It has been a while coming, but I finally got the squarebody painted last night (technically early this morning when we ended). And my “I”, I mean my brother in law did the painting. I was the shop assistant: mixing paint, managing air hoses, moving the stool around for rood coverage, and cleaning.
The relatively short version – I bought the squaebody back in March last year. If it wasn’t for the driver’s front fender, I would have left the patina, fixed rust, and cleared over what was there. But it was crunched so bad that when I replaced it I knew it would need to be painted.
After doing some small work (and LOTS of brake work) on it through the summer and early fall, I decided that it was time to tackle the paint. My brother in law has painted 3-4 cars, so I decided we would do it instead of sending it to a shop. Initially I was hoping we would get it done over the holidays, but COVID took that opportunity away.
As you can imagine, sanding took a LONG time. It didn’t help that the roof had clearly been painted at least three times; getting through that was tough. We definitely didn’t get it perfect, there places where we got to bare metal, and places where we only got through two coats….but thankfully it is up high an almost no one will see it.
In addition, there were 3 rust spots that needed metal work (again, my BIL) along with the body work to fix the doors on the driver's side. Two rust spots were on the drip rails, and one on the rear quarter. When he got those fixed and body work done earlier this week, the race was on to get it painted before a cold front blew in either late Friday or early Saturday.
Friday afternoon I was able to get work done early so we could get to the paint store and get painting about 4. We wrapped up clear around 1am, and while it was starting to cool off we beat the front, and the humidity it was pushing in as well.
The one surprise was the gray – it went on with a heavy copper tone that I wasn’t expecting. In the natural light today it looks more like I expected, closer to a gunmetal.
Other than a number of runs in the clear it looks really great. Definitely better than I would have expected from a base Maaco job, but not perfect. What I like about it is that for any imperfection I see I have one person to hold accountable – me.
After sleeping in until 10, I was back over today and we started to put the squarebody back together. Door handles, mirrors, grill, and all the other parts that we took off now have to go back on. In addition I have a bunch of new stuff – paint stripes, lower belt trim, taillight lenses, barn door weatherstripping, felt around all the windows, door handle gaskets, rear quarter windows, and the list goes on.
I’m hoping to get it buttoned up enough tomorrow that I can get it back home, since it has been taking up space in my BIL’s garage since early December.
Once I get the exterior done, then I can start in on the interior. The good news on that front is I can do it in pieces and drive it in between.