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Thread: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

          
  1. #1
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    Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    Lots of pictures here: http://imgur.com/a/FX2VV

    This is a 1947 Plymouth "barn find" I picked up about two months ago, it's been sitting for the past 20+ years. Mechanically speaking, finally got it into road-worthy condition over the weekend and gave this car it's first wash in two decades.


    The paint is lacquer with no clear coat. Pretty sure at least portions have been repainted at some point years ago, but some of it may be the original paint (note the cracking on the trunk lid)

    I have some experience with paint correction but never on old lacquer like this, and nothing this severe. Looking for advice on a good plan of attack to get this finish looking great again. It looked amazing wet but dried a bit chalky, and there's a lot of weird spots/stains/scratches everywhere from sitting in a barn for so long. Clay bar and hand polish seems to be doing a fairly good job of pulling up some of the spots & stains, but others (see pictures) are much more stubborn.

    Not looking for absolute perfection, I know the cracked areas will stay that way, but I kinda think it gives the car character. Mostly just hoping to get rid of these stains and bring back some depth to the black color. I have a cheap random orbit single-speed buffer, might finally pull the trigger on something nicer like the Porter Cable 7424 (always wanted one) if it would make a big difference on a project like this.

  2. #2
    Product & Training Specialist Nick Winn's Avatar
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    Re: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    Welcome to MOL! Very cool project.

    I have yet to have a chance to try the below technique myself, but our friend Mike Phillips has a technique which would be fitting for your project:

    The #7 Rub Down Technique by Mike Phillips

    If you choose to try the above technique, a good application of our G17216 Ultimate Compound can be used at a later date after, if needed to address the defects. This can be applied by hand or DA Polisher.
    - Nick
    Nick Winn
    Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Online Forum Administrator
    Meguiar's Inc.
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    nawinn@meguiars.com
    800-854-8073 ext 3845

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    Registered Member BillyJack's Avatar
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    Re: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    I've done the M07 treatment numerous times and it just flat WORKS. I usually apply aggressively with a soft piece of terrycloth and let the first app sit until the following evening, just shy of 24 hours. Multiple apps work too, improving the finish incrementally, especially if you don't have the equipment to machine polish. Once you get to the point where it doesn't seem like the paint isn't absorbing any more product, then it's time to either wipe it clean and apply wax, or start your polishing.
    My favorite polish had always been M80, but unfortunately it has been discontinued. Many other Meguiar's polishes and compounds work well, including M03, M02, Ultimate Polish, M205 and Ultimate Compound, listed in ascending order of aggressiveness. Once you get all done with polishing, wipe on another pass of M07, removing it almost immediately, than do your waxing. Tread lightly on any areas you suspect having thin paint, even to the point of avoiding machine polishing, as it's real easy to buff right through old lacquers.

    Bill

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    Re: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    Thanks a lot for the advice so far. I've heard from many that the M07 is simply the best for restoring old lacquers. I was even recommended this approach by a user on the AdamsPolishes forum

    I've heard the M07 is a real pain to wipe off if you let it dry? Any tricks to making this easier?

    Which wax would you recommend? I think I have a can of NXT paste, maybe a bottle of Deep Crystal Carnuba.

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    Registered Member BillyJack's Avatar
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    Re: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    Quote Originally Posted by Mortimer452 View Post
    Thanks a lot for the advice so far. I've heard from many that the M07 is simply the best for restoring old lacquers. I was even recommended this approach by a user on the AdamsPolishes forum

    I've heard the M07 is a real pain to wipe off if you let it dry? Any tricks to making this easier?

    Which wax would you recommend? I think I have a can of NXT paste, maybe a bottle of carnuba
    Yep, M07 will be a real bear after it sits overnight. Attack it differently than your average wax wipe off. Start in one spot and work outward from there, trying to get most of it off, but not every last bit. Rubbing will tend to re-liquefy M07, then it will need to set up for a few minutes before a second wiping. If you are doing repeated coats, don't worry about getting it perfectly clean, as the next M07 app will clean it. If, after your final app, you still have some residue remaining, remember that "like dissolves like". Dampen an MF cloth very slightly with more M07, wipe the stubborn spots, then remove it immediately with a clean MF.

    With regard to the wax, that's user's choice, whatever looks best to your eyes. Personally, I prefer the look of carnauba rather than synthetics on old SS paint, so I lean to Gold Class, M26, or any of the dozens of similar waxes on my shelf. I have done my Camino with NXT however, if I'm going to drive it for a while and park it outside, because NXT tends to sheet water with less beading than M26 or GC, minimizing the potential of baked-in water spots on my fragile old paint.

    Bill


    BTW, here's a few pics for motivational purposes. First is a split shot of my Camino's roof. Two apps of M07 with soaks for about 20 hours, followed by a light polish, vs the untouched side.


    Six judged shows, six trophies, thanks to M07 and the knowledge I've gained from here and a few other detailing forums.


  6. #6
    Product & Training Specialist Nick Winn's Avatar
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    Re: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    Worked some in on my Dad's 1972 Porsche 914 this morning that has been sitting on the side of our house for a while...will report back tomorrow after first coat.

    Nick Winn
    Product & Training Specialist | Meguiar's Online Forum Administrator
    Meguiar's Inc.
    Irvine, CA
    nawinn@meguiars.com
    800-854-8073 ext 3845

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    Re: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    Any update Nick? I love seeing old cars come back to life!

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    Registered Member Old Bear's Avatar
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    Re: Help me restore this (possibly) 70 year old lacquer finish

    Billy
    That roof shot really shows a huge difference on your Conquista. Have you tried M07 on the single stage paint in the engine compartment? I was wondering what you use on your inner fender wells.

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