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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10th July 2009 Thread Starter
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Question Spray painting Espace tailgate

After an exploding tailgate glass incident, I have bought a replacement tailgate for my '99 Grand Espace (cheaper than replacing glass I didnt have glass cover on insurance). Anyway the replacement tailgate is silver with the rest of the car blue. I fancy having a go at spraying it and have been doing a bit of research on techniques. Does it make any difference that the panel is plastic rather than metal? Could I get away with rubbing down the existing silver paint, priming and top-coating. I obviously cant take it down to bare metal as its plastic! Any tips?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10th July 2009
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One of our moderators VelSatisfied is a mobile SMART repairer by trade and is a good source of knowledge for painting advice.

I'm sure he will spot this thread shortly and post his advice. If he doesnt, it may be worthwhile sending him a private message asking him to take a look at the thread.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10th July 2009
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I would flat it off and have a go prime and paint, trouble with plastic if you take him down to the plastic you will need plastic prima etc so I would flat him carefully and paint ontop.
sounds like you have done some reserch in to it , so you will probally know about paint reactions, I painted a boot spoiler for er in doors coupe, bought from ebay , what a mess, it had about 3 colours on it, I took it down to much and exposed the origonal yellow colour, no worries, grey prima filla fine, red prima on top, fine, finished in Capsicum red + laqure, excellent, bolted to car within a week bubbles? more and more.
Paint shop told me it is air in the fiber glass, so they baked it to make the air expand , once this had happend they primed it with plastic prima but it went even worse. always on the yellow paint though, so they said skip it and get another, well not to be beaten by a lump of plastic, I sanded the whole spoiler down to the fiber glass, and did the same prima filla, red prima, topcoat and laqure - fine, no bubbles, no reactions so what I am trying to say is it is not always straight forward, all the other layeres of paint on my spoiler where fine, it was the yellow paint layer which caused all the problems, which was the origonal Renault colour.
I am sure you also know that if you are spraying metallic paint it is very difficult to match colour, shades will differ due to paint mix, spary gun presure, drying temp, and depth of coats.
I would be tempted as well to give it a go, bodyshops are SO expensive these days, one of the things they did tell me was palstic is better air dried thank oven baked, less change of paint bubbles.
Good Luck!
Remember if it does not get a good finish, another old sprayshop trick, get your old wet/dry (12000 grade) and flat off the lacquer very carefully don't go through it just take the top off so it is dull (careful on the edges/raised ridges(thinner paint)), loads of water, very gental rubbing, loads of concentration.... then using a cutting compound buff it up, again careful on edges and ridges, then polish it comes up like glass, leave it a week 1st though to completly harden, thin finish on my spoiler is better than the car, we use to do this when we painted herses 4 coats of black paint flatted after each, then 3 coats lacqure flatted after each, then final wet coat, allowed to harden then flatted and buffed, what a finish!!!! undertakes would come from miles with the cars.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10th July 2009
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Some pretty good advice already given, which doesn't really give me a lot to add...

Naturally, remove badges/wiper, etc before working on the panel.

I would paint it before it has been fitted (if possible), and under cover/indoors. This will mean that paint runs are minimised, and contamination from flies, pollen, rain, etc is eliminated.

You only really need to remove the lacquer layer, and lightly key the basecoat layer, before adding your own paint. Depending on the shade of blue you are applying, you may need to alter the colour of primer - if it is anything darker than a royal blue, I'd go for a matt black primer to kill the colour lightening effect of the silver. Then apply the basecoat (at least 3 coats), allowing an hour to dry between coats, and giving the surface a light rub down with a very fine grit of paper, and wipe off any dust with a dry soft cloth.

Lacquering is where all the difference can be made; you need at first a 'tack coat' which is a very light coating of lacquer over the basecoat - this prevents subsequent lacquer coats from absorbing into the basecoat. Allow to dry for an hour, then add a proper coat of lacquer, then whilst it is still drying, give it another coat of lacquer, as heavy as you dare (hence why it should be flat), this is a process called 'wet on wet', then immediately use a hairdrier or heat gun to fuse the lacquer (don't keep it in one position, or you'll melt the lacquer), you want to evaporate the solvent in the lacquer as quickly as possible (saving the shine), without allowing moisture to be absorbed onto the freshly applied surface (which would happen if it were left to dry atmospherically - this dulls the appearance).

I'd leave it overnight to dry off properly, then fit with care.

Hope that helps,


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10th July 2009 Thread Starter
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Great advice thanks fellas. It all sounds so simple. What could possibly go wrong? I might make a day of it and have a few stella's whilst Im carrying out the work. Would that be a bad thing?

Seriously, thanks for the useful advice. I will tackle it this weekend - tired of looking like a real scruff with the two tone bodywork!

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espace , painting , spray , tailgate

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