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A discussion on hand painting intrigued me.  I've hand painted in the past an historic truck. I heated the paint pot in a bucket of hot water, kept it in he hot water and it the job came out smooth. Very smooth. I'm about to start on my 1916 Model T speedster.  I'll use the same method. Saves heating on a burner.

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I hand painted my 57 DeSoto with a gallon of black porch and deck enamel and a 4” brush. The pair cost was around $4 and looked ok from 10 feet away. That was 57 years ago and I was 17! 
Have fun

Dave S 

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I suggest trying yacht paint which is designed for roller application which is then "tipped" lightly by brush. These paints are formulated to lay flat and, being used on boats, are resistant to the elements. Two I've tried: Epifanes is a simple, one-part enamel, while Alexseal is a 3-part high-tech finish. They only come in pre-mixed (though attractive) colors, and are both pretty pricey. You can find some YouTube videos on the process. Another cheaper paint that lays down quite nicely is regular Rustoleum. 

 

https://www.jamestowndistributors.com/userportal/search_subCategory.do?categoryName=Topside+Paint&category=34&refine=1&page=GRID#/perpage:16

 

https://www.alexseal.com/

 

Phil

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35 minutes ago, SC38DLS said:

I hand painted my 57 DeSoto with a gallon of black porch and deck enamel and a 4” brush. The pair cost was around $4 and looked ok from 10 feet away. That was 57 years ago and I was 17! 
Have fun

Dave S 

 Were you trying to turn it into a Porsche?  😁

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1 hour ago, MochetVelo said:

I suggest trying yacht paint which is designed for roller application which is then "tipped" lightly by brush

I spray painted two of my wood body cars with single stage boat paint purchased at my local marine supply store.  Wood bodies expand and contract with variations in temperature and humidity and they flex more when going over driveway aprons, etc.  Boat paint is made for wood applications and will last much longer than most of the automotive paints that cure much harder and will eventually crack or chip when applied over a more  flexible wood body.  (Those who insist on perfect paint on wood bodied cars usually prepare the wood by applying polymers to stiffen the wood to prevent flexing).  Although the finish is not the same, I believe boat paint gives my cars a more authentic appearance than many of the over-restored collector cars I often see at car shows.  Since I do not frequent car shows & I regularly drive all of my cars, I have no need to use automotive paints on wood, but I do use them on steel fenders and other components.

Wood body Buicks shown below:

 

12 Buick Roadster at the top of The Old Spiral Highway.jpg

13 Buick at Pearson.jpg

Edited by Mark Shaw (see edit history)
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There was someone on here within the last year that had a cool early 1920's Hudson (speedster or speedway 6 or something?) who had pointed out that it was correct to brush paint the body. The fenders on the other hand were sprayed nice and shiny black - they called this  "Japanned" back in the day. I wonder how many other cars of that period should have a brushed body to be truly authentic? 

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Twenty or so years ago, I roller painted the fiberglass hull of a 20 ft. Shamrock Pilot House motor boat with Awlgrip, which is a two part polyester urethane paint.  Luckily, there was another bloke in the boat yard painting his boat, and he  knew what he was doing with Awlgrip.  I had planned on rolling the paint on and "brush tipping" (smoothing) the paint, which was the common non-spray application technique at the time, but he showed me how to "roller tip" the paint.  We used what were called "cigar rollers" which were of a fairly high density foam and were approximately 1 inch diameter and 4 inches long.  It was exacting work, but once I got the hang of it, it went on quite well and I was pleased with the results.  Of course one must do the usual "prep" stuff between coats such as wet sanding etc., but it did result in  a finish that, even upon close inspection, looked like a spray job.

 

At the other end of the spectrum, in high school, I had a friend who had a '47 Ford sedan that we used to paint with whatever paint we could scrounge ( even though the statute of limitations has run, no details of the "scrounging" missions will be available on this forum) using rags, mops, or even (gasp) brushes.  The reason why we did this is unclear all these 55 years later, but it had something to do with football season and pep rallies.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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4 hours ago, Ed Luddy said:

I painted my 1950 Meteor by brush back in the 70's. It looked ok from 10 feet. Should've used a roller.

 

There was something circulating online about this a couple of years ago. People were taking Rustoleum non-spray paint that you could buy in gallon or quart cans and adding just the right amount of thinner so that it could be applied in thin layers (with a small roller) then letting the paint dry sufficiently between coats to lightly wet sand before the next coat was applied. Hot Rod magazine even had an article on it, and some guy in a foreign country made a youtube video with pretty impressive results, though he only did a relatively small component (fender or something) rather than a whole car. The paint had to be Rustoleum, for some reason, though I think you could use those paint pads instead of rollers if you wanted.

 

I think the good final product was a result of a lot of labor intensive effort and attention to detail. I'm not sure most of us would have the patience to get those kind of results, but it did show that there was more than one way to skin a cat...even in painting. Probably can't get show quality results, though, and if, in fact, you can only use Rustoleum, that would severely limit the color options for automotive applications. I doubt that metallic colors are available, but I could be wrong.

 

I should mention that there were also other people online who did this...and got really crappy results. Came down to the effort you put into it.

Edited by JamesR (see edit history)
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My dad always painted wheels, frames, and other components that required a strong paint covering by brush. He was meticulous about it, and had some older brushes which he guarded carefully, and cleaned meticulously. He told me when I was a young boy watching that the quality of the brushes was critical. I don't recall ever noticing brush marks in his work...but this was well over 50 years ago, and I was not yet driving age. 

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In the 1970s I used Dupont straight enamel and a bristle brush to paint several cars that turned out decent. Dupont even offered a black automotive enamel that had it written on the can that it was suitable for brushing.

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49 minutes ago, lump said:

My dad always painted wheels, frames, and other components that required a strong paint covering by brush. He was meticulous about it, and had some older brushes which he guarded carefully, and cleaned meticulously. He told me when I was a young boy watching that the quality of the brushes was critical. I don't recall ever noticing brush marks in his work...but this was well over 50 years ago, and I was not yet driving age. 

I still paint steel wheels with a brush.  Classic or daily driver doesn’t matter.  Don’t do car shows and at 60 mph at midnight who’s gonna know.

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As Rusty has correctly pointed out, brush painting was the standard practice right into the 20s. Fenders, if they were black, we sometimes dipped but the spray painting we are all familiar with is a 20s invention. Technically, if we are going to use the word "restoration" literally, no brass car should be sprayed. The real problem is that the paint isn't made any more except in the UK although the suggestion that yacht paint is appropriate is especially welcome. I'd never thought of that but it makes a lot of sense. I am years from painting my car but I have no place where I could spray it even if I wanted to so I've been looking into the brush painting techniques used in the brass era. Since I travel to the UK just about every year I was even thinking of bringing some back with me.

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The guy who started the Rustoleum paint fad was a Canadian. He had a restored 1969 Charger that was ready to go except for the paint job when he ran out of money. With a choice between painting it himself or waiting a year or two to drive the car while he saved up $5000 for a pro paint job, he decided to do it himself for $50.

 

This was not the first time he did this, he had already painted a couple of VWs this way. He said it was the only way he could paint a car at home in his suburban garage, spray painting was out of the question.

 

He used Tremclad enamel (Canadian Rustoleum) thinned down and applied with one of those small white rollers then tipped with a foam brush to remove bubbles. Two thin coats, wet sand with 600 paper, two more coats, wet sand with 800, two more coats, wet sand with 1000 then polish and wax.

 

When he published this on a Mopar restoration forum it stirred up quite a storm of controversy. But others tried it and it worked. It was the Australians who came up with the idea of using yacht enamel.

 

The harrowing details are probably still on the internet if you feel like doing a search.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Used Rustolium to roller paint the old plow truck, the paint went on smooth, but had more of a sheen than a shine. The plow blade got sprayed with thinned down Rustolium it shined good, dried quick and still looked good come spring.

 

We learned from the truck and when we painted the figure 8 car we mixed in some thick kind of slimy no brush mark stuff for oil base paint in with the Rustolium and slapped it on with a couple of 4" brushes. Honestly don't remember what the stuff was called, but when it dried to the touch it shined like a new dime and looked like a spray job. Did take a couple of months to fully harden and we left a lot of paint on the cars that rubbed us in the corners.

 

 

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19 hours ago, capngrog said:

 

 

At the other end of the spectrum, in high school, I had a friend who had a '47 Ford sedan that we used to paint with whatever paint we could scrounge .  The reason why we did this is unclear all these 55 years later, but it had something to do with football season and pep rallies.

 

Cheers,

Grog

 

 A friend of mine would re primmer his Corvette a different color every time he outran the cops!😲

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ROLLER ! TEXTURED ROLLER AND LATEX HOUSEHOLD PAINT !!

 

Back in the late 1970s while visiting the local K-Mart, the mechanics were pointing out the "ECONOMY" paint job on a mid-1960s Pontiac Catalina which was in their shop getting a new muffler. The beige Latex house paint had been applied with a 12" roller - a TWELVE INCH TEXTURED ROLLER, such as one might have used back then to apply a textured finish to a dining room wall. The paint covered the body panels, trim, bumpers, rust repair(s), everything except for most of the glass. 

 

Do-It-Yourselfers really can save some $$$$$, and can take personal pride in the end result.

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18 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I have no place where I could spray

The poisons in automotive paints along with the environmental restrictions in many places make brush and roller painting a necessity. 

I have asthma and cannot use automotive paints that effect my breathing. 

I also do all my painting with all the garage doors open while I wearing a chemical mask.

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The first car I painted by myself after my late Brother-in-Law had moveD out of state was our 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier station wagon.  I did not have a compressor then and used a vacuum cleaner based system that I rented from the local rental company.  Did not turn out too bad but since I was a bit inexperienced in these things I got the adjustment for the amount of paint in the mix a little off. Painted it Volkswagen Signal Orange.  There was enough orange peel on it that we began calling the car “The Kelvinator” 

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There is a European paint company in the US. It is called "Fine Paints of Europe" and I believe they are in New Hampshire. I became aware of the paint while restoring an Episcopal Church. The paint smells like automotive paint. It lays down well and shines like a new penny. I am in the process now of brush painting a car I am attempting to restore authentically and am using PPG paint. The problem I'm having is the thinners are so volatile subsequent coats of paint liquefy prior coats. It never occurred to me to use Fine Paints of Europe but I wish now I had.

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Here is a roller/brush painted truck that I built and painted last year... I used Rustolium enamel.... which is self leveling...... and the second and third coats need to go on when wet.. about 5 minutes after the previous coat.... it was done out side in the sun.....

DSC06533.JPG

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DSC06513.JPG

DSC06507.JPG

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I have never seen a brush painted vehicle where you could not tell it was brush (or roller) painted. Brush painting is appropriate in some circumstances but don't expect it to compete cosmetically with sprayed paint. Also, having painted a 26 ft boat I do not believe there is any difference between good quality automotive paint and marine paint. Different marketing, yes. 

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2 hours ago, AHa said:

The problem I'm having is the thinners are so volatile subsequent coats of paint liquefy prior coats. It never occurred to me to use Fine Paints of Europe but I wish now I had.

 

Although I've not used it myself, people for years have been recommending the use of the brushable Rustoleum.  That paint apparently doesn't have the problem with thinners that you have encountered with the PPG paint.  Another route is to use a two part paint as I have done in the past, but in the future, I'll probably go with the brushable Rustoleum.  I'm not familiar with "Fine Paints of Europe", but I think those of us on this thread would appreciate your sharing with us any information that you may find on those paint products.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Just google Fine Paints of Europe and I was wrong, they are based in Vermont but they have satellite offices. I can buy it from a store in Charlotte NC. It is a very high grade of house paint. I was a Benjamin Moore guy before I used Fine Paints of Europe. They import from Wijzonol Bouwverven B.V.  of the Netherlands. I use rustoleum for all kinds of projects on a regular basis. The EPA has made it nearly impossible to make oil based paints in the US and Rustoleum is one of the few brands left.  Fine Paints of Europe is a step above rustoleum.

 

My opinion is, those who endeavor to brush or roller paint are not trying to achieve the same look as a sprayed finish. I am attempting it because the car I am  restoring would have been brush painted originally. I am looking for an original finish. Now I know some do it because of cost and are attempting to compare brush with sprayed but I think the sentiment is: "I can be happy with spending less money and getting less than perfect results."

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1 hour ago, Restorer32 said:

I have never seen a brush painted vehicle where you could not tell it was brush (or roller) painted. Brush painting is appropriate in some circumstances but don't expect it to compete cosmetically with sprayed paint. Also, having painted a 26 ft boat I do not believe there is any difference between good quality automotive paint and marine paint. Different marketing, yes. 

 

Getting rid of roller nap and fine brush marks is no different than getting rid of spray job orange peel. Color sanding with high speed buff will make it as smooth and shiny as a base coat clear coat job and when its well done, the only real difference between brush and spray is the thickness of the paint.

Marine vs Automotive paint. My youngest brother paints boats for Lund and he told me I could use regular automotive paint to squirt my metal flake color above the water, but free boards on down really should be done with marine paint. There is a difference and any paint will work topside. but auto paint  is made to repel water, not to cut through it and it won't hold up to serious use. As my boat spends most of its time sitting on the trailer, a brush full of Rustoleum would probably look good for years.

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I just remembered another paint from my boating days: Petit EZ Poxy, or by another spelling: Easy Poxy.  This is a single part polyurethane that, as I recall, is easy to apply by brush or roller and covers very well.  I painted the topsides (water line to gunwale) of the hull of one of my boats, and the finish lasted with a shine 7-8 years in a very harsh salt water marine environment.  I haven't priced it relative to the brushable Rustoleum, but I would consider it to be an alternative.  As I said in a previous post, I'll probably give the brushable Rustoleum a try when my next painting project comes due.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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4 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

I have never seen a brush painted vehicle where you could not tell it was brush (or roller) painted. Brush painting is appropriate in some circumstances but don't expect it to compete cosmetically with sprayed paint. Also, having painted a 26 ft boat I do not believe there is any difference between good quality automotive paint and marine paint. Different marketing, yes. 

 When I worked in a automotive paint store back in 1959, Dulux paint was sold as marine paint. only the label that was used said marine paint.

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Sometimes owners want cars restored properly, the Rene Thomas Ballot was brush painted the day before the 1919 INDY 500. It looked great on the lawn at Pebble Beach 2019. Bob 

DSCF3344.JPG

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