1994 Ford F-150 Restoration using Atom X20 LVLP

Here are a couple of before and after pics of my truck. This was my first time painting a vehicle ever and the first time since doing body work in 20 years. It turned ok and want to thank Tony and the LABAP community for all the knowledge and tips to make this happen.

The hood is really blotchy and needs to be repainted. It was spraying too dry but I corrected the problem after the fact as many of the panels were painted in pieces. The hood also has some scratches that showed through the final basecoat/clearcoat. Should I sand hood down with 80 grit, reprimer spots where I hit to bare metal, then basecoat/clearcoat as normal?

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I’m not sure why you would want to go with 80? I can’t see it but if it’s just a respray with scratches showing through I’d just go with 4-600, rebase and clear. Did you use a sealer before basecoat? Looks good in the pics though, how did you like the Atom?

did you paint the jambs and under the hood too? looks good in the pics. close up pics?

I did not use a sealer. I did use a 2k high build primer, however. The sanding scratches that show through are deep. I actually had to shoot the hood twice. The first time around it was shot with the 2k primer, then base coat/clear coat. I had the hood propped up against the garage wall where the wind blew it over, scuffing the paint and creating a dent in the center body line. I fixed the dent, sanded it all down, then shot base and clear. But now it’s blotchy and looks horrendous. I don’t think 400 grit is enough to get the scratches out. This is my first time ever painting so I don’t have much to compare to.

Here’s some pictures of the hood before first paint attempt and the damage that happened when it blew over.

I did paint the door jambs, under the hood, and inner fenders with new, matching paint. Here’s a close up picture of the hood where you can see the blotchiness. The rest of truck came out great, no blotchiness, nice even coverage. I had a desiccant snake by DeVilbiss on the airline that was causing the gun to shoot very dry. Once I took it off, I had a nice fan pattern and proceeded to paint the rest of the truck.

Ya,I didn’t see the dent in the picture, but The top picture tells me it was nowhere close to spraying basecoat on, that is where your blotches are coming from. sealer will help hide some of your 400 sanding marks, If it were me I would sand the entire hood again with an air file, 180, re prime it, sand with 400, seal it, then base it again using a wet on wet application. Or if you don’t want to take it that far just sand it with 400 and shoot 2 or three med/ heavy base coats and re clear it. what was your finish sand grit?

The dent is no longer there. That was fixed prior to shooting base/clear the 2nd time. I apologize for not being more detailed but the picture I posted above of the hood that’s grey/white is before any work was done to it. That was a junkyard hood that I brought home. I essentially sanded all that was left of the white basecoat and primer that was on it. Then I shot the entire hood with 2k DTM primer. 3 coats or so of base, 2 coats of clear. Then the hood fell, creating the dent and scuffed paint. I fixed the dent, sanded the rest of the hood down with a 400 grit and shot a few coats of base, then 2 more coats of clear. I used 400 grit as for final sanding both times. So you’re saying if I sand it down with 400 grit now that will remove the sanding scratches and cover up the blotchiness once new coats of base/clear are shot?

I hope that clarified a few things. Thanks everybody for all your help!

I would sand it with 400 with an air file, or 600 with a 12 or 15" block, pick one up on ebay or Northern tool. sanding with an air file will leave finer sand marks than by hand sanding, the blotches ethier come from the work that has been done under the base, or not getting good coverage when you spray, I’m not familiar with the atom so I can’t really suggest any settings for you.“Watch Tony’s video on how to adjust your gun” The blotches may also be coming from incorrect gun settings or spray technique. Make sure your not holding the gun to far away and spray 50% overlap with base and 75% with the clear. IMO you should always use a sealer before base, it will help block out the body work and fine sand marks and imperfections. Also the quality of the base coat your using will determine how many coats to spray and how it covers. Be patient and let it flash before applying the next coat…
Also looking at your close up picture it looks like you may have just sprayed a little to fast and didn’t get the coverage or the air pressure may have been a little to high, painting in an uncontrolled environment is a little like baking a cake, the temp., and humidity plays a big part, so what worked one time may not be the same the next,… gun pressure,mixing, type of reducer, technique, etc.
All in all it looks good for your first time.
I think but not positive, Tony recommends the LVLP for clears. I use a completely different gun.

LVLP can be used for base too, don’t let that deter you or make you think you need a whole new gun for base. With LVLPs sometimes you need to move a bit slower as it puts out less material but it varies from gun to gun.

Yeah I used the Atom X20 LVLP for primer, base, and clear. Its the first and only gun I’ve ever had but I didn’t have any issues with it. I sprayed 2K high build primer with the 2.0 tip at about 25 psi, base coat with a 1.4 at 25-26 psi and clear coat with 1.4 at 26-27 psi.

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