Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Basic paint set up?

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by jim1932, Feb 23, 2020.

  1. OK, I am NOT planning to start by repainting my car. I am looking for a basic sit up to learn on. I will start with smaller stuff like headlight buckets. Maybe my new motor (although leaning sponge brush on that). I do have a model A pickup cab in bare metal that I can prime. Basically looking to move from rattle can to real paint equipment and develop a skill over time. I want quality stuff that will last, but I am not painting show car with it. I currently have a 20 Gal craftsman compressor and that is it. I believe I need stuff to keep the moisture out of the line? Clueless here. Any good books on this?
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,064


    I have a Hot Rod magazine book on bodywork/painting from the 1970s that told me all the basics.

    You need a sufficient CFM size compressor, a drier for the air line, a decent paint gun or two, a place to work, and you'll end up buying lots of chemicals that cost a lot of money. And it's all dangerous stuff, and makes a big mess. Oh, you'll also make lots of expensive mistakes, so get used to that now.
  3. seaflea
    Joined: Dec 2, 2016
    Posts: 9


    add a dryer and pressure regulator to the hose so you can regulate the pressure to the gun. A good gun is is worth it, but just a cheap one will do to learn on. A separate gun or hose will be good for spraying primer. I usually use larger nozzle for that. take you're time and watch some YouTube videos on it. I went to school for it in the 80s, but never did it for a profession. Hopefully I have given some good advise and someone else will chime in to add to it.
    Sandgroper and loudbang like this.
  4. I used PPG epoxy primer, HF $10.00 paint guns and 20" furnace filters on box fans in the garage. I used to paint aircraft in the Navy so the technique was known. Use U-tube and books. A lot like welding. Technique is simple, practice makes you better. OH, and 95% of a good paintjob is preparation.
    Good luck!
    Register now to get rid of these ads!

  5. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 26,860


    I go back and forth with a guy who buys those 10 buck HF paint guns by the case when they are on sale and uses one per paint job. The photos I've seen of his paint jobs look pretty decent. They are plenty good enough for learning and shooting primer plus if you ruin one you aren't out a bunch of money.
    Years ago my buddy down the street in Texas had a Compressor the same size as yours (and brand) and he came up with a second tank to increase the air capacity. He had the line from the 20 gallon hooked directly to the inlet on the second tank via quick connects and had the regulator and traps on the second tank. That helped a lot.
    Sandgroper and loudbang like this.
  6. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 5,691

    anthony myrick

    Lots of videos online.
    Start with your compressor and paint gun.
    A cheap hvlp from harbor freight is great to learn with.
    A moisture trap on the compressor and a filter on the gun.
    Practice painting on stuff you have around the shop. Old fenders, doors, hoods.
    The paint store I use gives away mismatched and out of date paint.
    Learn how to adjust patterns, speed, distance.
    If there is a trade school near you I would recommend a visit.
    Painting is not just spraying. Surface prep and understanding the products and procedures is just as if not more important.
    Sandgroper, ClarkH and flatford39 like this.
  7. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 3,110


    A good quality mask with renewable filters would be my first purchase. That way you'll be around as long as your equipment lasts...
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,064


    Yes, the comment about it being dangerous should have been more explicit. You need to read and understand the safety information about all the products you use. This stuff can kill you, although it's usually a slow and painful way to go.
  9. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,450


    I'm no pro, etc...but when I spray (mostly primer/matte color) and use my oiless, noisy compressor I just use a water trap. When I use my big 2-stage compressor, I use a oil and water separator thing.

    Never used a dryer, can one be plumbed in-line? Where should it be located? i/e for my water trap. I have a 50 foot roll of copper tubing before it to make sure the air "uncondenses"?
  10. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 244


    I’m about 8 months ahead of you on the journey. I wanted to paint my Model A coupe, so I did what some of the folks are recommending.

    I watched a lot of stuff on You Tube, read a bunch, and enlisted the help of a buddy who could paint.

    I bought a $35 or something HVLP gun from HF (the ‘good one’) but haven’t used it. I figured with all the effort and money I was going to invest in the work I should buy a better gun. I bought a HVLP gun from Eastwood with 2 tips for about $180. There are much better guns, but I’m a beginner. I have a cheap 30-gal Craftsman compressor.

    I built a spray booth out of one of the bays in my garage. 2 x 4s, clear plastic, lathe, a few box fans with furnace filters.

    I bought a good filter mask - one that takes care of organic vapors, and wore a cheap Tyvek coverall I got an Home Depot. I used a modern basecoat-clearcoat paint system. That stuff can kill you if you aren’t smart about it. Be safe.

    I cut my teeth on laying down some epoxy primer on a few parts. Huge runs, but I learned.

    My buddy and I painted the car in the booth. He laid down the sealer, I did the black ground coat with him guiding me a bit, he laid down the candy base coat, and I ultimately did the clear with his guidance. Turned out fine. I made a few runs, but sanded them out just fine. More nibs than I hoped for, but hell I painted it in my garage.

    Some of what I learned:

    The compressor was able to keep up. 150 PSI 30-gal job. I drained the water first and used a disposable filter at the gun. A bigger one would have been better, but it worked.

    I probably could have rented a real booth for the $350 or so I put into the home made booth. However, I can use it for other stuff.

    I spent about $1200 on paint to do that car and weeks of my labor and materials on the prep. I feel good about using quality tools and materials.

    I wish I would have painted the car when is was warmer than 22 F. I spent about $300 to heat my 36x60 ft shop to 70 degrees for a few days.

    I learned a lot from some of Kevin Tetz’s videos. Jon Kosmoski has a long one, but look at all you can. Check them out.

    I had fun learning and doing it. You will too.

    A 2 B, belair, Dino 64 and 11 others like this.
  11. 6-bangertim
    Joined: Oct 3, 2011
    Posts: 375

    from California

    You NEED to know the CFM output of your compressor! HVLP guns use much more air than a sipon-feed gun, and your compressor may not stay up with it! I've herd good reports about H-F 'purple' guns, but they were assembled with some kind of grease, so break the gun down, clean well! Also, buy a box of latex gloves to save your hands from the damn mess!
    loudbang and flatford39 like this.
  12. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,678

    from Oregon

    Or save money with real patina .:D
  13. dcs13
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 107


    reagen, loudbang and Almostdone like this.
  14. Cutlas Fan
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 8

    Cutlas Fan

    One hell of a paint job, Almostdone
    loudbang likes this.
  15. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,057

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Lots of great info.
    To almost done's point; If you know someone who can paint, see if you can have them swing by once you have everything set up, have your materials and are ready to shoot some panels. They'll walk you through basic prep, mixing your material, gun settings and show you how to spray. Their hour of time may save you a full day of screwing around trying to figure out what you're doing right/wrong.

    BTW, Most body shops have a scrap pile of bent up body panels and will be glad to have you haul away a few hoods to practice on.
    ClarkH, loudbang and 6-bangertim like this.
  16. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 2,223

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    That's the trick budge, the father away from your compressor the better on your water trap. Compressed air is hot and the moisture is in vapor form. It needs to cool before the trap can be effective. I've seen a lot of guys with the trap hanging beside the compressor, and it shows in their paintwork
  17. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 3,450


    No grease in the ones I have (3 of them), lots of plastic
    loudbang and 6-bangertim like this.
  18. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 244


    Been there! I was so happy to add one to my compressor a couple years back. Never had a drop in it, so I looked into the subject. Yep, I installed it right at the compressor,- dumb ass me.

    ‘also, thanks Cutlass Fan. BTW a good buddy of mine had a convertible 68 442 when we were in high school in the late 70s. We were kids - he put a single-turbo 468 Chevy in it. It was stolen. Great car though.
    loudbang likes this.
  19. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,143

    from Berry, AL

    Lots of guys like the gravity feed guns, myself, I prefer the old siphon feed style. I've tried both, the siphon feed just feels better in my hand with the weight of the paint under my hand instead of on top of it. There are HVLP guns out there made like the siphon feed ones, they do a good job, or the one I had did. Use what feels most comfortable to you. I learned on the old style guns, so that's why they feel better to me. I've never bought a high dollar gun, I've always used Campbell-Hausfeld or one of the off brand names. I'm no pro, but I feel my work is presentable.
    loudbang likes this.
  20. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,517

    Bandit Billy

    Buy a very good respirator/filtration system and maintain it. Hardened enamels will kill
    Dino 64, loudbang and 6-bangertim like this.
  21. Poverty cap
    Joined: Mar 11, 2017
    Posts: 32

    Poverty cap
    from Amery WI.

    I recently bought the Devilbiss, Starting line 2 gun kit and like the guns a lot for the money, someone already mentioned getting a extra tank for your compressor and I agree it makes a lot of difference. Figuring out which paint materials work best for your situation and fits your needs is challenging I would start with faster drying reducers and hardners. A good respirator and exhaust fan are necessary as well.
    loudbang likes this.
  22. Best advice I got when I started was to make sure that the chemistry of all of your materials are compatable with each other.

    This chemical compatibility makes sure there is no interaction,such as bubbling/lifting or poor adhesion.

    From whatever goes on first (primer/sealer,etc) to the final paint and or clear (if you go that direction) make sure it will all work together.

    I usually stick with the same manufactor of materials all the way thru the job.

    Hang some newspaper on the wall and get the gun patterns understood before going after the metal..

    Reducers and ambieant temperatures are tricky as well as weather and humidity concerns.

    Coupla cheap guns are the way to go. One for primers and the other for paints.

    Go for it ! SAFTY FIRST !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The real secret to a killer paint job is the cutt and buff job.Thats a story for another time.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  23. ekimneirbo
    Joined: Apr 29, 2017
    Posts: 1,077

    from Brooks Ky

    First you need to realize that you need a decent supply of cool air because you will be using a "high volume" but "low pressure" spray gun. That means that using a small hose size and fittings with a small pass thru passage will inpede your quest for volume. Many people are still able to get decent results, but since you are starting from scratch, why not buy things that help you. Milton sells air chucks and fittings in "automotive" and "industrial" types. The industrial type will be physically the same size externally but the "pass thru" hole will allow over twice as much air to flow at the same LOW pressure. Get quality air chucks with more than 3 bearings inside and then you won't be replacing them later on. I recommend buying the more expensive "push on" type hose that Parker and most other industrial hose suppliers sell. Buy the air chucks on line as the industrial store price for one chuck is about $35 while you can get 4 or 5 for that on line. The hose costs about $2 a ft at the store. No more leaky annoying hoses and they last forever. If you did get a leak at a fitting, just cut it off and reinsert the fitting. I have several hoses and not one has ever leaked.
    Here are some pics of the fittings showing the difference in pass thru size. Thread size is the same. Also note the end where they insert into the chuck because there are different shapes and the fitting you buy has to fit the chuck you buy.
    Just toss all the old fittings. Using the larger fittings also allows you to provide more air volume to your tools and a sand blaster later on.
    Air Flow.JPG
    Push Adapter.JPG

    Moving backwards from the hose, you need a pressure regulator/ water separator. This should be mounted AT LEAST 10 feet from your compressor and actually farther. I have several compressors. One of them has 10 ft between the water separator and compressor and still get some moisture thru it. Try snaking tubing back and forth
    or putting a secondary small tank in line . Compressed air is hot and contains moisture. Run your small compressor and place your hand on the tank after it pumps up. You again need to get a water sep/press reg that allows air to pass thru easily....which means again a larger pass thru. Here is what I bought for my latest set up. Its a 3/4 pipe thread for plenty of flow.

    Not as cheap as Harbor Freight and not as expensive as many others.

    Then you get to buying a compressor. Only you know what you would like to be able to do. The thing is, if you plan on using your compressor for many years, buy a good one with a large 5hp electric motor and a good quality pump on it. Compressors with those small electric motors that claim 5hp are installed on compressors that have an equally over rated pump. Yhey have no bearings in the rod/crankshaft and will often fail in a few years. Get something that has a two stage pump made from cast iron and a large 5hp/7 1/2Hp motor and you will have something that will last you a lifetime. Settle for a cheap compressor and expect to replace it some time in the future. Probably about $2200 for a decent one. If you can watch one operate before you buy it, look for one that the compressor pump runs slow when pumping rather than fast. Fast is more annoying and usually not as good a pump.

    Ok, now I've told you how to go spend about $3000 of your hard earned cash to outfit your shop with something that will provide you with a quality air supply forever. If you ever tire of it and want to sell it, it will still command a good resale price. Don't just buy whats easily found at the Tractor Supply store and DON'T buy a Harbor Freight compressor. Get good stuff............
    6-bangertim, A 2 B and belair like this.
  24. ClarkH
    Joined: Jul 21, 2010
    Posts: 903


    Very good advice here re equipment--both for paint and for personal safety.

    I will echo the advice of getting a friend to show you how it's done or study a lot of YouTube videos. I was like you when I first tried my hand at painting a car--my only experience was rattle can. It is really different. With a rattle can you just woosh it everywhere until you have coverage. That technique will fail with a spray gun and proper paint.

    With a spray gun you must paint in a confident, steady line. You must understand what a "wet edge" is and how to maintain it as you move accross the piece.

    I'm sure a lot of guy's are thinking "well, DUH." But this technique isn't necessarily obvious to somebody who's only used spray cans. It's pretty straightforward once you understand it. Apologies if if you arleady know this, but it was the first thing I had to learn, so I figured worth calling out.
    ekimneirbo likes this.
  25. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,727

    from omaha ne.

    I painted a lot of TA-4Js.....
  26. bchctybob
    Joined: Sep 18, 2011
    Posts: 2,201


    I'll just throw a little monkey wrench in here. I bought an HVLP turbine set up a couple years ago and so far I haven't used it for anything but primer but I must say I like it. I have painted cars with everything from a homemade Honda gas engine powered compressor to my Dad's 1 hp/15 gallon Craftsman to my big old commercial 2 stage IR, all with pretty good results. Not full-on show car but nice cruise night worthy results. This year I'll throw some color on at least one of my projects and I'm looking forward to using the turbine system.
    caseywheels likes this.
  27. Thanks, for all the info. Basically looking to do backyard type spraying on parts. trying to go a step above rattle cans.
  28. A 2 B
    Joined: Dec 2, 2015
    Posts: 108

    A 2 B

    All good advise to get you started. After you acquire the needed equipment, practice spraying and when you are ready to attempt a quality paint job, talk to your local paint suppliers and learn from the pros. They get a lot of feedback and can tell you all you need to know about "paint types" as well as "paint systems". It is very important to know the compatibility of products to ensure proper adhesion and getting great results. It has been a lifelong learning experience for me and like anything else products evolve with the technology. Have fun with it and good luck.
    Edit: Here is a link to how I Beat the moisture in air problem. Probably, you will need to sign on to see the pics.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2020
  29. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,401


    Nothing but good stuff here. The only thing disagree with is that @RB35 is a little low on that 95%. Good luck. I have a 90$ eastwood gun that is very good, the HF guns are plenty good, and as was said, some of this shit will kill you. Latex gloves dont hold for long, get something better.
  30. Bwahaha! I'm old. Must be inflation pushing that # higher...

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.