Reply by Minorhero

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Posted on repainting old tools

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373 posts in 2630 days

#1 posted 04-13-2011 12:12 AM

I’ve done several restores over the past 2 years and probably visit OWWM several times a day on average. There are definitely two camps when it comes to painting over at OWWM. One will use rustoleum pretty much exclusively and the other will use some type of industrial enamel that goes into a sprayer. I have done both and my favorite paint is a Benjamin Moore Paint called Super Spec HP which is designed for industrial use. It will cost you about 20 dollars for a quart which is enough to do any of the machines you mentioned with a little left over for touch-ups. And that is also going to be pretty price comparable to rattle cans. At 4 dollars a pop, depending on how many coats you put on you could easily use 5 cans to paint one of the above machines. I also own a 20 gallon air compressor and a 30 dollar HVLP sprayer I bought from grizzly. When I started painting machines I had absolutely zero experience using a sprayer and it turned out fine.

Now if you don’t own a compressor then you will have to use rattle cans. When I first started I used rattle cans and I liked the hammered finish rustoleum because it covered up imperfections in the castings and sheet metal while still providing a nice finish. I did not try using a brush, I just sprayed from the rattle cans.

As far as surface preparation goes you again have two options. Some folk take the paint all the way off and spray primer over bare metal. I have done this and frankly I just don’t like doing it. It takes a long time and is quite involved. Instead I work the whole machine over with a sander/sand paper to get off any crud that has stuck to it over the years and also to smooth out spots where paint flaked and rust developed. Once the machine is de-rusted and consistently smooth over its entire surface I go straight to painting (having already disassembled everything). I have compared at length machines I have taken down to bare metal and machines that I only give the once over with the sander leaving the vast majority of the paint intact and I feel comfortable in telling you that I can not find a single difference in the finished quality.

When using rustoleum which is considerably thinner then the Benjamin Moore paint I use you will need to make sure that there is a nice smooth transition between places where the paint is chipped and the already painted surfaces so that “step up” won’t be visible in the finished product. But otherwise it is considerably easier to paint over existing paints. I have never bothered with clear coats but I feel comfortable echoing other people’s advice on this and would say if you use one you should stick to one made by the same company that makes your paint. So if you use rustoleum then use a rustoleum clear coat as well.

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