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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking of painting my 66 Lemans with single stage urethane. What are ya'lls opinion.
 

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What do you want out of it? I have mine done in it simply because I drive my car everywhere and don't want to worry about all the little stuff that happens. Chipping / scratching urethane : who cares? It can be blended easily, and is more durable than acrylic. Doesn't look as good, though. I view this as a plus, since I am not tempted to spend every weekend messing with the finish.

A good multi-coat acrylic enamel is difficult to apply, so your will need to find a damn competent painter, and expect to pay. A trained chimp could do a good job with urethane. Single stage will half the labor cost.

So again, what are your priorities?
 

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Let me start by saying I did my 1st complete refinish at 14yrs old. Now at 57 I've seen and done a lot, and I'm still at it.

That outta the the way, the most important question I have for you is, what color? Opaque, or solid non-metallic colors, tend to be easier in SS 'thane. There's some concerns you should be aware of. If you plan to surface it to a nice level finish it may cross colors on some variants. Reds are bad for this as are yellows, some tan shades, even some dark blues. If you try to level and polish metallic SS the pattern will be disturbed and appear blotchy. The base color also has a lot to do with the final look. A white ground coat under reds make them more vibrant and chromatic, a dark or black ground coat will mute it to a more OEM shade from older days. Red oxide plays like that too making reds take on a bit of a terra cotta look. Black ground coats make dark blues and greens deeper. The base color is equally important under base/clears. SS 'thanes also suffer an incurable plague. I call it "cellulite", that out of focus reflection that shows from 30+ feet away. It's down below the surface and part of how it cures. It's also in the primer and sealer if they're not surfaced after a full cure. No matter how far you cut to level the finish it's still there. The only way to remove it and get clear reflective values at any distance is to lay down for coverage, cure for 24hrs, level that application down to at least 1000grit, then apply 2-3 easy and smooth coats. Adding 25-50% clear to the final color adds depth as well. Depending upon which product is used repairs can be easy to blend, but again the color choice dictates whether or not you can blend or do "full panel" refinish/repair. Helpful? Need more? Ask...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
SS Urethane

I plan on painting my 66 a non metallic silver. I was thinking of using SS urethane because I am a novice painter. I can spray primers with no problem. With BC/CC if you mess up either part you are screwed. If I screw up the SS I can always do a light sand and re shoot. The car is not going to be a be a show car and will be driven often. I was thinking of using 3M 3 stge buffing system after painting to make it shine. The cost would also be a benefit. Even with me doing all the body work and providing the paint,it would cost around 1500 dollars to get it painted.
 

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Both of my GTO's are painted single stage urethane. The '65 was painted in 1985 and the '67 was painted in 1993. The '65 was used for 10 years as a parked-outside, daily driver after it was painted. It still looks good, and I waxed it yesterday. When I do these cars again 'someday', it will be single stage. It matches the factory gloss these cars had when new, is durable, and won't peel like sunburn, which ALL basecoat/clearcoat cars do over time. BC/CC is also too glossy and doesn't look right to me, as I remember these cars from new, and they did not look like that. (Barrett Jackson Glazed Ham Look). I actually wet sanded the metallic on my '67 (not recommended) and it came out great. The car is still very presentable. I say, go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
polishing SS urethane

What would be the best way to polish SS. I have the 3 stage 3M system. I am going to buy a new gun prior to painting since mine has always been used to spray primers
 

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When you say "non-metallic silver", not sure there can be such a thing. Wouldn't that be simply a light grey? When you say you're screwed if you mullered up base or clear, how? The real fact is that it's easier. You have 24hrs (less in high heat conditions) to get it cleared. The base dries as fast as lacquer so, if you get into sheep dip just go have a coffee/smoke/brew/whatever and chill for 20-30min. Go back and lightly wet sand with 1000 grit and tango on. The clear will handle EXACTLY the same as SS. Cost? What brand of material are you using? I'd recommend PPG Shop-Line. Tan base in top tier DBC, $98qt. Same color in Shop-Line, $56qt, Shop-line Plus, maybe $69qt. It's a high production system for fast body shop turn over. The clears run about 1/3 the cost of "premium" clears. DC 4000, $390/pkg (gallon/qt of hardener). Shop-Line clear, 2 kinds, arylic or polyurethane, about $120/pkg. There's less of the expensive UV components but not enough to make a difference in a car that won't live in the parking lot for over 40hrs a week. BC/CC jobs that peel can be traced back to the painter. He waited too long to clear the base and lost both the mechanical and chemical bond. As to your cut and buff, you'll work your fingers to the bone sanding and polishing most SS 'thanes. In order to avoid too much wheel time (grinding it down with compound) you want to sand it to the finest grit you can afford. A box of 3000 pads for a DA sander is about $120, but you don't need a whole box. In fact, you can get Meguire's 3000 wet paper. Seems odd, I know, but I cut with Meguire's #3. Yes, I said I CUT with #3. No compound so no scratches on clean up and less time removing swirls. It's not for everyone and I understand that, it's also very dependent upon how far and how well you sand. Lots of water with a couple drops of liquid soap, I like to use a spritzer bottle vs a hose or a sponge/bucket. Listen for squeeks as you sand as it's usually material build up on the paper and it's scratching the finish.

And now for a clean and even silver finish in BC/CC, and if you're willing to commit to the labor involved, this is a clean way to that end. Get the base on the car for coverage, paying some attention to the pattern but don't fret any minor changes. Walk away until the next day and be ready to surface the car completely. Sand all of it level to a minimum of 1000. Mix up the base again with 20-25% more solvent (maybe a slower solvent) and lower the pressure about 5psi, lower the volume just a bit, maybe a 1/4 turn at most, open the fan another 1/4 turn, test on paper to see an even pattern. Extend your spraying distance an extra 6-10" and apply the reduced base in broad and easy strokes. Go in an 'X' pattern, figure 8, whatever your comfort level is. You don't want a slick and shiney application, more like an even layer that doesn't leave rocks or the dreaded tiger stripes. Use a lot of light to see what you're doing. You should instantly see what this work nets and it becomes very easy to get a perfect pattern with no mini "bumps" in it, just smooth clean poly (micro flake in metallics). Go right to the clear coat and don't soak it, just take your time and trust the flow out of the product. At the end of it all, cut and polished it's magic. The light will play on body lines and features like no other. Yes indeed, it's a lot of work, pretty much like everything worth doing. The 2 pics posted are SS 'thane in deep maroon and BC/CC in ultra fine silver (correct for the era). Notice how the sun highlights the fender edges and such in the silver. You'll never regret doing good finish work on your own project. I'll be happy to offer tech support along the way if you like. Good luck...

This a car door and it's finish quality, the reflective values...



This silver applied like said above...



Same color indoors, different car...

 

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Discussion Starter #9
SS urethane

Thanks for all the great info. I still have a few months to make up my mind on BC/CC and SS urethane.
 
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