For many of us, paint is the scary thing that we need to outsource to the professionals. It's because we fear the procedure or the experience involved. Either way, we've found the solution. Summit Racing has made a move that will allow the do-it-yourselfers to churn out a professional-looking paintjob for only a couple hundred dollars.
With the help of high-quality manufactures, Summit has branded its own line of paint products. Their substantial name in the aftermarket has given them the ability to supply customers with a simple-to-use acrylic urethane paint system they can apply in a home garage; the best news is that Summit has made the process painfully simple for those of us whose profession isn't in refinishing.
Besides the Summit paint products, the only other things you'll need to get the job done are a 60-gallon or higher air compressor, a spay gun, masking supplies, and sanding materials, many of which are also available though Summit.
The first step is to thoroughly clean the painted surfaces so you know what you have to work with. If you're looking for just a color change, you won't need to remove the existing paint; just sand it with 400 grit to give the primer/sealer some adhesion. If the paint you wish to replace is cracked or damaged, it's a good idea to remove it by media blasting or chemical strippers. Once the surface is free of paint, Summit's wax and grease remover will remove any other remaining contaminants. With the body totally free of contaminants, you can do the necessary bodywork, then clean the surface with Summit's mild surface wash. Now you're ready for primer.
Summit's activator comes in...
Summit's activator comes in three different versions to allow painting in different atmospheric conditions. This is the key to allowing the DIY enthusiast to paint at home without a temperature-controlled booth.
Over bare metal, Summit's epoxy primer will guarantee adhesion. The high-build primer can be sprayed over it for block sanding, since its primary purpose is to build, and give you material to work with. When the primer is sanded flat, it's time for paint.
All of Summit's paint products mix in the same ratio of 4:1, so there is no confusion. Summit's acrylic urethane topcoat is a single-stage paint, meaning the clearcoat is optional. The exceptions are with specific colors, where the metallic content is too coarse to leave without a clearcoat. Summit has found that one gallon of this topcoat will paint the average-sized car, but suggests getting an extra gallon if you are painting interior panels.
If you've got your heart set on the ultra deep look of a clearcoated car, you have two choices in product. They have a medium- and high-solids clear. The high-solids version is simply the top-shelf version with the deepest, longest-lasting gloss.
The wet sanding and polishing process is very similar to other paints, but can be done after only a couple of days. The system is made to be sprayed without a climate-controlled paint booth by using temperature-specific activators. This makes it possible to have a show-quality paintjob, without a professional paint booth, or high-dollar supplies.
The Summit Racing paint palette...
The Summit Racing paint palette is made up of 20 colors, including some metallics and some boss high-impact colors. Dulcich already wants to paint his new '71 Plymouth Satellite project Dark Jade Metallic. Hot Rod Black Satin is also a good alternative to the tuxedo we gave Project Talladega (on the cover of this issue)-which came out after we painted our Laguna.