Painting Our Early Bronco

Paint Crazy

Verne SimonsPhotographer, Writer

Honestly, automotive paint is something we’ve made a career out of avoiding. We’re pretty good at finding rigs with patina and rust, and by God we can add dents to any vehicle with ease. Fixing dents and rust is not outside the realm of possibility for us. We’ve straightened panels with a hammer, a dolly, and a porta-power. But when you talk about spraying paint through a paint gun and not out of a spray can, or adding body filler to fill low spots, we avoid those topics like we avoid personal body modification, fingernail polish, false eyelashes, and spray tans (despite everything the Kardashians stand for and the trends of current politicians).

Still, this job is fun because it gives us a chance to learn new things. New 4x4s, new parts, new tools, and new trends in the aftermarket lifestyle … even when those things are something we previously avoided due to our cheapskate ways and lazy nature.

Ever since helping with the paint on the Derange Rover for our 2018 Ultimate Adventure we have been researching auto body paint in earnest. We plan to go through the motions of painting or first vehicle—which is to say properly painting our first vehicle, since we’ve painted a few with rattle cans in the past.

The subject of this automotive paint educational experiment is our 1969 Ford Bronco, a 4x4 we are determined to make into something nice, maybe nicer than any other 4x4 we’ve ever owned. This article is about painting the Bronco and what we’ve learned along the way—and we’ve learned a lot. One thing we have learned for sure is that, going forward, we will most likely leave the paint, primer, sandpaper, and body filler to someone else and go back to our patina, rust, and dents. Why? Well, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Similarly the method for achieving a smooth panel on an old Bronco with bodywork and paint is to do the same thing over and over expecting slightly different results. That places us just a little too close to the nuthouse for us, and the dust and fumes don’t help.

Fast, PN MR18555-65° F13-18° C
Medium, MR18665-75° F18-24° C
Slow, MR18775-85° F24-29° C
Very Slow, MR18885-95° F29-35° C

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