If you’re content with a clean looking daily driver, or if you display your car at shows but leave the hood shut, there’s probably no need for you to tackle this project. After all, who sees the underside of your hood? However, if you’re proud of all that effort you’ve put into detailing out your engine bay, you’ll want to pay attention to this.
Please note: This hood is from a Chevelle, obviously not a Late Great Chevy! However, the cleaning/refinishing aspects of this story can apply to just about any car with a steel hood.
The underside of this car’s hood was super nasty, never having been touched in over 4 decades. With the hood removed, now was the time to get down and dirty, and restore the underside to its factory fresh appearance.
Here we’re using a wire scrub brush to remove grease, grime, overspray, and various other debris that makes the underside of the hood look downright terrible.
A small section had some semi-serious rust happening. Nothing to get too excited about, but left unchecked, over time this could have led to perforation. On a freshly-painted hood, that would have, well, sucked. Some light wire-brushing, followed up with a couple of coats of POR-15, and all was right once again. In case you haven’t heard, POR-15 is a rust preventative paint that stops rust in its tracks. A must on projects like these.
Here’s our hood, with a plastic sheet taped up behind it. We wanted to paint the hood, not our fence. At this stage, we took a rag and some de-greaser and wiped everything down again. As you can see, the yellow tape is masking off the hood’s vent slots. We also taped up the holes in the leading edge of the hood where the letters attach from the top side.
Time for our top coats. The folks at Eastwood Co. supplied us with 2 cans of their Underhood Black paint in aerosol format. The first can sprayed out nicely, the second can, not so much. A bad spray tip was the culprit. Two 11 oz. cans turned out to be nowhere near enough paint either. So, we relied on our trusty favorite AeroPRO (#5933) semi-gloss acrylic enamel to finish the job. Eastwood’s Underhood Black (ignoring the bad spray nozzle part) is actually a pretty nice paint and provides a smooth semi-satin finish. It took 3 cans of AeroPRO to finish the job though. Basically, we ended up using Eastwood’s paint as a primer.
The hood, painted. Final tally: One can of rust primer, 2 cans of Eastwood Underhood Black, 3 cans of AeroPRO semi-gloss. And as you’ll note in the photo, we only went light on the coats where the hood insulation is going. So, if you’re planning on doing this kind of job by yourself with “rattle cans”, make sure you pick up lots of paint—hoods are very large pieces of sheet metal!
We’ve had our hood hinges professionally restored too, so that hood is going to look fantastic when we bolt it back up!