Original Question

    One more question...It looks like I am going to have my car painted by MaacoWhat about body work? Last night coming home someone threw a huge rock @ mycar putting a huge, gashing dent in the side of my door, I also have someminor door dings. Who should i have do it? By the way is there any prep work tothe actual paint I should have done before giving it to them, like strippingthe wax?


    If this is the route you want to go down, prepair, it's repetitive slow work and the end paint job is only as good as your prep work. The dents: try your best to tap it out from the inside if you can remove an interior panel and expose the dent. Have someone hold a board on the outside and tap gently until it's close to where it should be. for the little dents, sand them with 80 grit paper and apply bondo over an area about twice the size  of the dent. then sand it downusing progressively finer paper (80, 120, 180, 400) after you're done with each grit, slide your hand over it, you shouldn't feel a dip in the panel. if so, add some more bondo to the area. after the 400 you must not be able to feel anything. close your eyes and slide your hand over it, if you can find the spot, you're not done. The bucket of bondo will give maximum suggested thicknesses for best results.

    For rust: If there's any rust on the body, the best thing is to sand blast the spot, prime it and putty it. Short of having the tools for that, wire brush the heck out of it, put some rustoleum(sp?) on it and then bondo over it. This will usually hold up for about 2 years.

    The whole car: get a bucket of water,a sponge, some 400 grit paper and (important) a rubber sanding pad. Keep the surface and paper wet, use large strokes. The whole car should be dull but not necessarily missing paint.Bodyshops charge by the hour so while you're doing it, think of the savings. I also beg you to talk to someone in person before you start, I'm sure the process can be better explained interactively rather than through E-mail. Pull up a chair on Sunday and watch The Rednek Network (sorry, I think that's TNN), get an address for shows like Shadetree Mechanics maybe HotRod TV. I think I've seen them do shows on body prep work, you may be able to order the video tape and see it done. expensive tools make the job faster but aren't needed, just some sanding blocks for the large areas. You don't need to strip the car, but if the paint is falling off you may want to. Your peeling clear coat won't be a problem.If you're stuck using a good bit of Bondo, it may not last more than 5 years at best without coming out. The thicker it is, the better the chance there will be a problem.If you take it to have it done, try to look at some of their finished work. Black cars show bad body work the best, study their work on black cars.

    Most important of all: If you can feel it, you're gonna see it. The car needs to be baby butt smooth before paint. Adam