Sunday, November 13, 2011

Painting a Miata, part 1

I started sanding the body today. I'm using sanding pads with 400 grit dry sandpaper. Once I hit the paint with sandpaper I passed the point of no return. I have to paint this car now!
I do plan to remove the door handles, by the way.
This panel has two real nice little dents in it. They happened years ago and I've neglected to do anything about it. I'm very happy to get these fixed. Here they are after I sanded them down to bare metal so the body filler will stick.
I got this stuff from Eastwood. It comes with a tube of hardener. You mix the hardener in at a 2% proportion. After that you have about 3 minutes to get it in place. Forget about making it pretty and smooth. Just get it on there and 15 minutes later you can sand it down smooth.
It took 3 applications to build the material up high enough that I could sand it down level. Interesting how each dent had high spots surrounding it. It's level now as I can't feel any deviation at all when I run my hand over the filler. The primer-filler and paint coats should make it disappear completely.
This was as far as I got today. I did the driver door, left rear quarter, and the trunk lid. Next weekend I'll continue around the rest of the car, then probably go over it again completely before I spray primer-filler. I'm wiping down between sanding passes with a product called Pre to keep the dust down and hopefully avoid any contamination that would create fisheyes or pinholes. We shall see if it works.

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