The painting starts
The slight fragrant smell of paint around the Ensign in recent weeks is a good indication that one of the final restoration tasks is now well underway. Whilst the body shell interior, engine bay and underside were all hand brush- painted some time ago, the exterior is now receiving attention.
The engine bay was hand painted by brush
As the Museum no longer has a paint booth available for resprays, and sending the shell out to a third party would have blown our restoration budget, the volunteers had to come up with an alternative solution. Hand spray cans, brush and rollers were all considered. Because of where the Ensign is situated in the new Collections Centre, spraying, even via aerosols, was not going to be permitted. The choice therefore, was essentially, between brush and roller.
Careful roller application and the nearside rear awaiting a rub down
The final decision was made a lot easier, thanks to volunteer John Rathbone, who took the bonnet home to do a bit of experimenting. Trying both methods - his skill, effort and a fair bit of elbow grease showed that the careful application of paint by roller was the best option.
Painting, rubbing and polishing – the effort well illustrated
So, after the initial brush-painted coat of grey primer, the rolling of the carefully matched Ensign Grey Wing synthetic coach enamel gloss paint began. As many readers will know, the dreaded orange peel effect is always something that catches the eye of even the casual observer of a car’s paintwork. To combat this, a lot of effort has been put into rubbing the paintwork down between coats with a special restoration compound. After three coats and a lot of polishing, the results to this writer’s admittedly untrained eye, already look excellent.
The dashboard and door cappings have also recently been repainted
Ironically, any further work on the Ensign has now had to stop for a few weeks because of, guess what? More painting! The Collections Centre’s first floor, where both the Ensign and the Museum’s reserve collection are situated, is being sealed and painted. The fragrant smell of paint is with us again.