Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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3 comments

Newsprint and Masking Tape

Posted December 06, 2021 6:48 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: pontiac trans am

If there's one thing that youth and car ownership bring together, it's energy. The kind that can pour countless hours into a project at the drop of a hat. When you're young, your schedule is way more open (even if you don't realize it at the time). There's some extra gas in your spiritual tank that eventually gets siphoned off by the tedium of adulthood like 9-to-5, a mortgage, and home life. Not that the fire goes out, it's just that the complications that come with age make it more difficult to do something like park the T/A on the lawn for a quick paint job.

We do know where this photo comes from, because we pulled it from the August 2016 issue of Hemmings Motor News. Courtesy of reader Joe Porter, the caption read "Joe's mother, Judy, photographed him painting the rear wheel flares of his 16th birthday gift: a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, in Carrier Mills, Illinois, summer 1980."

So, on to the question portion of this dispatch. What prompted the paint job? Was the car acquired with some touch-up needed, did some youthful exuberance result in side-swipe damage? Maybe an errant shopping cart left a mark when it hit that fender. If Joe's out there, maybe he can answer, but we'll take any speculation you have as well. And, of course, feel free to wax nostalgic about the rattle-can repairs you did on your first car in the comments section as well.

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#1

Re: Newsprint and Masking Tape

12/07/2021 5:34 AM

We are stymied now that newspapers have gone to digital online and the butchers don't use butchers paper any more but a cheap plastic replica of styrene and clingwrap.

Not a lot of choice to mask out for a quick touchup, ah I remember it well!

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Re: Newsprint and Masking Tape

12/07/2021 10:34 AM

Craft paper. Available in 36" wide small rolls at Hobby Lobby or online with U-Line for large ones. Both are fairly cheap.

FYI: we use it regularly for layout drawings, work table covering and paint masking.

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Re: Newsprint and Masking Tape

12/13/2021 4:40 PM

Oh, I remember those days well! My first car, a 1973 Ford LTD Brougham has some rust, so my buddy and I decided to "fix" it! We watched others do it, so we thought it would be pretty easy. Big mistake, but we learned! What went wrong?

1. We didn't remove the trim. We tried to fix the rust on the trunk and we didn't remove the trim. We sanded the rust and scratched the pot metal trim. Then we painted the area with red oxide primer (car was gold color). Of course, no taping anything, so when the primer dried, we tried to remove it with lacquer thinner. We finally gave up on cleaning up the overspray.

2. We didn't realize that the underside of the metal was in much worse condition than just the rust holes. As we poked and prodded, the holes got bigger and bigger! Some parts started out as bubbling and soon turned into holes - through both the inner and outer panel!

3. We didn't know anything about fixing the holes, so we just primered them and called it a day. Well, primer does not protect the car from rust. In fact, it absorbs water when it gets wet - which it did quite often. Soon, we saw rust marks coming through the primer!

4. Should've left it alone! That's what I can say now. We thought we were doing good work, but it looked terrible. All that red oxide primer instead of gold paint with rust bubbling under (and a couple holes in the metal)!

Fast forward to today, I've learned to tape off before painting (and sometimes detailing). I use those grocery store ads they put in our mail box. I keep a small stack in the garage and when I need to paint, they do the trick.

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