New Paint for the Old Beetle
Lis stopped driving the Beetle as her daily driver on the summer of 2006, so in October we decided to get the rust taken care of and get it repainted. We already knew that it had been repainted on one side - the back right fender had been replaced at some point in the past, and the right side was apparently repainted at the same time. Over the years the two paints had aged very differently, so by the time we got it all repainted it was shiny on one side and dull everywhere else.
After we dropped it off a Haraldsen's Garage, I stopped by every couple of days on my way to the lab to see how it was doing. Among others, I specifically took a shot of the front-left corner of the car for comparison purposes. Be sure to also take a look at the before/after
pictures for more details.
Before taking the car in, I took oodles of pictures of the outside to document the current (not-so great) paint and the little spots of rust that were forming. You can see more of these on the before and after
page. Here you can pretty easily see the difference in shine between the front hood and the diver's side fender as well as the big rusty spots forming on the back fender. If you look closely you can also see the rusty pockmarking forming on the front of the fenders.
The first thing the guy at Haraldsen's did was take anything off the car that wsn't welded down. Here you can see that all four fenders and all of the chrome are missing, as well as the front hood, the running boards, the rear-view mirror, the door handles, and probably a number of other things. The funky color in each of the wheel wells is the remains of an old undercoating that they scraped off so they could redo it. That undercoating worked wonders in keeping the bottom of the car safe from rust.
A couple of days later and the car was looking like a worthless beater. Of note in this picture is the panel between the door and rear wheel on the driver's side. The painting guy pointed out to me that the car had been banged up at some point in the past, and the paint covering the filler there had started letting water seep through. This caused it to expand, which cracked the paint and let more water in. I guess that's one of the joys of having an old car with old paint.
By the next time I stopped by, the body was masked and primed. You can also see a fender or two sitting on stands behind the car. I thought this was a great new color, but they said they had already bought the new paint. I figured, in that case, that they might as well make it beige again.
The next few times I stopped by, the car kept looking worse and worse as the painter sanded down the primer. Various other pieces kept looking prettier and prettier, though, as they got their final coats of paint.
Here you can see little black spots of coating on each of the bolt holes where the fenders and running boards attach. You can also see the pretty-colored rear hood on a stand on the other side of the car, as well as the not-quite-done front hood on a stand to the rear of the car.
Almost done! We've got a coat of the actual paint on the body of the car now, and it definitely looks a lot happier. The front hood is sitting on a stand on the other side of the car again, still waiting to be finished.
The paint is nearly complete! This is what the car would look like if converted into a low rider, dragging its fenders along as it drives. You can see that the glass is starting to make its way back into the car, but there are still plenty of pieces to be connected back up.
Almost done! All of the parts are back on the car, and now it just needs some cleaning up. They finished it later this day. It sure looks pretty and shiny in their well-lit room.
Done! It was cloudy and wet when I drove it home, so I didn't get to get a nice shot of it looking pretty and shiny in the sun. The new paint and old rusty wheel rims sure look terrible together, so over the next few weeks/months I'm going to see what I can do about painting each of them in turn. The hubcaps that we took off during the wheel cylinder replacement proceedure still need to be shined up and put back on the car too.