Time to paint the Porsche 944. Today I'm applying the the first of all the layers of "paint": Sherwin Williams Lead and Chromate Hazard Free Etch Primer (FP301). The etch primer prevents the aluminum from corroding, and maximizes adherence for subsequent layers. I keep reading that it chemically bonds with the metal to form a stronger base, though it seems to me it just has some chemical components that neutralize oxidized metal; Nothing in it to make it more "sticky", but I digress.
It is mixed 1:1 with a Reducer (FP302, $32 per quart). I originally bought two quarts of the etch primer, and a gallon of reducer (which only comes in a gallon size!?, $55). It turns out that I only needed one quart, so my costs for the etch primer were $87 total. My favorite part is that it is made by a company called ACME, which brings back good memories of Wile E Coyote. I hope this stuff works better than his ACME products!
The primer mixed up really easy. (Don't forget to shake the bejezzus out of it first). It is a really pleasing shade of olive green. I used some cheap mixing cups I picked up at Home Depot, though after further review the ones at the paint store are just as cheap and have more accurate lines than the H.Depot ones. Here is Jesse mixing up the etch primer:
While he was mixing up the paint, I went over the whole car twice with Kleen-Strip Prep-All Wax and Grease Remover (1 gallon, $18), rubbing it on with one heavily-doused shop-style paper towels (1 roll, $2), and then wiping off the excess and residue with a second dry shop towel. I did the whole car once, switching towels only as they got really clogged with dust and dirt. Then I did the car a second time using a new set of towels on each panel. (The cost of a few extra towels is minimal compared to having to redo all the upcoming work + materials.)
I'm pretty excited to finally start spraying. Since I'm a novice, and my buddy (who is a great painter) is a gimp, and used to painting cabinets; the next step was a little daunting. You don't think about it until you have the spray gun ready to go, but the action and order of spraying the car demands some forethought. Special thanks to Kevin Tetz's Paintucation videos that took the time to give the best plan for painting the car. First off, here are some "before" pictures. I am totally sick of the look of scrubbed mottled aluminum, and ready for some uniform color:
Kevin Tetz makes a good point. Before spraying your paint, take your gun with hose attached and pretend to paint the whole car. It will give you a good idea of where you might need some extra thought of order of progress, and how to hold the gun in trouble spots (like the bottom edges of the rocker panels.) It also helps you notice when your hose might hit the car so you can work out a system from keeping the hose away from wet paint. You could even do it with air, but no paint, and see if any of your masking gives way to air pressure.
Per Tetz, start at the roof-line of the car above the doors. you paint from front to back starting above the door, and painting in long even lines. Each row overlaps 50-75% and is that much closer to the middle of the roof panel, each stroke starting from the windshield and going back to the hatch area. Once your strokes reach the middle, go to the other side of the car, and starting where you left off in the middle, continue the strokes until you've finished the top of the car. I then painted down the side of the windshield pillar on each side (that diagonal bar that also has the edge of the front door), I'd leave the rear pillar for later. Here is me starting to spray: