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Re: [T3] Body Work Cont.

>From Travis:

>I'm starting to warm up to the idea of getting all of the painting supplies and >doing the painting my self, 

Since I am one of the guilty parties in fomenting the autobody work awareness, let me make a couple of observations (which will be amplified or contradicted by those more knowledgable than I).

>getting the dents out still scares me

Travis, this is the crux, the essence, the sine qua non of doing a paint job.  You MUST do complete, quality  body work or else your paint job will be wasted.  There is no substitute for, no way out of doing, the body prep work which usually involves sanding, sanding, sanding, hammering out dents of magnitude (or using a filler on very small ones), sanding, priming, resanding, repriming, ad naseum. There can be no rushing the job, only patient work followed by close inspection by eye (from different angles in different light) and hand (develop a "feel" for running your hand over a surface).  Any visual or tactile irregularity means "not yet."  Work on it some more.  Then some more.

Read (no, don't just read, STUDY) some books from the library on this topic.

Don't be afraid to try (but it's wonderful policy to do a friend's vehicle first, because there will be mistakes made on the first attempt).

Get help and advice from folks who have done jobs correctly.

The body prep work is of the utmost importance.  If you say that the dent isn't quite right, but the filler will cover it, or the primer still is rough but the paint will hide it.... well, you will be disappointed with the final results.

Body work is tedious and demands an stubborness to stay with it until things are right.  Some people get bored (when I was your age--that was back IŖˇ5 earth's crust had just started to cool-- I had a friend who did most of the body work, became tired of the project, and painted the car with a straw broom!  The result was...how shall I say?...unique.).

If I had to choose between doing the body work and the painting, I would opt for the first and pay some professional who has the tools and the experience to do the latter.  But... a car body is not ready to paint until it is ready to paint...if that makes sense to you.  If you are fortunate, your professional painter will give you some guidance about the suitability of your prep work.

I admire your spunk.  Your age should be of little impediment to your success.  I only wish that I had learned some of this useful stuff when I was your age instead of waiting until I was...well, never mind.  

Please do not undertake body work/painting lightly without a total commitment to learning and careful work.  But, on the other hand, don't be afraid of trying it if you have the fire in your belly.

What I have learned about this subject was all self-taught, but there are more efficient ways to go about learning.  (I would suggest you get a girlfriend who is a professional painter!)

Best wishes to you.  Keep us informed if it comes out well...otherwise, you have never heard of...


a 16 year old kid with absolutely no experience in this area).

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