Not my favourite job if I'm honest. I spent ten months prepping cars for paintwork a long time ago, but I think the very little I actually learnt has slipped away to oblivion. The guys I worked with made it look so easy.
I'd spend hours applying filler, rubbing it back, going too low and having to start again. They seemed to be able to perfect it in minutes. But, alas, the tank I wanted to keep in bare metal has just too many dents and marks for me to be happy with it. So, I decided to break out the filler.
First job was to get the bottom ready for primer. Once painted I can refit the fuel gauge sender and tap, and double check for leaks before spending hours on the top.
Flatted with 360 grit paper, it was soon good enough for some filler primer.
The old thing is looking a bit rough to be fair, but wait 'til I've finished, it'll be much worse.
Had to weld in the holes where the side cover brackets were mounted.
Filled it with water to check, ok so far.
Two layers in, did I mention I hate filling?
I'm using a block with 80 grit to get the basic shape. I didn't want the entire side covered in filler but, with divots everywhere, needs must.
First coats of primer on, improvement already. I'm just using aerosols, professional finishes are way too far out of reach nowadays.
Out with the putty for the imperfections, looks like I have a lot of imperfections!
Flatted with 600 grit and a block. Not looking too bad, but you can still feel a few odd spots in it.
A light dusting with black over the next coat of primer and I'll leave it a couple of weeks for the paint to sink. In case you were wondering, the black dusting helps to see low spots etc. when you rub the primer down.
A quick blast of silver underneath should keep the rust at bay and I can forget about the original red colour too.