Painting the Mustang Part 1

IMG_7501As promised, here are some pictures of this massive project of painting Randy's '66 Mustang. The first picture is of the skeleton of the paint booth my creative engineer hubby designed to fit in front of the garage. He made it to fit snugly along the edge of the opening enough to block air (and bugs) from getting inside. Next is a picture of the Mustang all primed and ready for the next stages of prep. I am amazed at how much work goes into painting a car, and I'm sure I will leave off some of those steps in my attempt at explaining it all. This has been a summer hobby of Randy's for years, more so since the kids don't need us like they used to. He has always put his family above his hobbies, so the car has taken a long time to restore.

IMG_7506Here is a picture of the car in its primer stage. Randy took off the front and rear valances and the front and rear headlamp bezels to paint separately.

Next is another picture of the paint booth in various stages of build. Randy took furnace filters and we duct taped them to the wood. (He designed the sections in the wood to fit the filters exactly - an engineer, through and through!) The only thing we didn't realize was: duct tape doesn't stick well to wood. It does, however, stick very well to plastic, which posed a problem the day we built the booths because the wind wanted to take the plastic and toss it into the duct tape. Painter's tape IMG_7522worked way better and we ended up patching a lot of holes in the plastic with the painter's tape to keep the bugs out.

Randy hooked up a fan to the booth to draw the fumes out of the garage. (He designed the frame to also fit the fans - we thought we needed two, but one was enough.) The first day of painting and trying out the booths, Randy painted the valances and bezels that he had removed from the car. He decided that if he ever paints a car again, doing the parts separately is better - more controlled and it's easier to get a perfect coating on each one.

The valances and bezels were painted a week or so ago and they all came out great! The second painting day came a week later when we tried to do too much in one day. Note to self: never try to prep and paint a car on the same day. As I said before, I had no idea so much work went into getting a car IMG_7561just ready to paint. Randy snapped a picture of me using a special cleaner on the car that is meant to remove oils, even fingerprints that might mar the paint.

After we cleaned the car, we moved it into the garage, then had to tape all of the windows and every place where we didn't want paint to land with paper and more painter's tape. (I think we could take stock out in that stuff!) Ryan and Randy undid the lug nuts holding the tires to the car as we had to mount it on jack stands and remove the tires. The tires were rolled into the back yard, as were a number of other items - lawn equipment, etc. We taped plastic (with more painter's tape) to the walls, though the wind kept trying to tear it down, then we finally put the paint booth together. (We had to screw the two halves together to enclose it in.)

IMG_7527Flies got in the garage, trapped by the plastic, so we had to somehow get rid of them. I tried using the wet-dry vac to suck them out, but the old fashioned fly swatter worked better.

Speaking of the wet-dry vac - we used it to vacuum the garage floor and then used a leaf blower to blow out more remaining dust. Of course, you can't get a garage to be dust free, so our efforts only minimized what it could. Dust lives in the air and that can only be eliminated by painting in a sealed, climate-controlled booth. If we could have rented one around here, we would have!

IMG_7538Like I said, it worked better for the valances and bezels than for the whole car, but part of the reason for that was that we pushed too hard and underestimated how long the actual painting of the whole body would take! In the end, there were glitches that have needed sanding and polishing, but I'm pleased to say it looks pretty nice!

I'll post pics of the final results when the car is put together and the polishing is finished. Or maybe I'll sneak in a few of the polishing process along the way. For now, this gives you a glimpse of our summer project - particularly Randy's summer project. I help where I can and keep him fed and hydrated. He's had this car longer than he's known me! Can't wait to see the end result of his labors!


PersonalJill Eileen Smith