Can you Paint Over Single Stage Paint And Basecoat Clearcoat Prep Ideas 🤔

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Hey, it’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint with another “Hey Tony! Q&A Series” 

Here’s Steve from Victoria, Australia. 

“Hi Tony, Thank you for your VIP course and going support. I have a 1964 Mustang which is in surprisingly good condition. The body is straight and apart from aligning the panels, there are no major body works required. However, the car has been converted to RHD/Right-Hand Driver (because we drive on the LHS Australia) and one of the guards is not original so it has been repaired from what looks like a minor repair. All this has resulted to overall poor look for the vehicle’s paint job. The roof/ rear panels, doors, and one guard looks like the original paint which I assume would be enamel. The repaired guard and the work done for the RHD conversion appear to be poorly finished with a base and clear coat. I do not want to take the entire vehicle back to metal if I can avoid it. I do not intend to do a color change and will keep the original color. I am not looking for a concourse show job as this vehicle is going to be my daily drive but I do want a good looking paint job. “

“When I spoke to my local paint shop and asked them for advice, they said it would be ok to use a base coat and clear over the existing enamel. This seems to be in conflict with your advice in the VIP course. However given that if it is the original paint, it has been there for some 50 years now, so it looks like it could be quite stable to paint over with base and clear. I have attached some pictures of the worst that I have to deal with so I would appreciate your advice on how to approach this particular project.”

Sorry for the confusion, Steve but I never said that you can’t paint over an old paint. You definitely can and what the paint shop told you was a 100% correct. 

You could paint base coat clear coat over a single stage enamel. Single stage enamel, epoxys, primers and base coat, clear coat are great foundation to paint base coat clear coat over. 

There must have been some confusion when you’re going through the program there but you can safely paint over a single stage enamel with base coat clear coat. It might have been where I was talking about lacquer. 

Don’t paint lacquer over any of this because you will end up having an issue. Your car doesn’t look bad at all. 

I would just use a 320-grit sandpaper and dry sanding over the entire car. You get it nice and smooth and prime what you have to prime. Then finish it off with 400-grit before your base coat clear coat. 

This car doesn’t look bad. It looks like it will flatten out once you start sanding it with a DA. You can also you could put a 2k primer over the whole thing. But I don’t recommend putting too much time and money into the car. You can just sand it down with 320-gritand  even go down to at least 400-grit to get it nice and flat. Then I would finish off with 400 – 600-grit dry sand or wet sand. I prefer wet sanding but you can do either of the two. 

If you have any metal spot that showing make sure you prime that with 2k primer and finish that off with 400-grit before you paint. 

It’s fine if you have a small metal showing but I don’t recommend painting over large pieces of metal. 

It’s Tony from LearnAutoBodyAndPaint. I hope you guys are enjoying the Hey Tony Q&A Series!

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Other Helpful Links:

How To Paint a Car With Single Stage Enamel Paint

LearnAutoBodyAndPaint: Today’s Auto Body and Paint Q&A

What PSI To Spray With? How To Fix Tiger Stripes And More!

Color Sanding And Buffing Tips

Wet Sand & Dry Sanding Techniques When Prepping for Base Coat Painting

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