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post #5 of (permalink) Old 22nd March 2008
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The problem with painting a small part of your car is that the new paint will be a slightly different colour, so you can always see where your new paint stops. You're better to paint all the way to an edge, or even a lip/crease on the bodywork can disguise it a bit. You'll also see the difference with your spray painting but this can be disguised a bit.

If you want to try it here's how to do it, but this method will only end up looking ok if you've not got metallic/laquered paint:

Remove anything in the way - plastic trims etc. Remove the old rust and get the surface back to bare metal. You often need to start with really course sandpaper (even reduction paper). Once you're back to the bare pitted metal treat it with rust inhibitor. Then fill the area smooth with cataloy type filler (get the easy sand type), and sand down to smooth starting with course paper and working down to grade 1000 or 1200 wet and dry paper. Use the finer grades wet (You'll get a smoother finish if you use a sanding block. The cigarette packet sized foam sanding blocks in B&Q are ideal but cover them with your correct grade paper). It's ok to also cover some of your existing paintwork with the cataloy, but you need to scratch the surface first for it to bond. Use about grade 800 paper for scratching. If you need to apply a second coat of cataloy then don't properly sand the first coat before you apply it, sand the final bit of both coats at the same time. Make sure there are no ridges etc and that the area is smooth. Sand the complete area to be painted using about grade 1000 paper wet. Mask off an area just bigger than your cataloy/bare metal area. Spray paint it with a couple of coats of Hi-Build type primer - this will get rid of the some of the very small holes/blemishes you didn't spot. Remove your masking and sand the area flat again using grade 1000 paper wet, including the ridges at the edge of your Hi-Build. Repeat with more coats if necessary. You should now be looking at a smooth area which is either primed, or has the original paintwork on it. Mask the area you want to paint, and spray it with about 3 or 4 coats. Wait til the paint is dry before you remove the masking. Remove the masking and sand away the ridges at the adges carefully using grade 1200 paper wet (preferrably a bit you've been using, as it'll be "blunt"), and sand the complete area lightly too. Polish the surface using Firecla G3 rubbing compound.

Your costs will be sandpaper 5-10, rust inhibitor 5-10, cataloy 5-10, sanding block 1, masking tape 2, Hi-Build 12, paint 20, rubbing compound 5-10. It'll take you all day.

Alternatively you could get a bodyshop to do it for about 100 or less if you prepare it for them so that they're only doing the actual filling and paintwork. ie remove trim etc and the rust, and then put the trim etc back on when you get the car back. I'd go with this option personally - it'll look so much better in the end.
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