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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.

My red paint is in pretty good condition but its fading. A little wax makes it shine like new, but I really hate waxing and it should not be like that anyway. I can see it oxidizing right after I wash it. The clear coat is either completely gone or it was not there to begin with.

So, I was thinking, I should wet sand the paint dull and clear coat it. But I don't have access to spray gun so I need something simple. I would rather stay away from spray cans, but I think I could use some normal clear enamel which I can thin 50/50 and apply with a foam brush.

Any suggestions what paint to use? Should it be automotive specific or not? Local store does sell some PPG, but I don't think it will work for brush application with all that hardeners, reducers and other extra stuff I've absolutely no idea about. :rolleyes:

thanks.
 

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Hi.

My red paint is in pretty good condition but its fading. A little wax makes it shine like new, but I really hate waxing and it should not be like that anyway. I can see it oxidizing right after I wash it. The clear coat is either completely gone or it was not there to begin with.

So, I was thinking, I should wet sand the paint dull and clear coat it. But I don't have access to spray gun so I need something simple. I would rather stay away from spray cans, but I think I could use some normal clear enamel which I can thin 50/50 and apply with a foam brush.

Any suggestions what paint to use? Should it be automotive specific or not? Local store does sell some PPG, but I don't think it will work for brush application with all that hardeners, reducers and other extra stuff I've absolutely no idea about. :rolleyes:

thanks.
Don't do it. The non-metallic finishes on C900 Saabs and many other cars of the time did not have clearcoat. Trying to brush a clear, non-automotive paint onto your car will just make a big mess. Spray cans, other than for minor touch up, don't work either. If you must have clearcoat, take the car to a body shop and find out what it would take to have them clear coat your existing finish, at least on the horizontal surfaces that are most prone to sun damage.

The best solution to this problem is to experiment with different polishes, waxes, and sealers. A friend with a single stage red finish that fades (he's in Texas) on his '85 Toyota swears by Meguires Hi Tech yellow wax and 3Ms Finesse It. Living in Arizona and Texas, I've had the best results on my red Saab using NuFinish - the "once a year" stuff. I've also used the Meguires Hi Tech Yellow and it feeds the finish very well, but is short-lived so probably good to put something over it.

Buy a buffer. Harbor Freight for $40 if you don't want to spend much. Not the wax applicator type, but the type that looks like an angle grinder. Use a mild abrasive like Kit's Scratch Out and a foam pad. Make sure you buy a machine with adjustable speed. You only want a few hundred RPM and light pressure to avoid swirl marks. Then follow up with some wax experimentation.
 

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Señor Burger is right. I would just spend some money on a good detail (or the supplies to do it yourself). The results will be better and you won't take a chance at ruining what's left of the stock paint.
 

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Machine polishing will likely bring that finish right back. We just did it to my son's red '89 vert. You can go the clear coat route, but I'd try buffing/polishing/sealing first.

If you've never done machine polishing before I wouldn't recommend getting the "grinder" type of buffer polisher. You can burn right through the finish in the blink of an eye.

You can get a Porter Cable 7424XP random-orbit polisher for under $130 (including shipping). It is worth every penny. A 5-year-old could polish a car with one and not screw it up. If you try to save some money on the tool, you'll likely spend more fixing the paint you screwed up. We clayed the car first, then we used Pinnacle XMT Intermediate Swirl Remover #3 followed by XMT Ultra Fine Swirl Remover #1 and finished it with a good-quality carnuba wax (you can finish with a sealer/wax of your choice though). You can get by with the pad that comes with the polisher, but if you really want to get into detailing you may want to look at some CCS pads and a backing plate.

There are plenty of how-tos and videos on line that will walk you through machine polishing techniques. Check them out first. There are also plenty of "kits" available that include the PC7424, pads, and compounds.

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If you do plan to clearcoat, you might try just doing the rear trunk lid to see how you like it first. I would definitely NOT try brushing a 2K clear on a car. You will be wet sanding it for an eternity, and still may not get all the bubbles out. If you aren't comfortable renting some pro-quality spray equipment and mixing the clear yourself (don't buy cheap gear unless you like the orange peel look), then you only have a couple choices. Hire a pro, or use aerosol. I'd recommend SprayMax aerosol 2K if you DIY. It is a 2K coating that you just shake up and spray. It comes in a special aerosol can that has an internal cartridge that you puncture just before you use it. The reducer and hardener then mix with the base when you shake the can--no mess, no waste, piece of cake to use and get professional results. It's made for doing spot clearing on repairs, but I did the whole back 1/2 of my '92 daily driver with it in my friend's garage. --wear a good respirator.

PREP AND CONDITIONS ARE EVERYTHING!! You need to clean the paint really good. You need to wet sand with 400 grit paper to remove imperfections and to give the paint some tooth. You need to clean it again. Then you need to use a pre-paint cleaner like Prepsol to be sure that there are no contaminants on the surface that will cause adhesion problems or fish eyes. Do it twice to make sure. The car must be completely dry and you need to go over it with a tack rag just prior to painting to remove all dust. Don't paint in direct sun or if the humidity is high. If you think some oxidation looks bad, wait till you see a peeling or fish-eyed clear job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you for the replies.

Well, I do have a buffer. And I used the Meguires wax. Still, I want a more permanent fix. Compount/buffing takes the paint off, and I'm trying to preserve it instead. Brushing-on paint is not very bad, actually I think you can get better finish than some OEM 2 stage coats, if you sand it right. I've painted my motorcycle tank with Rustoleum marine enamel, I did not sand/polished it, but the finish itself is pretty durable and looks good for 2 years already.

So far I'm thinking about getting some polyurethane marine clear coat, and trying it in a little spot underneath the bumper or in the trunk somewhere.

I must check that SprayMax stuff, never heard of that.

I bought the whole car for under $700, there is no way I'm paying the body shop :)

P.S: If I screw it up, I can always remove it and use the compound as previously suggested.
 

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Thank you for the replies.

Well, I do have a buffer. And I used the Meguires wax. Still, I want a more permanent fix. Compount/buffing takes the paint off, and I'm trying to preserve it instead. Brushing-on paint is not very bad, actually I think you can get better finish than some OEM 2 stage coats, if you sand it right. I've painted my motorcycle tank with Rustoleum marine enamel, I did not sand/polished it, but the finish itself is pretty durable and looks good for 2 years already.

So far I'm thinking about getting some polyurethane marine clear coat, and trying it in a little spot underneath the bumper or in the trunk somewhere.

I bought the whole car for under $700, there is no way I'm paying the body shop :)
You need to polish you car then wax it. Use something abrasive like Meguires 105 cut compound andtheir 205 polish then wax/glaze and seal it. Like turbocon said, go the polishing/waxing route first then experiment with the clear if the polishing doesnt take care of it. It's much easier to fix a bad polish/wax job than it is to fix sprayed on clear
 

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That makes sense.

Okay, I'll do polishing first instead. Probably next week as I'm still having some mechanical issues to take care of.

thanks.
Read up on it, but definitely use something abrasive that will cut into the paint more and like i said contact christian he's the expert detailer on here. I'm sure he would be more than willing to give you some advice.
 

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Dude, DO NOT attempt to apply clear to the car. Do the following:

1. Wash the car twice.
2. Use grease and wax remover on the whole body.
3. Buy compound...it doesn't really matter which, but price usually coincides with quality. Try a Megiuars brand. Buff a 3x3 area with a half dollar amount of product and a medium cut pad (which you'd mist slightly to soften)
4. Use a less abrasive polish now. Like a 3M finesse or micropolish.
5. Clean metal again and apply a good wax or sealer.

Yo do the above while being patient and methodical and I GAURANTEE your finish will be back to stay. As long as you're not seeing cracking paint or spots of obvious wear, your paint is salvageable. It's an enamel so there never was a clear coat. This is why you'll see paint coming off on your pad or towel. It's nothing to worry about!

Good luck! Please listen to what others have said before you do anything drastic.
5.
 

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That makes sense.

Okay, I'll do polishing first instead. Probably next week as I'm still having some mechanical issues to take care of.

thanks.
These guys give some much more sophisticated advice than I did! I too like to use clay before i use the abrasives. Good to hear that you already have a buffer. I think that your frustration is the same as mine. It looks great after buffing, but oxidizes quickly very soon thereafter. I was very skeptical of that NuFinish stuff because it's cheap, it sells at discount stores, and it's probably full of silicones or something, but it kept the oxidation away longer than anything else I tried.
 

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Señor Burger is right. I would just spend some money on a good detail (or the supplies to do it yourself). The results will be better and you won't take a chance at ruining what's left of the stock paint.
I almost didn't recognize you in here, young man! You need to update your car list, no? ;)

Do you still want to part with the Buffalo Grey front seats you mentioned in another post? Besides doing a number on red paint the sun cooks leather too, and I suspect that I could buy yours for less than having new ones sewn up. i am planning a road trip to Dayton anyway.

I was only able to get one hide of the remaining inventory of Buffalo Grey leather from Saab. The other went to an enthusiast in the Phillipines, I think. So I don't know if I would have enough to do both front seats anyway.

Where's the beer mug icon on this newfangled forum contraption?
 
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