4 Body work – clean, straight and starting to paint

With metal repairs completed my plan now is to paint the Mini in three stages. First the bottom, then top and finally the body. After repairs to the bottom pan there were still a few areas with surface rust which needed attention. These were some spots on the bottom and inside under the rear floor. I cleaned these areas as well as possible and used SEM Rust-Seal or Permatex Rust Treatment to paint them. These products turn the surface rust into a permanent black protective coating which also serves as a primer. Next, there were some previous repairs made on the floor pan which were somewhat rough. When completely stripped and sanded they looked solid and I did not cut them out. In order to smooth these spots I used Evercoat Metal-2-Metal. This filler has aluminum content and is advertised as the “closest thing to metal”. It had a more sturdy feel than regular filler and since the location for these repairs was the undercarriage I did not need to sand to a super fine finish.

During this period I also turned my attention to some spots on the rear doors. These had been patched with welded pieces previously and again when completely stripped/sanded they were a bit rough. I used Metal-2-Metal here to get the patches to a finished state. Metal-2-Metal sands just like regular body filler although it is somewhat harder. When it has been sanded out smooth it blends right in with the body metal. Once the modifications and metal patching were finished it was back for one more going over with the sanding discs.

Bottom in Extreme Chassis Black

With the bottom now patched, sealed and sanded I wanted to finish this area and protect it with paint. This would be previous to final finishing the body panels with filler prior to painting the rest of the car. For the inside floor and bottom area below the van floor and also the bottom floor pan I decided to prep it with Eastwood Rust Encapsulator which acts as a primer and put on a final coat with Eastwood Extreme Chassis Black. Painting the bottom was completed over two days.

After the bottom had dried for a few days I masked it carefully inside and out to protect it while I moved to finishing all the rest of the exterior. My plans are to use Summit Racing Single-stage urethane paint products. The roof will be Silver Metallic and the body Red. With all the panels clean I coated everything with Summit Epoxy Primer Sealer.  Filling and sanding was next. Thankfully these were only two very minor spots on the roof. These were easily taken care of with Evercoat Rage body filler. For sanding I had acquired a six piece Dura-Block set and rolls of adhesive sandpaper in 120, 220, 320 and 400 grit. The Dura-Block sanders have a few different round shapes as well as different size flat ones. These make it easy to conform to the different angles and shapes of the body panels. With body work finished I went over the roof with 220 grit sandpaper.

Silver Metallic on roof and inside hood

Now that body work was finished on the roof I gave it and the inside of the hood a final coat of Summit Epoxy Primer Sealer and followed that up with three coats of Summit 2K Urethane Primer Sealer. After a couple of days the Primer Sealer was sanded with 320 grit sandpaper using the Dura-Blocks. The next morning it was time to spray the roof and inside hood with Summit Single-Stage Silver Metallic. I was nervous applying a metallic for the first time but it looked great. Now just some filler work to complete before getting to put down the red paint on the body.


Small amount of body putty needed

Before the Red paint goes on there is some minor body work to complete. When everything had been taken down to the bare metal it became apparent that in its earlier life the Van had received a few small metal patches in the lower sections of the side panels. These areas are known rust spots on Minis. The panels now were rough and in addition it looked like the left side panel had been involved in an accident some time ago. Again, I went to the Evercoat Rage working in very thin coats and feathering the sanding out with the Dura-Blocks. It took four or five coats of putty, but eventually the sides looked as straight as original. Body work is rewarding when it’s finished and done right.


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