Most of our experience is, or course, with dried or cured paint. Refinishing an old car is a complex, time-consuming and expensive proposition, and most of our efforts are necessarily directed to making existing paint work. Sometimes this is paint that we have recently sprayed and that needs further work to produce an acceptable finish. At other times, it is possible to work with an older, existing finish in a way that allows us to improve its appearance to the point that it becomes acceptable.
Occasionally, the problems of an existing finish or of a new finish are so great that the only practical approach is to refinish. All of these situations differ from those discussed in the previous two chapters because they involve existing finishes. Finally, after a finish has dried, it must be maintained and sometimes repaired if it is to have a reasonable service life.