From Scab to Fab

It’s been a while since the last painting project featured on these pages. Ironically, the new owner of the original red Prizm GSi had that perfectly-executed repair painted over by actual professionals. And it looks way better, credit to those who do that sort of thing for a living.

But for those who probably shouldn’t quit their day job, the rattle can was invented, and it was about time to do something about that horrible scabbed-up spoiler on the tail end of the new Prizm GSi.

Whatever environmental hazard that had caused the factory paint to fail, whether it be sun, rain or Sasquatch, there was quite literally no finish left in places. Out came the trusty battery powered random orbital sander and some bitey 220-grit and that NUMMI-applied outer shell was dispatched with alarming ease. Of course, the overeager machine – certainly not the operator – got a little too excited and exposed some grains from deep within the fiberglass, thereby necessitating a liberal application of high-fill primer.

More sanding – of the manual variety this time – followed, until darkness set and the forecast called for a sunny next day.

High-fill properly smoothed, the day dawned bright and cool, birds even seemingly absent for perfect painting weather. Several somewhat thin coats later, with only one tiny run, the painting was complete. Some curing needed, work was adjourned for the time being.

The initial results were somewhat underwhelming. The expected orange peel honestly wasn’t bad, but the dullness seemed to exceed the capability of any polish or wax to hide for any extended period of time. Also of concern being the additional time for the paint to cure.

So, the next evening, armed with a bottle of Costco’s finest spring water and some sandpaper smoother than their premium toilet paper, we have a result:

Yes, that’ll do nicely.

In our next episode, we explore the scientific principle behind the discovery of rust spots when working on seemingly unrelated painting projects.

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