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Thunderbird Paint



The Thunderbird was a 1990 SC Anniversary Special that I bought new and had been the wife's car. It was replaced eventually and finally was stored for several years. It needed paint so using it as a practice job fit well in the over all scheme of things. One of the things about these cars is that the roof and the rear quarters are separated by a piece of molding so that you end up with nine separate panels that can easily be masked off.


I would eventually paint and repaint every one of them at least twice and a couple of them three times trying to improve my gun work. This is not the first car I have ever painted but it is the first time I have used a two pack system. The base coat goes on just fine, but the clear was a nightmare. It would not flow out. It was like the overspray that you normally get as you make successive passes with the gun was just so dry that it wouldn't blend together unless I was just pouring it on. This meant that the slightest mistake with the gun, a bobble that put the tip too close to the panel for example, would produce a run on any part of a panel that was not horizontal. Or a stroke that did not perfectly follow the previous one would result in a dry area that would go completely down to the previous coat. Going back to try to put a little more paint on an area like that did not really fix the problem, it just seemed to make it worse.


Even when I was able to get it wet enough the surface was very coarse requiring a great deal of sanding to produce a smooth finish afterwards.


However, I eventually got it done but the results could only be described as satisfactory.

















Here is an example of the coarse surface I was describing. The line between this and a run is very fine but at least there were no dry spots. After sanding with 2000 wet and compounding the finish came up OK.  



And of course there were all the ground effects.




The ground effects and bumpers were shot in DCC single stage. While I did not have any problems with it flowing out the silver had a lot of metallic in it and I had a little trouble getting it to cover evenly. Hopefully this will not be too noticeable once it's on the car.