I've known for a while now, that I was going to have a budget crunch when it came time to paint the car. And that was before I found out I have to rip the motor back apart and change the crank. Now I know that some of the things I'm gong to talk about below are going to be blasphemy to some of you guys. Your going to have heart attacks, dizzy spells, and tell me how nuts I am. And the thing is, I agree with you. I've put so much blood, sweat, and money into my car, I feel like it deserves a mirror smooth glossy paint job with kick ass stripes thats makes lesser cars cry as it rolls by.
Unfortunately I don't think I could squeeze out more than $800 - $1200 for a paint job in the next two years. And I think everyone here would agree with me that I would not be happy with $800 paint job. So to that end, I've decided that if I'm going to have a paint job that I'm unhappy with and that I can't wait to get upgraded, then I should do something myself and save as much cash as possible. I've been looking at different ways of doing this for a few months now. Currently the car is painted some shade of milky-white from the windshield back. The paint was meant to have a clear coat on it, but does not yet, so it is not very shinny. To that end, my current plan has been to use some flat white vinyl to wrap my fenders, hood, and front pieces, so that the whole car will at least semi-match until I can afford a real paint job.
Initially I purchases a 60" x 60" piece of the best vinyl 3M makes:
3M US: Graphic Solutions: 3M? Scotchprint® Wrap Film Series 1080
I used that piece to cover the head-light buckets and the rear valence (when I swapped out mine for the one with exhaust knock-outs). The flat-white matches the color of my car fairly well. In bright sunlight, something looks off a little, but it doesn't scream at you, and in lower light conditions, you can hardly tell the difference. From a fitment stand-point, I have done the vinyl before on a friends car, and it you heat it slowly and wrap properly, you cannot tell the pieces are not painted, it fits very well, and the flat color is awesome.
So after the test fitting, I purchased a 60" x 10y roll, which should be enough to cover the fenders, hood and front apron.
Now that I have the body work on the fender complete, it's time to get it ready for the vinyl. You see the vinyl is not supposed to be applied primer, it needs a slicker coating to stick to. So I have to get some sort of paint on the fenders so that the vinyl can stick. Now this is when I really start brain storming. Because that 60" x 10y roll of vinyl was almost $500, so since I have to paint my fender anyway, if I can manage to paint it myself at a low enough cost, I can sell the vinyl, and use that $500 for my crank and pistons
Enter the $98 paint job, and thats $98 for a whole car, not just a front clip
A 1962 Ford Falcon Recieve A Budget Paint Job - Hot Rod Magazine
The cliff notes for those of you who don't want to have to read the whole article, is that you can use an enamel based paint, thinned with mineral spirits, and rolled on with a high density roller, to paint your car. The job is cheap, because it is labor intensive, taking 6 - 8 coats with a wet sanding every two coats, and then a buffing at the end.
Well, that is not really a problem for me, when I'm on the road, I don't have anything to do in the evenings anyway.
Okay, so I know what your thinking.. AJ, your not really going to roll your car are you?!?
Well, no, I'm not. I'm going to roll one fender of my car to see how it comes out
If it looks good, I might consider doing the whole car this way, if not, then I just slap the vinyl on top of it. At any rate, this should be interesting....