Monday, May 03, 2010

Paint stripping

I visited to a couple of car painters in Mackay last week, mainly to see what sort of work they do. The first workshop was in a large shed beside the owner's house on the edge of town, the second in a large commercial unit in the industrial district. Of the two, the one on the outskirts impressed me much more, mainly because the owner took the time to show me the spray booth, some of their current restoration work and discussed what I'm working on. I never got past the reception desk in the second place! Both exclusively use two-pack paints.

One thing I wanted to ask about was soda blasting. A Mackay company offers this, but I've read a lot of scare stories of how paint doesn't adhere (key) well to the metal afterwards because of soda residue. Some people recommend cleaning the panels with vinegar afterwards to neutralise the soda! Another problem mentioned is that soda caught in creases and panel joins can damage new paint down the track. Anyway, both painters told me they use it, but preparation is the key.

Maybe I'm just cynical, but I decided that just because neither painter has had problems, there are enough scare stories circulating to make me worried. The safest method of paint removal still seems to be the oldest - paint stripper, elbow grease and a wire brush.

So, this weekend I stripped the right hand door, and will drop it at the painters to get primed. It held a few surprises - despite nice door shuts, the car must have had a big bang on the right side, judging by the amount of filler and six holes from a dent puller. They're not really bullet holes!