How To Paint Miata Hard Top Update Learn Auto Body

Sunroof Install Update Video Above and New 17″ Gold Rims!

Hey, it’s Tony.  Thank you for watching the video.  Today, this is all about the Mazda Miata Hard Top Paint Update and Sunroof Install.  This is an update on the 1997 Mazda Miata Project.

The Miata is completely painted.  We have brand new rims and tires.  But, I’m going to do something unique and special to that hard top, which I’ll tell you later.

When painting and doing body work to a car, you can do it in stages.  You can either do the outside and everything else like the door jambs at one shot or you can do the door jambs first, mask them up and do the outside of the car.

Or, you can do the outside first and the door jambs later, which is what I did in this project.

Originally, I didn’t want to paint the door jambs.  But, after painting the outside and seeing how nice it came out with a little color difference, I decided to just paint it.

I don’t have to worry about overspray because I’ll be color sanding and buffing the entire car.  It’s not going to be a big deal if we get overspray since I’ll be sanding it anyway, to do color sanding and buffing.

If you want to get rid of the graphic feel, you can flow coat it.  You just have to put two more coats on top.  Which, I’m not going to do that with the Miata.

I’m going to color sand it flat and take out the imperfections and orange peel then give it a nice buff job.  I’m going to do this with the entire car and I’ll show you exactly how that comes out.

The hard top took me a couple of months to find.  I got this locally and is in pretty good condition.  It just has a couple of paint imperfections.  It will take me a couple of hours to prep for paint.

Originally, my plan was to paint it gold to match my mirrors and decal on the side.  But, after giving it some thought, I decided to paint it green like the car so it won’t look too crazy-looking.

The exciting part is, I decided to put a sunroof on my hard top.  I got this from  I haven’t done one in a long time.

I remember, I did this on my ’67 Camaro.  You’re going to think I’m crazy but it came out pretty cool.

I’ll document the whole process on how to properly install a universal sunroof and put it in the VIP training area.  So if you’re a LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP, you’ll get access to all the exclusive videos.

So, the last part will be to paint the hard top and put the sunroof.  Then, buff out the car and do the door jambs.  Lastly, put it back together and it’s done.

I’m super excited to finish this car.  It will take me probably another three to four days of work before it’s completely done.

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint.  I’ll make a final video to rundown the entire Mazda Miata project.

If this is your first time to watch my videos, don’t forget to go to LearnAutoBodyAndPaint and get your FREE 85-Page Auto Body Manual.  You’ll learn how to customize any car that you’re working on.

Either you’re working on an Import Tuner, a Classic or a Collectible and want to make a cool-looking ride but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars in an auto body shop and want to do it yourself.

If you want to get all access to the videos of my projects, join LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP and you’ll also get access to our exclusive forums and private Facebook page where you can interact with other VIPs.

I’ve been doing this for close to twenty years and I want to share with you all of my expertise and my experience.  I hope you enjoyed the video.  Please comment, share and like the video.

I will talk to you soon! Bye!


Hey, it’s Tony.  Thank you for watching the video and checking out the blog today.  So, I’m back with my 1997 Mazda Miata project.  This is all about how to paint Miata Hard Top.

I’m just going to give you some quick updates at the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint Shop.  We finally found a hard top for the 1997 Mazda Miata which I just picked up a couple of days ago.

It’s in pretty good condition.  There’s just a few little chip marks along the edges which is going to be easily sanded out once we do our body work to it.

It is fiberglass top so we’ll put a little bit of fiberglass filler on it.  There’s essentially no difference from doing a regular paint job as far as preparation, unless you have cracks for repair.

Another thing I’m going to do is put new rotors and brakes all around the car.  We already did the back. In the video, you can see the cross-drilled rotors.

We’re also going to do color sanding and buffing. The paint job came out really good and glossy but if you want to get professional results, you have to color sand and buff.

I want to show you how to get a super gloss finish on this car and I’ll show you the quick and easy way of doing it so be sure to stay tuned.

We already started on some areas.  On the trunk, we’ve taken out some of the imperfections in the clear coat and we’re also taking off some of the orange peel.

We’re also going to do our front pads and rotors.  And, I already put new spark plugs and wires.  The other thing that we’re going to do is, drop the oil and put new synthetic oil in it with a new oil filter.

When that’s done, we’ll put our lights in the front and continue our color sanding and buffing.

We’re going to do all the highlights of the car.  We’ll do all of the trunk, the entire hood, the tops of the quarter panels, the tops of the doors and the front of the bumper.

We’re color sanding and buffing the upper section of the car.  I just started out sanding a side just to give you an idea.

We’re not going to worry too much about the lower part of the car unless we have some dry spots, which may mean that the second or third coat of clear was a little dry.  We had a dry spot on the bottom so I’m going to show you how to fix it.

And, I’m taking these mirrors off again so we can redo the door.  Then, after color sanding and buffing, I’ll put the interior back together.  The next part is prepping and painting the fiberglass top.  It’s a one-day job.

It’s basically doing the body work, prepping it then sanding it.  Then, prepping and masking it and then laying our base coat clear coat.

It’s going to have a gold top.  So we’re going to put the same exact gold color that we used on the mirrors and the side graphic.

It’s becoming really nice.  We’re almost done with it.  It’s been sitting for about a month in the shop and I’ve been working on a few other projects.

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint.  I hope you enjoyed the video and this blog.

If you want to learn more and get more ideas on how you can start customizing, painting and fixing up your own ride at home, check out LearnAutoBodyAndPaint and grab your FREE 85-Page Auto Body Manual.

Also, check out the 30-Page Revised Auto Body And Paint Manual which is the condensed version of the 85-Page Manual.  It’s more concise but still very comprehensive with easier step-by-step information.

The complete step-by-step videos of my projects are in the LearnAutoBodyAndPaint VIP area so if you want to get serious and learn more from my projects, join VIP now.

We have so many members across the country and around the globe.  You can interact with them through the exclusive forums and the private Facebook VIP group.

If you have questions or comments please let me know.  Please Like, Share and Subscribe to my videos.

Talk soon! Bye!


Other Helpful Links:

How To Properly Clean Your Automotive Spray Gun

Automotive Paint Prep Part Removal Tips

How To Paint a Car Yourself – A-Z Car Painting Steps in 12 Minutes

Update on Mazda Miata project – How To Auto Body and Paint Your Car

How To Apply Auto Body Filler (Bondo) Rasp and Shape

2 thoughts on “How To Paint Miata Hard Top Update Learn Auto Body”

  1. I have a hardtop for my 94 Miata. It has been painted at least three times, (over the life of the car) and each time, the painted has blistered and peeled. The last time it cost me $1,000 and I don’t want to go through this again. What is the solution for thihs?


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