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Advice on the best way to paint a frame


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The next step in the restoration I am doing on the 23 Moon is painting the frame. Could some of you who are wiser and more experiences than me share how you have painted car frames? I have already researched and acquired the best materials to use and the minimum tools that are needed to produce good results. My plan is to disassemble the whole chassis, wait for there to be 2-3 days of dry weather, sandblast the frame with coal slag, prep the frame with w&g remover, spray two coats of Corlar 2.1 black epoxy primer, and spray 2-3 coats of semi gloss black Imron.

 

Other than approval or disapproval of any part of that plan, my main question is what is the best way to support the frame while painting it? Should I use jack stands, saw horses, string it up and hang it somehow? Should I paint it upright, upside down, a combination of both, first coat upright, second coat upside down, etc. I get it that there are probably many ways to skin the cat. What methods have you used successfully or unsuccessfully, or what would you have done different if you knew better?

 

 

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I have used sawhorses putting a Long bolt and spacers through existing holes in the frame can give a stand to keep from having a missed area where the frame sat on the sawhorse. I have seen guys hang a frame from one eye bolt and a tree. 

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ryan95,

 Everything you suggested is corect except washing it with wax and grease remover, it is not necessary if you did a good job blasting it. (and you will get fuzzys from the rag all over it)👍

 You could sand it after blasting with #80 sandpaper on a DA if you want a real smooth finish.

 I would spray it upside down, that way you can get all the places that you will see once it is back on the car and have a nice smooth look.

 Place it anout 3' off of the floor on jack stands and you will be able to get everwhere.

 

 Ps, apply the paint lightly over the VIN so that you can read it. (Imron will fill a gopher hole if you put it on heavy enough) 🦔

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It's a freakin frame. Whatever you do will be fine and about 10 times better than what the factory did..................Bob

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1 hour ago, ryan95 said:

I did get the good lint free rags. They are the Krew 600 ones which everyone seems to say are the best. I also was going to tack cloth it right before primer.

Black Beauty blasting leaves a very rough surface that will shread a cotton rag and snag it

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35 minutes ago, Bhigdog said:

It's a freakin frame. Whatever you do will be fine and about 10 times better than what the factory did..................Bob

I couldn't agree more. I just want to make sure that this looks good for a few decades rather than a few months. Otherwise I would just use Rustoleum.

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45 minutes ago, ryan95 said:

I couldn't agree more. I just want to make sure that this looks good for a few decades rather than a few months. Otherwise I would just use Rustoleum.

 Understood. Can't fault that.  But understand there is a wide line between good enough and over restored to the point of looking false. I try to hit the mid mark. Better looking and neater than OEM but a bit under looking like plastic. Your results may vary...........Bob

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Posted (edited)

This will be my first time using an HVLP gun so I'm pretty sure it won't look over restored. It is always good to keep in mind though that anything you restore was probably far from perfect originally.

Edited by ryan95 (see edit history)
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4 minutes ago, nickelroadster said:

I would wipe it down with a phosforic metal prep.  I did not know that they still made Imron.  Kind of overkill.


I agree with both of these points. 

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I have heard as many people that are for using acid metal prep as people that oppose using it. I'm sure that it works well when it works, but I have read numerous stories of it causing primer adhesion issues. I am planning on just doing the primer immediately after the blasting, same day.

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If you give up on the finish quality of the frame the finished car won't look much better IMO. Fabricate some pipe brackets to allow you to attach the front and back to two engine stands. Check the height so you ban spin the frame 360%. Do NOT use IMRON. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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Can you please share why you don't like imron? I have heard nothing but positive feedback and suggestions for it and have seen some beautiful frames painted with it. One is a museum car. The worst I hear about it is that it is pretty toxic, so I am going to paint outside with my full face respirator and a tygon suit.

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Posted (edited)

I've tried POR and other one part paints that are supposedly tuff paints. I have had okay results with them, but nothing that I was super pleased with. They always chip or peel for me and don't look good after very long. Everything that I have heard or read is pointing me towards a two part paint over an epoxy primer for durability. Many people have told me that imron is one of the best for durability, color retention, and chemical resistance. All of those things are good for a frame.

Edited by ryan95 (see edit history)
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52 minutes ago, ryan95 said:

Can you please share why you don't like imron? I have heard nothing but positive feedback and suggestions for it and have seen some beautiful frames painted with it. One is a museum car. The worst I hear about it is that it is pretty toxic, so I am going to paint outside with my full face respirator and a tygon suit.

 

 

You answered your own question, good luck with your lungs.

 

Bob 

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You will get a million different opinions, some very credible & of course others......!

 

It sounds like you have done your research & have a plan, so just go with it. If you are painting outside with a respirator on, you will have NO problem with breathing it in. Especially with an HVLP gun (very little goes in the air)

 

 If you have the availability of two engine stands, you could fabricate a couple of brackets to hole the frame on each end, giving you the ability to rotate it 360 degrees easily. Kind of a poor mans rotisserie.

 

 Here is what I do & what I use (keeping in mind I tend to over restore on some things) 😄

 

Sand blast & blow off very well, 3 coats Tamco HP 770 2 part, extremely high build Epoxy. From there decide if you want it like glass or just looking good. If you want it like glass, fill heavy pits with a filler product, sand & apply a couple of thinned coats HP770 as a sealer over the repairs, wet.sand smooth, if not just go right to Tamco black basecoat & a high impact clear like Tamco 9500 or high solids 2104

 

By the way, the reason most folks don't get good results with POR-15 is that it is made to go over rust & not clean or sandblaster metal surfaces. I prefer another Tamco product called Monocoat.

 

God Bless

Bill

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/nationwide-single-car-transport-hauling-open-or-enclosed.614419/

Edited by Bills Auto Works (see edit history)
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Are you adding flattener to the Imron?  I'm not aware of semi-gloss Imron but I quit using the stuff over 5 years ago.  Local jobber no longer mixes it but I could get black gallons.  The last gallon I purchased had completely different characteristics compared to what I'd been spraying for years.  Felt like I was paying for the name but the product wasn't the same. 

 

Personally I'd ditch the Imron and go the epoxy route only.  SPI epoxy is the best stuff I've found.  Reasonably priced and the best quality.  Why add another topcoat that isn't as durable as the epoxy under it?  

 

I powerwash the blasted frame and then air dry before shooting the epoxy.  This only works with larger commercial type compressors or mega leaf blower to get it dried before it flash rusts.  This is depending on the humidity.  Anything over 60% is going to go orange pretty quick.  Any wipes are going to end up with fuzzy's on the metal.  Which isn't a problem if you plan on sanding it.  

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The local parts chain store that I have an account with deals with Dupont paint products. One of the paints they mix and sell is Dupont's Imron paint line. There are a few types of Imron. I purchased "Imron 3.5 HG" which sounds to be the tried and true Imron that everyone is referring to when they say Imron. The HG stands for high gloss, but it can be mixed as high gloss, semi gloss, satin, and flat. One of the recommended primers for Imron is Dupont's "Corlar 2.1 ST," which is a direct to metal epoxy primer that comes in a few colors including black, which is what I got. I wanted black primer so that when the paint chips there isn't gray, green, or red showing through. Imron 3.5 paint over Corlar 2.1 primer sounds to be a tried and true recipe according to my research. I will report back on how it works.

 

I will try a few of the ideas to decide which will work best for supporting the frame for paint. I will probably try to hang it three or four feet off the ground. by a few of the bolt holes.

 

Thanks to all of you for your ideas and constructive criticism. This forum has lots of talented and experienced folks that are willing to lecture inexperienced youngsters like me. Please keep your experiences and advice coming if anyone else wants to chime in.

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 When I paint a frame. I blast the paint into all cracks and crevasses.

 DAM THE RUNS! (They are just added protection at no additional cost) 

 You can wipe off the runs after a few minuets and re-coat.

 I am painting the frame to prevent rust and rot, not for beauty's sake. 

 When you sandblast, the blasting media gets into all the cracks and unless you blast the paint into those areas, rust WILL develop there and spread.

 

 I blast and paint commercially and have done hundreds of frames and I know what I am talking about.

 

 Use Cromax Epoxy DTM (direct to metal) #2540S (gray)

 and Imron Industrial paint.

 If you must have a semi gloss or flat finish, use Imron 9T20 Flattening agent. (but it makes cleaning the frame harder, other wise, just a hose does pretty good)

 

 Ps, industrial Imron does not contain Isocyanates.

 

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Edited by Roger Walling (see edit history)
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On 4/17/2020 at 6:05 PM, ryan95 said:

That's good to know. Maybe I will test it on something else first. I did get the fine Black Beauty.

That’s what we used.  Then sprayed on some Rustoleum primer before brushing on black farm implement paint.  It’s tough stuff.

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Before you start to do your frame you need to decide what you want the car to be when you finish.  You will get lots of advice about making it original and not over restoring the frame and the car.  If you are going to show the car you will have to over restore to be competitive.  While sandblasting and putting any number of different paints on it will make it maybe better than original, if you don't fill and sand and straighten every bump pit and ding you will start at a disadvantage.  Sad as that may be.

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So many guys have different ideas on this subject. I have done probably 20 plus frames over the years with different results.

 A few things to think about, apart from whether you want a mirror finish or just a respectable paint job.

 My first question to you all, do you think the manufacturers even bothered to use primer on the frames and underneath parts originally? It would certainly have added to their manufacturing time and production costs. Where parts have been cleaned in a phosphoric acid bath or been sandblasted, it has effectively etched the surface for paint to adhere properly, with or without primer. If you look at a lot of modern replacement parts, such as ball joints etc they have been probably degreased in a chemical bath and then sprayed or dipped in black paint, most without primer.

 Leaving sandblasted stuff overnight before painting is not good in high humidity or on rainy nights, as it will begin to rust immediately.

 Once sandblasted properly, I don't think cleaning with water or phosphoric acid is a good idea, even if you have a big compressor to blow dry the stuff, you will still have areas that will start rusting again.

 I have stuff sandblasted, blow the dust off, and immediately prime or paint the parts, to stop any rust forming, even a light coat on stuff that needs welding or panel beating at a later stage. 

 I have had frames sandblasted, and immediately painted them with black 2K epoxy paint or quick drying enamel, with excellent results, some were done more than 10 years ago and done long miles without chipping or lifting paint. Others where I have primed and then painted, I have had the paint chip plenty, so what is best?

  Also something else to think about, you are talking of priming the frame with black primer and then paint it black, so that any chips will not show a color primer underneath. Well, if you paint the frame with a high visibility primer and the black gets chipped, it will be easily visible for you to do touch ups, the same goes on the inside of fenders, a bright red or pink under the top color will show any blemishes that need sorting.

 Also, if you own a car that has clip on hubcaps, paint the inside with high visibility orange or pink paint, because when this type of car falls off, they almost always fall chrome side down in the grass. The high visibility paint will help you find them.

Viv

 

 

 

  

 

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The goals in order are for it to look good and not rust for a long time, be a fun to drive car that can have lots of miles put on it year after year, be as original as it can be, and look respectable at shows. I expect having to touch it up periodically and I expect it to show that the car gets used. We want it to look good and original, but don't care if it loses points because it isn't over restored or has signs of use. It's a car and cars are meant to be driven and enjoyed. The owner and I don't care about bragging rights, trailering it everywhere it goes, or spending more time polishing it in the driveway than being on the road.

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11 hours ago, Avanti Bill said:

If you are going to show the car you will have to over restore to be competitive. 

 

Maybe yes. Maybe no. 

AACA is NOT competitive in the sense of one car against it's neighbor. Each car is judged against the "as it left the factory" standard. Also, no advantage is awarded for over restoration. Of course some judges are to some extent subjective and may look closer at a car that looks less "restored" than it's neighbor just as some judges may look negatively at an obvious over restoration.

In concours type judging the standard is all over the map. Some events use AACA like  judging with score sheets and some just use a "whatever the judges like best" approach, and others it's "who the Hell knows".

I've been in concours events where $200,000 restorations received no awards while the next car over with the wrinkled headliner and worn pedals got the blue ribbon just because that's what the judges liked.

I've seen some judges look on "patina" favorably while others prize gross over restoration.

Your results may vary................Bob

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This is my '64 Riviera. I cleaned the frame so well the sand blast guy asked why I brought it. The cleaning was so he wouldn't spend a lot of time trying to get some booger off it and eat up my frame. He primered it right after blasting it to avoid flash rust. I provided locally made two part epoxy. Then he finish coated it with satin black Valspar polyurethane. Still looks great today 25 years later. Today I would use polyurethane primer and the same Valspar.

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I can't believe we've gotten 38 replies to this thread and no wise guy has said "with paint" yet. 

 

I've never used the stuff, but the change in the paint that was discussed sounds like right around the time DuPont became Axalta...related? I have no idea but wouldn't be surprised.

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