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Here it is just before I started painting. I wiped it down twice with PPG DX330 Wax & Grease Remover and then tack-ragged it to removed any residual lint and dust. I started painting around 3 in the afternoon with an outside temperature in the high 60's. I finished painting around 10pm. I don't like painting at night since there is a higher risk of bugs landing in the paint. I actually removed the bulbs from the lights that were above the car just so bugs would not be attracted to them and then fall into the paint when they die (This actually happens! So beware garage painters!).

Here it is the following morning. And yes, I found 2 little dead bugs stuck to the paint (luckily I was able to sand them out of the clear coat).

For the record, I painted it using PPG Global Basecoat code 8894 mixed 1:1 with PPG D871 Medium Thinner (65F-77F). It took a good 4 coats to cover the car (roughly 2 1/2 quarts of basecode).

For clear coat I used Deltron DCU2002 High Solids Polyurethane Clear mixed 4:1:1 with PPG DT870 Medium Temperature Reduced (65F-80F) and PPG DCX8 Medium Temperature Hardener. I applied two coats of clear (roughly 2 1/2 quarts of clear).

For the curious it cost me $972 for the materials and I had to borrow my brother's expensive Snap-On HVLP paint gun to spray it with, since the regular part store guns spray clear for crap.

Here are few pictures of the rear hatch, gas door and doors after painting. I have nothing much to say about them except tada!

Here are some pictures of the engine and bonnet support structure after painting. I had to paint them after the rest of the car was painted due to the space limitation in my garage. These are the only parts that don't get sanded and buffed.

Painting is always followed by a sanding and buffing process. I leave the car masked for this to prevent the sanding juice and buffing/polishing compound from getting all over the previously painted clean surfaces. It should be noted that the sanding juice (mixture of clear coat and water) when dried sticks to paint and is very hard to remove.

I started by sanding the nibs (dust specs that produce bumps in the clear) down using 1200 grit paper on a foam sanding block and using soapy water. I actually had one run in the clear to fix on the bonnet (amazing there was only one in this curvy car) . This I took care of by blocking it down with 800 grit paper (wet) wrapped around a paint paddle. Being careful to only sand the run, I sanded it till it was almost gone. Then I took the rest of the run away using 1200 grit.

I then sanded everything using 2000 grit Meguiars sandpaper wrapped around a semi-rigid foam sanding block. Sanding was done using warm soapy water. I wiped the panels dry with Bounce paper towels (because they are soft)as I went. The sanding was then repeated using 2500 grit Meguiars sandpaper. I probably have 7 hours into sanding the car by hand.

At this point I normally start buffing the car starting with a high cutting 3M compound, but my brother suggested that I try the new 3M Trizact 3000P sanding disks on my orbital sander. He claims that it replaces the first buffing step and it makes the second buffing step easier. He gave me 2 disks which were plenty enough to do the entire car. They turned out to be pretty easy to use. You just wet the pad and lightly wet the panel using a spray bottle with soapy water as you go. You then sand the panel like you normally would. I found that a properly sanded panel will look kind of frosted, like etched glass, but will not show any of the sanding scratches made by the rougher grit sanding.

The car was then buffed using 3M PerfectIt Polishing Pad Glaze 05996 using a Dewalt DW849 variable speed polisher with an orange buffing pad. This buffing step takes out a majority of the haze in the sanded clear coat. Buffing and polishing is a nerve-racking process. It is quite easy to burn through the paint if you stay too long in one area. In a split second you can burn off the paint along the edges if you don't follow the golden rule 'always roll the buffing pad off the panel and never into the panel'. This is because the pad will dig into the paint on the edges as it is compressed when it meets the edge of the panel. E-types are very difficult to buff. I found myself using wide masking tape to prevent buffing into adjacent edges and seams.

A final polishing step was required to remove the light scratches. I first washed the car down soapy water to remove the residual buffing compound. Once dried, I polished the car using Meguiars Show Car Glaze 7 (polish) using a gray buffing pad on the Dewalt DW849. With the polishing completed one more wash was performed and the whole car was unmasked.

With the car in paint and buffed, the first and largest milestone has been reached. The next phase is to restore components so the car can go back together. At this point (10/22/2010) I do not have a single part ready to put anything back together. I need to order the weather seals to install the doors and rear hatch. I need to plate the subframe hardware and front suspension components just to install the subframes.

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