Times are tough; we know that. Paintjobs are expensive; we certainly know that. We also know that there are plenty of old cars out there that have old, faded paint and could use a repaint, or ones that their owners want to spruce up. But in these economic times a full repaint is probably not high on most people's agendas.

Take this Buick for example. Owned by Rod & Custom's associate publisher, John Barkley, he admittedly didn't need it when it presented itself as somewhat of a bargain, especially with two ongoing projects already underway-but as a car guy, he couldn't refuse it either. One hundred percent stock, and mechanically perfect, the four-door hardtop is a great cruiser, but it had been repainted sometime in the distant past. Having sat outside near the ocean for the past decade, the paint was oxidized, dull, and flat. With a couple of small rust repairs to the lower doorskins, it would be the ideal candidate for a scuff and re-spray, but it was also the perfect candidate for us to show what a little TLC could produce, for a fraction of the cost of new paint.

It wasn't too long ago that buffing paint with professional machinery and rubbing compounds would have been beyond the scope of hobbyists. Now, not only are affordable electric buffers available from tool suppliers like Harbor Freight, but well-known car care product specialist Mothers recently made a Professional line of products available that can be purchased from automotive refinishing suppliers or online directly from Mothers (www.mothers.com). We used these products to resurrect the paint on the Buick, starting with a heavy-duty rubbing compound, then moving on through foam pad polish, machine glaze and hand glaze, finishing with hand-applied carnauba wax, which we prefer to synthetic wax, as it has a high heat tolerance and an ability to provide a long-lasting deep luster owing to the hardness of the wax. Available in liquid or paste, we opted for the paste simply because it's what we're used to and prefer.

Of course, before any work is done to paint of any type, the surface should be scrupulously clean, as any debris or contaminants will scratch the surface as soon as the buffer is applied. A thorough wash is required before work can begin, and thorough means washing any debris out from behind beltline trim, driprails, badges, door, hood, and trunk gaps.

Naturally, once the paint was looking good again, the Buick was let down by the chrome and stainless trim, so we brought them back to as good a shine as was possible given that much of the cast pieces were heavily pitted. Again using Mothers products, but this time their polishes and tools available from auto parts stores or online retailers like SummitRacing.com.

We then hit the tires with Mothers Tire and Rubber Cleaner to complete the transformation, though we barely had time to take our final picture as Barkley was so keen to cruise his "new" shiny Buick, muttering about having to now clear a space in the garage for the car that previously sat outside!

SOURCE
HarborFreight
3491 Mission Oaks Blvd
Camarillo
CA  93011
800-444-3353
www.harborfreight.com
Mothers
5456 Industrial Drive
Huntington Beach
CA  92649
714-891-3364
www.mothers.com
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