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Discussion Starter #1
I have a White '93 XE and the mirrors and doorhandles are black and they look horrible...

How hard would it be and what materials would i need to do it myself or is it better to just have them painted at a body shop???
 

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I think unless you know your stuff and use all the body shop materials, i.e. sanders, paint, primer, activator, clear coat, etc., you won't get the body shop effect (obviously). But if you buy a nice touch up can and some fine-grit sand paper, you'll get something damn close. It depends on how much of a perfectionist you are, and I guess how deep your pockets are.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i'm willing to do it myself i just need to get some recommendations from those who have done it before... what type of paint, primer etc... and what methods did u use to complete it and how did it turn out?
 

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Your electrical friend
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Get a can of SEM plastic prep and a scotchbrite grey or green pad, or try using 400 grit sandpaper. Obviously, take the mirrors off the car, as well as the door handles, mask off the mirrors or take them out of the housings. Wipe the plastic areas to be painted, with the plastic prep. Then scuff the areas up with the scotchbrite pad or the sandpaper. Now using either vise grips or a vice or some means of holding the parts up by their mounting hardware, prop the stuff up for painting. Hanging them by strings can work very well as well. Be sure to mask off anything you don't want paint to get on, the wire grips or vice, make sure drawers and cupboards in the area are closed, because overspray will get up your ass if it isn't covered. :) Then when the areas are scuffed up good, and the parts are mounted on something so that you can shoot all angles of them without moving or touching them, clean them off again with the plastic prep. Now, using consecutive light coats, paint your parts. It should take several light coats before you even start to cover the parts to where you can't see the black anymore. Wait for the specified amount of time between coats, pending your paint instructions. When you finally have enough color coats on, spray a few coats of clear if you so desire, or if you're using an enamel, you don't have to. If you are using enamel and your finish coat looks rough or has shit in it, let it dry for at least a day before lightly sanding it with 600-1200 grit paper. Once you get those imperfections out, shoot some clear over the top, or spray a final color coat of enamel. Let the paint dry good and long before you remount them. The whole painting prep and painting process might take a few hours but letting it dry should take at least 24, especially if its cold and somewhat damp where you're painting. This is the same process I'll be following when I paint my handles and mirrors. Just so you know I'm not entirely pulling this out of my ass, I've painted 5 entire cars during the past 10 years. You can do a nice job fairly cheap if you have the technique down. Just look at some of the things Serban (Fast91SER) has done with cans of $.99 spray paint, you'd be amazed, I know I am.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wow thanks soo much for the info... just one more question... how do i take off the door handles and the mirrors?
 

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Your electrical friend
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Pull your interior door panels off and then those plastic triangles up in the corners. Disconnect the power mirror harness. Then there's like 3 nuts you remove to get the mirror out. Carefully peel back the plastic sheet on the door, there's a nice runny adhesive crap that holds it on and if you get it on your hands you'll have to use thinner to get it off, and if you get it on your upholstery, forget it! So be carefull. Never taken the handles off before, but should be easy enough. Disconnect the linkage and remove a couple nuts. I wouldn't bother trying to paint the keyholes, they'll just chip off anyways. About that sticky shit, when I put in power windows and locks, and new front speakers, I'm going to pull the plastic all the way off and using a little mineral spirits and a shitload of rags, I'm going to take all that sticky shit off the doors and the plastic, then use doublesided tape to put it back on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks for the instructions... if i have any emergencies i'll let u know...
 

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Your electrical friend
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Thanks phil! I like to help, but more importantly, I like to give complete and accurate info as best I can.

Whilst on the subject of paint, check out POR-15. I'm going to be ordering some this week. This stuff adhere's best to rusty metal and is strengthened by exposure to water! Unconditional money-back guarantee. It's not cheap, but you can get a starter kit for under $20 and it's enough to repair more rust than you've likely got on your car. You can get it in high heat formula as well, which I'm thinking would be great for guys with rusty headers and calipers they want to freshen up. I plan to use it to repair some rust on the rocker portion of my fender and to do the underside of my truck.
Here's pictures of both: ;)

My '93 SE-R


My '84 Mazda B2000 (to be completed by spring)
 
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