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Bentley Restoration Project Part 3

Bentley Restoration Project Part 3

Episode 3

Pushing Progress: Primer and Paint

See the bottom of this page for a video of the painting process.

The Bentley is now ready for primer and paint! The Optex Superbuild High Build Primer Surfacer (commonly known as polyester putty) has been refined and sanded to leave the body work in a condition that our technicians are happy with. The surfaces are now ready for the top layers that will leave the car looking its best since it was originally restored by Slim in the 70s.

Before our technicians touch the top of the panels though, they will never have a better opportunity to add a layer of protection inside the massive front and back wings. Using Upol Raptortough, durable, flexible, corrosive-resistant coating, they spray the inside of all the wings to protect and preserve them from stone chips and road salt. 

Once this has dried, all the panels are put in the spraybooth and cleaned using Glasurit 541-5 Wax and Silicone Remover. We also use an anti-static gun to remove any static build up which attracts dust particles. So much of this process is about preparation and this is essential to ensure perfect adhesion of the primer and no dirt in the painted surface.

Any areas where the Rage Optex has been broken through to bare metal, a Wet-on-Wet primer Glasurit 285-270 is used to cover these areas. This product is flashed off for the recommended period and then we apply the High Build Primer whilst the panels are still in the spraybooth, speeding up this process. Glasurit 285-555 Black and 285-655 White primer are used. 

This layer of primer is when our technicians really get the ultimate finish on the panels. Once dry, this is sanded using 3M Blue Net Abrasive. Launched in 2022, this abrasive is popular with bodyshops as it comes with very little packaging helping to reduce carbon footprint. 3M Blue Net Abrasive also has amazing dust extraction properties when plugged in to the Festool Vacuum unitshelping to keep a clean workshop which is essential for worker health and a clean working environment.

When working the panels, 3M Dry Guide Coat M9560 is applied to the primed surface - this helps to identify high and low spots on the panel and is another way of achieving the perfect finish. Any dents or ripples will show up instantly on a shiny painted surface, so our technicians take great care with this sanding process working through the Blue Net grits from 320-500. In awkward areas they use 3M Soft Hand Pads 320 & 500 grit and finish large flat areas with 500g Hookit Discs on a dust extraction sander. 

After many hours of work, the car and all the panels are ready for the topcoat! Glasurit Waterbased basecoat is applied and then it is lacquered with their latest Eco Balance Scratch Resistant Clear A-C-40. The colour used is the same as when the vehicle was restored by Slim - a very dark grey which highlights the classic lines of the Bentley and a colour stripe will be applied to finish the bodywork off. Originally Slim had used a cream stripe but we have found some drawings for the car in his archive and are looking at options for this, as yet undecided. 

The next blog will see the vehicle with its stripe, polished and detailed in time for the wedding day of one of Slim's Grandsons.
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