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Author Topic:   Painting question
Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 4
posted June 10, 2004 09:40 PM  
After reading through the forums I have come across several post about people painting their cars. I am rebuilding and about to paint mine.

I think I have everything that I need but the paint hardner that everyone is talking about. I couldn't find anything in any of the posts I read that told me exactly what the hardner was and what it was called. Hearing so many people talk about it, I thought it was a common thing. So, I went to Home depot, NAPA, Sherman Williams, and Auto Zone to pick some up. No one knew what I was talking about.

So my questions are:

1. What is the hardner called?
2. Where can I get it?
3. What ratio should I use in the paint gun? (i.e. paint/thinner/hardner)

I think I read in someone's post about someone using 75% paint, 25% thinner, and a cap full of the hardner.

Anyhow, I can't find the paint hardner. So any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 138
posted June 11, 2004 07:34 AM  
I bought all of my paint, hardener, and reducer from a local Napa, and they even mixed paint for me there so they should have had it. Check with someone else at the Napa that knows about paint. It seems they often have high school kids working at those places and the only thing they know about cars is how to put a noisy stereo and neon lights on one.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted June 11, 2004 07:39 AM  

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 193
posted June 11, 2004 11:11 AM  
now thats the 1st time I have heard that one!

are you a chemist or just someone who was painting their car in the morning & had their coffee cup fall in the paint can? LOL

hey clambake, most any store that sells automotive/tractor paint should have hardner. Sometimes its called Gloss Hardner & its prolly in a pint size can.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 635
posted June 11, 2004 11:27 AM  
Hardener, catalyst, activator.. has a couple different names.

Enamels are usually called hardeners and Urethanes (primers, colors and clears) are normally catalyst or activator. And every manufacture and type of paint has a different mixing ratio. Some are 8:1 some are 4:1.. some 2:1:20%... some 4:1:1 etc. So what works for one isn't going to work for all others.

If you're not using automotive paint (what Home Depot sells isn't automotive paint) it won't like having hardener added to it. Look in the phonebook for an automotive refinishing store and call them. You won't find 3M, PPG, Dupont, Valspar, Transtar, Limco etc etc in a Home Depot or Lowes.

[This message has been edited by Raz_900 (edited June 11, 2004).]

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 370
posted June 11, 2004 12:30 PM  
AND I DIDN'T MENTION THAT USE CAN USE AUTO MATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID FOR FISH EYE REMOVER? This is only when using acrylic enamel. Not straight enamel or base/clear urethanes.

I'm an engineer and when an old painter told me that I researched the differences. Same basic principles to both substances. We do stuff like that for fun.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 354
posted June 11, 2004 06:06 PM  
Sounds like a case for MYTH BUSTERS on Discovery Channel.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 72
posted June 11, 2004 11:09 PM  
what we do is this jiggy up to the auto paint store and tell them what we are doing
(painting a race car) and tell 'em we want the cheap stuff and usually they give us straight enamel hardener and thinner for about 50 bucks

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1875
posted June 11, 2004 11:19 PM  
i dont paint cars, but i do use a body shop to work on my car and they paint my mod. but you will find most localy owned body shops are some good guys.
my advice.
go to a local owned body shop and talk to them just ask them what you need, if they can write it down for you, were to get it. and any tips or advice they have.
that would be your best bet. most body shops that are locally owned i have found are about the nicest people you ever meet.
good luck

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 122
posted June 12, 2004 07:01 AM  
We always used Industrial Equipment (tractor) paint. I don't live too far from the Iowa Paint distribution center. I think they even make paint. Anyway, I just go in there and tell them what kind of paint I need and about what color and they will even let me go in where they mix it so I can get a sort of custom color. Then they tell me what else I need...thinner, hardener, etc. And the ratio for all of it. It also depends on the type of gun you are shooting with.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 93
posted June 12, 2004 08:33 AM  
I would assume you are using some kind of enamel. Ideally you want the right hardener for your paint but the important ingredients are the same for any enamels. You can paint it without the hardener. The benefit of using hardener is it makes it easier to touchup or repaint. if you paint over unhardened enamel the underlying enamel will lift. Regardless of what you use, you MUST use the proper respirator!!!!! The active ingredient in hardener in hardener is isocynate (see the word cynide in there?) and it cause brain, nuerological and genetic damage! NIOSH only recommends pumped in fresh air masks but if you buy a new 3M disposable mask from a good body supply store, don't open it until you paint and throw it away when you are done, you are safe. There is actived charcoal in the mask and it dies out in a week exposed to air.I had a friend die too young with brain and spine tumors blamed on painting improperly.
good luck and BE CAREFUL!

Dirt Newbie

Total posts: 4
posted June 12, 2004 08:53 AM  
Thanks for the help guys.

I went to a different NAPA yesterday in my home town (small town). Well I found out that a lot of the NAPA's are now getting away from selling/mixing paints. This NAPA in paticular used to be one of those and now it doesn't sell anymore. Luckily I knew the guy that worked there and he knew what I was talking about. He said I could drive to another NAPA he knew about and I could get a pint of the hardner from them for about 30-40 bucks.

As for what stuff I'm using:

Home Depot - Rustoleum (spelling)
Home Depot - Thinner
Home Depot - $45 spray gun.

Thanks again.

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 93
posted June 12, 2004 02:42 PM  
Even with hardener, Rustoleum dries slow and soft,and it is expensive. I hope you realize it is going to take a gallon or more to cover and you will get at best a medium gloss. If you still have the reciept, I would take it back and go to a tractor supply store or search the web for some cheap alkyd enamel with hardener.It would be cheaper and does a better job.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 287
posted June 13, 2004 09:13 AM  

11 cans of Krylon!!!!

Dirt Forum Racer

Total posts: 93
posted June 13, 2004 03:23 PM  
Krylon RULES! Krylon will stick to anything. My girl owns a sign biz, and she regulary uses it to spray effects on vinyl.

rico 08
Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 1139
posted June 14, 2004 11:56 AM  
Mine is rattlecan'd too,and touchups are a snap.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 374
posted June 16, 2004 12:42 PM  
After using several different paint and methods. The stuff I like the best is PPG AUE 100 urethane enamel. It'll stick to snot shines great and keeps its shine all season UNLIKE MY FIZZBOMB JOBS. Plus it comes with hardener (no thinner needed) for $58-72 a gal. One gal will do a whole car. PLEASE USE A RESPARATOR WITH THIS STUFF, IT'S NASTY!!!!

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 169
posted June 16, 2004 08:42 PM  

I used 2 quarts to paint mine, mixed in 4oz of hardner with each quart and sparyed it. Looks good too.

You are right, it did dry a little slow, but it could have been the humidity. Next time, I'm getting real paint with some metallics in it though.

Gunner 33
Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 28
posted June 16, 2004 10:02 PM  
I used 16 cans of Rustoleum 7762 Sunshine Red spray paint and it turned out awesome. I sent Rustoleum some pictures of the truck to see if they would sponsor me. I didn't get any cash, but I did get 48 cans of 7762 Sunshine Red. If you want to see the pictures PM me.

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 196
posted June 18, 2004 12:19 PM  

I used a roller and tractor enamel from TSC, also a can of enamel hardner from the same shelf. I read about this in a previous thread. Cost? less than $50. Good for a 50/50 paint job....loojack

"loojackracing, a not for profit organization"

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 44
posted June 20, 2004 01:37 PM  
I'm thinking about using Rustoleum and a spray gun. Has anyone done this? Can you spray it right from the can or do you need to thin it?

Dirt Maniac

Total posts: 168
posted June 20, 2004 07:12 PM  
A friend of mine did it that way. Used mineral spirits to thin it and a couple quarts of red on a 70 monte. Worked and looked great but about 5 hours to dry to the touch. Other than that, no problems at all.

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 874
posted June 20, 2004 07:41 PM  
ppg sentari enuf said

Dirt Forum Champ
Total posts: 968
posted June 25, 2004 06:32 AM  
Rustoleum-thin it with laquer thinner so that it dries faster. I like to use a hardner, but I don't ALWAYS use it.

Dirt Freak

Total posts: 431
posted June 25, 2004 07:22 AM  
You guys are to high tech for me. 2-quarts of cheap oil base paint and a brush. 2-days to dry. $25.00

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 44
posted June 28, 2004 05:15 PM  
We use the rustoleum too, and thin it with
a little mineral spirits so it will spray.
My 15 year old just painted ours, his first
time, and it came out great. Only used 2
quarts, total cost about $15, that's cheaper
than spray bombs! Ace hardware also sells
their brand, just like Rustoleum I think,
for $23 a gallon.

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 44
posted June 30, 2004 07:19 AM  
jbracing, how much mineral spirits do you use to thin it? Do you use a gravity feed or siphon spray gun?

Dirt Full Roller

Total posts: 44
posted June 30, 2004 07:34 PM  
I don't even measure it, I'd guess about 10%, maybe a little more. I fill the cup
up about 3/4 of the way then add about 1/2"
of thinner. Notice how the paint runs off
the end of the stir stick before and after
you add the thinner, with a little practice
you can tell how much it needs. I use a cheap siphon gun at 40 psi. Make sure you
have a water seperator on your line and
drain your tank before you start. When you
first start spraying, practice on something
metal like an old fender or something, to
get your pattern right. And finally, like
several others have said, make sure you wear
a respirator with any kind of paint. Us racers probably don't have many extra brain
cells! Good luck,

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