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Discussion Starter #1
OK.

I'm thinking about trying my hand at painting this summer. I debadged my tailgate yesterday, and the tailgate really looks like h3ll. Lot's of little scratches and poorly applied touch-up paint. (I bought the truck used.)

So now some questions for the Body Shop guys.

How hard would it be for a newbie to get it to look half-decent the first time out? I painted my TRD grill myself using a spray can of 6Q7 paint from www.PaintScratch.com followed by Duplicolor clearcoat and it didn't turn out half bad. But this was a fairly simple job that would have been easy to do over if I needed to.

If/when I paint the tailgate, I will probably invest in a paint gun. Any recommendations for a good paint sprayer. I ususally buy Craftsman tools (wrenches, sockets, etc.) but I don't know much about their paint equipment.

Any other general pointers anyone care to share?

And on a related note, how heavy is the tailgate? I'd prefer to remove it and paint it on sawhorses rather than on the truck.

Enquiring minds want to know. :ts:
 

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Prep work is the key to a good job. You want your surface to be smooth as glass prior to painting. As with everything else, there is a knack to body work. Laying paint is easy compared with working with body fillers.

On the guns, everyone has their favorites. Obviously, you want a nice HVLP gun, which means you need a good sized compressor. You'll need a good regulator and filter/drier.

You will want to do this on saw-horses. The tailgate is light enough to be handled by one person.

There are some good autobody forums with lots of information on how to paint. Try Auto body and car paint tips, techniques, and information

The biggest challenge you face is matching the paint. Bottom line is that the paint will not match. This is why body shops use a device to assess the actual color of the paint as it exists on the vehicle. They custom mix paint to match and they also use blending techniques to make any remaining color difference blend in so it's not noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Prep work is the key to a good job. You want your surface to be smooth as glass prior to painting. As with everything else, there is a knack to body work. Laying paint is easy compared with working with body fillers.

On the guns, everyone has their favorites. Obviously, you want a nice HVLP gun, which means you need a good sized compressor. You'll need a good regulator and filter/drier.

You will want to do this on saw-horses. The tailgate is light enough to be handled by one person.

There are some good autobody forums with lots of information on how to paint. Try Auto body and car paint tips, techniques, and information

The biggest challenge you face is matching the paint. Bottom line is that the paint will not match. This is why body shops use a device to assess the actual color of the paint as it exists on the vehicle. They custom mix paint to match and they also use blending techniques to make any remaining color difference blend in so it's not noticeable.
Thanks. Tell me about preparing the paint. Would I shoot it straight out of the can, or do I have to thin it, or what?
 

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go with an HPLV (High Pressure Low Volume) set up. i reccomend not performing a rattle can job unless you dont mind your truck looking a little ghetto.

there are several options to painting body pannels. 2 stage paint is pretty common method.
 

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Try posting this over at Eastwood.com's forum for some help by professional painters. A good gun will deffinately make a difference but you don't need a high end gun, just a decent gun. Same with paint, don't need House of Kolor but a quality paint matters. Are you going w/just a single base color or looking to clear it afterwards?

Prep will determine final product so plan on about 90% prep and 10% final shooting. You need to determine if you're going over the existing paint/primer or removing everything to bare metal. If the metal isn't starting to rust then i'd leave what's there, level that then shoot over it. Start w/about a 200 grit sandpaper and start sanding till it's mostly smooth. There you'll notice the high and low areas which might need some filler. You might not even want to bother w/filler if you don't want a perfect end product, or depending on how flat the old paint is. Might get away w/"Slick sand" for all the filling that needs to be done. Apply slick sand, sand w/800-1000+ wet till everything's smooth then you'll probably need to shoot again w/slick sand or epoxy primer, sand again, top coat. Use acetone between sanding/shooting for absolutey clean product and shoot in a sealed area where dust wont get on a surface while it's drying. I'd also advise a project piece before you shoot the tailgate for practice since this is only a quick over-view and there are many variables. Good luck.
 

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There's sooooooo much to cover and so many ways to do this. It all depends on how good a job you want and how much time and money you are willing to spend.

As Icon points out, if the tailgate is nice, you may be able to get by with a high-build surfacer/primer, block sand, 2k paint. If you go to bare metal, you'll need to apply a 2k primer (I would use epoxy primer), apply fillers, apply surfacer, block, apply color/clear.

The high-build surfacers can really build nicely and fill most flaws. Actual dings will need to be either bumped, pulled, or filled. I am partial to bumping dings rather than filling them. This is because a ding is more than just a ding...it distorts all the metal around it. When you bump it out right, all of the metal goes back into place.

This is certainly something the average guy can do if he's willing to spend the time and money. In the long run, it will be cheaper and faster to have a bodyshop that specializes in small repairs do this. If you want to do it so you can learn how to do it, that's something else. Hit as many paint forums as you can and READ.
 

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IMO, prep work is critical. Research the prep work a lot, and use an old junkyard tailgate as a sacrifice.
Block sand ALWAYS, with the longest workable block you can get your hands on. Criss cross and variable sanding patterns.
That is not gospel, but will get the ball rolling.

When it comes to finishing / spraying...this is where the donor tailgate comes into play. Get to know the adjustments on your gun. (read the book that comes with the gun a couple times to get a good feel for recognizing the spray patterns and how to correct bad patterns).
Lastly, GOOD lighting. the best lighting is from your side.

You can reduce and retard the paint as you see fit, but make sure you say within the mfg recommendations. The paint shop guys are typically previous painters and usually happy to discuss mixing, etc.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, the best body shop in town wants $1100 to repaint my hood and tailgate. Is this good, or am I getting hosed?
 

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To me, that sounds reasonable.
I look at the hassle factor to do it myself, paint costs, my time's value, etc.

I'd say let them do it and have your truck back fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, the best body shop in town wants $1100 to repaint my hood and tailgate. Is this good, or am I getting hosed?
OK. I got it done. It looks a helluva lot better than what I could have done. :)

I guess some things are best left to the pros. :rolleyes:
 
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