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Old 05-25-2016, 01:35 AM
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Spray paint not drying

I painted a steel frame for my hot water pressure washer the other day, I used cans of military spec aircraft gloss red spray paint that I got from the local habitat for humanity re-store. I figured if it was military spec it must have been some good stuff.

However, I prepared the frame by removing any loose paint, then sanded it down and wiped it a couple times with lacquer thinner to remove any oil, grease, dust, etc. Then I sprayed it with rustoleum "professional" gray primer from spray cans. I followed the directions and it said that the primer could be topcoated immediately (as if it didnt have to dry first). I began painting the frame (did not sand the primer any, and I didnt wait specifically for the primer to dry, although I believe it was dry, as I started with the part of the frame that I had primed first.

The paint has now been on the frame for about 10 days. It is showing cracks all over the place (can see the primer behind the paint) and most places the paint is still soft enough to scrape off with your fingernails. Only in one or two places has the paint actually dried up to a hard durable coating.

What could I have done wrong? I am wondering if that paint isnt any good, or wasnt designed to be used on steel or something... no idea what.

It looks good from a distance... but up close the small cracks in the paint all over the place and the tenderness of the paint make it pretty much unusable. I dont even know how to fix this now, except for applying paint stripper to the entire thing and stripping it down to bare metal and starting over. That wont be a very pleasant thing to have to do and it will take forever.

Any words of wisdom or advice for me? Id appreciate it...

Thanks!

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Old 05-25-2016, 02:16 AM
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My guess is the red is lacquar
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:10 AM
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You needed to wait for the primer to cure well. then light coats of topcoat. Mil-spec does not always mean good. paint is old and out of date. Now you get to strip and a do over. most likely a shrinkage issue and out of date material. Sorry for the problem..

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Old 05-25-2016, 05:44 AM
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I ran into this once when I tried painting a brand new (out of the box) set of steel wheels. I cleaned them, I sanded them, I primed them, I painted them, and it all lifted and also had areas you could dam near wipe off clean.

The only thing I can think of (as already said) is maybe I mixed a Lacquer Paint with a Enamel Primmer or visa versa....
All I know is it took me A LOT of hours and a lot of paint stripper to then get the wheels stripped all the way back to bare steel and start all over
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:11 AM
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The paint is not old... It has a mid-2015 manufacturing date. But I wonder if maybe it was allowed to freeze one or more times since it was donated to the habitat for humanity. Maybe it was found defective or had been indeed frozen and the military no longer wanted it anymore. Who knows. I guess ill get some paint stripper and more rolock sanding discs to get this thing all stripped down.
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:53 AM
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Before I tried stripping it, I might try to find a powder coating place.. and ask if they can stick it in a corner while they are baking parts..
if it dry's, repaint with hammered look paint..
and call it good..
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Old 05-25-2016, 07:18 PM
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Heres some pics of the painted frame, as well as the cans of the primer and the paint (enamel) that I used. It indeed appears that the paint is a lacquer finish. What does that mean as far as preparation and use goes?
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	grayprimer.jpg
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Name:	milspecenamel.jpg
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ID:	303161  
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