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Painting A 1967 AMC Rambler On A Budget - Paint Your Car for $1,016

Sand it yourself, tape it off, buy a gun, and paint your Car

The truth seared when we went to the local insurance-funded body shop to pick up a staff commuter that had been hit hard by a driver who had been both texting and eating when she drilled her Honda into its back seat. The car had been fixed, sure, but there was orange peel, drips in the jambs, a series of scratches that had been simply fogged over, and a bill for $8,500. Days like those prove bodywork can be expensive, and you don't always get what you pay for.

The resulting migraine cemented our decision to paint our '67 Rambler project ourselves, from prep to the actual spraying of the color, to allow ourselves the kind of control needed to really get the whole job looking the way we wanted it at a price we could afford. We'll admit it's a lot of work and there is some science involved, but we're not diving into this without a little experience. We've built a foundation of knowledge over the last few years by prepping the Disco Nova in the May '05 issue and having it sprayed by 1-Day Paint & Body and by sanding and prepping the '65 El Camino in the Apr. '06 issue and getting it partially painted before Tech Editor Smith's kid drove it into a ditch. We also recently practiced on the Rambler in unseen corners of the trunk and engine bay to get our technique and tools sharpened.

All the mistakes, endless questioning of local paint guys, and some pointers from a paint-and-body class that John McGann took at a local college have prepared us to possibly ruin a perfectly good AMC just to show you what it's like to tackle an entire car. Just remember, drips are OK if you're the one who put them there.

Supplies
DescriptionPrice
3/4-inch masking tape$2.49
Adhesive remover10.00
3/4-inch metal Bondo spreaders7.00
Mixing board4.44
DuPont V-4904S primer/filler, 1 gallon123.00
DuPont V-4975S activator, 1 quart61.00
DuPont HC2300S clear, 1 gallon151.79
DuPont HC2305S activator, 1 quart47.69
Eastwood six-piece sanding kit69.99
Eastwood 21-inch adjustable flexible sander79.99
Eastwood 320-grit adhesive-back sandpaper roll 14.99
Eastwood 120-grit adhesive-back sandpaper roll 14.99
Eastwood three-piece door-panel and trim-removal set34.99
Eastwood auto paint and priming system134.99
Evercoat metal glaze29.81
Inline air filter47.00
Overspray sheeting27.63
Painters' masking paper5.00
Respirator17.67
Sharpe air regulator27.00
SEM self-etching primer, 1 can11.03
SEM high-build primer, 1 can12.00
Tack cloth, box of 1210.99
Nason Barbados Blue Metallic basecoat, 1/2 gallon40.00
Nason activator, 1 qt.28.40
Quart pails, 62.94
Total:$1,016.82

Are You Single?
The original color for the Rambler was a metallic called Barbados Blue. We chose to use a two-stage metallic urethane paint, meaning the color is sprayed and then a clearcoat is sprayed on top of it. Single-stage means all the elements of the paint go on in one coat. Single-stage paint is cheaper and is good for a project that will be kept indoors or as a show car because the paint is simply not as durable. If you are using a metallic paint like we are, the clearcoat will protect the integrity of the paint through the years of washing and buffing. The same goes for metalflake, flame jobs, and pearls.

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