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Technical Is Rustolem good enough to paint a chassis?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Falcon H, May 29, 2016.

  1. John Holman
    Joined: Apr 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    John Holman

    Thanks Hollywood..... I too think I may have screwed up the mix. I had quite a few (local) people tell me to use a 5-2-.5 mix, some said to use mineral spirits instead of acetone. Rustoleum recommends the acetone, so that's what I did.

    I'm not happy with the job right now, wondering what to do at this point
  2. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 229


    John Holman - yeah, it should have done better than that. Unfortunately, if you cover it with more paint it will still have that problem underneath and won’t turn out well. Probably need to remove the old paint and try again. The consensus in this thread seems to be Rustoleum should be fine.

    I used Eastwood Chassis Black with good results so far, but I haven’t had the car on the road yet, so time will tell. I used their rattle can version. If you try it I’ll tell you it is very fine and overspray gets everywhere, so prepare for that. Not trying to say Rustoleum isn’t just fine.

    I know a guy that build lots of cars and paints his frames with the Ace Hardware version (= cheaper) of Rustoleum - works just fine.
    John Holman likes this.
  3. @John Holman may have to strip your parts and start again. Don't give up on the Rustoleum. When you get it right, it's as hard as woodpecker lips!

    I like adding a few drops of a product called Japan Dryer. It hastens dry time and seems to provide additional hardness. I'm a fan of brush and roller application to keep it simple (if careful, it seems to flow out well enough for driver quality chassis and suspension parts).
    John Holman and BoogittyShoe like this.
  4. I used VHT chassis and roll cage matte black on my Ford. It has held up well for the past 5 years. I got a 6-pack on Amazon for a good price.

    In the past I have used quarts of Rustoleum and a 3" roller on chassis and parts. Goes on well and it lasts.
  5. I have used it on chassis or wheels or to paint an entire car. It is durable but you need to let it set up (cure) before you expose it to the elements or try to work with it. That may take a day or so depending on how thick you out it on.

    I have an acquaintance that uses Krylon and swears by it. Just for another option. It holds up well too.
  6. Imteresting some of the comments. Your problem John I dont believe is the paint itself . The paint doesn't have adhesion. This is caused by
    1) incorrect prep ( i.e not keyed enough)
    2) an unclean or contaminated surface
    3) the paint dried too fast
    4) product failure
    I dont have the rustoleum data sheet but lets look at this.
    1) Make sure its prepped per directions, may need to be sanded with a coarser grade sandpaper or blasted. Can it be applied over an existing finish or do they recommend bare metal?

    2) Any grease or wax from handling will impede on adhesion. Ive had oxide coatings left from rust converters cause adhesion issues with some paint.
    Also if you have cleaned the parts with a prep wash or wax and grease remover prior to painting, and this hasnt 100% percent evaporated off the surface, it will lift the paint off.

    3) Paint molecules need time to settle where they need to be, if your parts were in hot sun for example and too hot or an extremely hot day the paint can dry too fast causing adhesion issues.
    Comments of paint drying faster makes it harder goes against the principals of chemistry of the product. More likely it will be brittle. The product needs to work within it's recommended parameters.

    4) the use of a hardener, unless the paints designed for use of a hardener, wont do much. The hardener won't cross link to the paint but sit independently of itself within the paint and harden. It will make the final product a bit harder though.

    Hopefully some if this information helps solve your issue.
    John Holman and Truckdoctor Andy like this.
  7. floored
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 468


    I wiped down a set of wheels with lacquer thinner then sprayed them with Rustoleum and the paint stayed soft forever. Don’t know if it was the thinner or not, but I used the can of paint on other things with no issues.

  8. Pats55
    Joined: Apr 29, 2013
    Posts: 356

    from NJ

    In salt fog testing Rustolem is the first to go. The second one is calcium sulfonate coatings. Then the zinc epoxy primers are next to go. The paint over rust products are the next to go. Also if these coating systems are scratched the rust will travel beyond scratch. So if you paint a frame and then assemble it the rust will start travel. Brake fluid, fuels will also damage most of these coatings over a period of time.
    A lot of these cars are only driven in fairweather and not all that much. You can get away with paint such as these. I myself when I paint something I wanted the last 30 years and I don't ever want to get back under it to paint something again.
    Josh the Painter likes this.
  9. vtx1800
    Joined: Oct 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,013


    After blasting the frame for the Stude I primed it with the "rust primer" and then top coated with Satin Black Rustoleum. Good enough for the girls I date:)
  10. John Holman
    Joined: Apr 1, 2020
    Posts: 6

    John Holman

    Thanks guys, for all the help. I changed the mix today and painted one of the trailing arms to see if that will help. Added less acetone, 1 part vs 2and pumped the hardener from .5 to .75. With 2 coats on, I must say, it looks much better...thicker, and a bit more gloss. Have to wait a few days to give it a final thumbs up, but I am optimistic.

    AND....I may have jumped the gun somewhat on the delicate nature on the paint. On a hidden spot that was flat, I tried to scratch it off and it held up fine....very hard. The spot where it came off was on a sharp edge and looks to have been very thin there. Could be , as Josh said, I got my oily hands on that spot before I painted it. The other spot was my fault when the frame got away from me when flipping it over. After this trailing arm has had a several days to cure, I'll let you know.
    Again, much thanks for the input.
    Josh the Painter likes this.
  11. ol'stinky
    Joined: Oct 3, 2010
    Posts: 323

    from New Jersey

    I love Rustoleum I use it on everything. I have even used it on a wooden row boat I built. It's tough as nails and doesn't scratch easily. Great stuff.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  12. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,158


    I had to touch up a few spots but you'd have to look pretty hard to find them.

    With slow drying paint like Rustoleum it works best to do light coats and allow plenty of time for the solvents to flash off before recoating. If you lay paint on too heavy the outside dries and traps the solvents underneath. The paint will stay soft for a very long time and sometimes cause previous layers to lift. I like to do a light tack coat followed by a couple medium coats for full coverage. Don't recoat until it's dry to the touch. If possible let it dry for several days before handling.
    Josh the Painter likes this.
  13. Anymore pics of your frame?
    That is beautiful
  14. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,137

    jimmy six

    Not if you leave it in the sun..
  15. So 2 things I take from your changes.
    1) paint has a recommended dry film thickness. If its too thick or thin your probably going to have issues.

    2) Acetone dries exceptionally fast

    Im guessing too much Acetone has over thinned the product and dried it out too fast. From the sounds of it your coats may have been on the thin side and has not met adequate film build and mostly dried too quickly causing product failure. You will find you've mostly got some areas applied thicker that are ok.
    You can paint with your product a bit over thinned but you need more coats to compensate.
    Excessive over thinning will thin the binders in the product too much and pretty much guarantee the paint to peel off.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  16. Just a thought, I paint my tractors with a tractor and equipment enamel made by Van Sickle Paint Company. They recommend using VM&P Naphtha for spraying. I am a hobby painter, and only paint because I am too poor to pay a guy like Josh the Painter to do it for me. I had no idea there was so much science to painting, thanks for the information Josh the Painter.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Josh the Painter likes this.
  17. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,576


    Rustoleum red primer in the can , brushed on frame , top coat Rustoleum satin black in the can , brushed on..been over 10 years , no flaking..just dulled out...easy to apply another coat..this time I'll probably pressure wash frame then spray touch up it on...Great stuff especially the red primer
    vtx1800 likes this.
  18. Paint is extremely forgiving over all. Painting well to a high standard and maintain longevity requires an understanding of the chemistry behind it but mostly following the directions your given. As professionals we get it wrong at times to. I know painters I would consider knowledgable with skill sets way above me, then others that are so useless they shouldn't be allowed to paint wheelbarrows let alone people's cars.

    Most general people get good results because they follow directions on the can.

    Some make up all sorts of crazy mixes and ways of painting but still get lucky to fall in the recomendations of drying time and film build. This mixing ratio that Johns just had problems with is a good example. It wont work for one person then you get another guy who's in a cool environment, applying heavier coats, maybe under the misconception more paint is better so went for that extra coat and suddenly they have accidentally achieved a good result, the cool air and heavier application slowed the acetone evaporation and the extra or heavier coats pushed them into the correct dry film build and viola! This is how its done boys!
    Then poor John tries it, not all acetone dries at the same rate. His acetone might be cheaper/ dry faster. The days a bit warmer, his coats a bit thinner, and suddenly it's failed leaving him scratching his head.

    Others try really hard but then the product fails or undercures and dries poorly or peels, flakes off etc etc.

    Im only assuming whats gone wrong for John understand, I wasn't there and maybe theres a chemist for Rustoleum reading going nope, thats sweet as. Based on what I can see its a fair conclusion however.

    As for paying someone like me, it took me a long time and a lot of digging to get the knowledge I have. I like to share that with people who want to try themselves rather than pay someone. Im the sole bread winner for my wife and our 4 young children and painters arent highly paid so we're not well off financially ( Ive been on 6 and a half day weeks all this year to keep bills paid). And Im not sure about U.S rates but here in Aus your paying an average shop rate of $110 per hour so my point is I understand how hard it is for some to afford that and need to do it themselves. Not to mention the pride of accomplishment. So if I can share information with other car enthusiasts to help them achieve results themselves Im happy to.

    Lots of people seem to have good results with the rustoleum product and chassis' are only bombed in a black enamel anyway which holds up ok. For the average joe for his daily its fine. Id strongly suggest an epoxy underneath if your in extremes of weather, near the sea, high humidity or snow. If your building a show standard vehicle I would suggest a better quality paint.
  19. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 3,497


    Here's my experiences with paint on chassis, powder coating is the best for durability period.(not cheap) In years past on race car chassis and bodies I tried them all, Deltron, PPG, Epoxy types, acrylics, I can't remember all the brand names/types this AM, various other expensive paint trends at the time and none of it is any better than rustoleum on chassis parts. IMO. Paints have improved but the prices today are nuts, again IMO. I know people that swear by POR15 for chassis, check that out. Good Luck, as always, driver or show car ? your climate, how much and how you use car all plays into results.

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