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Paint Stuff


Paint: online resources to matching your car colour

The EXCELLENT photographic mini colour guide by Stuart Carter ( (added 12 april 2003)

From the same site:

On BLVC 3-letter colour codes, the first letter denotes the colour family:

(The paints which have BLVC as part of their number (Post 1969ish, I think). Before that it was GN for green, YL for yellow, etc.)

A - Brown
B - Bronze
C - Red
D - Pink + ?
E - Orange
F - Yellow
G - Gold
H - Green
I - Monogram/Biomorphic (Non-Mini)
J - Blue
K - Purple
L - Grey
M - Silver
N - White
O - -
P - Black
R - Multicolour
S - Beige
T - -
U - Turquoise
V - -
W - Multicolour (2000 on)
X - -
Y - -
Z - -

Painting alloy wheels

Zinc Chromate for aluminium helps stick the paint to the alloy wheel. It's the yellow powdery type stuff and it gives a light etch to the surface so it sticks, the surface of the primer is rough to provide a key for the topcoat.

Paint, spraying tip

Warm the cans in some warm water, hot enough to feel hot to your hands, but not hot enough to be really uncomfortable; shake the cans for a *long* time; make sure all water has been removed from the area of the spray-head before using. Warming the cans is a good tip. Not only does it thin the paint, but it increases the pressure inside the can. This leads to a nice powerful uniform spray.

Paint stripping

SANDBLASTING: can be good if you have no hidden rust in the sills. You can only sandblast the bits that you can see as the sand travels in straight lines. It is very easy to warp a panel with sand blasting, it happens more on large unsupported panels - the roof would be the worst one on a Mini. Personally I would not sand blast any of my cars! I know of other methods that please me more.

HAND STRIPPING using abrasive pads: takes too long! It is hard to get into the corners and it just pisses me off!

HAND STRIPPING using chemical paint stripper: This can be very slow but it is the only safe way to deal with some panels, aluminium doors and that sort of thing. It can also be very messy and uncomfortable as the fumes are nasty, the main chemical involved is Methylene Chloride it gives you cancer and burns holes in your skin very fast and it takes ages for it to heal. There are lots of different strippers available, basically the cheaper they are the worse they are, pay the extra money and you'll save plenty of time. Personally I recommend paint stripper if you are stripping wooden furniture.

HEAT STRIPPING: using a heat gun takes too long! I can't be bothered with all that mucking around.

CHEMICAL DIP STRIPPING: this is what we do at work, it can not be done at home due to the nature of the chemicals and the size of the equipment. This process will remove all of the paint, underseal, sound deadening, rust protection AND it will remove ALL OF THE RUST. I have treated three Minis at work (not mine) and find that they are well suited to this method of stripping.

The car needs to completely stripped of any thing that can be removed seats, carpets suspension parts, subframes etc, we can not work around things.

  1. set the body on fire (this is a very controlled burn and as far as I can tell it does not harm the panels)

  2. wash off the paint

  3. drop the thing into sulfuric acid to remove the last of the paint and also to remove the rust - there is some loss of steel but it is a very small amount and is nothing to worry about

  4. wash the acid off - this is the longest part of the job we don't want to leave any acid behind

  5. dip in caustic soda to neutralize any acid that has been missed - it is really only an extra precaution

  6. wash the caustic out

  7. dip in a very mild acid to give the surface a last clean up, this also acts as a rust preventative until the paint is put on.

This method is the best as far as I am concerned, BUT it has to be done carefully and properly, otherwise you may as well just pour battery acid through the sills and let them go rotten! There are a number of other treatments that we use to finish bodies with, one is an Australian product called Emer Tan, it contains Phosphoric acid and Tannic acid and it deals with any slight surface rust that happens during the washing process.

Paint.... How much?


Less than you think. You thin it down quite a bit. I only used about 1/2L for Borris (excl. roof, interior, boot and engine bay). I used about 50% thinners for the first few coats and went right up to about 90% thinners for the top coats to get a shine. I used almost a whole 5L can of thinners for the spraying and cleaning etc. Lots of thin coats is the trick. I did about 5-10 coats. Spray on a hot calm day too (not in British February weather!) and clean the gun thoroughly after use. (from Scott)


I would imagine it really depends on the kind of paint you are using and what kind of coverage capability it has.The particular colour used will also affect coverage. I used stuff called "2K" on my car.I used 2l of it with about 2l of 2k thinners. I sprayed the entire exterior incl. the roof and still have some left.I also used 2l of clearcoat for extra protection. My brother used a basecoat/acrylic clear coat combination on his mini....since it is a metallic colour. He used about 2l of colour basecoat and another litre of clearcoat. Hope this info is 1st time actually giving advice as opposed to asking for it :)

Updated 16 Dec 2002

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