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Old 02-24-2009, 10:25 PM
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ortamenxs ortamenxs is offline
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Finally I can be useful.

Yes I paint with Acrylic Enamel, have for years. AE is pretty good paint.

First the bad points.

AE is super thick. I reduce it 5-1, 5 parts acetone 1 part paint. If doing a top coat 1 part pain 5 part acetone 1 part hardener, thats how thick it is.

Since it is thick, you may want to grab two gallons just in case. After using this Urethane seems to last forever.

Back to the thickness, if you use a heavy coat you get runs, horrible big thick runs.

Since it is AE you can't sand and buff, you have to sand, smooth it all out, then re spray another coat.

However since it is thick you get good coverage. Never paint half a panel, or a section, you have to paint the whole panel/door/ fender ect. . . if you mask off half the door then you will have a visible seam, that you cant' sand.

The good.

You can't sand AE because wen it dries it dries like a shiny hard shell. So no sanding between coats and tacking it off.

This means you hardly ever get orange peel, or fish eyes. The paint smooths itself as it dries to a point. You get a hard shine look.

In fact you can paint and do another spray while the first shot is still wet/tacky. Just don't go too heavy or you'll get runs.

The paint is thick and hard. Even with out hardener the paint is very tough, it resists chips and scratches. It also is a great sealer, because it dries as a shell.

Since it is Acrylic you don't have to be as careful with water in your lines. When you use urethane a little bit of water in your compressor line will ruin a paint job, AE isn't as sensitive.

Ok now to my experiences with it.

I personally like AE paint, it is tough, easily sprayed, and dirt cheap, if you paint it right it will look amazing. You have to watch for two things, runs. The paint is thick, you get nasty runs then you have to sand and re spray. You have to repsray the whole panel so you can go through a lot of paint if your not careful. Also watch for over spray, I mask off and paint 1/4 car at a time. If you have dry AE and you get wet overspray on it it "melts" into it and gives you a great sand paper texture.

Here is how I use it. Prep the car, mask of course. Mix 5-1 acetone/paint, with a big spray pattern and lean mixture I use atleast 45lbs at the gun and do big strokes bottom to top, starting before the area I am painting, and ending after the area I am painting. Going back and forth until I have solid coverage. Since the paint is thick it only takes two or three passes. If I am painting a very light color I let the AE dry, and do another spray to ensure coverage. Now for me in a 90 degree room with forced circulation I have dry times from 20-45 minutes.

After the color is on, I then use 1 part hardener, 4 parts reducer, 1 part paint, and do the clear coat.

Clear AE is easy to use, however I go very lean so on my second pass it is covered, the first past is more of a mist. If you get a run in the clear, be ready for a pain in the butt. What happens if you sand acrylic enamel clear coat? It turns dull white.

With AE you can paint lean, the paint will melt together smoothly as long as the first coat is still wet, a lean spray over dry paint will act like over spray.

I would suggest using a clear coat, if you put a clear over AE base you get an amazingly deep look. The AE dries with a natural shine, it hardens into a smooth shell, nice and slick. I like that you don't have to wet sand between coats, makes the job faster. I can paint a car in 6 hours with AE. Most of that time is masking and re filling the paint gun.

If you don't clear coat, put a top coat of AE one with hardener in it.

AE is thick, you can get nasty runs, and over spray. But it is tough chip resistant, when it drys it "pulls" out orange peel. It is more resistant to water in the line and humidity than urethane base paints. Just make sure you get a wet smooth coat on, no dry rough spots, but don't go to heavy of a coat and get runs and you'll be fine with it.

I've painted many a things with acrylic enamel, cheap paint, looks good, pain to fix errors, but easy to do right once you get the handle on it. Very durable, if you clear it you get amazing depth to it.

Thats my view and experience. But now that I said that, as a former body man let me tell there are people out there who hate acrylic based paint. I have heard horror stories of it standing up in rough patches, getting bubbles underneath the paint, not sticking to primer, flaking off and worse.

I've never seen a rough patch that wasn't cause by over spray or extreme lean mixture on the gun. I've never had bubbles under it. I haven't found a primer it doesn't love, and I've never seen it peel or flake off. Thin it out real good, use a lean mixture on the gun, with a long spray pattern, at least 45lbs at the gun, and big long quick strokes thats te key. But now I am rambling.
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