Stipping the finish off of the plastic body of my SL2...
Years of scratches, peeling clear coat, and a color I have always hated have come to a head. I need to repaint the SL2. I want to do it right, as it strip it down to bare panels, prime, paint, clearcoat and buff.... Now the process is pretty simple on a normal metal car, but as we all know, the Saturn SL is anything but a normal car. I am concerned with using any sort of paint stripper on the plastic panels.
So just what do we use to strip the finish off of these cars without damaging the plastic bodywork?
I have. To begin with don't over think it.
The bottom line is it is going to be work.
A lot of it is plastic. The benefit, plastic don't rust.
Original factory paint is a good base coat for the most part.
Having said that and assuming you have no real idea what you are getting into are you planning to repaint it your self or just prime it and have some one else paint it or what?
Today's paint technology is a double edge sword. On one hand it is harder than hell so it is not easy to "Buff". You need to know what you are doing to make it worth your while to deal with it and have the tools to do it with.
Yesterdays paint's responded well to buffing. They needed to, they were not very hard.
Single Stage Acrylic enamel paints about as easy as yesterdays lacquer and the shine is in the can not in the buffing.
Clear coats can be tricky. The biggest problem is that there is a secret 15 degree rule. You have 45 min. to have started applying the clear over the base at 75 degrees.
And miss that by 15 degrees and the time window cuts in half by every 15 degrees hotter. What happens if you miss it? about a year and half later the clear coat starts peeling off.
Can you deal with it? Only if you purchase and apply a clear coat primer before shooting the clear coat.
That will affect some people worse than others depending on where you live and how you park your car.
I would recommend a single stage acrylic enamel. It works.
A D/A if you have one. some where around 80 to 180 grit depending onwhat you are doing.
if you don't buy some rubber sanding blocks and 240ish wet dry paper and fill a 5 gallon bucket with laundry detergent and water and wet sand things. Rinsing frequently to flush sanding deposits off.
Untill things are pretty well sanded where things kicked up from tires will kick up and clear coat is buggered.
When ready obtain some catalyzed heavy fill primer mask and shoot it and then start wet sanding down, 240 or finer as needed to make smooth.
High build primer will fill in 80 grit sanding scratches. Good stuff.
When ready pick a color and shoot it. It does not need buffing for a good finish. It can be buffed but if you have never buffed before it will require a lot of learning to make it good.
Can you make it better?
Yes but if you are asking us how to do it, my guess is you don't know how to do it so don't worry about it. There is enough work here to keep you busy for a while.
I have to repaint mine due to time window missed on the base coat clear coat. I am shooting the car I am building with Single stage alkyd paint. it is harder than rocks, raspier than hell but it looks good.
I have used single stage enamel and have no complaints for the most part.
Now that I know how to deal with base coat clear coat I might try again but I doubt it.
i'm no expert, but I do my own painting.
I would say stay away from stripper. it can cause problems long term if not neutralized correctly and most of the time it is not.