This weekend and this morning I prepped Silent E for new paint. It's just going to be original color; Eri wanted red, but I think red with bronze jams and brown interior would be nauseating.

The kids helped out, of course. And got in the pictures. This is my first time doing anything of the sort, so I'm nowhere near professional. But the paint guy was pretty happy about it. And so was I.

Here you see that I've managed to remove the door trims and the rocker panels. The rear door trim on the driver's side was pretty badly damaged, so I'm looking for a replacement.

Taking off the rear bumper wasn't too tough. There were a total of six bolts and 4 screws, and one of my studs had already been broken off. The weird bit was that 4 of them took a 12mm socket, but the last one required a 13mm wrench. Go figure.

The other four screws I mentioned held the bumper skin to this bracket on the wheel well. I put the screws back so I wouldn't lose them. If they come back with paint on them, no biggie.

The front bumper wasn't quite as easy as described on HondaCivicWagon: after removing the turn signals (one phillips screw each) and the four 10mm bolts behind them, I had to remove one phillips screw holding the skin to the wheel well. A very short screwdriver was required. That's still dirt simple. I might actually check for a new bumper while I'm at the junkyard. When I took the rocker panel off this side, about [b]two pounds[/b] of wet dirt spilled out.

The headlights were crazy difficult. There are more bolts holding them on than the whole front bumper! And the turn signals don't come off separately; it's all one big unit. I'm almost scared of trying to put the passenger side assembly back in; it was difficult to remove due to the lack of space.

I even managed to take off the mirrors and the top wing. The mirrors were interesting, with the screw hidden behind the pop-off top on the adjustment lever and the unexpected screw on the hinge side of the door. At least I managed not to break anything.

I forgot to take off the door handles, but Manny said he'd do that. He also said he'd remove the snap-on window trim pieces.

I did try to take the window trim off the rear windows, but it appears to be holding the window on. I left it alone; I'll mask it off and paint it when I get the car back.

I bought a 50-cent plastic drywall knife while I was at Ace. It's my new best friend. It got all the logos off with no problem. It removed the taillight gaskets without breaking them, despite their brittleness. (I'd better replace them with gasket paste anyway.) It probably would have worked for the passenger-side clips, too, if I had actually followed bam-bam's tutorial on the forum.

The plan now is to strip the paint off the bumpers and refinish all the trim in black. I'll see if I can find that "back-to-black" stuff that everyone seems to like. Then I intend to apply reflective yellow tape in caution stripes to the door trim and bumpers, with "HIGH VOLTAGE" and "144V" lettering. Everything is covered with the dust and ick of 21 years, though. I've got a lot of cleaning to do.