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rustyvw GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/27/22 11:14 p.m.

I've decided to paint the Sonett, but the more research I do, the more confused I get.  I want something that will lay down nice and smooth and give a nice finish.  I know the prep makes all the difference, and I intend to get it as smooth as possible before paint, but what paint will give me the best finish?  I have been looking into the Duplicolor Paint Shop paints, and they seem like a good choice, but I will trust the opinions of this board.  Thanks in advance.

Patrick GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/28/22 12:23 a.m.

Duplicolor paint shop paint is trash

go to paintforcars.com and peek around, I've had good results with their stuff

jgrewe HalfDork
5/28/22 1:08 a.m.

I've had great results with primers and clears from Southern Polyurethanes, you can use colors from anybody. Even if you don't end up using their products they have a ton of info on their use that transfers to just about any paint. You can download all their tech stuff to read and re-read. I've painted about 20 cars in 30 years so I'm no expert but I love their products.


dxman92 Dork
5/28/22 1:41 a.m.

I manage an auto paints distributor that deals with Akzo Nobel paints (Lesonal, Sikkens, Utech). Where are you located? 

5/28/22 8:12 a.m.

Assuming you are using a paint system designed for automotive use, it was designed to do exactly what you want, If you read and follow the technical data sheet, it should do just fine. Orange peel is the enemy and that is up to your reducer selection and spray technique/equipment. Color sanding is your friend in the end.


I am guessing you want to stick with a single stage paint system?


If doing mail order, Southern Polyurethanes  is hard to beat for DIY service, support and products.

If using tractor or industrial topcoats, then all bets are off since you are blazing your own trail. I would recommend experimenting with reducers, hardeners and gun settings until you get what you need.

rustyvw GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/28/22 10:05 p.m.

In reply to dxman92 :

I'm in central VA, between Charlottesville and Richmond.

rustyvw GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/28/22 10:09 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

I would prefer single stage paint since time is a factor.  I'm hoping for a system that lets me just buy everything and know it's going to work.  

ddavidv UltimaDork
5/29/22 7:24 a.m.

You'll get better results and have an easier time fixing errors with a base/clear. Single stage is okay if you don't want to go metallic.

jgrewe HalfDork
5/29/22 8:19 a.m.

A base/clear system won't take any longer than the time to go around the car a two or three more times with the spray gun. What it gives you is a chance to fix problems along the way.  It also gives you a few more mils of paint to work with if you are going to wet sand and buff. Once its done it makes repairs easy because you can blend color in a small area then re-clear a whole panel.

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/29/22 8:20 a.m.

I'm spraying my '61 Chevy pickup in PPG Delfleet Essential single stage.  It's high solids and builds well, I'm really pleased with it so far.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/29/22 9:17 p.m.

Some reading on the site that might help: Painting a Car at Home Part 1: Preparation, Preparation, Preparation (Follow that link to get to parts 2 and 3 as well.)

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/30/22 10:17 a.m.

I would try to find your local auto paint supplier and talk to them. I learned more in 15 minutes chatting with the staff than in my hours of online research. My local shop uses PPG products, so they steered me to the OMNI MAE acrylic enamel single stage, since my color was a 1950s solid non-metallic. They sold me the whole system, including hardener and thinner, taking all the guess work out. They even confirmed which types of primers would work best under it.

I also like paintforcars.com. I used their single stage metallic and it turned out decent despite being my first paint job. I would recommend a BC/CC for metallic if I had to do it again.

Toot New Reader
5/30/22 11:39 a.m.

I use tcp global for single stage non metallic paint.  If you are doing a metallic only use a base/clear coat if you have little experience.  I use ppg shop line for regular cars because it sprays decent with almost no orange peel in the home shop.  Good luck 

rustyvw GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/31/22 9:29 p.m.

Thanks for all the advice.  I have ordered a single stage kit from paintforcars.com.  It's going to be a while before it's smooth enough for primer.  I had always heard that prep is the hardest part, and I definitely believe it now.  

rustyvw GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/24/22 8:56 p.m.

It's finally almost finished.  There were definitely some mistakes, but the results are still presentable.  I feel like this is one situation where it's the journey and not the destination.  It would look better if a professional had done it,  but I'm not bothered about that.  

Stampie GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/24/22 9:33 p.m.

Looks good.  Plus now you can say "Can you see that?  Just look at that!  I painted that!"

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/24/22 10:23 p.m.

Looks great! And that color is perfect.

Because I missed this the first time - I've had better luck with single stage than base/clear. The NAPA single stage lays down really nicely. I've also used OMNI 2000 (I think that's what it's called), but that Martin-Seynour from NAPA is just so forgiving.

The only time I've tried to shoot base/clear I didn't realize the clear had a different viscosity, and I got runs everywhere. "No problem, I can fix that", I thought. So after much sanding and buffing, I simply could not get the gloss back and it looked like my freshly painted car had spent a decade in the sun. It was bad enough that I basically walked away from a two year project for a while. I realize this was my inability to fix a problem that I created, but I never had that trouble with single stage.

rustyvw GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/24/22 10:47 p.m.

Another picture.  I'm just so proud.


drock25too GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
9/24/22 11:23 p.m.

That looks really good. Nice job.

birdmayne GRM+ Memberand Reader
9/25/22 12:45 a.m.
rustyvw said:  I'm just so proud.

You should be! Great job!

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/25/22 6:24 a.m.

Great job! I agree with Keith, the color is perfect. 

9/25/22 8:31 a.m.

That came out great. As someone who just finished painting his own project, I can relate to the  fun that car painting is. Not.

Appleseed MegaDork
9/25/22 11:39 a.m.

That Saab looks tits!

TurnerX19 UberDork
9/26/22 7:56 p.m.

The color looks spot on original Sonett orange too. The texture of the original paint varied quite a lot too. Some were almost as good as yours looks. Many were not.

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/26/22 11:46 p.m.

I keep telling myself: "Five years from now, when it's covered in rock chips, door dings, and blow-by residue, how much am I going to care how not perfect it is?"

Looks great.  Freakin' drive it.

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