Painting the Diamond T!

Posted: August 14, 2011 in Diamond T truck

I’ve been talking about this for months, planning and imagining for 4 years, and finally have color on (some of) the ’48 Diamond T 201 pickup!   Yes, it’s only some, the grill shell, hood, headlights, running boards and front fender trim, but it’s a start.

On Thursday I painted the undersides of all the sheet metal, fenders, hood, grill, running boards, inner fender panels and seat pan, and yesterday I masked off that fresh, shiney black paint, and shot the color and clear.  I’d cleaned up the garage, swept and hosed down the floor, vacumed the benches, dusted all the stuff I could reach, and blew the dust off the (covered with blue tarps) T’Bird and ’48 Pontiac.  Anything else could get overspray and it doesn’t matter.

After setting up the parts stands and securing the parts to the stands, I was ready to shoot color.  You can’t see it, but the parts are screwed to the wooden stands, which in turn are screwed to the wood temporary bench.   This, to prevent the dominoe effect when I painted the ’36’s parts, when I bumped into a rear fender, which tipped over against another fender, which tipped over against another, which tipped over against a headlight bucket, which tipped over and fell on the hood top, and rolled all the way down it, fell on the floor and got dented.  In the last coat of clear…

Anyway, the parts were secure,  I felt confident of my once every other year painting skills, and mixed up some color.  The cheap basecoat (“4th Dimension” urethane) covered well, maybe helped by the fact that I didn’t reduce it quite as much as the label indicated, seemed to cover well with two coats, so I did one more just to ensure no light spots.

Two coats of “Euro clear”, and the results are great.  Very little dust in my (sort of) clean shop, certainly any nibs will polish right out, no runs, no drips, no errors.  I’m happy with the color, and excited to be starting on the final phase of the trucks build.    The red against  the black undersides looks GREAT, and I saved quite a lot of expense by using catalyzed implement enamel for the underside surfaces, rather than basecoat/clear.  The chassis will require a little touch up, after a year of scratching up, overspray, and general shop abuse, but I think it’ll look as good underneath as the topsides when it’s all together.


On Monday, my next day off, I’ll take the painted parts down, carefully move them and cover them up, mask off the undersides of the fenders, and get them and the tailgate painted.   The rear fenders have plastic fender liners, but they’ll get a double coat of bedliner for protection of the glass rather than paint.  The fronts, seen here in the back of my much abused 2000 Silverado, now relegated to portable work bench and scaffold duty, are already glossy black underneath.  I did find a few tiny flaws, sand scratches, and a place where I dinged one against something carrying it outside that’ll get filled with spot/glazing putty. 

Once they’re painted, the cab and box will get a final sand with 320 then 600 like everything else (mainly to get the overspray dust off) and by the end of next week, it’ll all be resplendent in resale red, with the same olive green as the ’36 as the belt line strip color. 

I’m excited!

  1. Kim says:

    Looks great in red!! Very shiny. Has it really been four years?!

  2. gene newton says:

    Hello Brian
    How rewarding it must be after so long to finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
    I like the shade of red, I can’t wait to see your next installment. Keep up the good work.
    Good Luck

  3. craig dorsey says:

    Looking good my friend, can’t wait to see the final product. I love the look of the front fenders together in the back of the truck, that would be a good look for an old school trike!


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