Take A Leap
Have you ever wanted to try something but you were too afraid to fail?
Sometimes the best way to make a monumental task look smaller is by breaking things down into steps. Ever since I ordered the bodykit for my RX7 I knew that I would have to figure out a solution when it came to paint. I knew some people who could help with that but the costs were astounding. There are other alternatives to paint out there now for colouring your vehicle. You can vinyl wrap your entire car, essentially placing a giant sticker over everything, this is cheaper but still a pain in the but to do yourself. I didn’t really plan on doing everything myself with my RX7 but a project car is a project for a reason right? Why not try accomplishing everything I can on my own? So after a quick question on a facebook auto group I got recommendations for where to buy my paint; searching bodywork and prepping a car for paint on youtube yielded a few hours of videos for me to watch. So I figured what the heck at began breaking my task into steps.
Step 1: Rust Repair
I knew I’d wanna get rid of as much rust as I could before painting. I’ve always wanted to remove the third brake light on the back as well so this proved to be the best time to do so. Armed with a Flux-core welder I got from Canadian Tire I began welding for the first time since helping a buddy make my seat brackets. This would’ve been easier if I had gas, something that’s been on my to buy list for awhile now.
I then began to use bondo for the first time ever. I knew the concept and seen others use it but as with most things people can make complicated things seem simple. After a few passes and a bunch of sanding I got the car to what I felt was pretty smooth.
Step 2: Removing, Sanding, and Masking
Here’s some advice for you. I wouldn’t bother masking anything until you’re done sanding. I ripped some drop sheets I used to mask with by catching the edge of if with the sand paper, oops. You can remove anything you don’t want to paint though, in my case this was the back hatch and fuel door. I originally removed the hood but re-attached it later for actual painting. I went out and bought some tarps and my dad hung them from the rafters in the garage.
Step 3: Prime and Paint
I have some more great tips for this stage! Tip 1: Make sure you eat before getting into painting, you’ll need the energy. Tip 2: Always wear protective gear. While closing my primer paint can I slammed the lid shut causing a bit of paint to fling up and into my eye. After calling the 1-800 number, flushing my eye in the shower for 45 mins, then visiting the clinic to make sure everything was fine, I got to sleep.
Painting aside from that wasn’t too challenging, Napa provided me with plastic containers that have ratio measurements on the side so mixing the activators and paint was fairly painless. The primer and paint came with printed sheets that listed the proper ratios and temperature you should be painting within.
I even took a stab and doing a slightly more advanced painting technique: the fade. I figured I’m spending this much time and money; trying more and more things I’ve never done before, so why not go all out? The fade is a little lower than I intended but I still think it came out alright. I then went a step further and went to Canadian Tire to buy some automotive flake to add to the roof. The flake wouldn’t come out of the spray gun. I then realized I left the tiny filter inside and that was catching all the flakes! Removed the filter and the shiny bois came out to play. Looking back now I wish I actually applied even more flake.
Step 4: Re-Assembly
Everything looked amazing; I was beyond stoked. I had to just wait for paint to dry and then I could begin removing the masking and start reassembling my car. This was definitely the best step.
Those with a keen eye will notice I painted my mirrors blue. I used the same clear coat that I used on the rest of the car but the blue paint came from a spray can.
Step 5: Enjoy!
After acquiring a set of my one of my top three favourite wheels and affixing my carbon wing (a long time coming) I was over the moon!
I began to apply some vinyl edging on the bottom of the kit as well. I have plans for a full vinyl design for the car but it keeps changing on the computer. I haven’t found what I want to attempt yet. Trying to balance budget and complexity is a big concern, I mean of course I’m printing and applying it myself!
Moral of the story: Stop thinking about those new challenges and endeavors, just jump in! This is even easier if it’s something you really want. You’ll find a way out through the other side and no matter what happens you will have learned something from it.
You can follow my updates on the project on Instagram @allgouda_rx7