Monday, November 7, 2011

Painting is Always About Experience

Here’s what I learned about painting yesterday -in order of their occurrence:

1. Cheap spray guns need more attention. My $9.99 Harbor Freight gun leaked at the cup-gun fitting until I put Teflon tape on the threads. At that point there were already dripped on the roof.
2. When parts don’t seem to fit right, DON’T use them. The inline air-dryer didn’t want to screw on to the end of the regulator tightly, but I used it anyway. Well, I used it until it popped off and the end of the air hose went all writhing-wild-snake on me. Thank God (and I’ll be using that line again) it didn’t hit the car.
3. There’s going to be one bug that didn’t get the keep-out-of-the-garage memo. After the second coat of color, I discovered a stink bug stuck in the middle of the roof after he’d gone for a nice little 2 foot walk (tiny footprints in the paint). I picked him off and I think the subsequent coats erased any evidence of his existence.
4. Don’t close the trunk lid by slamming it; physics comes into play. The air being forced out will cause a flap of masking paper to flip over and onto the wet paint causing you to scream obscenities as you carefully peel it off. That one hurt.
5. Never, never, never grab the paint gun without first putting the lid on the paint cup. Thank God (told you I’d need that again) I hadn’t put the doors on before painting because the masking paper in the driver’s door opening was splattered. And so was the bottom of the door opening and part of the side of the car behind the opening. I carefully wiped off the excess paint and then wiped the tears from my eyes (not with the same rag fortunately). I was so angry I was nearly crying.
6. You can never have enough lighting. Bad lighting caused me to miss spots on the lower front and rear valances. Fortunately, I caught them in time and was able to fill in. what I didn’t catch was how badly I’d shot the passenger’s door. This didn’t come to light until I was removing the masking. I truly don’t know how this could have been so badly missed. As it is, I need to let it cure fully, sand off the clear, re-shoot primer, sand, and reshoot color and clear. Who knows how well the door will match the rest of the car now. A real pisser, but a door is smaller than a hood.

Backing up a little, Saturday afternoon was spent sanding the primer and that went well. I also prepped the garage before rolling Ringo back into position for the next day’s spraying. That included staging the tool chest and some other larger items by the door. Sunday morning, as soon as I got home from church, I moved all the staged stuff to the driveway, closed the doors, and lit my three kerosene heaters. I knew the ventilating air coming in the from the outside would be about five degrees shy from the 60 degrees I wanted, so the heaters would hopefully heat up the car and walls so radiant heat would make up the difference. By the time I’d changed into my painting togs, wetted the floor, and wiped down the car, it was quite toasty. So, with the fan in place and running, I donned my stylish hood, respirator, and gloves and mixed up the first batch of Black Cherry Pearl.

That’s when the learning experiences began as described above.

I started shooting around 1:30 and finished around 5. Then, after a few hours wait, I pulled off the masking. Having to sand and re-shoot the door will set me back a couple days, but hopefully I can pull it off in a few evenings.

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