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First Time Painter?

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Alright, I've got a "beater" 510 of sorts that I use to test fit parts, canabalize for my racecar, and just to keep so that I can have a running 510 to drive around town (my racecar is a long ways from being race ready and I need the motivation that a working 510 provides).


I decided recently that it needed some TLC, so I embarked on this quest to fix the rust, fill the holes, and paint it. Almost done with the rust part, and will be trying to paint it soon. Thing is...I've never painted before. I'm inspired by all these posts of guys painting their own cars, and wondering if I could do it myself. Here's my plan, so please tell me what I should/shouldn't do, or if I should just leave it up to the professionals. There's a lot of stuff I don't know, so if I left something out or if you need clarification, just ask :). I've got a 60 gal air compressor and a harbor freight paint gun...


1) Build a paint booth. I share a shop with a few other guys, so I was going to build a small booth with PVC pipe and fittings, and some clear plastic tarps. This way I can take it down when I'm done and get it out of everyone's way. I was going to use two box fans and 24x24 HVAC filters to ventilate the thing. One pointed in on medium speed and one pointed out on low speed, so the booth stays at a positive pressure. I will also use a respirator while in the booth.


2) Blast/sand? I probably don't want to go all way the way to bare metal everywhere, because that's a lot of work, but I would like to take as much of the house paint (literally) that the P.O. applied and get down to a good base. I have a random orbital sander I was going to use for this, but harbor freight also sells a little air powered blaster kit that I was thinking about...thoughts? I would then hand sand to even it out and get a good base for the paint. Fill where necessary.


3) Primer? If I don't take it down to bare metal, is this even necessary?


4) Finish coat? I was wanting to do this on the cheap, and had seen others apply Rustoleum finish coats with guns with good results. Maybe a couple coats of rustoleum primer and then rustoleum finish coat? No clear, just single stage paint. Am I dreaming? This is no show car, but is garage kept, and I've had Rustoleum hold up for a decade on bumpers and other exterior bits on my Jeep. So I dunno, your input is welcome here as well.

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ratsun is always a good place to gather info, but 'paint/body work' is more general so you could widen your search throughout google.


a lot of what ive read from tech articles and the paint books at the bookstore dissuade against sand blasting, unless youre very selective with the medium you choose.

just sand it and youll be fine.


taking it down to bare metal isnt necessary, unless you want to eliminate any possibility of possible rust being under paint.


the biggest thing that everyone will say is that its ALL ABOUT PREP WORK. its all about sanding and sanding.


im sure more experience personnel will chime in on this

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First, see f there is a community college near you that has classes for the "non professional" this will give you much needed imstruction, and more importantly, sources for auto paint suppliers. Many times these suppliers give discounts to student, and that helps to offset the price of tuition.


Do not sandblast sheet metal you can see. It screws it up, and makes it wavy. You can sandblast inner structures.


Here is a good forum to look at:


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