Your sunny Sunday cruiser may not be the latest, greatest Meguiar’s MotorEx show stopper, however it’s still your pride and joy. As such, you naturally want to keep it looking its best. This neat ’67 Fairlane hardtop had developed an unsightly rust spot on the boot lid, which needed addressing before turning into a bigger problem. Traditionally you’d have to visit your panel shop of choice for a seamless repair of such a blemish. Thanks to ColorSpec’s exact-match, professional-grade refinishing system in a convenient aerosol can, accomplished DIYers can confidently tackle such repairs at home. All the while attaining a pro-quality finish at an affordable price. Here’s how.

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Step No.01: Mouldings and trim work are easily damaged, so remove them out of harm’s way. After thoroughly cleaning the area of accumulated crud, use a scraper to remove flaking paint and built-up corrosion. Keep scrapping until there’s clean, fresh metal all around the affected area.

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Step No.02: A sander/polisher is ideal for sanding away the bulk of the corrosion. Instead an angle grinder (fitted with an abrasive wheel) was used and was continually flicked on and off to keep the disc speed slow. Either way, don’t overheat the metal, as it’s likely to warp. Keep it cool enough to touch.

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Step No.03: Don’t attempt to grind all the way down to clean metal, as doing so will thin the metal excessively, which is why an abrasive disc was used rather than the more aggressive grinding wheel. With the bulk of the rust ground away, dig into the remaining corrosion with a drill-mounted wire wheel.

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Step No.04: Although clean in appearance, trace amounts of rust will remain. These need to be treated with rust converter. Mask off the area to protect surrounding paintwork, then brush it on, before wiping off with water followed by methylated spirits. Blackened areas are where the converter has reacted with rust.

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Step No.05: After using the rust converter, go over the area again with the wire wheel to remove as much of the reacted residue as possible. Then it’s time to start sanding! At this point, 120-grit free-cut (white sanding paper) was used to feather out the edges of the paint surrounding the repair area.

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Step No.06: Corrosion often leaves pitting in the metal’s surface. Although the pitting was very light in this case (and could have probably been filled with ColorSpec Primer Surfacer), the damaged area was given a light skim of plastic body filler (bog) after being thoroughly cleaned with wax ‘n’ grease remover.

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Step No.07: More sanding. Start with a 120-grit to knock the top down, then switch to 220 to feather the edges of the repair. Using a block ensures good feathering and stops your fingers from sanding ruts into the surface. Mix up the direction of your sending strokes for maximum smoothness and flatness.

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Step No.08: Finger tips are very sensitive. During sanding, run them over the surface to identify any minute irregularities and unfeathered edges – sand until they’re gone. Before painting, clean the area with wax ‘n’ grease remover (*Note: wipe on with one cloth, wipe off with a separate, clean, dry cloth).

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Step No.09: Two coats of ColorSpec Etch Primer was applied over the raw repair. ColorSpec Etch Primer offers superior adhesion to bare metal along with corrosion protection. To guarantee compatibility, all paint manufactures advise against using different-brand primers and top coats – always stick with ColorSpec’s range of products.

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Step No.10: With any automotive repair, there is multiple sanding and painting procedures. The ColorSpec Etch Primer only requires a light sand with 320 to knock down the peel. To speed things up, all sanding was done dry, however wet sanding (grey paper) is fine, just ensure the surface is completely dry before painting.

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Step No.11: Next up is two solid coats of ColorSpec Primer Surfacer. These were applied consecutively with around 20 minutes drying time between coats. Compare the size of the repair area here with size of the original damaged area. To ensure seamless blending, all repairs will grow in size as each successive layer is applied.

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Step No.12: Like ColorSpec’s Etch Primer, ColorSpec’s Primer Surfacer is fast drying and can be sanded in around 40 minutes on a warm day. Colder ambient temperatures may require longer drying times. Better still, its easy sanding properties means relatively-fine 320 to 400-grit paper easily removes peel.

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Step No.13: ColorSpec Base Coat (the actual colour) can be precisely matched to the 560 standard colours in the ColorSpec fan or any of the 74,000 automotive colours in the ColorSpec data base. Take your vehicle’s paint code, or paint name to a SuperCheap Auto store and they’ll specifically mix the aerosol can while you wait. Each 300g can of Base Coat is capable of attaining full coverage over an area of up to one square meter.

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Step No.14: First coat should be being very light, as you need to layer up the ColorSpec Base Coat to avoid runs. Coverage is easy thanks to the can’s specially-developed nozzle that produces a wide, even spray pattern. It typically requires three, good coats to attain full coverage with around 20 minutes drying time between coats.

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Step No.15: ColorSpec refinishing system employs the same clear-over-base technology as used by vehicle manufacturers. That is; the Base Coat dries to a low-sheen, with full–gloss only being attained after three solid coats of ColorSpec Acrylic Clear Coat or ColorSpec Deep Crystal Clear Coat have been applied – which also seals the Base Coat. Allow at least 40 minutes drying time before applying the clear, letting each clear coat tack-off for around 20 minutes before applying the next.

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Step No.16: Straight off the nozzle, the repair area was quite glossy. However for the ultimate full-gloss finish, the area was wet-sanded with 1000-grit in preparation for buffing after being allowed to dry for a full 24 hours. Yep, like any professional-grade paint, ColorSpec refinishing system can be cut ‘n’ buffed to a lustrous shine. Try that with your garden variety pressure-pack product!

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Wrap Up: The drill-powered Meguiar’s Power DA in combination with Meguiar’s Ultimate Compound is perfect for buffing areas like this. Wax products seal the surface, so allow at least 60 days for all the solvents to totally evaporate before applying Meguiar’s Ultimate Liquid Wax. The finished job is a radical improvement from what it looked like to start with. Take your time with each of the cleaning, sanding and painting processes and there’s no reason your repair cannot look like a full-on professional job. On top of the 74,000 factory colours, ColorSpec offers a lavish array of 560 standard colours for those custom, or one-off paint jobs. ColorSpec also offers Caliper Hi-Temp in an aerosol that can be colour-matched in the same way as the ColorSpec Base Coat product.