I can tell you now. I think either would be ok, more important to match the paint which when black is the easiest to match.
 

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When I did my first paint job I was a rank amateur --I knew about as little as you do now.


TOTALLY go for it:



It turned out very good, not great (though next time it will) and I learned A TON. I had fun, too:



I will never consider consulting a shop again for a paint job, short of doing a classic restoration, or something crazy, and I don't have nearly the money for something like that.


Take your time reading and watching YouTube vids, these days it's waaaaaaaaaay easier to find the right info.


The only thing I'll say is it's obvious your compressor is waaaaay too small for painting.


Look at the Harbor Freight cheap ones --like 30 cubic feet or more. The ones that do require oil (sooo easy to do, though it does require special oil). Once you buy that sucker, you'll use it for a ton of things (removing tires, timing belt change, etc etc.)



Oh, and for a pretty good job I would consider the Harbor Freight gravity-feed paint guns. I used one that ran me about $12. Everyone had me convinced I'd have to spend $200 "for a REAL gun". But NOPE..! I was so happy with it. It won't last but I did clean it out with thinner promptly and if it never works again I won't care at all.



My paint job looked like utter hell before I started working on it.


I'm sooo happy I was adventurous and did it myself; that's how you're going to feel, too.
 
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