October 16, 2009I have an air compressor and want to learn how to paint using a spray gun. Can someone give be an idea of what I need to get started. I know I need a spray gun. What do I need to mix, paint, thinner, etc. Thanks.
October 16, 2009if you really want to learn how to shoot pain, go to a body shop aske them if you can learn how to use a paint gun.
tell them you will sweep the floor help tape cars out for free.. that is how I learned to use a paint gun. and tape out a car.
second would be take a night course at a local voe-tech or colleg that offers body repair and get all the info you`ll ever need to paint and do body work.
October 17, 2009Escape, there`s a lot of differences when it comes to paint. So, to give directions on simply mixing the paint, the best advice I can tell you is to read the directions (I know as a man, that is painful, LMAO). Just for example, painting a color layer, normally it is nothing more than 2 parts paint to 1 part thinner (called reducer, more on that later). But then, how thin is the paint you are getting initially? May be a 1:1 ratio, might be 4:1. So, read the instructions. That will give you a good starting point and then you can move on from there. Where you take a paint like say a clear coat, you not only have the "color" paint and the reducer, but you also have a hardener. To much hardener and the paint will dry in the gun. Too little and it will never dry. So, read the instructions.
As for spraying and learning how to get good coverage, there`s a few different ways that you can do this. Like was mentioned, you can spend some time in a body shop and see how someone else does it, you can do the vo-tech bit and learn that way. The other way is to get say some wall board or plywood and use that as your paint surface (anything that is scrap with a fairly large surface to it that is fairly smooth). Now, paint away on this surface. You can put on 20-30 layers of paint with no problems. Then it is just a matter of getting a bunch of different colors of paint to play with. This is where going to the paint store and finding the remnants of bad mixes plays to your favor. These can normally be picked up for dirt cheap as the stores are looking to get rid of them. You are not worried about the color as long as it is not too close to your last one. From there, you go home, mix up the paint as described and spray away. Play around. Try different methods that you hear about, try running the paint a bit thinner than recommended (ie, add more reducer than recommended), try running the paint thicker (ie, less reducer). How does the final coat come out. You will find that certain combinations work best for you, but the "ultimate way" as recommended by a professional doesn`t work with a lick for you.
Now, reducers. These are where the money can be made. What I mean by that is the reducers are very unique in their properties and can play into your hand or make the job downright suck. First, each brand uses a slightly different mix for their paint. What this means to you is that buying brand A paint doesn`t necessarily mean you can use brand B reducer and vice versa. Talk with the paint store and see what they say about mixing different brands. If in doubt, pour a small amount of paint into a glass jar and then add some reducer. IT will become obvious if the two are compatable or not. If they are not, normally you will see the paint "curdle". In short, the paint turns into a gel immediately and if you manage to get this stuff in the gun, good luck getting it all out.
There is a second key quality to reducers: drying time. If you look at the reducers, they are normally labeled like fast, medium, slow, very slow, etc. What this is referring to is the drying time. So, a fast reducer will dry fast, a slow reducer will dry very slow. The benefit to say a fast reducer is that you can spray the paint and very shortly there after the paint will have the hard surface on it, therefore the odds of getting anything in the paint is reduced. The problem with this is that if you don`t apply the paint just so, it will be left with a lumpy look to it (aka, orange peel). So, in return, you can use a slow reducer. This gives the paint more time to settle out, smooth out. But, now, you run the chance of getting something in the paint as it dries and if you apply too much, increases the chance of a run. This is where playing, trying different painting techniques. comes into play. Hell, even purposely paint things wrong. Atleast then you will know what things look like as they start to go south on you. That way if you are doing a project and you start to see things go wrong, you know you need to stop and fix the problem.
Another aspect of this that you can play with is figuring out how to sand the intermediate layers. What I mean by this is for a normal paint job, you have a primer coat, a color coat, and a clear coat. Some times you may even have multiple layers of each. Other than the final layer of clear, think of the other layers of paint as intermediate coats. What you can do is using a fine sand paper (400 grit normally), you can sand these to remove blemishes (runs, dirt, orange peel, etc). Then, when you apply the next coat, the sanded area goes away and is hidden. Where this is especially a nice trick to know is you can paint the color layer, sand out your problem areas and then shoot the clear over it and the color layer will look like it was never touched. The big thing with this is not sanding so much that you sand down to a different color (ie, sand through the color layer and into the primer layer). The big thing with this is using a very fine sand paper so that the next layer can easily fill in the scratches left behind and is given enough time to even itself out.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider. This is where taking some time, playing and seeing what works for you is going to benefit you in the long run. Does your lawnmower need a paint job? What about the kid`s bike, etc? Those can also be some of your testing. Kids will love you because their bike is customized and you learned something in the end too. Please note I did not even breech the subject of types of spray guns. That is just one more layer to what works and what doesn`t.
October 17, 2009Thermo......what is this thing you call "directions" ?
October 17, 2009Thanks Thermo. Now I need to get a gun and the supplies and start messing around. I got plenty of scrap wood in my shed.
October 18, 2009Gearjammer, painting is kinda like riding a bike, I can tell you how to do it but until you sit on the bike and figure out what you have to do, my way just doesn`t work. So, time to play and experiment. How do you think I have learned how to do what I do. Sure, there is some book reading (but I am a man, we all know how well we follow directions), but most of my learning is from getting in there, getting greasy and putting my hands on it.
Chris "Thermo" Coleman, Nukie the radioactive 97 Ford X, and K`Re Ann the 03 Jag X
January 28, 2010quick newb question....Im about to paint my truck and some other stuff soon and it will be my first paint job. Now, if/when I overspray an area, what is the best practice here? Just wipe it and respray right away or wipe the whole panel and respray. Thanks for the info guys,