19. OPTIMUS ETCHIMUS PRIMINGNO
So I finished all the stripping (finally). The side panels took 3 applications in general, and one side (for an unknown reason) took a fourth because the paint instead of bubbling up in a clean layer just went chalky.
After the last application of stripper, a wipedown with mineral spirits, followed by a wash and scrubbing with a copper scrubber, I managed to get all the paint off except in some of the tighter cracks. I'm not really sure what to do about those, but man look at these babies shine! I won't be priming them just now, because I have to plan and cut windows in both later (the front side for a window, and the back side for a cable-management bumpout).
Alright, now that I have fully exorcised the beigedemons, I can move on to priming all the pieces that have already been modified. I used self-etching primer, since the steel is now bare and appears to be galvanized.
This stuff is very very noxious, btw. And based on the repeated insistance by Bill Owen in the MNPCTech videos, I went out and invested in a good respirator mask and organic vapor filters. The result, I could breathe freely, and look like a serial killer while doing it! Especially with the old hook scale hanging from the ceiling:
First I tested a couple coats out on the top panel. PER INSTRUCTIONS I sanded it with 400 grit sandpaper, then wiped it down with mineral spirits before starting the first light coat. Let each coat dry a bit before applying the next.
Looks so much nicer than beige. The primer dries with a rough finish. The upper layer rubs off even after curing for a day, but the underlayers are fully bonded. Very nice. Only problem I'm having is damage to the primer where the panel was resting on the cardboard, and contamination of my work area by debris. I need a painting booth... lol.
So on to first and second coats of everything else, each side. Oh and remember that bit of rust on the bottom panel? I sanded and grinded that off prior to priming, and the self-etching primer should take care of any bits of it that escaped my attention. Winning!
At this point, I got tired of the issues with damage to the peices where they touched the cardboard, and crap that was sticking to the cardboard, so I bought some painters roll paper and painters pyramids:
And the final priming coats of everything. I'm going to leave this to fully cure over the weekend.
My god it looks beautiful. And NO BEIGE!LESSONS LEARNED:
Invest a few bucks in paper and painters pyramids on the front end. Would have saved me a bit of aggravation.
Follow the instructions carefully on all spray primers/paints.
If you can at all, build a small painting booth. There are hundreds of tutorials on the web using PVC/Cardboard, fans, filters, etc, but beware of fume buildup.
ENSURE GOOD VENTILATION. I had the garage door cracked about a foot (to minimize overspray carry) with a fan blowing in at the other end of the garage. I doubt anything I did could make the atmosphere in there not noxious, but it kept the concentration below combustible concentrations, which was the key point.
DO wear the respirator, and keep the drowning thing on. I tell you, was priming away with it, and I couldn't smell a single odor of primer. So in my head, it's not there. So I finished priming, and thought I'd do something else in the garage, and started to lift the respirator. WHHOOSSH the fumes hit me. HOLY COW that was some serious atmosphere in there. Put the mask back on and left the garage before taking it off.
Only real oops is that I was going to cut a vent for the PSU in the bottom panel before priming. Not a huge deal really, as no one will see the raw edges once everything is in place. I may or may not opt to touch that up after cutting.