Finish what you started – cars and sewing machines

It seems like summer always brings lots of household projects. This year, it’s a leaking woodstove flashing (fixed – and the painting of the ceiling to go with it – not fixed), window frames needing to be painted (again – pending) and then the vehicles landed on my radar. They haven’t seen a good detailing in well,.. ever in the case of the truck and the car probably hasn’t seen a comprehensive detailing since 2008.

Yeah, I’m not proud of that. When the August long weekend hit, we started cleaning and cleaning and… uh oh. Rust. We went from prepping and painting a few spots to some fairly major repair and painting.  This is what we (former) business analysts call “scope creep”.

Great.  Spraying base and clear.  I’ve done this before.  Last time (2007), it was a 1999 CBR 600.  I’ll post that “throwback” post one day soon.  Yeah, I haven’t sprayed automotive paint in 9 years – I did do some major bodywork on a truck since then but I rolled that paint instead of doing it with a paint gun.

Speaking of rusty things – I am as well and my body sure has a lot more to say about it this time around.

I also swore that time that I’d never spray clear again.  Awesome. 😉

Since I’m going to be shooting clear anyway, I thought I’d try to do the touch-ups, and wet sand the sags in the paint on the “Wee One” and give her a final coat of clear too. If it doesn’t work – well, she was going to be repainted anyway.


This is wet sanding and round one of the touch-ups. As you can see, she should have seen filler before the paint. 

That was supposed to be done when Ryan took her from my studio…

Oh wait.  I never did tell that story here, did I?

Alright.  Back in 2012, Ryan and I had this idea that a blue featherweight would be just the cat’s behind.  After all, I like blue.  You might have noticed. 😉  In the summer of that year, we found a featherweight that was beat up cosmetically but intact mechanically (after I serviced and tested it anyway) and picked it up with the intention of stripping it and painting it.

I dis-assembled her completely and she sat like that – ready for paint – for more than 2 years.


I was deciding on the exact color of blue and waiting for her to bubble to the top of the “rainy day fund” list.  In the meantime, her body sat on the top of a bookcase in the studio.

We were thinking of Red Bull blue but I wasn’t 100% stuck on the blue I saw with the paint code for that – I liked the cans but the cars for instance – not so much.  Then Ryan started pointing out some new Ford cars and asking what I thought of the blue on them.   Ooooohhh!  I liked that!

Then one day, late December of 2014, I noticed she was missing.  What the ???  Ryan fessed up quickly – he’d taken her to the bodyshop to have her painted Deep Impact blue and the plan was to have her back for my birthday that year, or shortly afterward.  When he’d asked the shop what he should fill the divots in her bed with, he was told to just bring it in and they’d do it.   Fair enough, few bodymen want to do the paint after someone else does the prep.  After all, the success of any paint job is mostly dependent on the prep.

I think it was late March or early April when she came back home.

The divots hadn’t been filled but painted over and there were several sags in the paint.  (I’m thinking they didn’t know how much I knew about paint).  Additionally, they didn’t want to put the waterslide decals on and didn’t want to clear over them if I put them on and returned the parts.

Other than the color (which was and is stunning!) – I didn’t really get what I was envisioning.   I put her decals on but she sat on a shelf after that.  She’d come down from time to time for me to gaze at or when someone spotted her but then I’d see all of those divots and the sags and my heart would hurt for her.  Ryan and I discussed the possibility of me shooting the clear but I was uncomfortable with that idea at the time.


I talked to my bodyshop of choice and was told if I stripped the “old” paint off it, they’d paint it the way I wanted them to.

She got added to my “to do list” – the one that’s a mile long.   Now, here we are 16 months later and I’m about to shoot clear coat at something else.  Figuring that she’s going to be resprayed anyway if I flub it, I figure what the heck?  Why not try it and see if I can do a decent enough job with the touchups (and wet sanding the sags out) that I would be willing to reassemble and sew on her.

More than 4 years later, I plan to make the poor girl whole again, one way or the other.

I should know in the next week or so if she’s going to be redone again, or if my metallic/pearl touch-up skills were up to par. 😉

If they were, I’ll post on how I did it because the theory is mainly the same regardless of the materials used when touching up chips on the bed of a machine.


Today’s post title – Finish what ya started – Van Halen (The Sammy Hagar days) – I’ve always loved the groove in this song.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *