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Old 08-29-2007, 12:16 PM
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Tips for dispensing small quantities

I have another thread detailing my nightmare parking lot incident and a few other things you can read about if so desired. However, this addresses a somewhat different but related issue.

I find the absolute biggest PITA issue I face with painting is mixing it properly without making a mess and getting it accurate.

I am doing mostly spot repairs and typically only need a few ounces of paint at a time. Plus I am learning so I have re-done a few spots 2 or 3 times to get my methodology down.

QUESTION: Do any of you guys have some tried and true methods for dispensing small quantities of paint, reducer and hardener accurately, without mess unnecessary waste ?

I have tried one of those bulb-like basting syringes, but i am afraid the plastic is gonna melt and the rubber bulb doesn't provide enough suction with these thick viscosities. Plus there is no way to really clean it. The paint doesn't really want to just wash out with lacquer thinner. I have tried various syringes, all of which exhibit a problem of the rubber plunger thing getting stuck, ripped off or just being too hard to press.

I was thinking that a perfect way would be something like one of those plastic ketchup and mustard squirter bottles like they have at the ballpark or similar. the plastic ones with the pointy tops. but as i have experienced, most of the time the solvent in the paint will friggin melt whatever plastic it's sitting in!

Any other ideas?

I ordered some E-Z mix cups in the 8 ounce size which has helped a tremendous amount. those things are really good.

to stir my small batches, i use a latte milk frother i got from Starbucks a LONG time ago. looks like the in the attached picture, but not rechargeable. it's got a little wire whisk at the end of a 6 inch wire shaft , and spins pretty damn good. takes 1 or 2 AA batteries. when done, i just stick then end of it in some solvent, turn it on for a few seconds and it's clean as a whistle.
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:25 PM
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Why not use a measuring stick???? You can use the same stick to stir with....
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:53 PM
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It's not so much the problem of knowing how much paint has been poured into the mixing cup as it is getting it in there without over filling, spilling and screwing up your ratios.

if i pour in 2 oz of base, then 1/2 oz of hardener then 1/2 oz of reducer, OOPS!, my hands weren't steady...and i got 3/4 ounce of reducer in there and that is 50% more than should have been.

This adds up to 3 ounces or so, which is pretty much appropriate for my spot repair HVLP gun which uses a 5.3 ounce cup.

The equivalent in gallons would be 1 gallon of base, 1 quart of hardener, then instead of 1 quart of reducer, i accidentally pour an extra half-quart of reducer into the mix. It can blow your ratios in a heartbeat.
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:57 PM
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Try these people, I think they have just what you need:

Everytime I purchase something from them, they throw something in for free.

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Old 08-30-2007, 05:52 AM
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I keep an old rectangular metal baking sheet on my table and do all my pouring/measuring over it rather than over whatever container I'm mixing into. That way, if the baking sheet is clean, you can recover whatever you spill and pour it back into the original container. That cuts down on waste and prevents you from getting just a little too much of something in your mix. Keeps the mess down as well.

Go to the kitchen gadget aisle in Wally World and get yourself some measuring spoons. Metal ones are best but the plastic ones will work for a lot of materials. You can find charts all over the net, or in your wifes cook books, that tell you how many teaspoons equal how many ounces, etc. The spoons are easy to clean and if you tilt the container a little you can usually just dip out the paint with the spoon rather than pouring from the can and gumming the rim up. Now, don't laugh, but soup ladles are great for dipping larger quantities out of gallon cans without making a mess. Just lay a small piece of wax paper, aluminum foil, or paper towel on the rim of the can to catch any drips as you pass over it with the ladle and you won't have to spend any time trying to get all the paint out of that groove in the rim so your can will seal back up.

Glass measuring cups, also from Wally World, seem to work better than plastic for me. Whatever you are pouring seems to slide off the glass better than plastic. Leaving less in the cup and less waste to clean up.

I guess in general I'm suggesting that you spend a little time browsing the kitchen aisle. I'm sure you'll find all kinds of things that will you'll find useful in the shop.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:43 AM
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I use a 4oz shot glass, they're sold at Wal-Mart or any
liquor store.
They have lots of good graduations and are easy to clean out.
To dispense the paint into one, I usually use a small paper
dixie cup to scoop the paint out of a large can and pour it into
the glass.
For small cans, like pint size that I use a lot of, I put a 5" length
of 1 1/2" masking tape around the inside of the paint lip of the can.
It pours out without a drop, and once done, the paint on the tape
runs back into the can. (I hope that makes sense)
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Old 08-30-2007, 09:43 AM
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I use metal measuring cup's with a handle to "dip" with.
The "coffee" one is really nice.
If you get the paper "dixie" cups, be SURE they are wax FREE.
Some are wax lined and will SCREW your product.
You want fisheye's? THAT is one SURE way to get them.
I found some small bulb syringes at a hobby store which are solvent proof.
Come in a 4 pack.
Just keep sucking up the thinner till their about clean,then suck up half enough clean thinner,close the end with your finger and shake it back & forth till it's clean.
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