Day 17
That next morning, I conned my friend Dan who owns a flat-bed tow truck to haul my Chevy out to Marcel's and dropped it off. Luckily, Dan is a nice guy. After thanking Dan, I pulled the truck into Marcel's place and proceeded to tear out all the glass and interior. Because I'm not totally secure in my painting knowledge, I had Marcel go with me to the paint supply store to pick up everything I needed. Not only did Mike, the guy behind the counter, have everything we needed, like the flat clear, he also mixed up my Red Oxide color from my little die-cast car, perfectly. We loaded up the nearly 1,000 dollars worth of paint and body supplies and hightailed it back to the shop to drop them off for tomorrow.

Day 18
When I got there in the morning, Marcel told me in true Mr. Miagi fashion "Sand the truck." I sanded the truck really quick, but let me tell you, sanding sucks! I unearthed a big problem with my driver door, when I was sanding like a slave. Lots of rust and a big patch of Bondo was hiding under the primer, so I called a friend I went to school with to see if he still had any parts from his Blazer buildup. He said he had a few doors and inner fenders, so I asked how much he wanted for the driver door? He said, "For you, 75 bucks and a beer." That was fair enough for me, so I paid him for his door, gave him a 40 of High Life, went back to the shop, and hung the door.

Day 19
After I scuffed the whole truck, Marcel and his crew masked it off and rolled it in his booth. Marcel took me over to his mix table and showed me the proper way to mix the primer per the instructions and what gun to use. After Marcel set the fan and air pressure on the paint gun, he handed it to me and said "I set it up to spray thick so try not to run it." With that awesome vote of confidence, I strapped on a crusty respirator and went in the booth to spray. I consider myself to be a Picasso with a spray-paint can, so I figured this would be easy-wrong! Not only was the gun throwing out a lot more material, but it got really heavy when I stretched out to spray the center of the hood. When I came out of the booth for the last time, my arm felt like rubber, but at least the first layer of primer was down. The truck was left to dry, while I cleaned out the primer gun and took a trip to the store for few much-needed sugary treats. I got back and stuffed my face with a lemon pie and washed it down with a 24-gallon Super Big Gulp of soda. There was still enough time for Marcel to give me a short lecture about eating better before the primer was dry enough to sand.

Days 20-24
After the beating I took sanding the truck once, that was enough for me to call in reinforcements. My dad (blue shirt) and roommate, Joe (orange shirt), were nice enough to come over and help me get the truck finished. This sanding and priming cycle lasted for a few days, which was enough to burn off the crappy food that has become the staple of my high-fat, high-sugar, and low-vitamin diet. Once the truck was straight enough, a coat of sealer was applied and color-sanded smooth-yeah, more sanding. Instead of spraying the paint and then applying the stripe, I laid out the stripe on the sealer, hoping that it would minimize the paint ridge once the job was complete. The stripe went on without a hitch, and once dry, I carefully taped over it and started mixing the basecoat. I asked if Marcel would help me spray because he is much better, and a mistake at this stage might push me past deadline. He obliged, as long as I would keep mixing up the paint and keep his gun topped off. When he came out of the booth with his respirator around his neck, I knew we were ready to clear.

There was a small window of time we needed to wait, so I took that opportunity to clean up Marcel's shop as small thanks. Again, I asked if Marcel could shoot the clear since it would be hard to sand out runs because it dries to a flat sheen. Yes, we could have sanded the runs out and put down another coat, but I was really over-sanding, and it was way past Marcel's bed time. He obliged and finished the paintjob, and we went home for the night.