So here we are ladies and gents, the final step in my nine part series on “Creating the Perfect Paint Job”: fit and finish. For those of you who’ve read each of the prior eight posts and you should be prepared to tackle this last step no problem. For those of you haven’t, you may want to go back to the first step and take it from there. You don’t want to cut any corners.
Get Your Fit and Finish On
It’s been a long road, a considerable amount of time and energy has been spent. Now it’s time to slow down and take your sweet time with assembly. This is the time to order the weather-stripping; a few of my favorites are Steele Rubber and Restoration Specialties. It’s so important to buy top quality weather stripping. This will save you the headache that comes with using aftermarket weather-stripping, so it pays to use the good stuff.
Round Up Your Hardware
Preparing for the final fit and finish – it’s important to get all your hardware ready. Quick tip: if you have any rusty old bolts, nuts, washers and the like, go to Home Depot and pick up a case of Muriatic Acid in the Pool section. Soak all your steel hardware overnight. For any aluminum pieces, I would only do a quick dip, as this stuff goes through it like butter.
Upon completion your hardware will come out clean and rust free. The minute I remove my hardware from the acid I rinse it off, then apply WD40 to protect them which also helps with installation. Any tools I use, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, you name it – I wrap the ends with masking tape to help prevent scratches from a quick slip, etc.
The next step depends if you removed the interior; if you did I highly recommend installing sound proofing material.
There a several products to choose from and I myself, like Dynamat Xtreme, you can’t beat the quality. There are some less expensive products out there, but you get what you pay for.
Installing the Headliner
Once the soundproofing is in, it’s time to install the headliner before the front and rear windshields go in. Most vintage vehicles require the headliner first, this due to it being wrapped around the window frame as the windshield rubber keeps it tight and secure.
As for your chrome, it’s now time to bring drag it out and make sure you’ve got everything you need. Make sure you have your clips, fasteners everything ready before you begin. If you’ve decided to leave the old chrome or stainless alone, you can get some ultra-fine steel wool and a mild rubbing compound to go over those pieces to bring them back to life.
Those of you’ve who’ve followed this series know my mantra has always been to “take your time” and the fit and finish step is no exception. You’ve worked so hard to get here and it’s time to slow down and enjoy that last clip to the finish line.
And There You Have It
Assuming you’ve faithfully followed each of the nine steps I’ve outlined in this series, you should have something closely resembling perfection and I applaud you for having gone the distance. If not, you may want to go back and determine where you went wrong and apply that lesson the next time you tackle such a project.
And with that, this series is a wrap. Thanks again for reading, if you have any questions feel free to drop me a line. Next month I’ll talk about tricks to save your paint job from drips, etc.