The MGA With An Attitude
Original CELLULOSE PAINT, Application - PT-105D2

In the prior article Timothy Trevithick mentioned waiting overnight for drying time. I think we can strike that remark. My first MGA restoration painting was done with nitro-cellulose lacquer in 1986. My first impression was that the stuff was quite translucent, requiring multiple coats to cover. I would spray it left to right, then top to bottom, then left to right again, and top to bottom again. Four fairly thin coats in quick succession, allowing just enough time between for the solvent to flash off. (If sprayed any heavier it would run). Then I allowed it to dry overnight before wet sanding (to make the surface flat), and repeated the spraying process for another four light coats. Repeat overnight dry then wet sand again. That made 12 thin coats (if you count them all) with three wet sandings before final cut and polish. Very labor intensive, but it came out quite nice.

I was to discover later that the lacquer seems to be brittle and will chip easily. I ran a lot of TSD rally including some gravel roads. In the end the whole front end of the car was chipped up leaving lots of spots with primer showing through. So while lacquer is very nice for a show car, I don't recommend it for a daily driver car.

Over the next 30 years I did two more repaints using acrylic enamel with catalyzing hardener, and more recently a repaint with urethane enamel with hardener. The enamel is much tougher, far more chip resistant, and with the hardener it can be wet sanded after 12-hours overnight drying time. If it is not for show you don't have to wet sand it, just leave a little orange peel finish and it's out the door after a couple of quick coats.

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