The MGA With An Attitude
Original CELLULOSE PAINT, Still Good For Show - PT-105D3

On 8/22/2017, Wayne Stambaugh wrote:
"I have done automotive paint work since the early 70s and seen a world of changes in automotive paint products. In the 70s we used nitrocellulose and acrylic lacquers exclusively for the exteriors of the cars we restored. We only did show car restoration so the known negatives to these products were not factors for us.

For the most part the process information is good until he mentions waiting over night after each coat of lacquer. The varying number of coats required can be as few as 7 or 8 to as many as 20. Some will claim they put on even more but I never found this to be required. As long as it was thick enough to cut and buff without making light spots you were good. Judgement and experience was critical. I can't begin to tell you how many lacquer jobs I did complete in the neighborhood of 2 to 3 hours (spraying only, not prep). One of the biggest advantages to lacquer is that it dries very quickly which makes it resist collecting dust and allow the next coat to be put on rapidly. When dust or dirt or a run is noticed along the way you can stop and wait a little while for it to dry, lightly sand it out and then start spraying again.

In other articles on the MG Guru site it mentions lacquers as being a thing of the past, unavailable, undesirable, etc. For the majority of people today, they are, however there is still a place for it, but it's show car material. It's not for the average driver. I continue to do restoration work for a living including the paint work. I just finished a fairly custom 67 Camaro using a PPG Vibrance line Tri Coat color which was extremely well cut and buffed afterward. I have to admit, after it was finished I wished I would have used either nitro or acrylic lacquer on it. There is something about the cut and buffed shine of lacquer that out performs modern paints. All this being said, there still is no place for any cut and buffed paints on a car that will be used for a driver. It's just too much labor. Your single stage 2 or 3 coat urethane automotive paint, untouched after spraying is the most efficient way out. If you are restoring a car for show don't rule out nitro or acrylic lacquer. Bill Hirsch in Newark, NJ offers nitro cellulose lacquers by the gallon if anyone happens to be interested". -- Wayne Stambaugh

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