Claff New Reader
April 24, 2010 8:19 p.m.

Does anyone still paint cars themselves in the great outdoors? Years and years ago my dad did this fairly regularly, probably a couple dozen total.

I'm sure the EPA folks have put a big hurt on DIY paint jobs lately.

I've got a white 93 Miata that is slowly shedding its skin. I've got a quote from someone with a spray booth to strip it down and respray it white for $1400, which doesn't sound terrible, but we're mulling over changing the color which would seriously increase the price of a pro or semi-pro job.

We bought the car for just a few hundred bucks more than $1400; I can't see spending almost the purchase price over again to make it pretty. But if I could do the job in the backyard, knowing I could live with an imperfect job as long as it's all one color when it's done, and save serious money, I'll give it a try.

I've done bodywork before, and fortunately this car will need little (no rust and just a few dings to fill). I have a decent-size air compressor too. Biggest problem is that my one-car garage isn't big enough to shoot a car inside, so I'd have to take my chances out in the elements of the backyard.

So what's the current state of home painting? Is it prohibitively hard to get one's hands on the paint & necessary chemicals? Will I get arrested?

EvanB HalfDork
April 24, 2010 8:27 p.m.

When I painted my Miata about 4 years ago I just went to the Sherwin Williams auto (commercial?) store and picked up all the supplies I needed. It was painted inside a shop in the country though so no idea if you will get in trouble if the authorities catch you spraying outside.

Dr. Hess SuperDork
April 24, 2010 8:37 p.m.

Yeah, just go to the local automotive paint store, buy your stuff and do it. HF for the guns, etc. I dunno about doing it outside though. If you wait for a perfect day, no wind, no bugs, etc., maybe, but that's still a risk. A lacquer paint would be OK to do outside, but then you have to polish it to a shine and there's damage from spilled gas.

Now, an outside Rustoleum job, well, now you're talking Grass Roots. There's the great MOPAR thread on rolling on Tremclad or Rustoleum, with plenty of sanding out imperfections and buffing when finished.

I shot the Locost with Rustoleum. Twice. The first time the bugs got it, so I had to sand them all out, then cover everything in the garage and the second time I shot it in there.

John Brown SuperDork
April 24, 2010 8:38 p.m.
Claff New Reader
April 24, 2010 8:54 p.m.

My dad always shot acrylic enamel and they seemed to be pretty simple jobs. Prep car, shoot primer, wet-sand, then shoot color. He tried to shoot lacquer once on a X1/9 and it didn't come out so well.

JThw8 SuperDork
April 24, 2010 9:01 p.m.

no problem getting the supplies and shooting it yourself. if you must do it outdoors invest in some PVC pipe and some plastic and make a simple booth to limit the bugs and dirt. At a minimum hose down the area you are spraying in and it will keep the dust down.

Raze HalfDork
April 24, 2010 9:21 p.m.

single stage poly marine topside boat paint (westmarine). Cheap, easy, nice shine and gloss, depth, UV inhibitors, did I mention cheap?

Jensenman SuperDork
April 24, 2010 9:32 p.m.

Done a few outside single stage jobs, best thing is to pick a dry warm wind free day and thoroughly wet down the surrounding area just before spraying. I have some old sheets that I roll the car onto, they stay wet a lot longer than bare concrete or dirt etc.

stuart in mn SuperDork
April 24, 2010 9:39 p.m.

How close are your neighbors? They may not appreciate overspray drifting across the fence and landing on their new minivan.

JoeyM Reader
April 24, 2010 9:54 p.m.
Raze wrote: single stage poly marine topside boat paint (westmarine). Cheap, easy, nice shine and gloss, depth, UV inhibitors, did I mention cheap?

Is the "rustoleum marine" basically the same?

I was thinking about using regular rustoleum for the body, and red and white topside paint for the firewall on the datsun when it's done.

Dr. Hess wrote: I shot the Locost with Rustoleum. Twice.

Dr. Hess, how did you mix it; i.e. do you have specific ratios. I hate the stuff I've read about the roller paint jobs where they say ambiguous stuff like "thin to the consistency of milk"

toddgreene New Reader
April 24, 2010 10:16 p.m.

Single Stage White should be the most forgiving color to paint. If you use 3 quarts or so of color on a Miata, it should be thick enough to wet-sand and and high speed buff out any flaws or trash. I've painted Black outside that looked like Rhino-liner when it dried. But after wet-sanding, cutting and buffing it has a shiny mirror finish. Prep work and the detail work are the hard parts. The painting is easy.

Todd

tr8todd New Reader
April 25, 2010 6:55 a.m.

Biggest problem with outdoor painting is the bugs. Have a roll of tape handy and use pieces to lift the bugs off the paint when they land. Paint is so good now that it levels itself pretty well. Apply enough around the goofs to go back and wet sand. Runs can be smoothed out a bit with a wet finger once they start to gell. Makes going back and wet sanding easier. I've had good luck with the cheap single stage stuff NAPA sells. Ask to see the Kenworth truck chip book. Cheap commercial colors and thousands of choices. Last year I painted a car in NAPA's Ford Superperformance white that was so bright, I had to go back with 1000 grit to dull the shine. It was blinding in the sun. Do not paint yellow outside. The bugs love that color. Bees think it's a flower and come from miles away to land on your car. White is the easiest to paint, but the hardest to see when it starts to run. Lots of light coats instead of one big heavy one.

zomby woof HalfDork
April 25, 2010 7:24 a.m.
toddgreene wrote: Single Stage White should be the most forgiving color to paint.

I used Limco white industrial enamel to paint my challenge car. It turned out really good, and still looks good 6 years later.

Dr. Hess SuperDork
April 25, 2010 7:35 a.m.

In reply to JoeyM:

I used Rustoleum Professional bought from WalMart or Lowes and thinned it 20% with "Paint Thinner made with Mineral Spirits" then shot it with a HF HVLP gun that I bought for $10. It's the small one with the cup on top of the gun. I think they sell a similar gun now for about $30-40 with a regulator at the handle. About 3-4 thin coats, waiting 20-30 minutes between coats.

The paint is so cheap and available, just buy an extra quart for a whopping eight bucks and experiment with settings/thinner on a sheet of cardboard or whatever until it does what you want.

carguy123 SuperDork
April 25, 2010 8:03 a.m.

Seeing that green reminds me that no one has mentioned using John Deere paints. Blitz Black for a matte finish or one of the other tractor colors for a super durable and very self leveling paint.

pres589 Reader
April 25, 2010 8:25 a.m.

I'd probably run with Massey Ferguson red since it's a pretty color and there are copies sold by a number of companies like Valspar and Krylon, plus the dealers themselves surely carry something like J. Deere does.

aeronca65t HalfDork
April 25, 2010 9:23 a.m.

I just painted my race car with tractor paint from Tractor Supply. The brand they sell in my local store in Valspar (it's acrylic enamel). I highly recommend using the optional hardner that is also sold in Tractor Supply. Makes a big difference.

I foam brushed the first coat, buffed and then sprayed the second. It's decent.....could have been better if I had taken more time.

By the way, since I could not find the exact light blue colour I wanted, I bought the available darker blue plus some white. Mixed them until I had what I wanted (and recorded the ratio so I could make more if needed).

JoeyM Reader
April 25, 2010 9:47 a.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: In reply to JoeyM: I used Rustoleum Professional bought from WalMart or Lowes and thinned it 20% with "Paint Thinner made with Mineral Spirits" then shot it with a HF HVLP gun that I bought for $10. It's the small one with the cup on top of the gun. I think they sell a similar gun now for about $30-40 with a regulator at the handle. About 3-4 thin coats, waiting 20-30 minutes between coats.

Thanks, that's EXACTLY the sort of info I needed. Your locost looks great. I'm going to try to do the same thing when I finish my car.

ddavidv SuperDork
April 25, 2010 6:35 p.m.

Roller painting FTW. No overspray issues, no compressed air needed. Yeah, it's more work in some ways, but it's a great answer for the guy who doesn't have the equipment to spray.

And yes, I've done it. Nobody can believe it when I tell them I roller painted my race car. That alone makes the extra effort worth it.

aussiesmg SuperDork
April 25, 2010 7:08 p.m.

<= This was rolled on, but it is not good, more time prepping and more sanding would have helped, it was done on a stone driveway.

I am going to redo it for 2010, fingers crossed for a better finish, it will be undercover and I have a spray gun now.

Claff New Reader
April 25, 2010 7:46 p.m.

Seriously? Rolled-on paint?

It's so crazy that it just might work.

What's the worst that could happen?

Toyman01 Dork
April 25, 2010 9:59 p.m.
Claff wrote: Seriously? Rolled-on paint? It's so crazy that it just might work. What's the worst that could happen?

It could end up like this. Linky

Maybe we shouldn't have used slave labor.

914Driver SuperDork
April 26, 2010 6:12 a.m.

Yep, rollers. I just painted the tank, side covers and rear fender of a motorcycle with a roller.

Dan

ddavidv SuperDork
April 26, 2010 6:25 a.m.
Claff wrote: Seriously? Rolled-on paint? It's so crazy that it just might work. What's the worst that could happen?

5 (I think) coats of Interlux Brightside boat paint rolled on. This is right off the roller; no sanding or buffing of the final coat. It would look even better if I had done a better prep job on the hood and roof.

zomby woof HalfDork
April 26, 2010 6:45 a.m.

Wow, that's amazing.

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