'02 Suburban re-paint thread

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
It's never easy, is it? Fixing the sags in the base and sanded through to the sealer, so had to touch them up and wait for that to dry . . .

Finally shot the clear.

I recall in a different thread someone said "relax and have fun when spraying." That is great advice, much better results. We can make this so intense, but for the hobbiests at least, it is supposed to be fun, right?

So I sprayed the 1st coat of clear "the way I want it to look" per the instructions. It was perfect! I stood there all PPE'd up admiring it, and watched a little gnat like bug fly right into the wet clear
I wicked him out with my gloved finger, figured it would be better to fix that crater later than to have him entombed in the clear. The downside of a makeshift booth . . .

Anyway, put down 5 coats of clear, with exactly 30 minutes flash between them.

A few sags and minor trash that I'm sure will cut out just fine.

I'm happy! I can do this!

Here are a few pics

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MDPotter

Promoted Users
I share the same roller coaster of emotions when it comes to painting. I too am a hobbyist and spraying is the fun part but it's also the most nerve wracking for me. Gun speed, overlap, and distance are hard to master and be consistent when you're a hobbyist. I sprayed a booth full of parts last weekend and for the most part they came out okay. There's no such thing as a perfect paint job. At least not without redoing your work in my experience. What I've learned recently is that I need to increase my travel speed while also increasing overlap. It's amazing how quick you can see the clear start to build up if you go too slow. Also not sure if it's better to lay panels flat or hang them up. Hanging them results in almost no trash for me, but also increases the chances of runs dramatically. I tried laying some panels flat and spraying them but I'm not sure it's any better. A lot more trash and I still got a few runs.

Here are my lessons learned with a few SPI products:
Epoxy - first coat has to be pretty light or else it will crater. Following coats can be medium. I spray epoxy the same as I spray clear.
Base - DO NOT double coat any areas. I tend to try and cover the entire panel on the first coat and if I see a spot that I didn't cover, I go back and touch up that spot and I usually end up getting runs in that spot.
Clear - high travel speed, lots of overlap will help avoid runs and sags.

Stick with it - it's rewarding to know that you did the bodywork yourself and knowing that it's done right. It will be a roller coaster of emotions but when things go wrong, walk away and come back to it when you're ready. The hood looks great! If the worst thing that happened is the bug, consider yourself fortunate. I would have inconsistent texture, runs, and I might even bump into it on accident while maneuvering around.
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
There's no such thing as a perfect paint job. At least not without redoing your work in my experience.
Thanks! It is fun and rewarding to practice and learn, even with the highs and lows. It is kind of like playing a musical instrument, you always have more to learn and never really feel like you are very good at it because there are always maestros to compare yourself to.

I'm in the same boat with spraying the parts vertical vs. horizontal, or runs vs. trash. For me, fixing minor runs or sags is easier than trash, I worry less about sand through on a run.

A local custom paint/restoration shop owner that I became friends with gave me a great tip. He said "When setting up your gun, when you think you have it dialed in, turn the air cap 90 degrees for a horizontal fan, then spray it on your test panel, at the correct distance, and see how long it takes to run. Knowing the run point will help you with your speed, and may reveal settings need to be tweaked."

The other thing that helped me reduce runs was to change my focus point when spraying.
75% overlap is recommended for clear.
I was focusing on the initial pass for how the clear was flowing. If the initial pass is "perfect" and then you double it with the overlap, it could be too much material.
I switched and started focusing on the flow in the overlap area. That seemed to help.
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
The hood is done. Well, are we ever really done? I see some spots I want to touch up the cutting/buffing now that I have it out in the sunlight.
But overall I think it came out good. Especially pleased with how the body work I had to do to make it fit came out. That was a challenge.

I've been informed that the truck and I are needed to chauffeur 6 ladies for spa day later this month, so I have to wait to paint the rest of it. Glad to do it, my wife is very tolerant of my car hobby

A few pics with the hood on the truck, just the look I wanted.

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Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Moving on to the rest of the truck now that the chauffeur duties have been fulfilled.
Oh, and I'm going to have to redo the hood . Part of modifying the aftermarket hood was lowering the hinge mount pads, and with time/vibration one of the bolts dimpled the hood slightly and I can see tiny cracks. Those won't get any better and now is the time to get it right.

Acres and acres of body to sand on this beast . . . getting there.

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Chris_Hamilton

Trying to be the best me, I can be
THing you will find about painting with the mirrors on is when you are making a pass you have to shift the gun and its easy to screw it up in that area because of the base of the mirror. 20 minutes to pull the door panels and mirrors. Would be a good idea. You've gone this far with it.

Not sure if this was mentioned, so forgive me if you did. I don't know how tall you are Dean.....I'm short, so if I was painting your ride I would plan on painting the roof first, then masking it off (after a couple of days of cure time) and doing the rest of the truck. It will make it much much easier to do a nice job doing it that way. Trying to do it all you are running around, moving the ladder, trying not to touch the sides, very easy to screw up trying to do it all in one go. And exhausted when you get done. And those tires would either be off the truck and it sitting on low jackstands or I would deflate them. Me....probably off sitting in the corner.:)
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
THing you will find about painting with the mirrors on is when you are making a pass you have to shift the gun and its easy to screw it up in that area because of the base of the mirror. 20 minutes to pull the door panels and mirrors. Would be a good idea. You've gone this far with it.

I would plan on painting the roof first, then masking it off (after a couple of days of cure time) and doing the rest of the truck.
Good thoughts Chris, thanks.
Inner door panels are already off, had to remove them to get the door handles off. So, I'll take a look at the mirrors and see what it will take to take them off. You are absolutely right, it will make spraying much easier.

I'm not painting the roof. I'm not changing color and with the lift and tires, even Shaq couldn't see that roof anyway ;) It is in decent shape, glossy with no peeling, so no preservation issues. And between the roof rack rails and ribbed trim up there, and trying to get up there to prep and spray I decided it wasn't worth it.
And, there is a really nice joint in the body, above the doors and back window, out of sight from the ground, to tape off the roof. The only visible part that won't be repainted is above the windshield, but it is in great shape and should look fine.

I really appreciate your suggestions. Nice to have experienced eyes on the project, things jump out to people who have done this many times.

Here is another example of that. I've made friends with a guy who owns a custom paint and restoration shop. I got to know him when I was looking for someone to do work on the el Camino. He said, "cool project, I'd love to work on it, I'm two years out for an opening." And as we talked, he said "you could probably do this yourself, and I'd be happy to coach you through it."

After I finished the Suburban hood, I took it over to show him. He was very positive and said, "yeah, you got this."
He walked around the truck and asked how I was going to approach the project.
I said, "scuff the factory clear, epoxy, fix the dings, 2K, block sand, epoxy seal, base, clear."
He said, "your front fenders and tailgate are perfect, not a scratch or ding, why would you waste the material and time spraying 2K on them and blocking? Just epoxy, base, clear."

Oh! Why didn't I think of that?
 

Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Good thoughts Chris, thanks.
Inner door panels are already off, had to remove them to get the door handles off. So, I'll take a look at the mirrors and see what it will take to take them off. You are absolutely right, it will make spraying much easier.

I'm not painting the roof. I'm not changing color and with the lift and tires, even Shaq couldn't see that roof anyway ;) It is in decent shape, glossy with no peeling, so no preservation issues. And between the roof rack rails and ribbed trim up there, and trying to get up there to prep and spray I decided it wasn't worth it.
And, there is a really nice joint in the body, above the doors and back window, out of sight from the ground, to tape off the roof. The only visible part that won't be repainted is above the windshield, but it is in great shape and should look fine.

I really appreciate your suggestions. Nice to have experienced eyes on the project, things jump out to people who have done this many times.

Here is another example of that. I've made friends with a guy who owns a custom paint and restoration shop. I got to know him when I was looking for someone to do work on the el Camino. He said, "cool project, I'd love to work on it, I'm two years out for an opening." And as we talked, he said "you could probably do this yourself, and I'd be happy to coach you through it."

After I finished the Suburban hood, I took it over to show him. He was very positive and said, "yeah, you got this."
He walked around the truck and asked how I was going to approach the project.
I said, "scuff the factory clear, epoxy, fix the dings, 2K, block sand, epoxy seal, base, clear."
He said, "your front fenders and tailgate are perfect, not a scratch or ding, why would you waste the material and time spraying 2K on them and blocking? Just epoxy, base, clear."

Oh! Why didn't I think of that?
I imagined that taking the power mirrors off would be an ordeal, based on other vehicles I've worked on. Pffft, 3 speed nuts and 1 electrical connector, done.
Ans as a bonus, withe mirrors off, I could see that I could peel the window molding back out of the way. Much less detailed masking and it will be a better paint result.
Nice!

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Dean Jenkins

Promoted Users
Trying to follow the "Pefect paint job" instructions.
Really wanted to roll the truck outside for some UV between stages.
Not looking good at this time.
Welcome to late Fall in the pacific northwest

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