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Old 08-07-2007, 06:18 AM
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Painted cast Aluminum finish

Freshly sandblasted cast Aluminum parts, such as mounting brackets, Aluminum intakes, etc, to me have a very pleasing appearance that I have always wanted to be able to maintain. I have found this to be impossible so far because nothing I have used looked anything but simply painted including Eastwoods "Alumi-blast" which seems to be nothing more than the cheap "Chrome " paint that has been sold for years, left unpainted it quickly stains and oxidizes. I tried different clears from rattle cans to top of the line Dupont clear but they all changed the freshly cast new look into an odd yellowish grey that does not look good at all, at least to me. I had settled on the Dupli-color "Steel Wheels" rattle can in the metallic silver and while it did not really look like cast Aluminum it did look sort of like a casting although it still looked painted. Quite by accident I discovered that if the freshly blasted part is first coated with clear and then the Dupli-Color is just LIGHTLY misted on the finish then very closely resembles a new casting. I had sprayed some parts with clear some time back and decided that they looked pretty bad after I had them installed so I attempted to spray them with the Dupli-Color but the can was nearly empty and the tip was clogged so only a fine mist came out. When I returned from buying a new can of paint the misted on paint had dried and I was really surprised (and very pleased ) with how these things looked! If the Dupli-Color is used without coating with clear first then so much has to be used to provide the proper covering for protection from the elements that it simply looks painted but if the clear is used first to protect the freshly blasted casting and then the Dupli-Color is used to lightly tone the finish it really looks good, closer to a real casting than anything I have ever seen that could be sprayed on.

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Last edited by oldred; 08-07-2007 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:59 AM
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can we see some photos?
Shane
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Old 08-07-2007, 07:46 AM
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Actually you can't tell much about it from photos, I even took some up real close but they just don't bring out that "as cast" appearance. Just a little while ago I intentionally rubbed some old oil and grime on these things to see how well it would clean up and sure enough it does just fine but this is still rattle can paint so I would not want to use a really harsh cleaner on it. I would suggest trying this on a small item first before committing to something big like an intake manifold but I am quite hard to please and even to me this looks pretty good. I intend to remove and spray the lower intake on my 5.0 along with the cast Aluminum alternator bracket and some smaller pieces that I had sprayed with clear. The part must be sandblasted first and since this is a transparent finish there can be no stained spots or other blemishes left on it before spraying. Remember this is just my opinion on what looks good and is just a suggestion to try and it may not be so attractive to someone else but I really do think it is worth checking out. I would like to see some other opinions on how this looks and if anyone knows of another way to maintain that fresh "as cast" look I would be more than willing to try it also.

Last edited by oldred; 08-07-2007 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:41 AM
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Interesting oldred.
Wonder what it would look like with the dupli cleared?
I found Nason clear to be about the "clearest" clear on these type projects but it still dulls the brightness some.
Haven't tried SPI's MS clear as it's supposed to be really "clear" and is great for mixing toners in for kandy type work,Jim's been using it and is really pleased with the results.
Actually, Now that I think about it, SPI's Inter coat may be worth trying.
Hummmm?????
Barry's always wanting us "experimenters" to torture his products and give the results,not sure how it would handle the heat but it's an idea.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:04 PM
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dont they make a clear coat rattle can hitemp engine paint?
Shane
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:17 PM
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I have tried various clears on the raw Aluminum and they all seem to produce that odd grey color. Not sure about the clear over the Dupli-Color I will try that but I am thinking that maybe it will be too much gloss and produce a "painted" appearance, I will give it a try and find out.
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Old 08-07-2007, 01:30 PM
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I love that "cast" look myself.
I had read that there is now a clear powdercoat that is supposed to not yellow or dull the look.
Has anyone tried that?
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:50 PM
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I have not seen the powder coat but it sure sounds interesting and it just about has to be better than rattle can paint, I was disappointed with the Eastwood paints like "Cast Blast" for cast iron and as I said earlier the "Alumi-Blast". The Cast iron paint looked ok but not at all like the claims of the "New cast look" and in a very short time it dulled out big time and just looked like a cheap rattle can paint. I know the Dupli-Color may not hold up for a real long time either but I have used it on steel wheels, which is what it is sold for, and it seems to hold up really well - time will tell. As far as the cast iron look I have some Dupli-Color Steel wheels paint in a Graphite color that I have used on a steering box and it looks half way decent but it certainly does not duplicate the look of a new casting. I am wondering how this same procedure might work with that on cast iron, I guess I will get off my butt and go find out!
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:53 PM
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Oldred, you can use SPI grey epoxy as a base and use the rattlecan over it and it should produce the same effect.. But watch out for fuel spills and harsh cleaners or it'll mess up that rattlecan paint(the epoxy will be fine). I usually drop the alluminum manifolds off at the powdercoater and they blast them clean and do them in chrome or aluminum for $25-$30 and I can't beat the stuff off with a hammer and dollar for dollar I can't blast and paint them for any less. If anyone needs this service I'd be happy to PM my Powdercoater's contact info but you'll have to add shipping.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:18 PM
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Bob, How does that powder coat compare to a freshly blasted or new casting in appearance? What I mean is does it look a lot like a new casting or is it more like a painted surface? I have been really impressed with most powder coat finishes I have seen and I am SURE the powder coat would be far more durable than any kind of rattle can paint. The appearance I have been searching for is a factory new look and so far this Dupli-Color stuff is the closest I have come to it but that Powder coating may be a much better way to go. There is just something about a freshly blasted Aluminum casting that is very appealing but it sure don't last long without some sort of coating.
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Old 08-07-2007, 03:51 PM
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now you know our secret

My nephew got a second place at the Oakland roadster show that he did that to
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Old 08-07-2007, 04:37 PM
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oldred, I have just put together a '61 283 'vette engine and the original thermostat housing is cast iron and I used dupli-color Cast Coat on it and it looks so close to the new edelbrock performer manifold that eveyone thinks it is a new thermostat housing in aluminum. I wish I new how to post a pic but I'm not overly web smart

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Old 08-07-2007, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Bob, How does that powder coat compare to a freshly blasted or new casting in appearance? What I mean is does it look a lot like a new casting or is it more like a painted surface? I have been really impressed with most powder coat finishes I have seen and I am SURE the powder coat would be far more durable than any kind of rattle can paint. The appearance I have been searching for is a factory new look and so far this Dupli-Color stuff is the closest I have come to it but that Powder coating may be a much better way to go. There is just something about a freshly blasted Aluminum casting that is very appealing but it sure don't last long without some sort of coating.
Oldred, The powdercoat doesn't look like raw aluminum, instead it looks almost like polished alluminum-definately a coated look. But I think you might be able to achieve the look your after with powdercoat just by having it coated then lightly sandblast it for a flat/satin look. Think about it-the protection would still be there but the appearance altered from smooth and shiney to a lightly textured satin type casting look-I think it would work. Some broken down media or even walnut shells at low pressure would probably work just fine. Bob
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