Second Time is a Charm- Painting a 1971 Chevy Camaro

Just about everyone at Eastwood is a car guy or gal in some shape or form, so we all love conversing with our customers about what projects they’re working on. Every now and then we get a really cool story about a project one of you are working on and we want to share it with everyone. This story is from Jeremy B. that recently shared a picture of his first paint project, a 1971 Chevy Camaro. Read along as Jeremy tells us how he got a second chance to build the car he wanted to build as a kid!

To tell the story of my 1971 Camaro we have to got back 20 years ago. 1993 I was a young boy living in a hot rod house. My dad had a 1955 Bel Air, my uncle, a 1956 Bel Air. I had decided that the 1971 Camaro was the car for me. I had been saving money mowing yards and cleaning cars. My dad calls me from work one day and said I found your car in the “Bargain Mart”, the local Auto Trade newspaper. It was a stock Mulsanne Blue 1971. With his help I bought it.

Being a shortsighted kid, I quickly took the car apart with hopes of making a fast street/strip car out of it. Of course I had no money to do such at the time, and by the time I had a drivers license the Camaro was sitting in a corner collecting dust. The car was sold in 1996 for next to nothing. Years went by, cars came and went. Fast forward to 2012, now grown with a child of my own, I had just finished a mechanical restoration on a 1969 C10 chevy, leaving the original patina on the outside. One day while looking at Craiglist I saw a 1971 Camaro, it was Blue with primer and reminded me of my original. The Truck was put up for sale, and before long I was headed to pick up the Camaro!

The truck was my daily driver, so this Camaro had to be up to the task as well. After making the 2 hour drive home in it, I was pretty pleased with how roadworthy it was. However I was not too pleased with its visual appearance. Blue shell, grey doors, black fenders, it did not look too pretty. Because this was my daily driver at the time, and I knew it would get the proper restoration treatment later, I decided to just try a quick, cheap paint job, just to get it all in one color.

Now to say my paint experience is limited would be an understatement! I had never painted a car before, unless you count the 1/25th scale versions! My goal was to get the car painted in a weekend, so I would be able to get to work on Monday. I decided to sand the entire car, do the very minimum bodywork and spray.

I spent a day wet-sanding the car, which was made easier by a rain shower! I did very little body work as the car was pretty straight with new sheet metal on the the front, and doors that were swapped from another car.

I used Eastwood White Epoxy Primer Sealer to get a good seal over the entire car including the jams It mixed and sprayed very well. I sprayed 3 coats.

I then went over the entire car with Eastwood Urethane Mulsanne Blue. This is the same color my original 1971 Camaro was 20 years ago. To say the color brought back memories was an understatement! It was like I traveled time!

The Eastwood paint was very easy to work with as well. The paint laid out very well. No runs at all! Over the next few days everyone in my neighborhood stopped by to check it out, and no one could believe I had never painted a car before! I credit Eastwood paint for a lot of this.

Next on this list is laying out some SS stripes and clear. I have not wet sanded or buffed the Blue paint and it looks great.
Also please note, this was painted in a lean-to section of my garage with gravel floors. In the pics you will see where I practiced adjusting my gun all over the walls!

I hope you enjoyed the story of my 1971 Camaro, this one will never leave the family! For anyone out there thinking of painting, don’t be afraid! With good products and a little practice, anythings possible!


  1. I hope you enjoyed the story of my 1971 Camaro, this one will never leave the family! For anyone out there thinking of painting.And car lokks very nice.

  2. A wonderful transformation. This is inspiration for those who are unsure of whether they can take on a full body paint job.

    I would love to see more about how you handled the door jams and other nooks and crannies.

  3. Steve Vigus,

    I masked off the door openings, scuffed the jams and sprayed.

    I spent a lot of time masking, and tried to get the paint everywhere I could.

    Its not perfect, but good enough!

    Hope it helps!

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