I finished masking the body, and sprayed a coat of epoxy primer on several spots where I had sanded all the way through the primer-surfacer (or even to the metal). As soon as that had dried, I sprayed a couple of coats of primer-surfacer everywhere.
Then I started wet-sanding the entire body. Wet-sanding is not at all unpleasant. It does not involve nasty chemicals, foul odors, loud noises, heavy lifting, special clothing, dust, etc. It’s just somewhat boring, and you tend to slowly sand the skin off of your fingertips. You also have to be careful not to overdo it and sand all the way through the primer. I am about halfway finished. Hopefully I will be done in the 3 or 4 days.
Once the wet-sanding is finished, I need to decide how to deal with the aluminum molding strips that go around the edge of the roof fabric. I can install them before painting the body, or paint them separately and install them afterwards. There are advantages and disadvantages to either approach. In any case, I first need to finish preparing the moldings: cutting each piece to the correct length, drilling nail holes, sanding them, and priming them. I have ordered some special zinc chromate aluminum primer, and some butyl rubber caulk that was recommended for sealing the molding.
I’m just about finished sanding the coat of filler-surfacer that I had put on the body last fall. I touched up a few more tiny dings and scratches that had evaded detection until now.
In a couple of days I should be able to start masking the body. That will be complicated, since I have to keep paint away from the engine, interior, underside, drivetrain, wheels, etc. Once it is all masked I will spray on one last coat of filler-surfacer and wet-sand everything. Then it will be ready for the finish coats.
The body will take longer than I expected to get ready for painting. I had given it a first coat of primer last fall, and over last weekend I block-sanded most of the open areas. That revealed a bunch of high and low spots that will need an additional coat of primer. I also discovered a couple of small dents that I hadn’t noticed in three years of working on the body, which needed a bit of feather-fill to fix them up. Also, there are lots and lots of moldings and other oddly-shaped areas that will need careful, tedious sanding. Ironically, the areas that I had done a bunch of metalworking on (like part of the roof) were OK. It was the areas that I had assumed were fine which had subtle irregularities.
Hopefully by the end of the month I will have all the sanding done, and the body ready to paint.
I also repaired a broken mounting stud on the stainless steel trim strip that goes just behind the hood.