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Senior Moment
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More naphtha will allow it to dry slower, better leveling.

Too much will cause runs, so go a little at a time until it works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Well I sprayed paint with hardener this morning. The paint stayed wetter today than yesterday. The hardener may of helped or maybe the lower temperatures or combination of both. I talked with Van Sickle about how to mix their hardener. On the can it said 1/2 to 1 pint to a gallon of hardener. Van Sickle told me 8 to 1 on the hardener. Mix the paint and hardener first wait 10 minutes and then thin the paint. They said not to paint over 90 degrees. So the first day I was out of spec. By the time I painted it was probably 98 degrees. So I would say paint by the cool of the morning in August in Texas.

I used my 3M paint mask. It was comfortable. I only had to pay $17 off Amazon prime.

Tomorrow I will flip the trailer and paint the other side with hardener.

It will be interesting to see how the Rustoleum stands up to the Van Sickle paint with hardener. They were painted about the same time.
 

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Putting hardener in only the last coat is a terrible idea. I was a car painter for many years, all of our primers used hardeners, all of the primers I used needed to be sanded.

When I painted we primed, sanded, sealed with a sealer and then painted, paint is very thin and does not cover imperfections in the previous coat so anything not sanded out of the primer will show up in the subsequent coats.

Paints are actually designed very scientifically, they are made to sprayed at a certain temperature range, at a certain distance from the object being sprayed ( this is so a certain amount of the solvents leave the mixture prior to reaching the item), at a certain speed range ( the pace at which you move past the item) and to have a specific range of volume sprayed ( the tip affects this part).

We used to be able to get this information from the paint manufacturers. I would put a measured amount of paint in a gun and time how long it took to spray that much paint out to reach the desired volume point.

Unless you know enough to counter all of the alternatives you are facing in temperature, paint type, humidity and what not you are only just punting when it comes to painting and will have difficulty in putting out a really consistent product.

This is not said to be critical or discouraging it is just to point out the reality that you are facing a rather large amount of obstacles in your path when trying to achieve your end goals here.
 

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Retired MTF Admin
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Hi, coxhaus

I have some experience with painting and have been following along closely to your thread. Several good recommendations regarding your problems and pretty sure you're on the right path...

Just a question. You said your gun is a Graco. Is this an airless gravity fed gun or are you using compressed air (air compressor)?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Hi, coxhaus

I have some experience with painting and have been following along closely to your thread. Several good recommendations regarding your problems and pretty sure you're on the right path...

Just a question. You said your gun is a Graco. Is this an airless gravity fed gun or are you using compressed air (air compressor)?
My 2 Graco guns are made by Sharp Finex 1000 Spray guns. They are both air compressor mini spay guns. My compressor is a cast iron 2 cylinder 20 gal compressor. I have around 5 cfm so I am limited on spray guns. And since I am spraying small garden tractors and trailers this combo seems to work well. I have a Titan airless sprayer but I would not use it for painting my small projects. My airless sucks up a quart of paint to get primed. And it wastes a lot of paint when you are finished. I use my airless when I am going to paint 5 gallons or more.


I am very happy with my painting even if I cannot control my environment. Because I don't have a paint booth I use cheaper paint and I get by painting outside. It is probably not as good as a car painter can do but it seems to work for old garden tractors. I also enjoy learning. I will never spend $500 for car paint. I am just trying to make my tractor look good. And I do appreciate all the help from members here.
 

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So if I use hardener in all coats does that mean I need a new mixing cup every time? What if I am mixing 3 small cups all within a couple of hours? Can I use the same cup and stir stick? I hope I am not asking too many questions. I have never used hardener.
Don't think of it as "hardener" .... think of it more as "curing agent" and it'll make more sense to you.
 

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Inveterate Putterer
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I've got a large garage, which I used for painting my truck's door and fender (which were off the vehicle). More than enough space, but no real way to control dust/dirt in the air. I got really lucky with the final painting, in that no significant bits of dirt appeared in either the base or the clear coats (I did 3 base, and 4 clear), with acrylic paint (from the Omni LV line).

If I were to do it again, or do a vehicle, I will probably buy a temporary shelter (Canadian Tire here sells them of various sizes) that I can assemble in my back yard (and then disassemble when done), then rig up some fans with dust filters to maintain reasonably clean airflow, and paint the vehicle/parts in there, with a higher-end water-based paint, which is supposed to have a slightly better color match, but needs a cleaner environment than I can do in my garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
It is almost time to paint again. I have a Power King cultivator and plow which I want to paint to match the tractor. The cultivator has primer and the plow is not finished yet. I have a new Dewalt 60 gal air compressor from Tractor Supply on black Friday of the year before. It took me 6 months to get it setup. I have a new reel 3/8" air hose from TSC also. It is so much easier to use air without having to drag it all out. I will probably start painting more. Plus I now have 10cfm @150 psi which I hope will be better for painting.

I have to try and remember all the help I received on this thread for painting so I am reviewing this thread in preparation for trying to pull it all together in the next warm spell which may not be for a couple of months.
 

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close enuff works for me
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Have tried repainting a few cars,and a bunch of garden tractors . It takes an trained painter to make paint perfect. I am not a trained painter. How much you thin your paint, temperature ,humidity,all affect your paint. even if you get all that right ,you still have to move the gun at the right speed to get good coverage ,with no runs ,or orange peel finish. I learned with automotive enamel ,there are 3 different paint thinners ,each one for a different temperature range . Through trial and lots of errors, I can make a tractor look decent ,but not a "show "worthy finish.
 

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Treefarm
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I see you are gonna use water based paint. Water base puts a premium on air flow as it is slower drying and usually applied with a heated air make up unit. Painting is tough as your technique can be sound but environment plays a huge factor. When I first started painting I did not have enough air flow to evaporate the Solvents and I would get partial lifting of the bae coat. Installed larger fans and fixed that issue then fish eyes cropped up which resulted in purchasing an in line desiccant air filter. What can go wrong will go wrong with painting but when it goes well is very satisfying.
Have you started laying down clear coat yet? Don’t be afraid to get runs they can be sanded out and buffed pretty easily.
 
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