PHASE 2: Base/Clear

September 09, 2013 – Phase 2 of my Aerosol Paint project starts. Here is the plan, no target dates at this point:

  • Replace the rear tailgate – why? I acquired a tailgate from a 2008 Ford Ranger XLT that has a 9 inch oval and new style Ranger embled. I like it more than the pre-2006 style with the smaller Ford logo.
  • Replace the driver side front fender – why? I acquired a front fender from a 2008 Ford Ranger XLT in perfect condition, no rust, no dents, fender flare in place.
  • Replace the driver side front door – why? Well, this is more difficult to explain. My current door is rust free, undercoated, and perfect colour. The only little glitch is that I have to fix the window track, it is skewing a little bit and I do not like the wind whistle. The new door window track works perfect, no fiddling. It is easier for me to replace the door than to adjust the window track (so, if anyone wants a good rust free door, let me know. Cheap.
  • Repaint my Ranger is four parts:
    1. the front clip (fenders, hood, wiper tray)
    2. the cab (roof, doors)
    3. the box
    4. the topper
  • Everything will be sanded with 400 grit no-fill sandpaper. Most by hand, but I will also use an air jitterbug.
  • All emblems, side rails, box liner, bumpers and fascia will be removed

You are probably wondering why I reassembled my Ranger after the first base coat application, and why I am reapplying the base coat. Let me explain.

The last time I did bodywork of any kind was several decades ago. I expected to be a bit rusty and miss some basic things. And, I sure did. I missed a big dent on the roof, got a few runs in the first base coat paint job, didn't do that great with two smaller dents (one on rear door, one on front door). Planning on a second base coat followed by clear coat gives me the opportunity to "fix" these small issues, without having a major re-sanding job on my hands.

So, why reassemble just a few months ago and take all this stuff off again? Well, I knew I would not be able to get to the second base coat / clear coat until the fall, and I did not want to drive around with a frankenford any longer. Plus, taking off the front bumpers, fascia, four emblems, the plastic side rails, box liner, and topper takes all of about 1 1/2 hours. In the overall scheme of things, a nitty little distraction. In terms of cost, we are talking about a grand total of $33. for the FX4 emblems to replace.

In this series, I will also cover a few points about body work. Not that I am that great at it ... I have noticed that a few of the old-school way of doing things are not that prominent any more. That's too bad, some of those tricks were quite effective and cost very little. So, I will feature a few of my techniques, old-school or not ...

Picture 1Here's the starting point. This is the "new" 2008 tailgate. There is some body work to do to it. Something heavy was dropped in the top center and there are two dents. There are also several deep scratches, and a paint chip that need filling in. The oxide red spots are glaze compound. Glaze compound is like a very heavy primer applied with a plastic spreader, much like body filler.

The key to glaze compound is to use it appropriately – only on small scratches and small paint chips. Essentially all you want to do is to apply enough so that it dries in less than 15 minutes. Apply it to heavy and you end up with cracks in the glaze, and it gets nearly impossible to sand without clumping on the sand paper. You want to sand it so that the red oxide is nearly totally transparent and you can see the paint underneath. The only areas where the glaze compound sound remain its original colour (red oxide) is in the scratch or filling in a paint chip.

Picture 1Here's the tailgate again, almost completely sanded. The only area not sanded is at the top in the center, I ended up putting a slightly heavier amount of glazing compound for the small dent and will let it sit overnight before sanding. Notice that all the glazing compound is nearly completely removed. When I am sanding glazing compound, I hold the sandpaper totally flat with the entire palm of my hand lightly brushing the surface of the panel. This is to avoid digging into the scratch or paint chip and ending up with a dip in the glaze. I have focused this picture on the center where the 9 inch oval would be. Note that this is a paint chip ... where the paint chip is you can see solid red oxide with a translucent glaze area. To test if this is sanded enough, set down your piece of sandpaper and run your hand over the glaze several times ... you should feel absolutely nothing, no raised areas, no dips, no edges. You can further test by spraying some primer sealer over the glaze and eyeing the wet primer to see any flaws in your sanding. If the primer sealer is wet, you should be able to see the "patch" is perfect, or else do some more sanding (or re-apply some glazing compound if too low).

I need to point out that Rustoleum Canada is a partial sponsor of this Phase 2 paint project. They are supplying most of the Gloss Black paint and Clear Acrylic Enamel for the clear coat. The Rustoleum sponsorship covers about one third the cost of this Phase of the paint project (note: if I had not done Phase 1, their sponsorship would cover more than half the cost). There are several reasons I accepted this sponsorship: 1) I had already purchased a different type of Rustoleum paint; 2) I switched to Rustoleum Automotive type paint at Rustoleum's request – they have released the Automotive line of paints in Canada recently and wanted some feedback compared to other brands and types of paints; 3) there are currently two types of Rustoleum black paint on the Ranger now (from Phase 1 base coat) and both are different hues of black; 4) the Rustoleum Automotive aerosol paints has a unique tip that is closer to a "pro" style spray gun – the spray fan is wide and round whereas the other Rustoleum types of aerosol paint are a smaller fan and narrow (not round); 6) agreement to repaint with Rustoleum Automotive type means significantly more work than I originally planned for Phase 2; and, 6) I think having a review with real-life application would be useful to all used vehicle owners that need an inexpensive paint job. That should help others retain value in their used vehicles and keep them on the road longer protecting their vehicles from rust for a longer time.

Picture 1Here's a picture after the back of the tailgate has been painted. It is prep'd and I am just about to paint. At this point, I have wiped down the tailgate with paint thinner, and then wiped it with a clean dry soft cloth – twice. Note the soft cloths at the back of the tailgate, that's why you want to wipe down. Even though cleaned with paint thinner, the second wipe picked up a lot of dust residue, as did the third wipe.

And, finally, here are four pictures. I am polling everyone to help me decide whether or not a wet sand and buff is necessary. The Rustoleum Automotive line of paints is incredible. It applies a lot better than the other Rustoleum/Tremclad aerosols I used in Phase 1. The fan pattern is much better, the paint atomization seems quite a bit finer. I am following the same technique as I originally created for Phase 1, plus this time around, I am applying the clear coat. The process is fairly simple ... I apply the colour coat completely, then wait 30 minutes. I repeat the exact same process with the clear coat.

Picture 1 Picture 1 Picture 1 Picture 1
This is a series of articles based on my experiences painting my 2003 Ford Ranger FX4 with aerosol paint cans. Rather than spend a minimum of $2100 on a bodyshop paint job, I decided to be utilitarian and do it myself for approximately 10% of the bodyshop prices. The prep, bodywork, rust repair, and painting was all done in my driveway, with no shelter from the elements. I chose Rustoleum aerosol paint. In Canada, Rustoleum is brande both as Rustoleum and Tremclad. The first cans I purchased were Tremclad Professional that worked out to 2.4 cents per gram. The results were disappointing (no shine, lots of fish-eye) so I switched to Rustoleum Painter’s Choice Ultra Cover 2X that worked out to 2.1 cents per gram. In the final analysis, the paint to use is the Rustoleum Automotive – the nozzle on the can produces a much finer stream and applies the paint much like an compressor/air-gun. I am simply documenting my experiences using aerosol cans to repaint my vehicle.
How This Started
First coat
Bondo Fix & Final Coat (black)
Two-Tone (satin nickle)
Finished, nearly
Two-Tone RE-DO (dark metal)
Body Armor
Materials Used
Costs (base,to date)
Next Steps & Thoughts
Fender Flares
Spraying Tips
Different Paints Available
Sandpaper Tests
Body Armor

Rustoleum Interview
Home Hardware Interview

Ranger Tips, Specs, Compatibility
Copyright 2013, Andy Prevost. All Rights Reserved.