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Old 03-27-2003, 05:06 PM   #1
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How many quarts (or gallons?) to paint a car??

Just curious as to how much paint you guys used when you painted your cars. I was thinking two quarts of color and two quarts of clear would do me... but maybe I need much less? much more? I have an HVLP gun (Devilbiss Finishline), so I assume I'll need less paint.

Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2003, 05:21 PM   #2
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well i am paintng my car and am using a HVLP gun and i orderd 1 gal of base(that is the smallest they sold) and that get reduced 1 to 1 so i have 2 gallons of it...LOL..and i have a total of 1.5 gals of sprayable clear....I think it will only take about 3 of each tho and i don't have a roof to spray.... I would say get more the be on the safe side... you are gonna want at least 2 coats, i am going for 3 of each.
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Old 03-27-2003, 05:38 PM   #3
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when we painted my car , i got 1 gal of base color, 1 gal of clear and then other reducer and all that other fun stuff. and had a little bit of both clear and base left over. we put 2 coats of base and 4 coats of clear.
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Old 03-27-2003, 05:54 PM   #4
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Oh hell I forgot about the reducers and thinners and etc... Do the paint manufacturers give any kind of guidance towards this? Such as "you need one gallon of paint for a car 10 feet long"?
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Old 03-27-2003, 06:51 PM   #5
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It's actually very dependent on your gun.. I use a pretty effecient gun and this is what I use.. (all dupont)
1 quart of ground coat (stretching it).. Even if it's not a transparent color, it helps
2 quarts of color (chroma base) = 2 coats
2 quarts of clear (chroma clear) = 2 coats

The paint, clear and ground coat will all have mixing instructions on them... or at least mine do..

Good luck!
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Old 03-27-2003, 07:11 PM   #6
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BOTL... forgive my stupidity, but what's a ground coat? I take it you don't mean primer?

(And your signature graphic's quote is awesome, by the way!)
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Old 03-27-2003, 11:01 PM   #7
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There are alot of variables that determine how much base color you use (solid color, metallic, opaque, HVLP, etc.....), clear is up to you on how much you want to use. PPG recommends 2-3 coats for the 2021 clear. Most manufacturers have a recommended coverage on the can or is obtainable from the paint supplier.
I used 2 quarts of black when I 1st painted my bird (DBU PPG paint single stage). I've used a little more this time around just because of indecision (doorhandles, etc...)

On a similar note...here's it the only pic of my car black (motor pulled and the start of the neverending project)
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File Type: jpg b.jpg (26.6 KB, 257 views)
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Old 03-28-2003, 06:18 AM   #8
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TomP - A ground coat (aka Value Shade) is almost like a paint.. It comes in something like 7 different colors, and each paint color requires one of the 7 ground coats to be applied before the paint.. Some paints are transparent, meaning that once you apply it, you would be able to see where you had primer and where you didn't(high and low spots), if no ground coat was used...

As well, it's necissary on *most* colors as well to get the correct color from the paint.. Even if it's not transparent, it can make all the difference in the world..

For instance, my brother painted his mustang Ford Performance Red and didn't use a ground coat.. It turned out orange.. It still looked good, but it wasn't red by ANY stretch of the imagination.. Then, a couple years later he painted his Hurricane the same color but used the ground coat, and it turned out red.. (like it was supposed to)..

Best bet is to talk to the guys who sold you the paint.. We deal with UAP/NAPA and they're a good bunch that know what they're talking about..

Good luck!
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Old 03-28-2003, 07:50 AM   #9
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Used 3 quarts of base coat on my car(bought a gallon), and I'm guessing about the same with the clear(the guy who painted it for me used some clear he already had). It's good to have a friend in the painting business. Anyway, I primed the whole car using a tintable primer. It was a new primer at the time (probably 8 years ago, wasn't cheap) and we tinted it maroon. What's underneath can make a big difference. In direct sunlight, my car looks more red, in indirect sunlight it looks plum.
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Old 03-29-2003, 08:26 PM   #10
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BOTL, thanks! Sort of like how GM used a white primer, but Ford used a gray primer? Even in the latest hot rod mag, they sprayed a House of Kolor white coat, then a blue pearl for the top of the car, and a silver pearl for the rest. Said something about the blue would "pop" better applied over white than silver.

Deadbird, thanks (yet again) for the info! Do you remember how many coats of black you gave it the first time around, from that 2 quarts? It sure looks deep as hell...

So '82, you used three stages? Tintable primer, base, and clear? That's a sharp color, by the way!

Man, everyone wasn't kidding about the price of good paint... looks like House of Kolor is $45/quart from Eastwood. Makes me wonder exactly what paint Maaco used on my car back in '97. Minimal two quarts base, two quarts color, two quarts clear, $300... my whole Maaco job was $380. Either the painter painted it for free, or that paint was -Cheap-!

I -think- I'm going for "Burple" as the color... gotta wait for the paint chip charts to take a look.
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Old 03-29-2003, 10:01 PM   #11
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My guess would be cheap paint. For the most part, it was 3 stages after the body work. After the tinted primer we used red scotch-brite pads to sand. That primer cost more than the base coat. We also had to lightly scuff with the scotch-brite pads a few hours before the paint, so it would stick. Besides a few door dings and hail dents, it still looks pretty good--well, if it was clean anyway. It's under a good coat of dirt in the garage right now
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Old 03-29-2003, 10:01 PM
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