Stripping, we meet again.

So the etch primer has to come off. Ugh. Scrubbing with rags soaked in 2-way thinners (whee!) moved the bulk of the primer, but the real stars were 3M clean and strip discs. They’re magical and worth every dollar- which is lucky, because they’re not cheap.

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The rear panels were a little more dented and rippled than I was happy with, but we’ll come back to them later.

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To keep the metal from rusting we used Kephos, AKA Henkel Paint Grip 253. It’s a solvent-based phosphating treatment, you simply wipe it on and leave it to dry. It protects bare steel from oxidisation and fingerprints for at least 6 months, and I wish I’d known about it earlier.

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I really shouldn’t put this all in one post, it makes it look far too easy. For the record, you’re looking at 2 months of disgusting, boring, horrible work, all of which could have been avoided by talking to a painter first.

TALK TO YOUR PAINTER BEFORE APPLYING ANY PAINT.

Mini. Now in red oxide.

Two months later the Mini’s been stripped and primed in red oxide etch primer. It looks gorgeous, inside and out.

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Now all we have to do is consult with car painters and get quotes for the paint job; and this is where it all goes a bit wrong.

It turns out that, while etch primer is a fine base for a DIY paint job and is even compatible with modern 2-pack paints, it’s not the best any more. Any residual acid in the paint can interfere with the adhesion of epoxy primer, and every painter we spoke to said they would do the job, but wouldn’t guarantee it. It’s going to have to come off, at least on any exterior surfaces. Ugh.

This is why you consult with a painter first- this was not an inexpensive mistake.