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osirus9

Painting a 280z, Lacquer paint?

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Hello everybody,

 

I would like to open with: Yes I did in fact search for my answer. I found a lot of advice for the do it yourself painter who is going down to bare metal on a rotisserie, but that person is not me.

 

I was looking for some confirmation on what I've been hearing about painting a z. A paint shop told me that it has old lacquer paint on it, and if they try to paint modern paint over it it will not stick, and it will bubble and crack within the year. They said that the paint would need to be sanded down to bare metal first.

 

Is this true?

 

Is there any kind of primer that can "adapt" Lacquer paint to modern paint?

 

I am very lucky, and I don't have very much rust damage on the car at all (it's from the desert in California), so the body is in good shape but the paint is VERY faded. I want to just get it resprayed black and keep the stock color, but I don't have 5 grand for a crazy paintjob. I also can't do much, if any, of the prepwork myself because my garage is a rental. I could wait and spend that much, but I'm not looking for showcar quality, just average. The fun part for me is the engine and suspension :)

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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if the lacquer hardens as it ages, and can even start to crack and spiderweb. Ive done it before, painting over, but not for a long term paint job it was more of a temporary thing. Ive also been told that if the lacquer is really dry, aka years old, you can most likly spray over it alright. 

 

If you want it done cheap, look on your local kijiji or whatnot to find someone who paints cars in their garage. You should be able to get quotes well under 1K. (most shops have to spray water based paint, garage guys can still use whatevers forsale)

 

If its a cheap paint job, Id probably block sand the lacquer till I start breaking trough to whatever is under it get it as thin as possible them just prime it and spray, might last 5 years, might last 50 really hard to say. 

 

Another option. look at "paintforcars" you could ask someone to spray one of the solid lacquer colors onto your car, its really easy stuff to work with, and dries instantly. Not as durable, and will need to be polished after spraying but you wont have issues with lifting or incompatibility and for like, 100 bucks before labor you could have a nice shiny car. 

Edited by Meph

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another thought, lacquer will fade over time but you can usually bring the shine back with oils and polishing, to like new shine. Is the paint intact everywhere on the car? That might be a cheap option.

 

1960Ranchero01.jpg1960Ranchero06.jpg2450SLfinished1.jpg2450MLBefore2.jpg

Edited by Meph

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I'd just repaint it myself using acrylic lacquer after doing the prep and paint work described above by Meph. If you worried about it fading and losing its sheen just use a lacquer clear coat after you color sand and polish. Acrylic Lacquer is the most forgiving paint medium I've ever experienced.If your not a pro its excellent to learn on.

 

http://www.tcpglobal.com/restorationshop/itemgroupdetail2.aspx?WebsiteCategory=GM+Linen+White&WebsiteCategory3=AL%E2%80%93Acrylic+Lacquer&selectedsku=

 

They sell an assortment of lacquer colors and clears. Corvette guys are real big on the stuff.

 

Cover the Garage in plastic problem solved.

Edited by tecreatta

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Thanks guys, I'll ask my shop about just sanding down to the primer and putting on some acrylic paint. I don't think a shop will spray lacquer anymore, something about it being illegal.

 

Unfortunately there is no amount of shining I can do to save this paint. It looks like the previous owner attempted a cheap respray and the paint is cracking in a few areas. It comes off if you try to buff it too.

 

That's part of why I was under the impression that new paint wouldn't stick. Basically, that's right, and I have to get the car sanded down to the primer/metal if I want any kind of lasting paint job.

 

I did see paintforcars, but I'm looking for something I'll only have to do once.

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If you only want it done once, you're gonna have to think about paying for it. Id really recommend looking online classifieds for a local hobbiest painter who would do the prep and spray work for a lot less than body shop prices. Alternatively, buying a non metallic (solid colour lacquer) and a cheap spray gun and compressor (about 300 or less total) plus supplies and paint, you could do it yourself for under 400.  Lacquer isnt bad paint, its not as durable, but it can be buffed glossier than anything else out there, and its 1000 times easier to work with than you might think. Also, it has none of the 2K paint chemicals that can really hurt your health. Charcoal respirator and your good to go. 

 

Personally, If I could get the colours and clear in lacquer Id do it myself. In canada lacquer paints are banned (generally, duplicolour paint shop is an option.  I had my car painted metallic blue and it looked amazing, untill I melted my hood)

 

Ive decided to use urethane this time. Ive always used urethane clears but this time its urethane base and clear. Ive also purchased a SAS supplied air resperator. Costly investment but I got it used, and after a bad reaction to urethane paints last time, I feel its well worth the money. 

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I would RUN FAST from any shop that advocates any kind of lacquer paint for a car. It is absolutely the WEAKEST paint system you can put on a car.

 

Don't be satisfied with anything less than a PROPER acrylic urethane, unless this is a paint it now and sell it later job. Then you might as well rattle-can it, it'll last just as long.

 

Lacquer paint is common on "classic" cars because when you get a scratch, just shoot a little lacquer over it and rub it out. No more scratch. But spill brake fluid on it? Kiss your paint goodbye in minutes. At least the urethane gives you a couple hours before it gets eaten off. Gasoline? Ruins it VERY fast. Sunlight? fades it out in a few years...going to have to polish off the faded layer...Hope you put on a LOT of layers!

 

If this is a car you are going to be DRIVING, then you will want a urethane paint SYSTEM. DO NOT allow the painter to use a lacquer based primer because it's cheap...it WILL NOT work.

 

I had my car painted at a shop because I was fed up with doing the bodywork and just wanted to drive the car. I took them all the supplies, matched together by the local paint shop to be compatible together.

 

They sprayed the car in my urethane buff primer, THEN INSTEAD OF CALLING ME to say they needed another color to block with, they shot the car in blue-grey lacquer primer and sanded the car out. Everywhere that was shot in the lacquer is now peeling off, two years later. Anywhere the car was NOT lacquered is still very firmly adhered and shows no problems at all.

 

Unfortunately, even legal action didn't get my car painted properly, so when I can't handle it anymore I'll have to sand the whole car back down through the lacquer and seal, re-prime, and re-paint.

 

Bottom of the story: lacquer paint products do not belong on a car you want to keep looking nice and still drive.

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Urethane is defiantly the way to go if

 

A) You are having someone else do it

B) Want a paintjob to last the lifetime of the car

 

Only reason I recommend lacquer is if 

 

A) You have the tools to spray it yourself and want to give it a try

B) Dont mind doing the upkeep (even a ruined section can be fixed in an hour or two)

C) Hard to get runs/ orange peel (good for a novice)

D) Understand its probably not a "forever" paint job

E) It doesn't have isocyanates 

F) I could through together a good looking car for 100 bucks

 

Urethane is usually more expensive and if you're using it to paint yourself, just invest in a supplied air system. Plus, all the shops here in Canada have had to switch to water based paints. Thats why I recommend a painter on the classifieds to spray urethane for you.  

 

You can also consider Cheap enamel paint instead of Lacquer. I have an MR2 I painted with some Rust Paint. 2 Years and 30 Dollars later it still looks great. 

 

Good Luck, let us know what you choose

Edited by Meph

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Lacquer doesn't hold up? I better strip it off my 62 Microbus (my first paint job in 1982? 83?) before all these terrible things start happening.

 

1982 VW Mars Red Acrylic Lacquer...

 

Redder than red could be, no chalking, still glossy, uncovered, in the SoCal sun since 1989...

 

It must be on the verge of jumping off the car and lighting it on fire as it runs and hides...

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It certainly is, Tony. it's only still red because it's actually on fire, and the bus is so damn cool it just continues to burn...forever.

 

Seriously though, Lacquer based paints are the weakest, most poorly adhered paints you can use. The newer systems were developed for a reason.

 

Spraying a proper urethane isn't any harder than doing a lacquer job, nor is it any more expensive.

 

Urethane Steps:

 

Prime, sand, block, prime, sand, color coat, color sand, clear. Buff.

 

Lacquer steps:

Prime, sand, block, prime, sand, color coat, color sand, color coat, color sand, color coat, color sand, color coat, color sand, buff.

 

The only thing easier about lacquer is removing it.

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That guy almost dropping dead from a heart attack at the age of 24 kinda makes me hesitant to shoot catalysed urethanes without a proper respirator.

 

I can't count how many cars and spot panel repairs I did in lacquer. For a while we were shooting urethane clear over lacquer base for chip resistance.

 

Sure, urethane is nice, now that the "interim years & growing pains" are over... Maybe today's paints are equivalent to the DuPont Imron I shot (or 10:1 Rock Urethane "The Imron of Japan) back in the 80's. the stuff shot on my Corvair in 91 (CA LoVoc) was CRAP and I lamented not simply shooting it a solid colour using air at work.

 

It chips (I never really experienced adhesion issues with it), but spot repairs are easily done. It's fragile, but it buffs nicely.

 

Yes, my Imron is still great to this day. Buffed and shined 5 years after I shot it! But then again so is the bus.

 

But that Vair? YEECH! That's 50/50 for urethanes in my yard, and batting 1000 for lacquer on probably 100 to 150 cars.

 

We started shooting urethane at the end, in 87/88...but it was good solvent-based "need a respirator or you die stuff"... It held up well, but he LoVoc didn't last and I was overjoyed when the "private use" exemption came into play in CA and I could once again get Acrylic Lacquer to do quick work without the hassle associated with shooting poisonous Urethanes.

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As if it's a difficult or expensive thing to get the proper safety gear for painting. The cartridges suitable for urethane are 7$, the plain activated carbon ones are 4$...

 

Yes, just like any strong chemical, you need safety gear.

 

The Low-VOC crap is just that...crap. If you need Low-VOC, shoot waterbase. It's a completely different type of paint in every way, including how it's layed down. I can't make it look right, but my buddy can't do urethane and get it right...but for him waterbase is easy. Wish I'd had HIM paint the car, instead of the people who did do it.

 

I'll agree, reluctantly, that lacquer based paints can last. I've been very disappointed in them, but there are enough examples out there that I can't condemn them based on all the inferior qualities they possess.

 

But still, when there are all the good quality single-stage urethanes out there today, why even bother with all the extra work of lacquer? (which, by the way, is JUST as toxic as the isocyanates in urethane, it's just not as quick to kill you. It prefers to maim first.)

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I watched that guy fall down and start twitching...

 

That full face respirator was a bit more than the cartridges.. I think my particulate filters are cheap like that, but the organic vapour cartridge is more like $45.

 

I have never shot isocyanates in a stall without a proper respirator since. That was the time when everybody shot lacquer and isocyanates weren't necessarily explained to people... At least not to the Goat Roper... Navy Sea Bee that had a penchant for trying to kill himself...worked on jack without stands...cracked three ribs that way had it not been for me putting his rims under he frame of the car he likely would have succumbed right then and never made it to shoot paint that triggered a heart attack.. (I mean they said "wear a respirator", they didn't say you would have a freakin' heart attack and shit yourself in front of everybody if you didn't!)

 

I guess if you were raised on Lacquer and surface prep, you're used to it. I see how they do production these days and shake my head...

 

Then again, it was always "therapy" for me, nothing I wanted to be rushed at...

 

For the past decade, I've limited my work to that Lacquer-Grade surface prep then take the car on a trailer to Maaco or Scheib for the top coating. I use their same prep materials, know both shop managers so I get the same 5-Year "no crack lift peel" warranty as if they did the prep in-house. I leave the car with them for a week afterwards to park out front and draw eyes to the shop...and for what I'm charged for their paint application I couldn't buy the supplies!!!

 

I've grabbed a can of the Acrylic Lacquer to shoot a test panel,or two with my old #7 and see if I still have "the touch"... If I do... I might shoot my 510 wagon in the yard, like the good old days.

Edited by Tony D

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For what it's worth guys, I wouldn't use cartridge filters with urethane, or activated paints. I did for a while, and my last attempt left me coughing and wheezing for about a month.

 

The cartridges work fine with lacquer, non-cat enamel ect.

 

This was using new cartridges. If you do decide to risk it, use p100 organic filters, not the cheap p95 (filtration %) . If you're in a booth with great ventilation out outside , you may be fine but I had a reaction from it.

 

400 bucks can get you a supplied air respirator, and if you end up cheaping out and gettin sick / potential permanent damage to your lungs, atleast you saved 400 bucks to buy a playstation for all the couch time you be putting In the rest of your life!

 

Don't trust the companies that sell paint direct to the consumers online that you'll be fine with cartridges, they are out there to make $$$$

Edited by Meph

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Organic Filters -- that's what I stated, and they are not cheap. Particulate filters on top of that. 

 

A SCBA is nice, the turbine packs are cheap enough now... if you can spend it... My full face respirator was bought on the cusp of these coming down in price and there is a conversion fitting for my mask to hook up to my cartridge hose (cartridge hooks on my belt, it's a German Unit uses HUGE cannisters!)

 

But my cartridge selection is based on MSHA and not something some guy at the counter at the paint store says! Screw those guys like you said, they're there to move products out of their store.

 

Though the logic would say a dead customer doesn't repeat!

 

One thing to note on this stuff, and someone alluded to it earlier stating "lacquer just takes longer"... 

 

 

ANY of these compounds have an exposure level, and a threshold limit value... I knew guys who worked for YEARS without gloves in PD680 Vats in the military. Then, one day their arms 'felt tingly'... One guy said that and then went into shock. 

 

Senstization can happen with these compounds. One minute you are fine...but the next second you reach a concentration limit in your body where BAD things start to happen QUICKLY! Usually when one person has a reaction like this, everybody takes stock...

 

If you have been doing it for a while, keep alert for the signs...numb tongue, tingling in the tongue or lips, getting a blotchy rash that day, hives, any number of symptoms that say you are having a sensitive REACTION to chemicals. If may be small this time...but the next time, if you don't take extra precautions to ventilate, or use a SCBA---it may be your LAST time!

Edited by Tony D

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Not to beat a dead horse, but I was using the Organic + P95's when I had the reaction, from what I remember, no company rates Organic Filters for Urethane use. They do work, but when they start to loose efficiency  there isn't a way to detect it by odor. 

 

Somewhere I remember reading they are good for about 1 hours exposure then its smart to change them out.  If you plan to make painting a semi regular activity, just spend the 400 on a supplied air system, not scuba, just a mast with a hose and air pump.

 

9800-32_halfmask_supplied_air_system_1ma

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SCBA on land, SCUBA under water, and not interchangeable.

 

Yeah, I would spin on a new cannister each job. If nothing else, the time between usages the cannister expires anyway. 

 

That is the price I found as well, a pump setup and enough hose to fit to my current mask with the adapter fitting would be about $400. Or just get a complete kit with a cheap mask included. I don't have a half-mask like that, it's a complete visor full-face. I HATE that ring round my mouth, makes me look like Homer Simpson. A Tyvek Bunny Suit and some tape, and I'm as clean going out as I was going in!

 

If I was doing 2 cars a year, or doing it as much as I was up till about 1990, I would just buy the Pump Head---and to beat a dead horse here: MAKE SURE YOUR PUMP UPTAKE IS NOT WHERE YOUR VAPOURS WILL MIGRATE!!! Seems obvious, but I set up air systems for people and you would be amazed where they stick their compressors! 

 

"If it bleeds green, move your compressor away from the ammonia!" Same for these pumps---they usually don't come with a very long hose---though that one looks like 100' so that should be good enough to get away from the painting area. 

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Not sure if I am way too late for this comment to help at all, but I painted mine with base/clear and it turned out really well. Luckily I was able to work at a friends auto body shop for a summer and they taught me and helped me do the work on my car. I strongly considered urethane paint due to the ease of application. I don't know a ton about lacquer paint, but I've seen some pretty good looking cars that we did in the shop with urethane for a really good price. One of the best things is that since its a thicker paint urethane tends to leave more room for error without sacrificing looks (basically you can mess up more and no one will know the difference) haha. I painted all my engine compartment and inside of my car with urethane and it turned out well. Hope that helps some.

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