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Old 07-11-2013, 10:40 AM
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upgrading from rattle cans

I have been lurking for a while now and I'm just about ready to start my project but I have a few questions. First let me explain my situation. I have a sportster I want to paint. I originally rattle canned it, about two years ago, unfortunately I let a friend barrow my bike and he spilled gas all over my nice rattle can job... Needless to say it ruined the paint. I have the tins stripped down to metal and I think they are ready for primer. I also want to prime and paint the wheels as well as a few chrome bits and pieces. I have a 30 gallon 5 HP compressor which I think should more than do the job. So now to my questions.

1. I need to buy a paint gun. I don't want to spend a ton of money on one but still want to be able to produce a decent finish. I want to be able to use it on future larger projects like a full car. I want to be able to spray primer, base and clear with it or get one of those kits that has a gun for clear and a gun for base and primer. My price range is $100-150 (maybe more if you convince me otherwise).

2. Once I get the gun sorted I need paint.. I want to go with a satin black and an olive drab (army green) and have it either flat or satin as well. Also, not sure what kind of primer to use. For my rattle can jobs I have always used whatever rattle can primer I could find. Would the same stuff work or do I need something else? Again, money is an issue here so I don't want to spend too much on paint either. Also, how much paint am I going to need for the tins and wheels?

3. I live in Vegas and my garage does not have AC. I know temperature plays into spraying and how much thinner to use but I dont know how it plays in. Do I need to use more thinner because its hot or less? Is 100+ temps too hot to spay?

4. I plan on having a two tone tank green and black... and then have a black emblem on the green part (side). The way I did it before with rattle cans was paint the entire tank black then using green painters tape I cut out the design I wanted stuck the design on the tank and sprayed green over it. Once dry I removed the tape and what was under the tape remained black. My question is if I tape on the base coat will it ruin it or will this technique work? If not how do I go about painting a design on the tank?

5. Other stuff I will need? I know I will need some fine grit sand paper 400, 600, and 800 for the primer? 800, 1000, 1200 for base and clear? Maybe a water filter and regulator for the gun? Are there any other things I might need?

Those are the only questions I have for now... I'll probably think of more as I get closer to actually throwin some paint on my sporty. Thanks for any advice you all can offer

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Old 07-11-2013, 10:53 AM
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First of all, there is a very good chance that you are wrong about your compressor...a 30 gallon tank is small....5 HP doesn't really mean a lot... what you need to look at is CFM output before you look at buying a gun, sandpaper or anything else. The CFM output of your compressor will give you good insight on what kind of gun you are going to get and even able to get as some guns will take more CFM than your compressor will put out.

Ray
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:35 AM
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Compressor lists 9.1 scfm at 40 psi and 7.1 scfm at 90 psi. That said its a craftsmen so who knows what the real numbers are. I'm only painting sportster tins and wheels so I figured that with a 30 gallon I would probably be good with just about any gun for this project? I understand that if I want to do a bigger job like a car or truck i will need a bigger compressor. I'm in the military and move a lot so a big compressor just isnt ideal at the moment. I picked this compressor up on the cheap from a buddy who is moving (perks of being military). At my next duty station (getting short at this one) I will probably get a better compressor but for now this 30 gallon will have to do.
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Old 07-11-2013, 11:59 AM
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I'm glad that you understand that compressor ratings are often inflated...What you need to do is acquire a paint gun that requires less than 9.1 CFM while spraying, otherwise you will not only be draining the 30 gallon tank but you will also be taxing the compressor itself causing heat, creating moisture and eventually ruining the fresh paint that you have just applied.

Ray
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:14 PM
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Go with a LVLP gun with a 1.3 tip. As far as paint, flat/eggshell paints cant be buffed so if you get a run in the paint, you're effectively going to have to live with it. I used a Kobalt mini gun from Lowes(?) that had the ability to 'tip' the side mounted cup based on the angle you needed to paint. Ive never swiveled the cup. The gun worked well for small jobs. I even shot epoxy with it (thinned it a little) and oil-based furniture stain.

My suggestion ( without knowing your painting skill) is to use a base/clear black and green, and then buzz the clear with 2000 grit to make it look 'flat' in color. If you add flattener to a clear, you can't repair runs, bad orange peel, etc. If you were to use a regular clearcoat, you can make it LOOK flat by sanding it with 2000 grit, this means you can fix problem areas. Make sure you either use a random orbit, or keep all your sanding strokes in the same direction.

GM 8555 code black; no idea for the green but GM had an olive green in the 70s.
If you've got the money, use an epoxy. Ive used Martin Senour's (Napa) and it works well, you can wetsand it, and it does have a bit of a gloss when it cures, so you will be able to notice any high or low spots in the metal and put your plastic filler on top of the epoxy. I also used their Tec/Base and was happy with the black and their air dry clear. Ive also used SPI Epoxy and clear, and love them both.
You can also get a flat black single stage from SPI along with flattening agents for the clear I believe.

With an LVLP gun, you probably will have plenty of paint left over if you bought a pint of each color and a quart of epoxy and a pint of clear plus the required activators and reducers.

Ive used the cheaper Martin Senour black base, and the Tec/Base. Believe me when I tell you theres a noticeable difference, the cheaper base is a weaker black color and has a lot of binder in it. I think the tec/base mixes at 4:1 and you only need a pint so spend the money on your base coat and use a cheaper clear
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:55 PM
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@ 69widetrack: I don’t know a ton about compressors but I know craptsmen aren’t always the best compressors. I bought one a couple years ago from my father in law. He sold it to me for pretty cheap and I found it didn’t build pressure for …. Well, not well… I bought a rebuild kit and then gave it back to him as a fathers day present… I know kinda a dick move. Anyways, I made sure to check that this one built pressure quickly before handing over the cash even though it wasn’t much ($80… like I said, good to be military sometimes).
@Autogear: I won’t pretend like I know a lot about spray guns but I can honestly say I have yet to see a LVLP in any of the stores around Vegas or even suggestions to use one in online searches that I have done. Do you have any suggestions for a decent LVLP gun? Most of what I have seen about the lowes guns has been negative. I don’t want to buy a junker gun just to have to buy a better gun in the future. I will say that I wouldn’t mind grabbing a lowes gun as it would be convenient being that I live right by a lowes. If achieving a flat or satin is too much trouble I have no problem going with a gloss. I just figure a flat or satin would help hide the fact that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing lol. As for my painting experience … I have achieved some decent rattle can jobs. I had quite a few positive comments about the rattle can job I did on my sportster before my buddy spilled petrol down the side of it. I even had one guy ask who I had paint it for me. Bottom line.. I have ZERO experience with painting with air.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:33 PM
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read this first to get some insight.

what is LVLP spray gun?
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:09 PM
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First off, thanks for the replies so far everyone!

@ killeratrod: Interesting read on the LVLP guns. Based on what I have read is that without sufficient air a LVLP gun may be a good choice for LARGE projects like cars or trucks. Maybe I'm wrong, but I feel like a 30gallon 7.1 SCFM at 90PSI should get the motorcycle tins painted no problem. I understand I will need more air for a bigger project but I dont foresee having a bigger project anytime soon. If I obtain a bigger project (hopefully a 67-72 C10) I without a doubt will buy a larger compressor with a better cfm rating.

As of right now I feel like the 30 gallon should be enough to paint my tins, even if I have to paint one thing at a time (tank, front fender, rear fender, then each wheel). If not then maybe you are right and I should look into getting a LVLP gun. The funny thing is the link you passed gave another link to different places that sell guns... now I didn't have time to thoroughly look through each link... but the ones I did click on all advertised HVLP guns....? So where do I buy this mythical LVLP gun that solves all my lack of sufficient air needs?

Anyways, I do appreciate the advice and LVLP guns seem like a viable option if only I could find one and at a decent price. Its way past by bed time (I work nights at the moment... terrorists never sleep lol) so it may be a minute or two before I glance back at this post... but please dont let that stop the advice from flowing in.
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Old 07-11-2013, 02:23 PM
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Up until water born paint became the material we needed to use in Canada I was using my Sata mostly for Base Coat and my GTI for clear. Our government mandated water born and I needed to change from what I had been comfortable with for about 10 years and get into the 21st century. I was a paint rep at the time and getting demo guns from the manufacturer was extremely easy and I tried A number of guns...The 2 that worked best for m where the Devilbus CV and the Anest Iwata 400. Devilbus CV worked well but I felt that the internals would need to be changed fairly often and the balance I felt was better on the Iwata. I opted for the Iwata and have been very happy with it.

In December of last year, I was offered an Iwata LPH400. It has taken a little getting used to (this may be an advantage for you as you mentioned that you don't really have experience painting with air, so you won't have anything to compare it too) as it does spray slower than I'm used to but it does work well, it breaks up the material extremely well and considerably less over spray. The gun will take between 7 and 9 CFM to operate so if your spraying small pieces, like a bike tank or fenders...it may work well for you. The situation with paint guns is not unlike the electronics industry and there is always something new coming out, but this gun, with your current equipment limitations, that you may be upgrading that piece of equipment in the future and if your planning on painting larger things such as cars down the road, this gun would meet your needs for years to come.

The Problem...you don't buy these guns for $150, they run close to 4 X that amount. I'm not familiar with the Harbor Freight knock offs, nor would I trust their advertised CFM usage.

If your painting smaller pieces like bike parts perhaps a quality mini or touch up gun would work for you such as a the conventional HVLP Sata mini jet. It would take a little longer, you have a smaller pattern but it would get the job done on those smaller items that your looking at painting for now and your compressor should be able to keep up. The cost is about 1/2 of the full size gun but you would be buying quality and something that if you looked after it would last for years (as I mentioned, I've had some of my guns for over 10 years and they still work well).

Just so you know, My Iwata works great for water born base, solvent base and clear as well, but I still break out my Devilbus GTI for clearing big jobs.

Just a few thoughts that might help you out.

Hope this helps.

Ray
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:11 PM
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Item #: 301339 | Model #: SGY-AIR87 Kobalt Paint gun.

The fan width is kinda small, maybe 2.25" but I can run it wfo and it works great. Its like $60.
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:00 PM
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So here's the deal. A 5 hp compressor with only a 30 gallon tank would be a beast, because it could make a LOT of air fast, just not store a lot of it. It wouldn't be able to store it as fast as it could make it.

However, your compressor only being 110V (you don't have to tell me for me to know that), it is physically impossible for that motor to be making 5 hp, even if it were 100% electrically efficient. In fact the compressor manufacturers did get sued for such gross overstating of their power figures, and now they are down to a little more realistic values.

With all that out of the way, I wouldn't go with those Kobalt guns, especially if you want to spray a range of things. A perfect gun for what you want to do would be something like a DeVilbiss Finishline. They're under $200, you can find them used all day long for good deals, and they come with three tips--a 1.5, 1.5, and 1.8. I've sprayed epoxy with mine, I've sprayed 2k, I've sprayed metallic base, I've sprayed high solids clear. It laid them all out great, especially when the gun is dialed in well. It's no Iwata or Sata, but for what you want, it would be perfect.

You're also talking about small jobs, so that gun with your compressor, while lacking in CFM, would certainly still get the job done. Before I got my 60 gallon, I was shooting epoxy on panels with my 20 gallon "5 hp" Crapsman compressor and it sprayed just fine. It won't be so much an issue for you on small motorcycle parts. I would assume that someday you would upgrade your compressor anyways if you want to paint entire cars.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:57 PM
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OK. I know I'm going to take heat for this, but so be it. If I get this right, you are shooting a a motorcycle tank fenders and wheels. Not a lot of stuff to shoot.

I have a very nice Binks M1G and a set of Finish Line guns. I've also used some of the Harbour freight guns. If this was the only job I was going to do, and then didn't care about the guns, I'd consider using the inexpensive HF guns for this job. They have some smaller touch up guns that don't use a lot of material, don't hog a bunch of air can spray at any angle and lay down a pretty nice finish. All for under $20.

Would I use for a custom paint job? Obviously not. But for what you are doing, I'd consider it.

Just my .02
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Old 07-12-2013, 01:44 AM
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@69widetrack: Thanks for the advice but those guns are just way out of my price range and I can't see myself buying one anytime soon or even ever.. well unless I started a painting business or got my hands on a really nice hot rod or something (in which case I would probably pay a pro to paint)

@Lizer: You're right my crapsman compressor is running on 110v but it says it can handle 240v... I wonder if installing 240v in my garage would be a good idea? I did check craigslist for hvlp guns there were a couple really high end ones but mostly the cheap home depot and lowes guns. I am a little reluctant to buy any second hand guns because I don't know enough about them to tell if there is something wrong with them. I did look into the develbiss finishline series they are at the top of my price range but like you said they might just do everything I need them to do. The question is will the quality bet that much better than the lowes/homedepot cheap-o guns?

@HP246: My main concern with the HF gun is that I get it and it doesn't work properly. So, instead of having a gun I can grab outta the box make a few minor adjustments and be ready to spray, I'm left with a POS gun that I have to waste hours fiddling with to get a mediocre finish. I am seriously considering the gun autogear suggested. I have a buddy who recently used that ver same gun and said it worked great for him. Also, the nice thing about lowes is they are pretty good about letting you return things. So, if I have issues with one of their guns I can just bring it back.

So, enough about guns, what about paint and primer? Can I use the rattle can primer or is it junk?... it seemed to work ok for my rattle can jobs. Any suggestions on where I can buy paint..online... or in a store? before someone suggests it, I DO NOT WANT TO PAINT MY BIKE WITH ROSTOLEUM! I'm looking for a fairly cheap paint that will to some extent withstand gas exposure. Any suggestions? As originally mentioned I am going for black with olive drab/army green. Thanks again for all the input so far.
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Old 07-12-2013, 07:33 AM
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you want a 2 part epoxy primer. If your jobber (paint supplier) won't sell you a small quantity for what you're doing; ask your local collision shop if you can buy enough product for a quart of mixed epoxy from them. Buy some clean pint cans from your jobber and have your collision shop keep the components separated. Make sure you get the specific name for the epoxy primer so you can go online and print off the tech sheets.

Epoxy first, then any filler work on top of that, blocksand, seal, paint

If you can't get someone to sell you a small quantity of epoxy, there IS a 2 part rattlecan epoxy. Its a little expensive, but its a good product apparently.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:38 AM
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For small projects, your compressor will work fine. You will be regulating the air output to the gun. I painted my S10 with a compressor the size of yours and had no problems. Just make sure you have a good filter/regulator in the system.
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