Couple basic painting questions

Been seeing a lot of guys spraying from the bottom up. I am going to be painting a standard size Dodge truck and always thought it should be top down. Where should I start? I’m familiar with the push/pull method for the hoods. Bumpers and what not are pretty self explanatory but what should the spray process be? Also, I am spraying the factory emerald green pearl metallic. It’s not a crazy metallic flake and the TDS for the paint system I am using just says “2-4 single coats or until opacity is achieved.” It says nothing about drop coating or anything. The color of my truck is bascially the same color of the green Dodge Tony did for his God father. I’m wondering if I even need a drop coat? I’m seeing a million different ways to drop coat. Tony’s one video shows you increasing pressure a bit, pulling to 12" off the panel and spraying at a 90 degree (up and down direction) as opposed to the left-right direction. There is also the technique of walking the entire panel and not painting a panel at a time. What should I do?

My two cents: wait until you’ve laid your first couple of coats of metallic before you even worry about it. Make sure you have enough paint! If you’re painting it in pieces, make sure you do it the same for every panel. (eg: sealer and 3 coats and a drop coat) this will help ensure a consistent finish. Also, don’t spray the panels in different positions, like fenders on the flat and doors on the vertical (IT DOES MATTER).

How I do drop coat on base/clear is to spray my first couple of coats of base and see how the flake is laying, if there are “tiger stripes” I know I need to drop coat on my LAST coat. I up my pressure just a touch, pull back to about 9-10", gun at a 45 to the panel and spray at a 45 to the way I’ve been going. 1 light coat and then check it, if it’s still not right, do it again but keep every panel the same. If you did 2 drop coats on the boxsides, do 2 on the doors etc.

As far as direction of travel, I never did understand spraying away from yourself and leaning over your work more than you need to. A lot of the time that stems from using the wrong speed of reducer and you’re trying to keep a wet edge. I always start at the top and work down and I always start in the middle and work out and then move around. When it comes to long panels, it’s ok to stop somewhere, but never stop in that spot again on the rest of the coats.

Sorry, that got a little wordy! Can’t wait to see it!

Awesome. I am in the final stages of my body work and I will definitely be set-up to spray everything at the same time. I guess the moral of the story with the drop coat is to dust it whichever way possible to hide possible stripes. Should I paint panel by or should I walk down the entire length of the truck when laying the base?

I also have 2 new steel bumpers for the truck that are e-coated. It’s definitely a good e-coat because I tested it and the black coating is solvent resistant. I scuffed them up real nice and was planning on 2 wet coats of 2K and then base/clear. The thing I was wondering is should I prime the back of the bumpers too? It seems like a waste of material and the factory bumpers are just black e-coat on the inside. I just don’t want to have rust issues on the back side of the new bumpers after all of this work I already put into this truck.

I don’t walk an entire panel simply because I get a good base with my feet and spray as far as I can comfortably reach and then move and start again. When you walk a panel, your head ultimately bounces up and down and so does your gun so getting a good overlap is more difficult. Try it on the first coat and see what I mean. Do what’s comfortable to you. Sometimes you can edge a shortbox and then coat the entire panel from the middle.

The inside of steel bumpers is a highly ignored area of the vehicle. If I’m doing a restoration, I will prime and paint the inside black or gray and let my body color land where it may. This does 2 things, it helps eliminate premature rust and rock chips. Secondly, it just looks finished and you can take pride in that. If your bumpers have an ecoat on them, I would just scuff and paint them with a single stage black or gray. You, by no means, “HAVE TO” it’s just something that I do.

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Just my two cents as I just did my 66 Mustang restore in a light metallic (first full car ever painted). Yes you need a control coat (for some reason you guys are calling it a drop coat but same thing) . Think of it this way. Unlike a solid base, metallic mixed with color are going to fall and pool where they will (you can see that just by mixing in the can) so you can get mottling of color which throws off the look (darker portions of the paint). So a control coat is nothing more than raising the gun up higher and misting like a fan ….you don’t have to go at a different angle than the first two coats …its just the case of wider spray and “dusting” which helps kill any mottling caused by WETTER areas your first coats had. Its not hard at all and you will see if you got it right immediately …Also make sure your coats DRY well. Why ? Because if you spray wet on wet, chances are you WILL get mottling. That’s why a control coat is more like a dusting ….

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Great tips! Any pictures of the final product of your stang?

again sorry for the delay - if anyone needs to contact me, email me at [email protected]

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