How much paint?

This story ran in the Washington Post on June 26, 1933. It describes how a dispute over how many coats of paint is required to paint a car resulted in tragedy.

But it leaves unanswered the question of how much paint is needed to paint a car. My hunch would be that paint is better nowadays than it was in 1933, so fewer coats are needed. But I'd say it has to be three coats minimum (including the primer). Nine coats (even back in 1933) sounds like too much.

     Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 27, 2014
     Category: 1930s | Cars

Well, this did take place in Chicago ...
Posted by KDP on 06/27/14 at 11:47 AM
This story immediately reminded me of "Fordite", a substance formed of many layers of old automotive paint that is used - in Chicagoland - to make colorful 'gemstones' for jewelry.
Posted by tadchem on 06/27/14 at 01:46 PM
I researched this just last week! (I bought an old SUV and am fixing it up.)

Absolute best practice for lacquer on bare metal:
One coat of rust inhibitor (not really a paint).
Mist coat of primer.
Light coat of primer.
1-2 medium coats of primer until coverage is 100% opaque.
Mist coat of basecolor paint.
Light coat of basecolor paint.
2-5 medium coats of basecolor paint until coverage is 100% opaque.
Same number of coats as previous step, but light rather than medium.
Mist coat of clearcoat.
Light coat of clearcoat.
2-5 medium coats of clearcoat.

13-23 coats, total, with sanding, as necessary, between coats.

Note: this isn't what you'll get with one of those "I can paint that car for $299" deals.
Posted by Phideaux on 06/27/14 at 03:12 PM
Don't forget all the prep work of sanding, patching, taping, etc etc that has to be done before painting. Also many things need to be removed if you want more than just an outer paint job.
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 06/27/14 at 07:35 PM
Anybody remember Earl Schibe? "I'LL PAINT ANY CAR ANY COLOR FOR JUST $99.95!"
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 06/27/14 at 07:57 PM
Any colour you want, as long as you want black!
Posted by BMN on 06/27/14 at 09:55 PM
I just scanned the article... was the word "beer" in there anywhere?
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 06/27/14 at 11:20 PM
Well, there were the phrases 'anniversary party', and 'tipsy, uninvited guest', so beer/booze, or any combination thereof.
Posted by Captain DaFt on 06/28/14 at 03:18 PM
I've known a few hot-rod restorers say that they personally used twelve (12) coats of laquer to get a really deep wet-look.

Of course, they could have been exaggerating.
Posted by Kyle Morgan on 07/01/14 at 03:48 PM
No, 12 is the minimum if you're serious.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 07/01/14 at 11:51 PM
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