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  • Paint: Paint removal suggestions?

    Looking into a long overdue paint job for a 51 Champion. Will not be doing original Rio Green (Maui Blue or Comanche Red) and no, there will not be a two-tone done again on the roof. It's not a full restoration, yet, just wanting to freshen things up particular before I replace the worn seals around the windows and doors. And yes, I will be replacing the fender welting and painting same color as the body.

    One painter suggested that the paint not be stripped to bare metal but just a removal of the current top coat. He said something about wanting to keep the integrity of the bond of the original paint. I would like some additional opinions before I started sanding. Thanks
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  • #2
    That all depends on the condition of the current paint. If it's in good condition and just needing a respray then it doesn't need to be taken down to metal. If it is flaking off or anything like that then the current paint has lost its adhesion properties and must be stripped

    1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy


    • #3
      All the Studes I've had repainted have been required to have "all" the paint removed. Not only for fillers and such, but due to moisture (rust) on the bare surface at the time of factory paint.


      • #4
        All depends on condition of old paint and how thick as in repaints. Best way is to remove to bare metal treat any rust and epoxy prime with top quality epoxy like SPI brand.


        • #5
          Looking at your photos, I'd say you have multiple layers already on the car. The way it has failed and the rust spots in the first photo, I'd say you "should" remove it all. If you want to do a "quicky" you will still need to remove most, if not all of it, on the panels with the rust spots showing. The additional work at that point will guide you-you'll have most of it off anyway, why not finish and do it right.


          • #6
            You've got rust under that paint, that means the metal is corroded in small spots so you need to strip it to bare metal and rust treat the bare surface then heed your painter's advice. Luck Doofus


            • #7
              The way I'm going right now is sandblasting, priming with epoxy, grounding and final paint.
              I think it's a good opportunity to also conserve the body.


              • #8
                I would use a chemical paint stripper and then correct flaws/problems and build up from there.
                Gary L.
                Wappinger, NY

                SDC member since 1968
                Studebaker enthusiast much longer


                • #9
                  Yes, I knew the rust coming through would need to be addressed. It is like that on other areas where the paint isn't peeling. There are areas of good adhesion. I agree, it most of the paint has to come off why not do it correctly. I appreciate the input and hopefully will have some updated pictures to show this summer. Thanks.


                  • #10

                    Aircraft Remover works so well, no aircraft has been seen in our shop for years!
                    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                    Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                    '33 Rockne 10,
                    '51 Commander Starlight,
                    '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                    '56 Sky Hawk


                    • #11
                      another point notable is the difficulty installing belt mouldings or other over the thick layers of paint. The clips won't dig deep enough to hold against the thick painted surfaces.....especially new/NOS clips...


                      • #12
                        Click image for larger version

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ID:	1705148I used polycarbonate abrasive wheels from harbor freight on a 4 1/2" angle grinder. They cut right thru the paint without hurting the steel. On the plus side there's no chemical residue to worry about coming up thru the new paint later. On the minus side it's a dusty job. Make sure you wear a respirator or good face mask. I did a small section at a time, approx. 2 foot square. Then took a break to rest my hands and let the grinder cool down.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by 1954khardtop; 05-04-2016, 02:35 PM.
                        Dwight 54 Commander hardtop


                        • #13
                          Use caution if you try a stripper. Don't let it get into any cracks and crevasses, such as where one piece of metal spot welds to another. If it gets trapped in there and bleeds back out later it will cause problems with your new paint.

                          I prefer mechanical removal, either blasting or sanding. That way you don't have to worry about what might show up later. Once you get it down to metal, start with epoxy to seal and protect the metal. Filler on top of the epoxy and finally high build primer. I really like the SPI products, but you would probably be better off let the guy doing the paint work use the products he is used to. Asking him to use something he is not familiar with and doesn't keep in stock may actually end up costing you more because you will have to buy more then needed just to be sure he doesn't come up a 1/2 cup short when spraying.

                          Good Luck
                          "Trying to shed my CASO ways"



                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rockne10 View Post

                            Aircraft Remover works so well, no aircraft has been seen in our shop for years!
                            Sorry to hear that, that's why I use Aircraft Stripper, keeps them coming back.


                            • #15
                              Photoguy, I stripped mine like 1954khardtop.

                              I stripped mine primarily like 1954khardtop. I used the stripper wheels from Harbor Freight on a 4 ½ grinder. I am guessing for the whole car I went through 20 or so. Smaller stripper wheels on air die grinders got into some of the smaller places. At vo tech they suggested 90 grit on DA sanders. For me, I could strip the paint twice as fast with the stripper wheels.

                              Since I was going for bare metal on most of the car, I bought a cheap sand blaster from Harbor Freight. I fought it quite a bit. The lower the humidity, the better. The sand stayed drier and did not clog up as bad. My 5hp, 60 gallon compressor could not keep up with it. Within seconds of turning on the valve the compressor came on and would run constantly. It would gradually drop over a period of 8-10 minutes from 120 psi to 50 or so. I would run over and throw the breaker, let it cool off some and then let it build back up.

                              I read on various forums and was told that you will never get rid of the sand if you sand blast a body cavity. I sand blasted the under side of the rear deck lid and even though I blew it out many times with compressed air and vacuumed it many times with the shop vac, the night I sprayed the final top coat on it, I had a couple of pieces of sand in the paint. The shell was the same way. Thanks to the use of John Kimbrough’s rotisserie I was able to turn that shell 360 degrees many times. I banged on it, blew it out with compressed air, vacuumed it and the day I turned it up side down to spray the underside of the roof I had a couple pieces of sand in the top coat.

                              I feel in love with the SPI epoxy primer. After stripping a panel or two to bare metal a couple coats of the epoxy primer kept them from rusting. It was often several months before I got around to working on the dents but they were just like I had left them. I just thought I would share some of my experiences with you. It’s the only car I plan to strip in my life but I am hoping the final results will be pretty nice.

                              Charlie D.

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