2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

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2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 12th 2011, 1:59 pm

Hey guys. After getting a ton of info from this site and some specific questions on another post (thanks cac1967 and retired plumber) I took last week off of work to start the color change on my 2001 malibu. I replaced the fenders because i had taken a bunch of extra metal off the inside of both when i had installed vertical doors on my car a long time ago. Since then I have gone back to my regular hinges and the fenders were pretty flimsy so I got some used ones at a junk yard. I also had alot of repairs to do on both fiberglass bumpers. The back one was hit twice and the front one had the bottom fiberglass part broken off and alot of cracks and TONS of rock chips (I ordered a protective bra to see if it'll prevent the chips this time around). I fixed the cracks with fiberglass mat, smoothed things out with bondo, and finished it with glaze and got a pretty good finish. Here are a couple of pictures. So far I'm only 3 coats in, and 2 coats on these pictures. I'm not sure why theres so much haze on the hood on the last picture, i don't have any of those spots there, everything is looking way better than i expected. I'll post some more pics up as i go along.













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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by cac1967 on December 12th 2011, 8:26 pm

Lookin great, that look's really great, your prep work look's really good, that is a great result with the rusto aluminium , keep up the great work, glad we could help thumbs up
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by leeready on December 13th 2011, 1:03 am

You used this?



I don't think I've seen anyone use this color yet. I haven't been on here very long though. So far looking good.


Last edited by leeready on December 13th 2011, 3:12 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 13th 2011, 12:59 pm

Thanks, yep, that's the same can I'm using (two actually). I'm now 4 coats in. Its looking better every coat. I'm thinking of just doing 6 coats since its coming out so well. Would that be too little? Or would 8 be that much better? I haven't had a whole lot of orange peel from what i could see so I'm thinking of wet sanding today with 1000 grit after letting coat 4 dry since yesterday, then do coats 5 (wait a day) then coat 6 (wait a day), then do 1500 wet sanding, then polish. What do you guys think?
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by leeready on December 13th 2011, 3:20 pm

When I painted my saturn I put about 6 on the sides and 8 on the hood, truck and roof. I got full coverage after 1 or 2 coats with black. I probably didn't thin it enough though. If you're getting full coverage you should still pull a few more coats on...at least 2 more. That leaves room for error when wet sanding/buffing. You don't want to burn through the paint.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 14th 2011, 12:43 pm

Cool, I'll do the 8 coats, and again, thanks for the fast replies. I will be putting on coat 6 today, wet sand with 1000 and coat 7 tomorrow, and coat 8 friday. I'll get some more pictures up soon.

Questions about the final stage, buffing/polishing.

I need to wait a week before the final wetsand and buffing/polishing right?

There seems to be different information on what I need to do during the buffing/polishing stage. Some say to use a buffing compound, then polishing compound, others just polishing. This is what I have right now.

Craftsman 10inch Buffer/polisher:
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00910723000P?prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1

TurtleWax Polishing compound:
http://www.amazon.com/Turtle-Wax-T-241A-Polishing-Compound/dp/B0009JKGJ2

What do you guys think? Or should I get another machine? Should I get a buffing compound and different polishing compound?
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by leeready on December 14th 2011, 2:54 pm

I think a lot of people on here say wait at least a month to buff/wax. I waited about 2 weeks. It turned out fine. It depends on the temperature though.

I would highly recommend meguiars ultimate compound. I used the turtle wax compound you posted and I couldn't get the same shine with it. Maybe I was using it wrong....don't know. I now know why everyone always highly recommends meguiars products.

It's about 9 bucks at walmart and looks like this:



I had a cheap turtle buffer from walmart that did an okay job. That one that is about $15. I recommend the habor fright buffer though. It has some serious power. It comes with a few pads. The foam pad it comes with is actually decent, but you should buy some extra/betters pads. It it is well worth the money.

Link to the buffer: http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-variable-speed-polisher-sander-92623.html

I got it for $35 when it was on sale.

Edit: I forgot about the polish. I didn't use any. I have a bottle of some and tried it, but it didn't do anything for me. It was already shiny enough after compound.

Here's a picture right after using the compound. Yes, I had to resand the bumper down again.

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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 14th 2011, 5:18 pm

Great info. I'll stop by harbor freight and pick one up, it won't hurt to have a good polisher at home. I'm going to order a W8207 soft buff pad from meguiars, some ultimate compound, and maybe some swirlx while i'm at it.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by cac1967 on December 14th 2011, 8:18 pm

Ultimate compound with a rotary buffer is a great combination, follow that with meguire's swirl remover 2.0 followed by ultimate polish then a coat of meg's pure carnuba wax, and I would wait at least a month to let the paint gas off ,if you put wax over it now it will do crazy thing's.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 15th 2011, 11:53 am

Is it just the wax that I need to wait a month before applying? I was thinking of doing the buffing/polishing next saturday (8 days after my last coat).

I wish I could just leave it for a month but I've been borrowing my parents second vehicle (and garage to keep my car since I live in an apartment) and need to give it back before their patience runs out. I'd also just use the car as it is and do everything later but I need to do all the buffing/polishing before I can put on the clear protective lining I bought for the bumper (and since the bumper is fiberglass and suffered from tons of rock chips before I don't want to risk driving it without the lining).

So my plan is this. Buff/polish next saturday, install the lining, then a month from now do the waxing on everything but the bumper since it'll have the plastic lining.

Oh, here are some pictures I snapped after coat 6 yesterday.





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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by leeready on December 15th 2011, 3:53 pm

It looks good. Can't even see any roller marks. Are you planning on doing a final wet sand? I was reading the old mopar thread and found this about aluminum.

"The strange thing is this paint, it's called "aluminum" and its from Rustoleum professional... its got lots of metallic in it, but I found it hard to mix up.. there always seemed to be light and dark in the can. The color that ended up on the test area is uniform, but not very glossy. It looks kind of like sandpaper. We'll see how it will dry." - exit1965

"be careful, that alluminum paint is totally different from the other stuff. it's prone to fish eyes, and major shift in the metalics. don't guage your results on this paint, it dries allmost semi-gloss, it will never shine, i know, i used that paint to paint the wheels on the VW's. it's not the same paint as the colors" - chargeryeehaa

"Youre right Charger, this aluminum stuff wont work well for this. After wetsanding, it leaves black scratches with some silver. Looks very bad. I guess I'll try to find some standard rustoleum "pewter gray" which I understand does gloss. " - exit1965

Just a heads up.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 15th 2011, 4:23 pm

Good info leeready. Yeah, its not very glossy. And when I opened both cans all the actual color was clumped up at the bottom so it took some mixing to get uniform. I thought I had bad paint at first but once mixed it was fine. I mixed both quarts with 2 quarts of mineral spirits and notice it settles a little so i have to stir it around a bit everyday before I paint. As for the metallic I don't know how to tell if it has some or not. The color on the car is very uniform, not flat, but not glossy either, I wasn't sure how it should look. In all honesty I could leave it as is and I'd be happy with it, the non gloss look hides some of the imperfections I think. Maybe I should try painting one of my old fenders and polishing that just to see what it looks like. I guess I could also throw some clear on top of the last coat, or possibly even now if I'm not polishing anymore. hmm. Thanks for bringing up these points, I have some brainstorming to do.

edit: oh, just for reference on anyone thinking of this color, no fish eyes either, and very little orange peel at the thickness I laid it at. As for the wetsanding, I don't know how its supposed to look, this is my first paint job. It just kinda dulls out white.

One more thing, why wet sand the final coat? I know the other coats it helps the next 2 coats to adhere and you do it to remove orange peel. But what if I don't have orange peel? Just some thoughts.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by cac1967 on December 15th 2011, 7:56 pm

If it has no orange peel on the last coat then forgo the wetsanding and just buff and polish, but just be careful because the paint is still gassing off,I still reccomend waiting a couple week's before you do this , just to avoid having problem, with bubbling in your finished paint job if you polish and wax too soon!!!! thumbs up
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by Tommy Hillbilly on December 15th 2011, 10:59 pm

mybu11 wrote:I could leave it as is and I'd be happy with it, the non gloss look hides some of the imperfections I think.
And it looks really good. I think I would leave it for now. You just have to be careful, as unsanded paint seems to collect dirt and chip more easily.
I saw a newer porsche last summer, that had a flat white paint job, and it looked killer. I think I read in like Car & Driver or someplace that Porsche was offering flat white. I agree that flat black is used a little too often, but some light colors are particularly striking, when applied with no gloss. (I think that flat clear is the "proper" way to achieve this effect.)
Maybe I should try painting one of my old fenders and polishing that just to see what it looks like.
That would be a good thing to do. Then you'll know how that paint reacts. And I think the MOPAR thread you quoted is several years old, so the paint you have today might be different from what they had, even if it's the same brand.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 16th 2011, 12:07 pm

Great comments guys, I'm still surprised by the fast responses on this site.

So after some thinking this is what I've come up with.

I'm going to leave it alone after coat 8 for a week, put the protective film on the front, and drive it around from there and see how the color holds up.

If it holds up fine: I'll keep it as is.

If it sucks: After a month I'll try polishing the piece right behind where the license plates goes and see how it looks. If it looks good I'll polish the whole thing, if it doesn't I'll wet sand the car again, do another 2 coats of paint, then throw some clear on top of it and polish the clear.

Question: If I did do clear on it, can I just do it after the last coat? Or do I have to wet sand then do the clear?

Here are some pictures from yesterday right before I wet sanded for coat 7.










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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by cac1967 on December 16th 2011, 11:00 pm

That look's great, I can't get over great result's with the rusto aluminum, you could spray it with 3-4 coat's urethane clear if you are wanting to clear it, roll your last coat of paint then let it cure for about a week then wipe down with wax and grease remover and shoot your clear.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 17th 2011, 4:37 pm

Thanks cac1967, I'm really excited about finishing this thing. My only concern is how it'll hold up. I got held up but the 8th coat is tomorrow and I'm going to let it sit for a week before even using it and then see how it does without clear. If it doesn't hold up well then I'll paint again, then clear. I'll update with the final pictures next week when its put back together.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by retired plumber on December 18th 2011, 9:27 pm

Re the clear, Read the can to see what (how long) the recoat window is before you clear it. Most auto type paint has a 2-3 day window without sanding and then sand after that.
The reason being, within the 3 day window the paints will moleculy bond whereas after that they need the sanding roughness to adhere to.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on December 19th 2011, 1:55 pm

Cool, thanks for the info retired plumber.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by leeready on January 11th 2012, 12:52 pm

Anymore final pictures? Did you end up using any kind of gloss?
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on January 25th 2012, 6:25 pm

Sorry for taking a while to get back to you guys after all the help you gave me.

I finished the car, put everything back together. I didn't clear it, and I didn't polish it, I just let it dry as is for a couple days in my parents garage. I put the clear vinyl on the front bumper (in pieces and not a great job but you can't really tell unless its up close but i plan on redoing this). I didn't even wash the car for about a month until last week and took these pictures yesterday. The car looks so much better than before. The paint looks great too. Its like a satin silver. The only bad part is that at my apt complex there are some sprinklers that got a little bit of dirt and hard water on the right side of the hood and right fender when I initially brought it back and I didn't clean it off and I guess it hardened there with the paint so that didn't come off when I washed it but you can't tell unless you're within a foot and it looks like hard water spots. It's not alot but I'm repainting that later. The rest of the car washed great (just with a foam pad and bucket) and the paint looked just like when I finished painting it. I feared it was going to dull out because of some of the other stuff that had been mentioned previously (the paint being made differently and having metal flakes or something). Thats why I waited a month to even wash it and was super careful not to touch it even. Anyways, it looks great and I no longer feel like I'm driving a crap car. Thanks for the help. Here are some pics a couple days after its first wash.





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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by leeready on January 25th 2012, 7:41 pm

This came out great! Not going to lie I thought it might turn out bad. I like the satin look. Though I do wonder what it would look like with a few layers of gloss.

Can you see any roller marks? That's what I'm bad at.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by mybu11 on January 26th 2012, 11:07 am

Yeah, I'm wondering about the gloss too but that's it, after going at this car for a week non stop and then another two weeks after work I think I put as much work into it as I can handle.

Nope, no roller marks, but I'm super patient and meticulous. My dad helped with everything else but painting, he said he didn't have the patience for it. I'd roll on thin and do several passes to even things out as best as I could. The paint was good at leveling out too.

The only flaws I do have is very minor body work things I missed like small chips or a ding I didn't fix quite right. Still, for about 200 bucks worth of materials, the car looks so much better. Next I need to redo the tint, redo the protective vinyl you can see on the front (this time with bigger pieces and a heat gun), and I'll be good with this car for a while.

This forum rocked, you guys were of great help!
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by rmdhokie on January 26th 2012, 1:47 pm

Great job. Looks awesome. Another success story....they are adding up quickly on this forum.
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

Post by 55f100tx on June 7th 2012, 1:09 am

Ive got a question. First you did a nice job. Have you tested the aluminum spray paint to see if it will match up for touchup work later on, like nicks and scratches ?
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Re: 2001 Malibu color change from dark blue to aluminum.

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