I'm stalling a bit right now. I need a new rear apron because I crushed mine a couple weeks ago. I'm trying to source an original one, vs buying a repop. While I'm hunting that down, there are a few loose ends I am trying to tie up before I get all the welding completed. One of those loose ends is stripping off the remaining paint. On this project I've used a sandblaster, chemicals, and a DA with 24, 50 and 80 grit papers. I can officially say, no matter what you use, removing paint from a car is a long, difficult process.
The chemical strippers seem like they would be a dream, but the truth is, this car has 4-5 layers of paint on it. Every layer you strip off requires scraping with a putty knife before the paint starts to harden up. After 5 layers of chemicals, I realize it takes just as long as when I use the DA...
That said, I used a combo of chemicals and DA over the weekend to get the skin on right side of the car almost completely stripped. Tonight I used a DA with 50 grit to do the same areas on the driver's side. Both side took me over 3 hours each. If I had a better compressor, I could probably cut the time by 1/2. I run my DA at 75 psi because any more than that I have to stop every ten minutes because it dips to about 40 psi. If I run lower than 75, I might as well sand it by hand. I've also tried my 2" and 3" die grinders and variouse other abrasives... All take about the same amount of time.
I still have the engine bay and a few small spots around the car to strip, but I am getting very close to complete. Hopefully I'll find some time this week to sand blast the lower inner fender areas and get them in POR 15 so I can well on the fender skins. I also spent time tonight scrapping off 35 years of crud from the right front wheel well.
In the past couple weeks I have also focused my overall approach for the paint. I am going to use U-Pol tintable Raptor bed liner for all four wheel wells and the area under the engine bay and luggage area as well as the front "fire wall" area. The actually front trunk area may or may not get nice paint vs bed liner. The nice thing about the Raptor is you can add urethane paint to it and color match your car.
I believe I may have also found a color for the car. I wanted to do Lizard Green, which is an old 50s-60s VW color, but I may have found a better color. The new beetles have a color called Gecko Green Metalic. I saw one drive by the other day and realized that might be a nice color for my Ghia. I suspect it's also easier to get ahold of someone who can mix it properly. I've seen some bad mixes of old colors before. Does Gecko=Lizard??? I'll have to get a test panel done and find out.
If I can pin down the exterior color, I will then decide what flavor of Haartz canvas to go with. I will be ordering swatches in the next few weeks to help make the decision.