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kimman 02-09-2009 02:24 PM

paint information
Has anyone used STARFIRE paint on their project? I found their site, and they have a good color choice,you can buy just the paint, or the kit-hardener,thinner,and paint combo pretty reasonably priced. They have acrylic enamel, and acrylic urethane. What are the plus or minus of either product? I would like to know about coversage, durability, any experience anyone has had with the product. thanks

ortamenxs 02-24-2009 09:25 PM

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. :P

kimman 02-25-2009 08:35 AM

starfire paint
Thanks for the response. Sounds like you need a lot of experience to shoot this paint, and have it come out all right. I think I'll go with a more forgiving product. Thanks.

chief36chevy 07-10-2012 03:52 PM

Ok I too am a newbie to painting and a bit confused with all the different paints. I think that I may want to use the acrylic enamel. Your response to ortamenxs’s question makes me feel as though you know your stuff.
I have a question. I don’t plan to paint it right away but need to protect it until then. What primer would you recommend to use with acrylic enamel?

DR327 07-11-2012 09:04 PM

You can get a very nice job with acrylic enamel if you have some experience. If you haven't shot too much paint it probably is not a good choice. You have to lay it down pretty heavy to get a nice gloss and it will slide, but if you don't get it on heavy enough you get an awful "dry spray" look that can't be fixed unless you sand and recoat. Urethane is by far the better choice even though it costs more. I never use cheaper paint because it's just to much work to prep for paint to take a chance. You might consider base clear. I shoot a lot of bikes and I won't use anything else. It is really not that much more than the others and face it, if your paint doesn't look good your project doesn't look good. Even if you have to save up a while longer to go with base clear it is worth it. Good luck with this deal. What ever you decide to go with follow the paint manufacturers recomendations TO THE LETTER! They have tech reference material that is great. You have to understand the manufacturer wants your job to come out right. I have been to several tech schools on paint and they spend a pile of money on R & D so you won't make mistakes. This includes using the proper reducers and hardeners for the temp and humidity etc.etc. Guys with experience can play with this but novices can't. I've got a lot of experience and I don't play with it. If I can help just holler.

chief36chevy 07-12-2012 01:38 PM

This is great info. Some of my issues are.
1 I donít have an expensive gun. It is a siphon type with a screw on cup. I bought it years ago and the last time I painted avehicle was about 25 years ago to paint a Datson pickup. At the time I was working at a Mack dealership and used Mack paint. I believe that it was manufactured by Kerker Chemical co. It turned out not all that bad. I have no idea what kind of paint it was but it looked ok considering what I started with.
2 I need to apply some body filler. Should I primer it first or apply the body filler(Rage Gold)?
3 There seems to be as many types of primers as there is paint. What would be a good primer to protect the metal until I am ready for painting if I go with acrylic enamel?
4 I have a good half mask, a home made paint booth made from plastic, and some box fans with some furnace filters.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

DR327 07-13-2012 08:39 PM

Happy to help
1 Attachment(s)
As far as a paint gun goes you really don't need expensive stuff. H.F. has a nice gravity feed non HVLP gun pretty cheap. HVLP is very nice, but it takes a bunch of compressor volume (not pressure) and most small compressors just wont keep up (6.5 cfm or so) so stay with a reg. gravity feed gun. Do your body work first and get it as slick and feathered as you can before you put on primer. If you prime with a urethane primer you should be OK for a while with out top coating. Urethane (or 2K primers as they are often called) do a nice job of sealing and filling so you don't get much shrink or die back. Again just be sure and follow the manufacturers directions (even on your filler) and you should be OK. When you get the gun pick up some cheap paint of some type (even hardware store enamel) and practice getting the reducer right. Years ago when I first started I painted some mailboxes, little red wagons, old bicycles and stuff for friends to get some good practice. Sometimes I even got paid for this. Not much but it helped pay for my practice paint. Just get your adjustments and gun technique down before you start on important stuff. DO NOT be afraid to put down some paint and always remember anything you screw up can be fixed. Good luck and if I can help just let me know.

chief36chevy 08-10-2012 05:15 PM

Ok I ordered some polyurethane primer from Summit Racing. When it came the invoice said that urethane primer was not intended for bare metal, and that I should use epoxy primer first. So I ordered some epoxy primer. I cleaned most of the old Bondo, primer, and paint that was on the parts that I didnít replace with new metal. I didnít remove all of it as it seamed to be in good shape and was nice and straight so I thought what heck. I scuffed all surfaces with 120 grit, cleaned it down with alcohol, and then sprayed the epoxy.
While the primer was still wet I noticed some bubbles along the edge of where the old Bondo and primer stopped. There was some Bondo and primer on the other panels and no bubbles.
I am sure that I did something wrong.
Should I have removed all the old Bondo and primer?
Or should I have used a different cleaner than alcohol?
Should I clean off the old Bondo and prime with epoxy?
What should I use if while working the Bondo I expose bare metal? More epoxy or urethane?
Sorry to be a pain it the A__.
Thanks in advance.

DR327 08-10-2012 08:55 PM

Glad to help. Not a pain at all.
I really don't understand why they told you to use epoxy primer. I have used urethane primer a LOT on bare metal and NEVER had a problem. I may get people that don't agree, but if the bare metal is clean (I use #15230 Martin Senour wax and grease remover) I have not had a problem. Your alcohol may have bitten into your filler. I really don't know. Mix up a dab of your filler on a scrap piece and see what happens. I use an etch primer on aluminum for adhesion but only use it on metal if it is something (like a bike frame) that might get chipped or banged around during assembly. I have never used an epoxy primer therefore I have never had a chance to screw it up. Had I ever used it I probably would have and could tell you more about it. Any decent painter has screwed up a bunch. I will tell you what I would do now, but without seeing this deal this is tough to call. I would let the whole deal dry completely. Sand out the problems. If your sold on the epoxy put filler on a scrap panel and shoot a small spot. What I would not do is use alcohol to clean the panel. If you don't have a problem go ahead and shoot it. If you do have a problem with the test panel go ahead and shoot the job, urethane over bare metal and filler. You've worked hard on it. I really hope it turns out nice for you. Persistence will pay off.

Onslow 06-01-2013 08:13 AM

I was doing bodywork and painting cars in the early 70s and talking to people selling paint now is like talking to idiots. They always say this won't work or that won't work. I ask why it worked way back when and it is always, "lacquer paint was bad, our new stuff is so much better". Acrylic Enamel they want to run away from also. And the "you have to prime bare metal with etching primer" is partly is good to do but you don't have to do it because bare metal (freshly sanded and cleaned with wax and grease remover) does not have any oxides yet and it has "teeth" to make primer stick very well to it.

chief36chevy 06-01-2013 05:06 PM

Masking acrylic enamel
This post has been very informative.
I have another question. When using acrylic enamel with hardener how long should I wait before applying masking tape so that I can paint another color?

33Willys77 06-01-2013 06:53 PM

This is an older thread, but to answer Chief, it is not a simple answer as you have too many variables to consider. It all depends on application, hardeners used, reducers used, temps and so on.

chief36chevy 06-02-2013 05:25 AM

Masking tape
Yes I know that this is an older thread, but the info is useful.
I am using acrylic enamel with a hardener. I plan to paint two colors. I am retired and have plenty of time.
The bottom line is if I put the last coat of my first color on in the afternoon could I start masking the next morning or should I wait another day or maybe two days?

64SS327 06-02-2013 05:53 AM

Your best bet is to get the data sheet for the paint from your supplier. It is usually similar for paint types but can vary between manufacturers. It will give you dry times, re-coat times, mixing ratios etc. It's essential that you know how the paint is supposed to be applied.

If you have done bodywork you really need to spray a sealer. This is a critical step to keep different paints from reacting with each other. Unless you know the exact type of paint you are painting over you are taking a big risk without spraying a sealer. This is why you had problems with the new paint reacting with the old at the edges. Also don't mix and match brands or even different lines of paint from the same manufacturer.

I would sway anyone from using acrylic enamel. It's old technology and there are more durable paints these days. Acrylic urethane is a much better choice imo. It can be found in both single and double stage depending how you want the paint to look and the work you want to put into it. Of course this is only my opinion. Read the data sheets and go from there.

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