Update by Per Schroeder to the Saab 99 project car
Jul 16, 2007

This weekend, we painted our 1977 Saab 99 in our garage using “rattle” cans. We had custom two-part urethane Dupont Centari enamel mixed up to the factory color. The result is a strong finish that is resistant to chips and chemical damage (gasoline spills, brake cleaner and just about anything else won’t hurt this stuff). The two quarts of paint, 8 ounces of hardener and 18 fill-in reducer cans set us back about $200 (in addition to other supplies like lacquer thinner for cleaning parts, Prep-Sol wax remover and various sand papers and primers. While there are cheaper methods to paint a car, we like that this method has limited overspray (that you’d get using a conventional spray gun), drips (like you’d get with the Rustoleum roller method) and you don’t need a compressor or specialized tools. We did it in our two car suburban garage without really messing anything up.

We started out having a quart of Dupont Centari mixed up in Saab Antelope Brown (YR06). With 4 ounces of catalyst, the 36 ounces of catalyzed paint will fill 9 spray cans, which already have reducer in them. Here, Joe at Higgs Auto Paint, pours the paint into a special cup that fits into the hole in the top of the can.

The paint is injected into the rattle cans using this compressed air powered cabinet/press.

Shaking the can for a minute or two helps the paint color be consistent

We started out with light coats, gradually building up layers of paint.

Catalyzed paint is particularly nasty stuff. Always wear a mask that can handle organic vapors. This $20 disposable one works fine.

Our nine cans painted everything except the hood and roof. Here you can see the slight mismatch. We went back to Higgs and had another quart mixed up. to do the remaining parts of the car and go back over the sections we already painted.

Before we sprayed the second batch of paint, we wetsanded the fresh paint to knock down some of the orange peel.

The paint turned out pretty well, but did have some orange peel that needed to be wet sanded further and buffed out.

We’re just about done with the wet sanding and buffing process. We started out with 1000 grit paper and followed that with 1500. That was then followed with rubbing compound and polish. We still have to go over some sections to get the surface smooth.

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