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Old 11-03-2003, 07:04 AM
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Painting in your Garage

It seems a lot of people are a little hesitant when it comes to painting their own car. Although it may seem like a daunting task, with a little practice it isn't all that difficult.

This post isn't meant to be a tutorial on painting but to show what is possible in your garage.

First you have to construct a temporary paint booth. Not as difficult as you might think. What I do is take some 2x2 lumber and screw it into the ceiling of my garage in the shape I want to enclose. Then I staple plastic sheeting to the 2x2 and let it drape to the floor where I duct tape it down. I also build a small door out of scrap wood and a couple cheap hinges sheeted with plastic so you can get in and out easily and still seal it.

Venting is important and I use standard house fans (with brushless motors). Because they are brushless they create no sparks once turned on and pose much less of an explosive risk than most inexpensive fans.

If I'm painting an entire car and the booth is large I'll use two intake and one exhaust. If I'm doing something smaller I'll use one fan on high for the intake and one on medium for the exhaust. I also try to locate the intake where it will pickup the least amount of dust and the exhaust somewhere on the opposite side of the boot to create a cross flow. Venting in this manor creates a positive pressure booth and keeps the plastic from moving every time you walk buy it. I also found that a typical furnace filter is enough to eliminate most dust from entering the booth. It's my experience that you'll never get rid of all the dust when painting in a garage so spending a lot of money on filters just doesn't make that much sense.

Also check to make sure the exhaust vents to the outside of the building. If you have an attached garage you don't want the fumes getting inside the house and you don't want them being sucked back in the intake either. Venting outside isn't hard. All you have to do is build a duct out of the same plastic you used for the walls and once the exhaust fan is turned on it will inflate and carry the fumes outside. In my case I raised the garage door about 2 1/2' and vented it there.

Finally, never paint using urethanes or any paints requiring hardeners without some kind of breathing equipment. I use a Hobby Air pressure breathing system and would feel safe using anything less with these paints. ISO's can kill you and catalyzed paints are loaded with them so use a good breathing equipment.

With a little practice and decent equipment (gun, compressor and breathing), almost anyone can have excellent quality results. Sorry but these pics aren't the best quality... probably because they were taken at 6:00 AM this morning and I was still half asleep. I removed one wall of the booth for the benefit of the camera. The paint was PPG Omni MTX acrylic urethane Single Stage (1969 Dodge Hemi Orange). Tack coat, two color coats and a final coat mixed 50/50 with PPG fast clear using a Sata gravity feed conventional gun.

Centerline
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Old 11-03-2003, 07:34 AM
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Old 11-03-2003, 08:56 AM
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Looks great Centerline. That ought to help quite a few out including myself. I was wondering how I was going to keep overspray off of everything in the garage now I know what to do.

Kevin

Last edited by Kevin45; 11-03-2003 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:03 AM
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Nice work Centerline, that garage shot yours, looks a lot like mine did on the first go-round with Sherwin Williams' Ultrabase 7 acrylic urethane system. The way that powder blue metalic color jumped out at me when the clear was applied, was almost scary. I wouldn't paint a car in the garage with any other product. The base-coat mixed 50-50 with the activator and dried to a hand-slick satin in 15 minutes, not giving the metallic the time to sag or the base-coat time to run. The color went on perfect at about 70 degrees. I got two little runs in the second coat of clear but they cleaned up just fine with ultra fine paper on a thimble block. once it was buffed, it was next to perfect.

The more I think about it, I'm thinking, why rent a booth or take the Delray out to the community college. Why not just take a whack at it, out back in the garage. The Visqueen removal party would be a WHOLE lot more fun thataway.. - Voila! it's all still there and it's all still clean
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Old 11-03-2003, 12:26 PM
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Just picked up a 10' x 20' canopy at Pep Boys for $99. I used some poly tarps for the sides & ends and presto it's an instant mini garage/paint booth.The quality was way better than I figured it would be also, Heavy duty poly cover, powder coated tubes, and it went together easy.
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Old 11-03-2003, 05:14 PM
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Good job Centerline, and thanks for the tips and pictures, they will help me greatly.

Thanks
Vince
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Old 11-04-2003, 06:59 AM
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Looks great Centerline! Question- what type of lights are you using?? I've always had bare 100watt bulbs in my garage but am now building a BIG garage with dedicated paint booth and don't want the expense of explosion proof lights. Many have told me of flourescents blowing up from ballast spark, halogen exploding because of being bumped, etc., etc. I know guys who use simple toffer flourescents and haven't had problems. What is your advice? (and pardon as I asked this on another post but wasn't satisfied with responses!!) Thanks anyone!
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:05 AM
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I used 4' florescent shop lights. I put 3 along the walls on each side and I built a ceiling with slanted ceiling and put 6 more up there. I built boxes of 2x4s lined with drywall and painted white to house each light. Then I made a 1x2 wood frame that I covered in 20mil clear plastic sheet that is screwed over the light holes that seals them from the fumes but is easy to change if they get dirty. These lights are cool and give off white light so you can see what is going on.

I have a question for you Centerline - how in the smell did you get your garage so clean? Where is all the "stuff"!?!

Last edited by willys36@aol.com; 11-04-2003 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 11-04-2003, 10:14 AM
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Great thread, this should be a sticky that stays to the top!

Question: with the fumes/overspray exiting the garage, should I take any precautions after that point. I live in a neighborhood where the houses are about 15' apart and kids playing all over the place.
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Old 11-04-2003, 01:47 PM
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My opinion.......disclaimer......I am just a weekend garage painter.

Excellent outline. I would just add that it is hard to have too much ventilation. I am not sure how much air the box fans move, but I dont think it is a ton. If you are painting the entire body, the paint haze will get thick on you if you dont have enough ventilation. Makes it hard to see no matter how much light you have. I use a 2500 cfm fan which gave me an air change about every 1.5 minutes for my booth. That was borderline. With another at 3000 cfm, you could get good positive pressure and really move some air. I was not concerned about debris because the outside of my booth just went to the inside of my shop, which is relatively clean. The furnace filter works great, or it did for me as well.

As for lighting, I like the 1000 watt halogens on stands. You can set one at each end of the car on opposing sides and can see very well. I also have four 8' florecents overhead. When you are done, the halogens fold up and go under the work bench.

Another tip from experience is plan your attack. Make sure you have everything you could possibly need layed out and easy to access. I like to have a good 8 feet on my workbench with all the paint and materials organized nicely. Go through what you are going to to in your head before you start. For those of us that dont to this every day, it is very easy to miss something or forget to get everything before starting. When you are ready, lock the door behind you so your friendly neighbor does not come over and open the door and contaminate your clean work space and paint job. When you are finished, you need to lock yourself out. Walking in and out and looking at it will just give a good opportunity for crap to get in your new paint. Give it a couple hours then go admire.

Chris

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Old 11-04-2003, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hlweyl
I live in a neighborhood where the houses are about 15' apart and kids playing all over the place.
Solution there is to paint after hours, or early in the AM.

Vince
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Old 11-04-2003, 08:31 PM
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Centerline , Thanks much for the info! Should be a big help to me and others I'm sure.
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Old 11-05-2003, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dragon J
Question- what type of lights are you using?? I've always had bare 100watt bulbs in my garage but am now building a BIG garage with dedicated paint booth and don't want the expense of explosion proof lights. Many have told me of fluorescent blowing up from ballast spark, halogen exploding because of being bumped, etc., etc. I know guys who use simple toffer flourescents and haven't had problems. What is your advice?
I have two double tube florescent fixtures on the ceiling and to augment them I added three 100 Watt bulbs with reflectors up high. I then used three sets of halogen shop lights about 4' off the ground and placed them at three of the four corners so I could get good lighting down the sides and back of the cab. One thing is for sure, you can't have too much lighting when painting. It's the only way you can find dry areas and make sure you cover everything evenly.

I have now torn down the paint booth and put everything back in order in the garage. Upon close inspection of the cab I found four small runs. Two the size of a quarter or half dollar and a couple about 10" long on the firewall. All will sand out completely.

One technique a long time custom painter gave me for sanding out runs was to start with 600 wet wrapped around a piece of paint stick. Being very gentle use the 600 to remove the major portion of the run. Once that's done I use an Air Vantage sander (air powered hand held sander designed for dry sanding paint) and 1500 dry finishing film to go over the whole vehicle followed by buffing. Using the Air Vantage sander allows one person to completely sand an entire paint job in a couple hours where it would take a whole day color sanding by hand. Unless you have royally screwed something up in the process when you're done you should wind up with a near perfect glass finish.

Centerline
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Old 11-05-2003, 06:38 AM
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Man, I am getting some good info here. I am in the process of building my new house now, I finished the grading this past weekend and will start the footings this coming weekend. Now along with the house, I am building a 1500 sq. ft. shop. Now I build cabinets and custom furniture, but I also need a place to work on my 51 Ford and my 98 Dodge 4x4. Seeing as how I will need to paint cabinets and paint the trucks, I now know exactly what I need to do for the spray booth.

OK, now I have never painted a vehicle before, so where could I go to read and learn..any good books with pictorials in them? I would start off with small parts first and junker parts for experimenting...
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Old 11-05-2003, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by spl_dodge
OK, now I have never painted a vehicle before, so where could I go to read and learn..any good books with pictorials in them?
I would go to AutoBodyStore.com and buy Len's Painting 101 video. Also spend some time reading the posts on his board. That place is populated by a bunch of professional auto painters that can answer almost any paint related question.

Centerline
http://www.hotrodsandhemis.com
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