Prepping for Paint Job

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I am getting ready to paint my little expedition trailer to match the Cruiser's new color. I got automotive enamel custom loaded into spray cans and the first test was positive, the color not only matches, but the paint lays smoothly and the pattern was even.

The trailer is currently well-painted with automotive enamel and I don't want to take it down to the metal, but rather just scuff/sand it to the point where it will act as a primer and I can just lay the new paint over it.

I'm looking for recommendations on how to do this. I have an orbital sander, a couple of smaller power sanders of the kind used for woodwork, a 4.5" grinder and a couple of drills (no belt sander, no large grinder and no budget for them). I thought I'd buy a couple of cup-shaped wire wheels for the grinder and just take my time, but if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know. All I'm painting on the trailer are the four sides (one's a tailgate), as the inside is lined and the lid will stay white for an FJ40ish look. The frame I'm going to paint by hand with Rustoleum Satin Black, which is what's been on there since I restored it.

If it matters, I'm going to sand the trailer on our driveway, then paint it in a makeshift booth inside the garage.

Thoughts/suggestions?
 

76FJ40

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Go down to your paint supply place and get some red Scotch Brite pads. That's whay we use at work to scuff bumpers and blend panels before painting. They leave sand scratches similar to using 320 grit paper. I think you'll leave swirl marks that will show through the paint if you use a wire wheel. If you do sand it, 320 is as course as I'd recomend if you just plan to spray over it. Anything coarser will need a sealer or primer coat.
 
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Invest in a vocational school autobody text book. Well worth the cost in covering more details than will likely get posted in a forum.

From long term memory the basic steps are:

1) Wash well with soap and water. Rinse very well.
2) Clean with solvent to remove any remaining grease or slicone. (Silicone from auto wax, don't know how likely the trailer was ever waxed).
3) Wet sand with sandpaper (don't remember grit, but 320, as mentioned above, is in the neighbor hood). You would need a pnuematic sander (jitterbug is the old name for the type) to safely wet sand, unless you do it by hand.
4) Rinse well with water after wet sanding.
5) Dry well
6) Clean again with PrepSolv (dupont's prepainting solvent cleaner, other brands have different names)
7) Prime coat
8) Wet sand prime coat
9) Dry well
10) Color coat(s)

The need for primer over good existing color coat depends on the type of existing paint, and the type of new paint being used.

The above steps are just my recollection of the basic work required for a repaint of an automobile. Get a book. Learn how to do it right. And then decide for yourself which steps you will skip based on your personal time, money, effort, interest, etc.

Regarding the makeshift spray booth: Do more research about this. The paint fumes are very hazardess to breath, and quite explosive on top of that.
 

lowenbrau

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Use your palm sander with 180 then 320 then handsand it once with a fine scotchbright. Clean it 5x with any kind of pre paint cleaner/waxremover/degreaser. Paint it outside right at sunrise. I find that home made booths recirculate the dust until it all ends up in the paint. Way better results outside if its really calm.
 
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.. I paint for a company called SKG auto body....

180 will leave scratches.. I dont touch anything to be painter with less then 220 G (rarely.. ) and 98% of the time machine (da) at 320..

But I dont think you need this for this application.. Go to you local jober and ask for Final prep ( or what ever "cleaner" paste they have. ) its kinda like a think grity paste.. Use a GREY Scotch Brite fine cut and go over it untill it is a dull clean as stated above.. then have fun..
 
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Thanks, folks! This GREY Scotch Brite fine cut, where do I find it?

This is a wheeling trailer, so the paint job doesn't have to be fantastic. It doesn't even really need paint, the parking lot re-spray I did five years ago in AZ has held up great, I just want the trailer/truck to match.

Good tip on the multiple passes with solvent cleaner. I've never waxed the trailer, but it's bound to have all kinds of gunk from the road, I haven't washed it in about three years. Also, I'm removing a bunch of stickers from it, so I need to make sure that glue comes off clean.
 
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Other important part about the degreaser/wax remover is to follow rich's steps and use it BEFORE you sand. Otherwise the sanding can drive the silicone etc. deeper into the paint or metal.
 
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Since your not looking to just throw some paint on I would not worry too much about wax & oils contaminating the paint. Wash it with soap & water & then just hit it quickly with some 220 on a palm sander & then clean it with some xylene (main component in most commercial wax & oil removers). Then spray away.

This is ofcoarse assuming there is no oil dripped on the paint.

Spray on a still day on grass & wet the ground before you start & dust should not be a problem.

If you hadn't already bought the paint I would say get a quart of 2 part industrial urethane & spray it with a cheap gun, it would turn out MUCH more durable & go on way faster & easier.

Lavarunner,

Is SKG on the Big Island? I have a bunch of friends in the autobody buisness overthere. They helped me paint my 60 in my garage when I lived in Kona :eek:
 
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bkfj40 said:
Lets see some pictures ;)

sounds like you're finding a little time to get into wheeling again...


bk

Not yet, but at least trying to get the Cruiser/trailer ready for it!

I'll take pictures for sure, I want to document the whole thing.
 

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