Mini 1275GT Resto-Mod, May-2012

Being an amateur with limited facilities, not to mention skill, means that I can’t use modern 2K paints. 2K paint is the best you can get but the isocyanate used in the hardener is poisonous and can only be safely used in a proper ventilated spray booth.

The original cellulose (1K) paint used on 60’s-70’s cars is now prohibited for use on new cars because of its high VOC content so its not widely available. However, you can obtain it legally for use on classics. The company Nu Agane, who sell on ebay, have a very good range of cellulose and other 1K paints. So I bought 5 litres of cellulose Pageant Blue gloss, 5 litres of thinners and 2.5 lites of clearcoat.

I only have a cheap compressor but I spent a good bit more on the filter set up since I’ve seen the crap that comes out of a cheap compressor. So I use a Norgren coarse filter and a De-Vilbiss coalescing filter which is good enough to supply breathing air:

I also have one of the cheaper De Vilbiss FLG spray guns.

I filled all the blemishes, dents, weld marks, etc, with Upol Fantastic filler and sanded thoroughly until as smooth as I could get it. Its perfectly true that any tiny blemish left on the surface will be magnified 10x when paint is applied, so its well worth a couple of days preparation to ensure a decent finish. Once all pin-holes were covered and the contours were as smooth as possible, I finished the filler with Upol Top Stop and sanded again with 600 grit paper.

A light coat of acid etch primer was applied first and lightly sanded:

After that, about 3 coats of high-build primer was applied sanding in between each coat with 600 grit paper used dry. A final coat of primer was applied and sanded wet using 1200 grit.

Then about 3 coats of cellulose gloss with the last coat rubbed down with 1200 grit wet. Lastly, a couple of coats of clear laquer:

When the paint is fully cured (more than 2 weeks) it can be cut back with 1200-2000 grit paper used wet and polished with a cutting compound.

The biggest mistake I made was to paint the doors separately. I didn’t realise what a faff it would be to fit the doors correctly – its mostly trial and error to find the correct size of shims to use in the hinges and I chipped the paint on the leading edge of the door against the A-Panel in the process. In future, I’ll paint the inside of the doors first then fit them to the body and then paint the doors and body together.