So much sanding!

I knew I absolutely hated sanding before starting on that little, red car of mine. I haven’t had much experience with it and was very happy about that. Then I figured a little car like the Fiat 500 should be doable without absolutely losing my mind. Boy was I wrong.

1970 Fiat 500 – Straightening out the door

I did my homework before I started and this is what it came down to bodywork wise: sand off old paint, apply body filler, sand body, base coat, sand base coat, top coat, top coat, top coat, polish. Sanding is mentioned three times in that list. Not great, but doable, keeping the total surface area in mind.

All the drama started literally with the first step. The old paint was much thicker than expected and included a thick layer of body filler as well. So that step took forever. Then I somehow messed up the body filler step and had to redo that. The body filler then showed through the base coat so I had to rough up that coat and lay down an extra layer. Then I started on sanding the base coat for the top coat and now it’s winter.

What’s left now is sanding down two doors and the bonnet. Then I can finally start on those top coats and never think of paint ever again. Problem is that it is winter now. I’ve got a little heater that works well enough to get the garage up to the right temperature, but I am not sure about the humidity.

According to the internet there are a couple of tricks to get the humidity right as well. I already bought a little dehumidifier that uses some kind of powder in a bag. The thing works as the water is attracted to the powder and then drips out of it into the plastic container below it. I will need to get something to measure the actual humidity level, which is supposed to be 40-50% (also according to the internet). The other trick is a combination of heating and ventilating, alternating both until the desired level is reached.

I hope to do all this next time and paint the top coats as well. Getting the garage paint ready for a day should be achievable and maybe the next day as well just to be sure. After that it’s back to the fun stuff, can’t wait for that!

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