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Which Paint to Choose?!?

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sean253 Avatar
sean253 Sean Heupel
Salem, OR, USA   USA
So, I have a question for anyone who knows about paint. Before anyone calls out the rust, it's very superficial and I only have to re-weld a section by the driver door (otherwise the rust is very surface level, which is why I bought it).

My midget needs a paint job (she looks like a teenage girl in the morning, after a long night and forgetting to wash off the makeup). What I intend to do is put my own personality into replacing my white stripe with a dark blue one, with a very subtle stencil for a lighter blue that shows off my IT background, kinda in a "Tron" blue type feel, with a reflective stencil color (yes, I know that is ambitious, but she's only got 40k original miles, and I want to drive her til she drops). The rest is going to be the standard 'red' that you see, unless anyone has any recommendations. My goal is to keep the cost of paint down and to do all the wet-sanding myself (maybe even the painting, but it's been years).

Question 1: What shade of red came standard on a 1976 MG Midget? Want to keep the deeper tone, versus "Cherry Red" or "Candy Apple Red".
Question 2: Does anyone have a different shade, other than white, that might go good with a "Tron"-like blue stripe?
Question 3: Can anyone recommend a cheaper brand of paint that won't bubble up on me? Trying to keep price down, but I want to restore this old girl.

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Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"
Hello Sean,

I, too, have a 1976 Midget that I bought new in June, 1977. It's been mothballed on and off since 1989. Fortuantely I kept all the original papers and service records; most importantly for you, I kept the sa;les brochure and the "1976 MGB/midget-body & Trim Colors"

Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"
Sorry, somehow my reply went out unfinished. The name of the red paint for 1976 was "Flamenco." It is a fairly bright and strong red with a hint of orange in it. Sorry, no paint ID in the booklet. It sure isn't what appears in your photos. That's "Damask Red" that was available in 1976 and for a few years. It tended to look a bit like a "burgundy" paint of the era. What are the colors inside the boot and engine bay, and on the inside of the boot lid and engine bonnet? My car has the least desirable: "Sandglow," a mustard color seen on a lot of sporty US and UK cars in the '7os. My wife calls it "baby-poo yellow- brown."

If you have a good, clean interior surface with relatively intact, unmarred paint, then a really good auto paint supplier can probably match it using a spectrophotometer that all paint stores use today, even Home Depot and Lowes. It's an instrument that measures a color sample and correlates its reflected light data with color formulation in the paint mixing software in the system. Auto paint suppliers are the ones who make matching paint for body repair shops. Take your car to one of those shops and they'll match the original paint.

Good luck

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sean253 Avatar
sean253 Sean Heupel
Salem, OR, USA   USA
If you don't mind digging up the colors and any specifics, that would be awesome! grinning smiley

sean253 Avatar
sean253 Sean Heupel
Salem, OR, USA   USA
Thank you! I am a bit new to restoration, and I trusted men much smarter than I at Titan Auto to do the mechanical restoration. Really want to paint it well, but to throw on my own IT flair to the stripe. Thank you.

Richb Richard Ball
Everett, Wa, USA   USA
Take a look here. One of Paul's many useful web pages

This site may be helpful also.

Rich Ball
'76 Midget
Everett, WA

Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"
Hi Sean

All I have in the 1976 MG Body & trim Color booklet are sample chips. There are no color code numbers. Yours is "Damask Red." The links Richard sent are wonderful and I'm going to keep them in my database. One consideration about color ID codes: unless the code can specify the exact paint formulation ingredients, then the code won't be helpful to auto paint supply shops which mix matching paints. Important to the formulation, too, is the precise primary base medium in which the pigments are mixed. One paint shop told me years ago that my 76 Midget's paint is "Old School" auto enamel, which I took to mean a lacquer based medium, not an acrylic one like today's paints. The lacquer based ones are the those where one can see cracks in the finish of very old cars. Lacquers crack, acrylics peel.
I'm not sure if you can overpaint an old lacquer paint with a new acrylic top coat.

One reason I kept my car's original color chip booklet was so I could have the chip scanned to get the right color match. That's what chip books are used for. See if someone in an MG club near you has a chip booklet. From 1979 until my semi-retirement in 2012, I worked as a contract senior business marketing director with five corporations who designed and manufactured the spectrophotometer color systems used today in paints, plastics, inks and other industries. Those companies were Applied Color Systems, Datacolor, Macbeth, X-Rite, Gardner and Konica Minolta Sensing. Look up a sales and/or tech support location for any of these in your region and they'll probably steer you correctly toward the type of paint needed and where to get the color correct. Datacolor and X-Rite are probably best for that.



Abington, PA, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "Rodney"

Another color tech company and one of the best: Hunter Assoc. Laboratory, aka HunterLab. Ia all these tech companies, even the sales people are highly technically trained and understand applications in various industries. Years ago, Hunter's VP Marketing was a leader in Wash. DC region MG Clubs. Hunter is in Reston, VA, Fairfax County outside Washington.

2nif Denis Fortineau
Hourtin, Aquitaine, France   FRA
1979 MG Midget 1500 "Christie"
rouge Carmin est une belle couleur.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-09 09:36 AM by 2nif.

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Speedracer Avatar
Speedracer Platinum Member Hap Waldrop
Greenville, SC, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB Racecar "The Biscuit"
TCP Global is go-to place to order paint and get a good deal, the local paint supply shops now hardly even offer acrylic enamels, just base-clear paint, TCP offer plenty one part acrylic enamels, they have their restoration line, where you can buy quart kits, and gallon kits which include the hardener, strainers and paint sticks, red is one of most expensive pigment, but still you can get a gallon kit for around 100 bucks. Also TCP has color library that goes back to the time when cars were invented, and if you have factory paint code they can mix it.

Hap Waldrop
Acme Speed Shop

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-02-09 05:03 PM by Speedracer.

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