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jps

Newbie Spray Painter Needs Tips

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I need to spray paint a gas tank for my '25 Dodge and need advice as to how to control overspray and vent the fumes. I have an old respirator with filters for lacquer, and three older guns from Sears and Wards. I need to work in the garage or driveway but am concerned about keeping overspray off of the cars that I don't want to paint and out of the neighbor's yard. I thought about making a simple booth with fan venting but am worried about how safe that is (fans can spark and fumes will accumulate.) Of course I am on a small budget so a cheap solution is necessary. I know many people do this all of the time in their garage so what do you do? Thanks.

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As an ex car painter who had to quit when his lungs played out, I recommend you buy the best respirator you can afford and take all safety precautions. Your lungs are worth taking trouble over.

Would also recommend you use a brush and roller instead of spray.

I am not kidding. There is a technique that gets results equal to spray painting using Tremclad or Rustoleum rust paint and foam rollers, sanding down between coats.

The following is a quote from a post that has been going around the internet for years. Several people have painted their cars successfully using this technique with rust paint or with marine enamel.

here's how i painted my car for about $50, it's actually very easy and the results are amazing. First off, get a can of tremclad real orange (or what ever color u want) in the can, not spray, yes tremclad, it is a acrylic/enamel paint which is very durable. next prep your car as if was any other paint job, fix all the rust, ect....no need to prime the car since the tremclad allready contains elements which allow it to be painted over bare metal. next, after prepping the car get a small 4" professional FOAM rollers, it's tiny and has one end rounded off, and the other cut straight, and is a very high density foam. u also need a jug of mineral spirits to thin the paint. The thing i really like about this is that there's no mess, no tapeing the whole car, just key areas, and u can do it in your garage, since your not spraying there is virtually no dust in the air, just clean your garage first, also it does'nt really smell at all, dries overnight and it super tough paint. also it you decide to paint the car professionally later, just prep and paint, there's no need to strip the tremclad. i have done this to a few cars, and i can say it works amazing, u just have to be paitient. next u thin the paint with mineral spirits so it just about as thin as water, a little thicker. get out the roller and paint away, don't get the paint shaked when u buy it, enamel is stirred, otherwise you'll have bubbles in the paint for a week!!! after u do 2 coats, wet sand the whole car, then repeat, 2 coats, wetsand, 2 coats wetsand. i painted the charger using a can since your not spraying the car u use all the paint and not spray 50% in the air, use progressivly finer sand paper each time. it's not really that much work, cause u can stop and start any time, u can do just a door, or the hood, ect. do one panel at a time, and don't stop once you start. once your done the final coat, wetsand with about 1000 grit to a totally smooth finish, and then using a high speed polisher i use a buffing bonnet and turtle wax polishing compound. do the whole car with this, and i'm telling u, depending on the amount of time and paitence you have, the results are amazing. laugh if you want, but for $50 ($30 for paint, about $20 for rollers, sand paper, ect...) it really looks good. also you can do these steps overnight, paint one evening and by morning u can wet sand. i have personally done alot of painting, mostly single stage acrylic enamel, and i've sprayed several cars in my garage with really good professional results, just it stinks, it's a real pain to do, easy to make a mistake, messy, and expensive. The tremclad is awesome paint, the "real orange" is an amazing hemi orange, and almost looks like it has some perl in the sun, awesome color right out of the can. I used this technique on my 1974 beetle also, here are the results:

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d13/69martin/Picture10.jpg

the car before:

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d13/69martin/IM000475.jpg

another after pic:

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d13/69martin/DSC00164.jpg

here is a car i sprayed (71 beetle, midnight blue metalic):

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d13/69martin/DSC00194.jpg

here is the car before (71 beetle):

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d13/69martin/Picture1.jpg

here's a few pics of the charger done:

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d13/69martin/DSC02764.jpg

http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d13/69martin/DSC02769.jpg

well that's my 2 cents worth, sorry for the long post. i was borred lol

i painted the orange beetle in 1999, and it still looks like the day i painted it, the 71 blue beetle i painted in 2000, and built the car for my dad, i used the same paint on my charger, maybe one day i'll spring for a good paint job, prepping is 90% of the work, stripping the car, sanding, ect.....painting is overrated!!!

So if you have TIME, then i'd say go for it, the worst that could happen is that it does'nt turn out and your out $50, but if your paitient, and expriement with lets say just the trunk pannel and if you like it do the whole car, if not just get it done by someone else for $4000. i don't know about you guys, but i would rather spend the $4000 on other parts like getting the mechanics sorted out and new chrome, cause when u have really nice paint and crappy bumpers, door handles it just sticks out more. rush paint it. But if it shows you can do a real nice job with rollers.

"

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Thank you for the suggestion. I really like this idea, but I have a few new questions. The car is partially painted - my dad painted the chasis and body many years ago but I have the front fenders, engine hood, doors and gas tank left to do myself. I also need to fix some areas on the body where paint is peeling off. I would like to use the same paint as what is already on the body (black lacquer) and I have a fair amount of paint + thinner left. I am wondering how well this process could work with lacquer? Also, I read that when spraying lacquer all of the coats should be put on in the same day to prevent crazing. Obviously I would have to spread the coats out over several days or weeks to use the roller method. Does this problem apply only to spraying lacquer, or to any kind of application of lacquer? I could switch to enamel if that eliminates the problem. Also, is there any reason why I couldn't use "good" paint that was meant for spraying, like PPG Duracryl or DuPont? Thanks.

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Try to use the good paint if you can. You can get a respirator for under $30 at a paint supply house that will work fine for a small part like that. I usually paint small parts in the drive with the cars behind the shop and the garage doors shut.

If you can't do that, you can make a quick and easy paint booth out of sheet plastic and some rope set up like a tent to shoot that one part. Or, put the plastic over the cars you want to keep overspray off of (which is easier!) and still spend less than $5.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jps</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Thank you for the suggestion. I really like this idea, but I have a few new questions. The car is partially painted - my dad painted the chasis and body many years ago but I have the front fenders, engine hood, doors and gas tank left to do myself. I also need to fix some areas on the body where paint is peeling off. I would like to use the same paint as what is already on the body (black lacquer) and I have a fair amount of paint + thinner left. I am wondering how well this process could work with lacquer? Also, I read that when spraying lacquer all of the coats should be put on in the same day to prevent crazing. Obviously I would have to spread the coats out over several days or weeks to use the roller method. Does this problem apply only to spraying lacquer, or to any kind of application of lacquer? I could switch to enamel if that eliminates the problem. Also, is there any reason why I couldn't use "good" paint that was meant for spraying, like PPG Duracryl or DuPont? Thanks. </div></div>

Under the circumstances I suggest you contact a local painter or body shop that does old cars. If you have any old car friends ask who they use.

The Tremclad method was mainly for an economy job that could be done at home. Others have used the same method successfully using Marine enamel.

If you already have the lacquer, I suggest you use it. I don't think the roller method will work with lacquer. For one thing the lacquer thinner will dissolve the rollers.

For your car, to get a proper job you really need a pro. This is not the sort of project you learn on.

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Rusty has some good points..

All to often a car comes into the shop that the customer painted themselves and it turned out bad.

So not only does the car have to be redone, they lost money in materials and time from doing it the first time.

If nothing else, I suggest getting a couple old hoods or fenders from a junkyard and practice on those.

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As far as lacquer and lacquer thinner with those foam rolers and brushes, they have a tendency to dissolve plastics, foam, and such...especially the thinner. Just try it sometime...the thinner makes those things disappear very quickly..B

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Packard32</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As far as lacquer and lacquer thinner with those foam rolers and brushes, they have a tendency to dissolve plastics, foam, and such...especially the thinner. Just try it sometime...the thinner makes those things disappear very quickly..B </div></div>

Not only the above, but the lacquer will dry so fast you'll end up with a huge mess.

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Early production cars were brush-painted and sanded to achieve a smooth finish which was then top-coated with with a clear-coat for a shiny appearnace and depth of gloss (so much for today's clear coat/base coat paints being a new idea). I sprayed painted several cars with good results, one of which I entered in a show and was awared a trophy, but was always intrigued with brush-painting. I brush-painted a car 30 years ago with decent results. Besides using the right paint and reducer, a bristle brush was critical in achieving a smooth finish. By the way, here is an article Hot Rod magazine did on automobile brush-painting.

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/body/hrdp_0707_1962_ford_falcon_budget_paint_job/details.html

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If you are shooting a gas tank you will need to use decent paint. A two stage polyurethane would be best. If you use lacquer or acrylic enamel any fuel spills will screw up the paint. take the time to set up a temporary booth and get a low buck HVLP gun (Harbor freight or whoever) You will have a lot less overspray and the results will be amazing. If you don't want to do the two stage urethane paint, there are excellent single stage urethane paints that can be mixed by your local jobber that are very easy to shoot and give professional results without a lot of hassle. (a good example is PPG's "MTK" series.) It lays out nicely and can be wet sanded and buffed as necessary, or just polished. The last couple of times I used it, I didn't need to wet sand or buff, it was beautiful as squirted. (by no means am I a bodyman) I no longer fear doing paint work. (I used to swear by many coats of lacquer and lots of hand work, no more of that, it's way too much work and frankly, doesn't look as good) Another thing, you can put clearcoat over single stage for a deeper looking finish, or to add pearls, protect pinstriping, etc. Anyway, temporary booth, HVLP gun, good product and a little practice and you can DIY for most paint work, except the real high end show finishes. Preparation is still critical.

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Years ago i did a K-car with trimclad, total cost $20 for paint and thinner, I did the car in a friends paint booth on a friday and left it in there for the weekend. There was not a run in the car, and still looked good 3 years later when it went to the graveyard in the sky, to become new Hondas..

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Ok, I am hooked on this idea. Reading all of the tutorials over it planted a seed in me. My only question is this: Can anybody reccomend a good quality semi-affordable buffer?

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For the money- get a Harbor Freight Buffer.. It's not a bad piece for the money.

It won't replace my Makita, but it's good for someone who doesn't do paint & body work for a living.

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jps

I have been sitting back and reading all the posts on painting with a lot of interest. first of i am a professional car painter and have been since starting the trade in 1965,i am now 67 and have been retired for 2 years but still paint freinds and local car club members old cars. In my opinion 2 pak paint is not suitable for a newbie painter it needs a special air fed resperator and proper spray booth as it has isocyanate in it which is a acumulative poison ,once in your system it stays there ,and if you keep on using it it will gradually build up with dire consequences. I can not use it now without gettig ill as a paint shop i used to work for would not supply a air fed resperator. Whoever told you about all the coats of lacquer having to go on in the same day are wrong . i think it is the ideal paint for a newbie to use as it is very forgiving, if you get a run or dust in the paint just wait about half an hour for it to dry then simply sand it and start spraying again. The only draw back is the long cutting and polishing process to get a gloss ,but a plus is if somehow your pride and joy gets scratched etc later on it can be touched up quite simply without having to mask up the whole car and spray a full panel or go to a paint shop .but it cannot be brushed or rolled succesfully as it drys to fast. as for over spray on your other vehicles if the are parked a reasonable distant away the over spray will be dry before it reachs them

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Thanks, everyone for the ideas and tips. Especially elmo39 - I have decided that I will spray lacquer. I don't mind spending a lot of time rubbing out a finish, and since you feel that lacquer is very forgiving I am convinced that is best for me. In addition, I suspect that using lacquer will produce a finish that is most like the original one that the car had in 1925, which is what I want.

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