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Guys, I have air compressors at home & my shop with plenty of volume & pressure, and some good HVLP guns. I shot the epoxy & high-build primers on my last car, but lost my nerve when base coat/clear coat day arrived. I worried about everything--blowing up my neighborhood, inhaling toxic fumes, or incurring the wrath of the EPA. But I really want to paint my '55. I want to do it for fun, for pride, and for the flexibility it brings (i.e. I can work in stages and on my own timeline).

I keep going back & forth; one day I decide that doing it in pieces (dash & jambs one day, inner fenders & firewall another day, etc.) that I can do it. By working a panel at a time, I won't put much volume of paint/fumes into the air.

The next day I decide it's a really bad idea.

I'd love to hear from those that have painted their cars at home--and those that know better! Is it realistic to do this without going to prison or the hospital?
 

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"Is it realistic to do this without going to prison or the hospital?"

Depends on where you live, that includes local rules and laws and your neighbors.

If you are already spraying primer surfacer, the chemistry is essentially the same as the clear. Both use isocyanates as a catalyst. IMO, you need supplied air, like a Hobby Air or similar, for personal protection when spraying isocyanates. The iso's are not so much a problem to the neighbors etc. because the overspray will catalyze pretty quickly and not be toxic anymore (at least with the iso danger). The neighbor's danger is mostly the smell and the VOCs.

As far as the car itself, obviously spraying primer is less critical than color or clear, but the spraying itself is very similar, except that the color and clear tend to spray better.
 

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I've painted several entire cars in my two stall garage. Yes you can accomplish a quality job without posioning yourslef, blowing up the neighborhood, or upsetting your neighbors.

You must have a really clean space to paint in, and I wear a respirator and goggles. As far as overspray, the HVLP guns don't make for much paint dust... but some years ago, my garage would be coated w/ red or blue paint dust after using a high pressure siphon gun.

As far as your neighbors, it helps to time your job as best as you can, ie, if your neighbors work, then schedule your painting time while they are gone during the day.
I work, and my neighbors are mostly older retired couples, so I usually paint late at night, when they are mostly asleep, windows closed etc.

I always keep a couple of metal containters around to put waste chemicals in, such as reducer I used to clean the gun with, mixed paint.... My waste authority will not pick up chemicals from the house on garbage day, but will accept them if you bring them to their facility.

Hope that helps
Chris
 

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Mine is done late at night or during the cooler months, when people have their windows closed. I have a good quality respirator, and explosion proof vent fan in the wall, near the ceiling. Also I hang plastic drop cloths on the walls, to keep the paint dust under control. :anim_25:
 

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acardon posted a deal about his fans and filters on chevytalk recently.

Go look over there or maybe he'll post here.
 

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I do the same as AUGGIE and also make sure the water heater pilot is OFF. painted 10 or 12 cars this way :happy0030:
 

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my uncle painted my 57 under his carport. It's the only car he's ever painted.


it's not perfect.. it looks like a well kept stock job.. It's held up very well for the last 15-20 years though. It's a single stage paint. He had a few bubbles and a little bit of contaminants.. and a LOT of orange peel.

it's fine for local car shows though.. I don't fret about it. It's not concourse to the point I need white gloves to drive it.. I can take it to the store w/o too much worry (other than getting it home. :lol)

He said the trick is to close off the carport with heavy plastic so that it's enclosed, then use a paint gun with a good wide spray.. he also said leave a hosepipe running along the ground.. the flowing water keeps dust down and avoids particles in the paint.
 

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Hi "Always wanted...",

How about renting a spray booth? Then you could start, say the firewall and see how you go. If it works out, fine, if it doesn't, then the owner might help finish the project.

I knew a young bloke who painted and worked on fibreglass rod bodies without a lot of protection, and unfortunately recently passed away with leukemia. Coincidence? Maybe, but is it worth the risk?

Good luck,
Geoff B
 

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On my sons 77 Vette, I shot the sealer, primer & base but just didn't have the nerve to try the clear. Maybe on the next one.
 

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Painting our own cars

I have painted many cars over the years in my home garage with good results. The last '55 I built I decided to take try and do something as I was tired of the bitching about the smell and mess it makes. The bitching was not from neighbors but my wife which is probably worse than the EPA. Anyway I looked for a shop willing to rent spray booth time. No luck in my price range. Then I thought of the local trade school which has courses in auto body and paint. They offered a 5 week course 2 nights a week 5 hours per night for $175.00. This included the use of all equipment and instruction if needed. Needless to say I jumped on this. My car was driveable and I removed everything removable from the interior and exterior. I used the first 3 weeks sanding and doing prep work. The 4th week I applied priimer/sealer, dryed in the oven and drove home that night. The 5th week I painted the car(single stage enamel) baked in the oven and drove home. Mission accomplished. I figure I have no more that $800.00 in the complete job. Car was sold and my '57 wagon will get the same only is will be tutone. Might check on the trade school thing.
 

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I have primed my whole car and painted the firewall and dash so far. The body comes next. I've done the other panels at work.
 

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Ive painted two projects in my single car garage with very good results. I paint when every ones at work. I will paint my 56 soon in the same garage. I dont like to paint at night because of bugs. There is nothing like the satisfaction of standing back and looking at a paint job you did your self.:party0031:

And dont worry to much about orange peel. Just lay it out best you can. The peel will come out when you wet sand and buff. Just make sure before you start spraying any topcoat. You have cleaned out all the little nooks and crannies with air. Because when you start spraying paint. you dont want all that stuff blowing out into your new paint.

You can do it. anything that goes wrong can be fixed.

Mike
 

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Paint

I shot the inner and outer door jams and trunk on my 56 Chrysler just the other day outside. I used one stage paint, white. I use 8 paint 2 reducer and 1 cat paint forumla. It turned out beauitful. Smooth and shinny no trash in the paint. My 57 chevy is almost ready for paint too. I shot the paint at 6am it was 80 outside. I used a hvlp gun and set the pressure at 30psi.
 

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My opinion is to paint everything yourself except the top coat.
I have painted two car in the past and have painted the underside and engine compartment of my current 57.
Currently have three coats of primer filler on the body but will not do the top coat because of numerous reasons.
1:can't control fumes
2:can't control weather
3:can't control bugs
4:lighting insufficient
5:lack of experience with base coat clear coat
6:lack of experience buffing

and most importantly for me is the fact I have all this money tide up into this resto-mod I don't want to gamble with using a part time painter(ME).
 

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I painted my car doors and front fenders this morning, Using one stage acrylic enamel with wet look hardener. It was about 70 degrees and I used a 40 year old develbiss spary gun. LVHP. so far so good.
 

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Any suggestions as to a good primer gun??,,what to look for, ect.
 

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harbor freight has a purple hvlp gravity feed gun with regulator for 49.99 I have used 1 for 3 years now for primer sprays epoxy, poly, high build, etc all very well. just clean it well after each use . best part is it is cheap and if it gets messed up you can buy another without a regulator for 29.99 and swap the regulator from the old one over and walla a new setup . :happy0030:
 

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harbor freight has a purple hvlp gravity feed gun with regulator for 49.99 I have used 1 for 3 years now for primer sprays epoxy, poly, high build, etc all very well. just clean it well after each use . best part is it is cheap and if it gets messed up you can buy another without a regulator for 29.99 and swap the regulator from the old one over and walla a new setup . :happy0030:
This one?
http://www.harborfreight.com/high-volume-low-pressure-gravity-feed-spray-gun-66222.html
 
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