1974 Ford Bronco

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1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on August 6th 2012, 3:52 pm

I have completed my painting project and am floored with how it has turned out. So, I decided since I swiped a ton of information off of this web site during the process, it would be appropriate to pass on what I have learned so others won’t have to “struggle” as much.

My project: 1974 Ford Bronco

Paint/Colour: Rustoleum Safety Red

Goals: Not a “Show Quality” paint job…but one that looks decent.

A little background on my painting project. I have wanted an early Bronco since I was a kid. But back in the day my parents couldn’t afford to buy me one. Fast forward a couple decades and after finishing my post graduate work, I needed something to fill my time. At this point the most I have ever done with a vehicle was to put gas in it, and pay insurance. I could tell you where the engine was…but couldn’t name any of the parts. So taking on a project of this magnitude was going to be monumental for me. 2 years later I found myself ready for paint. Initially I contacted everyone in my city from Maaco –to- Custom Paint shops. Macco quoted me around $1500 to paint my rig. That price didn’t include any sanding or body prep. Basically I was told bring it in and they would shoot it, and clear it for that price. I checked with a handful of custom paint shops and the best price I got from them was $3k. Then on happenstance while talking to a buddy who builds MGB’s on the side, he mentioned that his last 2 builds he “Rolled” the paint. I was ignorant to the whole process so we had numerous discussions on what his process was. Long story short when he sold his project MG’s the buyers both commented that it was “the best paint job they had seen”… Of course I was a little skeptical about the whole process of rolling Rustoleum on a car, so he directed me to check out some youtube videos of the process. This is where the research really kicked in. I must have watched EVERY “Rustoleum paint job” video out there. Surprisingly they all looked better than expected. From there I searched every forum and website that talked about “$50 paint jobs”… This is where the nervousness set in. I got real nervous about the process when I was reading about Hot Rod guys bashing roll-on paint jobs and how “crappy” they are, and how if you spend the time and money to build a vehicle then spend the money for paint. Well…I am active duty military and its public knowledge what we make…so it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out financially a $3k paint job is out of the question for me…especially with 3 kids and a wife in med school. So I took the plunge and decided F%$# it…I will use Rustoleum.

So I made the decision to use Rustoleum:
I went down to Home Depot and got a gallon of Rustoleum Safety Red for $29

http://rustoleum.com/CBGProduct.asp?pid=130&sid=7564402

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202041194/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=professional+enamel&storeId=10051

A gallon of Mineral Spirits for $13

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1v/R-100147127/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=Mineral+Spirits&storeId=10051

…and a half dozen packages of Tack Cloth at $2.50 ea.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100295475/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=Tack+Cloth&storeId=10051

The next issue was if we were going to spray it…or hand roll the whole thing. The wife bought me the Harbor Freight HVLP kit http://www.harborfreight.com/professional-automotive-hvlp-spray-gun-kit-94572.html
For $49.00 + shipping.
So we decided to spray. After weeks, and weeks, and weeks of sanding the Bronco’s primer coat, I got to the point of thinking…it isn’t going to get any better than this…its time for paint. So I set the date. A buddy from High School came over and we set up the compressor, the gun, and got to mixing paint. Everything I read about spraying Rustoleum told us that 50/50 was the mixture to go with so we mixed that. Then did a final wipe down of the Bronco body with Mineral Spirits followed by a Tack Cloth wipe. We were ready to go. We loaded the gun and started spray at the passenger rear quarter panel. This is where I about lost my mind…the paint ran…and ran…and ran…and looked like a total **** mess. I almost had tears in my eyes watching us screw 2 years of work into the ground. So we STOPPED. To assess what we had. Initially we thought it was a gun issue…but ultimately we had the paint mixed incorrectly. We switched to a 75/25 mix ratio (paint –to- Mineral Spirits) and tried to reshoot the rear quarter panel. This time the paint was coming out chunky and in HUGE drops…but it stuck. So now we are looking at a gun issue for the “chunks”… Long story short to this disaster is this: If you don’t know how to use an HVLP…you might not want to use it on paining your vehicle without some prior practice. That was a total **** maneuver that earned me the fun of sanding it all off. Sooooooooo OK…looks like we are going to roll it. I went back to review videos on mixing for rolling so I could get the chemistry portion of the process correct. New plan…I would roll 2 coats then sand at 400 grit. I tried rolling a 75/25 ratio and found that to be to thick…a lot of sanding to break down what I believed was the orange peel. For those of you doing this for the 1st time…Orange Peel is the little “bumps” you will see after you sand. If after you sand you don’t see a flat dull base colour…you need to keep sanding! The first couple coats rolled on nice and smooth. BUT…EXPECT it to look like hell until you build up enough coats that the under primer doesn’t show through. The paint needs to be smooooooth as a babys ***. I had a hell of a time trying to determine if I needed to keep sanding…in the long run…YES, sand it! The next couple layers we would lay 2 coats and sand. From 400, 600, 800, 1000, to 1500 grit, for a total of 12 coats. For my location I found that 60/40 worked best for rolling at a temp of 85-95 deg.

I am now to the point where I “think” I have enough of a base on and its smooth enough to move into the finishing stages. At this point you have 2 options: 1. Cut & Buff then polish/wax what you have… or…2. Clear Coat. I like to do **** the hardest way possible so I chose option #2 to clear coat. This is another area of discussion that can go either way. If you clear coat and get a chip in it later on and want to fix it, you will have to sand through the clear coat to fix, then reapply. Where as if you just go with the Rustoleum and get a chip you can just touch it up and buff it back out. Again…I am a hard head and have to do **** the most difficult way known to man. So I went out and bought Ultra Xtreme Urethane Clear Coat - 1 Gal. plus w/1 Qt. activator for $74 http://www.paintforcars.com/clearcoat_urethane.html

I ended up spraying 8 coats of clear over my base colour. After talking to a local car paining guy (without letting him know I was rolling Rustoleum) his advise was to apply as many coats as I could within the pot-life time of the clear since as a first time painter I would end up sanding a lot of it back off to get it smooth. Long story short on the application of clear coat… unless you really enjoy hand sanding, and have countless hours to put into…the shine of buffing straight Rustoleum is just as good as having a clear coat sprayed on. If I had to do it all over again…I wouldn’t have applied the clear. Why? Because there are too many variables that go into doing it. When you consider the sanding time, prep time, spray time, dry time, etc…you really are not gaining much more by doing it. But hey…I gotta try it for myself to see. So once the clear was on it was time to sand…again. I initially started with 1500 grit to knock down the highs and lows in the clear coat but found that to be tough sanding so I dropped to 1000 grit and got it on. Once I had everything smoothed out at 1000 grit I went back over it with 1500 and then 2000 grit. If you are sanding clear coat it will come off in a milky white colour. If you get your base coat colour … STOP! You have gone too far. The visual of your paint job will look real dull and you shouldn’t see any reflection in the paint. Not to worry…you are on the right track.

Now comes the cut and buff phase. I used Meguires Ultimate Compound http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G17216-Ultimate-Compound/dp/B001O7PNNM and I think I paid about $8 for it at Walmart. Now putting this on is where you get the shine…Some people say you have 2 choices here as well. 1. Apply by hand. –or- 2. Use a variable speed orbital. USE THE ORBITAL. For those of you that have used your hand…I just cant see where you get enough speed and heat build up to get the paint to gloss. Anyhow, apply your “cutting” pahse with a WOOL pad. NOTE: Keep the orbital always in motion. DON’T let it sit on one spot or you WILL burn through clear coat and/or paint. This is where you will smile. As the shine came through I could see the smile on my face in the panel I was working. Simply Amazing… Once the whole car/area is done you move to the final phase of polishing. I used 2 different items at this point…mainly because I was looking for what worked the best. I used Meguires 205 http://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-M20532-Ultra-Finishing-Polish/dp/B001O7PNXC/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1344280134&sr=1-1&keywords=meguiars+205
I paid about $20 for it at a local auto parts store. Auto Zone or something to that effect. That stuff really took out the swirl marks from the havier grit of the Ultimate compound. Application of the final Polish/Glaze is done using a foam pad. The second product I used was Race Glaze Polish http://www.amazon.com/RACE-GLAZE-POLISH-SEALANT-BOTTLE/dp/B000MV599Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1344280265&sr=1-1&keywords=racing+glaze

Honestly I couldn’t tell the difference between the 2 when I used the 2nd item. It runs about $15 a bottle but I got mine free from a guy locally so figured I would give it a shot. So that’s it in a long winded nut shell.
My project though wasn’t finished at this point. I had the issue of having a fiberglass hood that needed to be done as well. First off let me start this section by saying painting fiberglass sucks! Unless you get that stuff completely smooth…you will see waves no matter what you do. In the end…I rolled it too. I had to build up a number of coats and then sand to get it all smoothed out…but it worked and looks decent.

Final thoughts:
This was never intended to be a “Show” paint job. I just wanted something that looked decent when I was out and about in towne. But…as you work your project more and more you will slowly slide towards working for profection because of the sheer amount of work and time you are putting into the job. I guess its human nature that we want nice stuff and this is no different.

With that in mind, when sanding you can never sand “enough”…if you think you have it and have sanded enough…go back and sand some more. It sucks, trust me I know. But in the end the quality of your paint job is determined by your sanding.

Errors in your work are inevitable…however…ONLY YOU know where those are and what they are. I worked my *** off to get my job as perfect as possible but you can only do so much with this method and in your driveway or garage. As my buddy said to me “You’re the only one that knows where the errors are…when you drive by hot chicks at 45 mph they won’t be able to see it…so you are good.” I agree with what he said but my issue is when my friends are checking out my ride and can see different things. I tried my *** off to make mine a 3 foot paint job. Meaning you gotta be 3ft or closer to see any of my flaws. I think I am close.

Why I did this…Money was the driving factor. I didn’t have $3k for a professional job. With that said, this process is NOT a $50 job either. By the time you buy all the supplies you are looking at in the neighborhood of about $300. $300 for a paint job…hell yeah…all day long. Would I do it again? Not if I had the money to pay someone else to do it. But if I needed to paint a car…YES, I would do it this way again…even with all the hard work and long hours of sanding. I talked to a guy that paints cars locally about this process and this is what he told me when I asked about why people get up in arms about this process. He said you know…”this method is no different than how they use to paint cars single stage back in the day. The reason painters get all worked up about it is that it’s taking money out of their pockets if the customers start doing it on their own.”

Rustoleum vs automotive paint? Cheaper and I get the added benefit of rust protection on my almost 40 year old vehicle.

Rollers: Ultra High Density Foam Rollers for $9 (get the kind without the “button” on the end. I used 3, 6, and 9 inch variations. I used a new roller after each painting session. Some guys will use them for multiple sessions, but I didn’t risk that one. Anyhow…below are the ones I used.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100167382/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=foam+roller&storeId=10051

To clear or not to clear? They shine up the same…so save your hands, and shoulders. Plus fixing rock chips without the clear sill be hours easier.

Sanding: Use a rubber block so it comes out level and smooth. I found a really cool 3M flat rubber block for like $5 at a local AutoZone. Small enough that it fits the hand and accepts a full sheet of automotive sand paper. Get the Orange peel out….as much as it sucks, you gotta do it for the sake of your finished product.

Hand rolling: I have tons of friends that build cars, race cars, show cars, etc…I was nervous as F%$# to tell them I hand rolled…and with Rustoleum. Most of them still don’t know. Hell I paint in my garage late at night so no one sees me. BUT the finished product is pure MONEY, so I don’t give a SH!T who knows.

Dust: Inevitably you will get dust particles on your drying paint. It is one of the accepted hazards of doing a paint job outside of a proper paint booth. Don’t fret. These particles can be knocked down with 1500 and 2000 grit just prior to your cut and buff. All previous stuff will be removed through normal sanding. The key to remember is you want the paint job smooth.

Clean up: Yeah my wife is pissed about this one… I have an epoxy coated garage floor and once the paint dries on it…it’s a ***** to get off. Mineral spirits will work for some of it….but normal industrial strength concrete acid works best. Pour it on, add a little water and squeegee it out. You will have drips and drops of paint but clean up isn’t too bad.

So, that’s how I did it. I am sure I am missing stuff, but wanted to give out the information I learned through the process. I had tons of questions that were not addressed prior to starting that hopefully someone will find helpful when they go about this process. It does work…it’s a lot of work to do…but the look on someone’s face when you tell them “hell, I hand rolled that!” is priceless. Good luck and if you have any questions or want to see pictures feel free to email me at demodicky@yahoo.com I will help you the best I can.




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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on August 6th 2012, 5:35 pm

[img][/img]

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on August 6th 2012, 5:36 pm

[img][/img]

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on August 6th 2012, 5:37 pm

[img][/img]

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on August 6th 2012, 5:38 pm

[img][/img]

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by Tommy Hillbilly on August 7th 2012, 12:28 am

I remember checking those out new, in the showroom, when I was a kid and my folks were car shopping.

Looks really good. What drivetrain are you running? And what is that hood off of?

My only dispute with your article is that little sanding block. That's what I used, and mine came out wavy. If I had it to do again, I would have used a long block for my first stages of color-sanding.

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by cac1967 on August 7th 2012, 4:30 pm

WOW!!!!!!! omg THAT LOOK'S AMAZING!!!!!! I have painted many car's over the year's and that look's as good as some I myself have painted in a booth with a davilbliss or a sata gun that I have , another success story for a rolled on paint job!!!!!! look at 63falconconvert and rmdhokie's paint job's, they turned ouit amazing also, if you tell you buddies how it was painted I think that they would not beleive you rolled it any way!!!!

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by 63Falconconvert on August 7th 2012, 10:01 pm

Dude your truck ROCKS!!!! Fantastic job. I want to read through your prosess better. Thats the beauty of rolling, there is more then one way to get a great looking paint job. We all learn from each other, what to do and what not to do. What worked for me may not work for the next guy.
The shock factor of telling people you rolled it is worth all of the late nights wetsanding. I still get off looking at peoples faces when I tell them "yup rolled it myself with a $2.00 sponge roller"
Another Ford too...... thumbs up

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on August 11th 2012, 4:47 pm

Thanks for all the kind words guys...much appreciated. I am still in the process of putting all the pieces back together on it. Hopefully I will be able to take it for a test spin around the neighborhood tomorrow.

Like everyone else has said...its a LOT OF WORK. Literally tons of late nights out in the garage sanding, and sanding, and sanding.

Just for reference purposes...when looking at the pix; The hood is NOT clear coated. Neither are the doors (Will add a pix maybe tomorrow if i drive it), whereas the body is. Just letting you guys know so you can judge for yourself if you see a difference between having a clear coat added or not.

As for the comment about the small sanding block...I used a multitude of blocks...from rubber ones to wooden blocks from my kids play sets. I found that the thin one didnt murder my wrist and arm as much. With that being said...you have to be careful because like you said it can turn out wavy from differences in pressure you place on the block when sanding. I mainly used my thin one at the 1500-2000 grit level of sanding.


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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on August 12th 2012, 10:35 pm

[img][/img]

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by inda_bebe on August 13th 2012, 11:59 am

Good job, bud. im still in the process of doing the body work on mine. how bad was the smell on the VOC 4.2? im thinking about spraying clear on mine only to add pearl to the gloss black rusto. im gonna take a few days off of work so that i can spray it during the day while the neighbors are at work.

nice bronco

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on September 8th 2013, 4:39 pm

1 year later...the paint still looks as good as the day it went on.

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by 63Falconconvert on October 5th 2013, 1:48 pm

this process really does work when it's done right! Nice job!

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by T.Hadley on November 17th 2013, 6:54 pm

Love the EB's and great work on yours

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on March 19th 2014, 2:57 am

2 yrs later: [img][/img]

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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

Post by DemoDicky74 on March 19th 2014, 2:58 am

2 yrs later...ended up swapping hoods and having to roll it to match...


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Re: 1974 Ford Bronco

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