Well, it’s been a while since I posted my last update to the Blazer project. Class is wrapped up at Assabet Valley Tech, and I got a ton of the grunt work done. Now it’s time to think about paint, and I’m going to do this in the most BangShifty method possible.
In my last episode, I mentioned I was having trouble with the door pin bushings. I’ve had the doors on and off about six times now, and I think I finally have it right. When I tried the standard oversized bushings, they were way too big to fit in the hole and disintegrated when I tried to drive them in.
I tried hinge kits from every auto parts store around, and none of them were right. I managed to find the right bushings in a miscellaneous package of bushings and pins at my local CAP Auto Parts. I ended up having to buy four kits, because each one only had two of the right bushings.
With doors hung, fenders on and everything I can see coated with Chassis Saver, I’m now on to the topic of paint. I had hoped to get to painting when I was still in the class, but the bodywork consumed all of my available shop time. I was glad to get all the welding done while I was there, and ended up having to replace floor supports, which took more time than I had anticipated.
So I’m on my own for paint. I figured I could get it sprayed somewhere cheap, but the chances of that are looking more and more unlikely. I stopped by a MAACO when they were running a “Spring Special” for $499, which seemed acceptable, but when I brought the truck in, the guy running the shop told me the $499 special was only for compact cars. My truck would be $750, which, frankly is nonsense. Considering he wouldn’t have to spray the roof at all, he’d be using about three ounces more single-stage black paint on my truck than he would a Geo Metro, so I don’t get why I should be spending another $250.
So, I’m going at this thing myself. A while ago, I became fascinated with the $50 Paint Job at Rickwrench.com.
Rickwrench painted a Corvair a bunch of years ago using nothing other than a bunch of weenie rollers and a few quarts of Rustoleum. He took pictures five years later and the paint held up remarkably well, even being left outside. The Blazer has a nice home in a garage, so I figured I’d give it a shot.
One way I’m deviating from Rickwrench’s advice is that I’m not thinning the paint at all. When I painted the inner fenders with a roller, I thinned the paint 50/50, and I wasn’t crazy about the results. I talked to my pal Bill LeBeau who runs Airbrush Works in Worcester, Massachusetts, and he told me that I’d get better results by changing my technique and not thinning the paint at all. I used Bill’s method with the primer I applied, and I’m much happier with the results.
Bill said that instead of thinning the paint, you get some paint on the roller in the tray, and then roll that out on a cardboard box. I used a flat from a case of Narragansett to roll into. Using that method, you’ve essentially impregnated paint in the roller, and you can roll it out without it going on too thick.
For the edges, I started using a foam brush, but I’m going to switch to a regular brush because I don’t like the way the foam just sort of pushes the paint around instead of applying it.
A couple of things I love about painting this way: (1) I can do it in my garage and my wife won’t divorce me by blowing paint fumes directly up into our bedroom, which is just over my bay. (2) I can attack one or two panels at a time without an issue. (3) I’m not overspraying everything else in the garage and (4) I hardly have to mask anything.
I’m really happy with the results of the primer, and it dried in totally acceptable time, which was my worry when I thought about painting without thinning. I’m going on vacation next week, but I’ll be back in a few weeks with a new episode when I block sand it.