I've seen any number of restorations where somebody strips a car to a bare shell, media blasts it, welds it up then paints it. For some reason, when the shell is in it's final stages of paint, you see plenty of pictures where professional body shops have masked up all the window and door apertures, even though it's completly stripped and the whole thing, inside and out, is being painted.

Can anybody explain to me the reason this is done?

Here is an example of a bare shell being painted masked off

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    I'd assume it was because they will spray the inside and outside separately, and don't want any non-blended overspray between the two?
    – Nick C
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 15:49
  • Gotta vid for that? Want to make sure I'm smelling the egg that your cooking. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 15:53
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    I agree a video or sequence of pictures would be nice. I have seen primer and base coats on full car, with masking for final and clear coats (outside only). If painting a "metal" interior classic you may or may not put on as many coats on interior as exterior. If the interior has more leather/vinyl trim covering a large portion no need to have all the coats. Is the interior ending in the same color for exposed metal areas. So it may be a tending toward the vehicle itself. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 19:20
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    One thought is that it might be hard to get a good finish on the inside and outside at the same time.
    – dlu
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 23:29
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    Maybe because overspray makes a painted service dull. By the time you painted the inside and moved to the outside the interior paint would be dry so when you spray around the door and window shuts you would get overspray on the inside Commented Oct 12, 2016 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


My brother used to be a paint tech and sometimes would do restos:

This is done to avoid spraying that will not be painted in detail at that very moment. Overspray requires another round of prepping. Its easier to mask areas and then paint as you progress than to paint the whole shell inside out.

Some cars also use a different color on the interiors and may also need some markings to be applied by hand under the paint to be period correct.


It all depends how long the paint stays open for so when dry spray goes over an area you just painted it will settle in to the wet paint so when your doing a full re spray you would want to use a slower activator for inside then masks off the inside and spray the outside and dependent on witch spray booth your using side draft both down draft booth for certain finishes and using slower activators to achieve a finish u don't have to sand and polish as much.

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