What is a good paint to use on machinery?

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Forum topic by bondogaposis posted 09-28-2014 05:45 PM 1618 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4680 posts in 2314 days

09-28-2014 05:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer paint question refurbishing

I am in the process of refurbing a Boice Crane jointer and need advice on paint.

-- Bondo Gaposis

16 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10244 posts in 3610 days

#1 posted 09-28-2014 05:48 PM

If you want it to look original, ask on

If you’re not after authenticity, hammered-finish
spray paint looks really cool. A lot of high quality
European machines have hammer paint.

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6578 posts in 2161 days

#2 posted 09-28-2014 06:19 PM

Are you asking about color or paint type (or both)? For the original color, you can try to find an untouched part of the machine, like under badges or castings. The original color on my 1954 Boice Crane 1400 jointer was hard to determine due to the amount of rust and grime, but it appeared to be a very, very dark grey or black from what I found once I tore it apart. I wasn’t too fond of that color and wasn’t too concerned about being original, so I wound up doing a hunter green and black combo that turned out pretty nice:

(Restoration of that jointer is documented here)

As for paint type, an oil based enamel seems to be what most people use unless you want to go with a 2 part finish. I really like the Sherwin Williams industrial enamel, but have also used rattle cans for several restores (Valspar and Rustoleum was used on the BC1400 above).


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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1244 posts in 1676 days

#3 posted 09-28-2014 06:30 PM

Ive had luck with pant made for metal ships. It is a consistensy of syrup, ┬┤float out┬┤ nicely and gides a thick coat. Just like old machinery.

Would love to see the result of your restauration!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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293 posts in 1810 days

#4 posted 09-28-2014 09:23 PM

If you have any tractor or farm supply stores in your area the machine paint they carry is about the best you can get nowadays. It’s made to stand up to outside conditions. Most of it trends to the soft side,and some fading if stored outside, but you can buy hardener at any auto supply that sells paint supplies, that added to the tractor paint, make it harder and fade resistant. Cost wise it’s the best I’ve found.

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1656 posts in 1422 days

#5 posted 09-28-2014 09:30 PM

I’m a fan of hammered paint. Rustoleum shaker cans leaves a nice texture and hides imperfections. I do use automotive paint with a hardener for some metal projects. A good primer is a must.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2450 days

#6 posted 09-28-2014 10:20 PM

I agree with Bold1. Tractor, implement, machine paint is the best you can get on the retail side.
He’s also correct that it tends to be soft. I have used hardener on a few industrial applications, but if I have my druthers I’ll let it cure for about 3 weeks in the sun.

A clear coat of the same formula over the top will make it last quite a bit longer.

Just to laugh outloud, a feller that I rebuilt a Ford 2N from the ground up for took all of his wheels and bolts and nuts down and had them chrome plated.
I made the tractor original shiny grey, just much shinier.

He uses the tractor to haul a trailer around the lot when he picks apples in Washington. The old Ford never see’s a real day of work anymore, it’s now his baby!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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827 posts in 1502 days

#7 posted 09-28-2014 11:22 PM

So…from what I’m reading here, the car touch-up spray paint, like Duplicolor is not recommended for repainting the metal casing of a jointer? I really like that restoration job by Brad; I’ll have to look into that industrial enamel from Sherwin Williams.

View mahdee's profile


3868 posts in 1730 days

#8 posted 09-29-2014 12:19 AM

Hi, bondo. I like Rustolum primer and then the paint. I used rostolum primer over 28 years ago on all my tools prior to moving from Alaska to Arkansas. The primer still holds with no sign of rust anywhere. It could be the quality of steel, cast iron or whatever, but I doubt it. Not sure if they still have the same potion as there is no money in things that last forever.


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586 posts in 1361 days

#9 posted 09-29-2014 05:12 AM

Yes, primer is a must. Think Optimus Primer: Primer is what optimizes a surface for paint. Let’s Roll Out!

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827 posts in 1502 days

#10 posted 10-08-2014 03:37 AM

I have a follow-up question to all this. What do you use to protect the cast iron top while priming and painting the base? I was thinking painter’s tape, but worry it might stick and leave the typical glue residue. I’d appreciate any feedback. I’m currently taking apart my planer piece by piece using EvapoRust with much success. Thankfully Ridgid had a parts breakdown PDF of my old Jointer, so I can actually remove just about Everything and dunk it in the stuff. Here’s hoping I do a good job putting it back together…

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6578 posts in 2161 days

#11 posted 10-08-2014 04:28 AM

Painters tape is fine.. none that I’ve used ever left a residue unless left on there for a very, very long time (like several months or more). Easy to remove though with WD-40 even if it did. I also like to tape on some stand off blocks to give it something to sit on when flipped over for painting. Keeps you from having to rest it directly on the top and possibly nicking or otherwise damaging it. Also has the advantage of giving your fingers some room to get under the thing when you need to move it. Here is a picture of a jointer table all taped and ready for paint:


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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9249 posts in 1449 days

#12 posted 10-08-2014 04:35 AM

Shouldn’t have to about it after a good waxing huh?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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827 posts in 1502 days

#13 posted 10-08-2014 09:56 PM

Awesome. Glad to know Painters tape will work just fine. And one last question, as I am getting ready to put together the small parts that have been cleaned, what type of lubricant do you use for the areas that need it? I have a huge tube of Lithium Grease; will that do? or do I need something more specific?

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6578 posts in 2161 days

#14 posted 10-08-2014 10:33 PM

For shiney metal stuff like nuts, bolts, threaded rods, etc.. I use paraffin wax to keep dust and wood chips from sticking to it like it would with grease. Helps keep it from rusting and the wax acts as a lubricant. Mix up some in a jar of mineral spirits and you can then just wipe it on and let it dry. Nuts and bolts can be dunked directly into the mixture to get a good wax coating on the parts you can’t normally reach. I use a wide mouth mason jar and made a little wire basket to fit inside to make it easier with the small bits.

Just my method.. others will hopefully chime in with theirs.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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2753 posts in 2259 days

#15 posted 10-08-2014 11:45 PM

Machinery and tractors etc were NEVER PRIMED – just painted. Rustoleum spray paint will last and look good forever.

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