The following is the 2-3 week custom painting process that is performed here at Gorilla Custom Motors. A system that has produced excellent results, when some 10-15 years later the jobs still look fresh and have that excellent luster that only quality labor and materials can deliver. This method has the proven durability needed for our customers' expectations. When in doubt use strict adherence to PPG's guidelines.

Please keep in mind this instruction is not for production body shops or your common dealer insurance claims. this process, or a slight variation of this process, is used in most custom body and paint shops. We use Tri-coating, a car painting process which uses a base, middle and clear coat to achieve an enhanced depth of color and durability. Just remember cleanliness is your #1 priority. Keep the dust levels down and do not use compressed air to blow clean your work. Instead wipe it using tack cloths. Dust is our enemy and will cause us problems with the job, so please always keep your shop and paintbooth as dust free as possible.


In the wash bay, start by thoroughly washing the vehicle with 3M car wash # 38377. Really clean the vehicle and powerwash if necessary. If there is excessive road tar, soak it with some gasoline or use the 3M adhesive remover. Clean the wheel wells, underside of hood, eng ine compartment, door jambs, inside of trunk lid, etc.

Body assignment:

Remove all glass, emblems, trim and tag and bag them. Store them on the customers assigned shelving and storage tubs. Check all panel gaps and alignments, and correct as necessary. Check the door hinges and latches for proper alignment and operation, make sure these are corrected before you take the vehicle apart for paint. Check hood and trunk hinges for proper operation and alignment. Test fit any new and replacement panels, shim panels to achieve 1/8-3/16 gaps. If there is any trim that is going to be replaced, now is the time to test fit them.

Before proceeding, the project needs to be evaluated and photographed by management.

After stripping the car of the paint and fillers, have the body shop address any metal concerns the vehicle may have, and repair as needed. Use the weld through primer on any hot work completed, etch prime when needed, and use the DPLF primer to spot in any of their repairs.

DAY 1 Epoxy Primer:

When the project is finally broken down, on stands and taped off, all metal will need to have fresh 80-120 grit scratches. We suggest using one of the 6 inch DA's.

Clean the paint booth and replace all filters. Check paint booth operation, the lighting and clean the spray guns and equipment in preparation to begin.

Clean all metal with 3M prep solvent #08983 or PPG DX330 and use the DeVilbiss #803657 wipes to dry the panels. Important! Wipe the panels thoroughly dry.

Mix 2 to 1 PPG DPLF epoxy primer and activator, for a minute or 2. Allow to induce for a half hour before applying. Tack vehicle off with blue crystal wipes or similar tack cloth, then spray 2 wet coats of the epoxy primer 15-20 minutes apart. Use the Devilbiss GTI spray gun with a 1.6 tip at 40 psi. full fluid needle and wide fan pattern. After spraying the epoxy, shut down the paint booth and allow the job to sit overnight.

DAY 2 High Build Primer:

After letting the project cure overnight, it is time to apply the high build primers. Start by scuffing the vehicle with the grey 3M scotch pads and again tack vehicle off with the crystal blue wipes. Spray 6-8 thin wet coats of PPG DTM high build primer, 10-15 minutes apart, allowing first coat to fully flash and just at flash point for all remaining coats. Spray thin coats, using the Devilbiss GTI spray gun with a 1.6 tip at 30-35 psi. Shut down the paint booth and again allow the job to sit overnight.

DAY 3 Body assignment:

Remove project from the paint booth, tack off and apply your guide coat. Block entire vehicle with 180-220 grit paper, using the various DuraBlock sanding blocks from the kit. Use the RAGE ultra body fillers when necessary. If there are any bare metal spots from sanding, spray a little epoxy over them and spray over any filled spots. Let the vehicle cure overnight.

DAY 4 High Build Primer:

After letting the car set again overnight, it is time for more high build primers. This process may need to be repeated. Scuff vehicle with the grey 3M scotch pads and again tack vehicle off with the crystal blue wipes. Spray 3-4 thin wet coats of PPG DTM high build primer, 10-15 minutes apart, allowing the first coat to fully flash. And just over flash point for all remaining coats. Use the Devilbiss GTI spray gun with a 1.6 tip at 30-35 psi. Shut down the paint booth, and again, allow the job to sit overnight.

DAY 5 Body assignment:

Remove project from the paint booth, tack off and apply the guide coat. Block entire project with 320-400 grit paper. Take your time. Use the various DuraBlock sanding blocks from the kit. At this point there should not be any bare metal spots from sanding. If there is, repair the area and spray a little high build primer over the repair and over any other needed spots. Let the vehicle set overnight.

DAY 6 Epoxy Sealer:

Application of the sealer. First inspect and lightly sand areas that needed repair then return project to the paint booth and apply the Southern Polyurethanes SPI sealer. Mix it per manufacturer's directions, using enough sealer to go around the car with two nice even wet coats. If the temperature is in the 80s or higher, as it always is here in South Florida, reduce sealer with PPG DT895 urethane reducer, a couple of capfuls per quart. Clean scuff and tack the job before applying the sealer. The most important thing to remember at this point is to spray nice even, wet coats of the sealer and to let the project sit again overnight.

DAY 7 The base coat:

Tack off your work and apply another guide coat. Remove the project from paint booth and begin wet sanding with 3M 600 grit paper with the soft 3M sponge pads. Make sure vehicle is perfectly straight. This is the time to evaluate the condition of your work. Check the panels, inspecting them from all different angles. You can use the wax and grease remover to wet down the entire panel and then visually inspect your work for straightness and evenness. Ask one of the other techs for a second opinion as turning back from here can be costly.

Reclean the paint booth and replace the exhaust filters. Check paint booth operation and lighting. Clean the spray guns and equipment. Prepare to spray the base coat.

Before returning the project to the paint booth, make sure you wet the booth floor down. Clean, scuff and tack off the vehicle. Spray one even wet coat of the SPI sealer and let the sealer flash.

Set up the green Iwata Supernova base gun, make sure you use a test panel, just around 2 turns out on the fan and all the way out on the fluid needle, shoot at 26-29 psi. Its important to keep the same settings throughout this portion of the job.

Apply 3-4 thin wet coats of your DBC base coat. Very lightly scuff and tack before spraying the first coat. Mix your PPG DBC 1 to 1 use the PPG DT 898 super slow reducer. Gorilla Motors uses a very slow reducer because it is South Florida. We recommend that you always use the slowest reducer you possibly can in your enviornment. Spray on your base evenly and keep your overlaps at 50%. Allow to flash, about 10 minutes. Let the project sit again overnight for10-12 hours.

DAY 8 The lockdown coat:

Returning some 10-12 hours later, just before the base coat fully cures we apply our lock down coat. But before we do, we thoroughly check the base coat. Using the 3M sun gun, make sure the paint is on uniformly, check the overlaps and make sure there is no striping or mottling. If you laid it on to heavy or you got to close with the spray gun the damage should show up easily with the 3M sun light. Check for mottling at the end of your panels, a very common spot for painters.

After your base coat is inspected and finished, lightly scuff, wipe and tack off the project. Apply 2 coats of PPG Deltron 2021 clear, waiting about 10 minutes between coats. Use the Iwata Supernova clear gun, fan at 2 -2 1/16 out from bottom and fluid needle all the way out. Spray at 33-36 psi. Spray the clear on evenly do not pile it on. Then let the project sit overnight.

DAY 9 Graphics:

We can now complete all of the airbrush and graphics work that the job requires. Depending on the job, you may have to reassemble the car. We like to use a pearl inter clear at this point. Wet sand with 600 grit paper and a soft sponge pad, then clean, wipe and tack. Mix 1g of pearl per liter of 2021 clear and spray on 2 wet coats. Spray coats about 15 minutes apart. Spray on another final lock down coat with only the 2021 clear and allow project to sit overnight.

DAY 10 Flow coat:

The final flow coat will need to be sprayed today. 2 coats of the PPG 2021 clear. But first lightly wet sand the project with 600 grit, and really clean the project before your final spray. Use the devilbiss alcohol pre wipes #803046, and tack it off twice, making sure you have no dust. This is when the paint booth floor will really need to be soaked down before spraying. Apply 2 solid wet coats 20 minutes apart, watch for the solvent pop, back off the fluid and air if it starts to show any sign of popping.

DAY 11 Finish:

Time to level the clear coat. Start by hand with 3M 1000 grit, then 2000,3000,5000 or by machine use 3Ms purple clear coat finishing disc. Start with 1000 grit disc dry and work it up to 2500, then finish off wet with trizact 3000 and 5000 6 inch disc. We still like to use a little 2000 and 3000 grit by hand in places where needed. Avoid burn through. Never reclear over a burned through spot, a color blend will need to be performed.

DAY 12 Polish:

Use 3Ms perfect it 3 part polishing system to bring out the shine, reassemble the vehicle clean. Do not wax. Photograph project while reassembling. Consult with management.