How-To: Paint Misc. Metal Parts

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How-To: Paint Misc. Metal Parts

Post by NinjaneonTurtle » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:19 am

In this case, I had painted my front suspension parts. I did this "professionally" myself. Which means no spray cans or newspaper. A PPG Mixing System at my disposal, and a full downdraft paint booth. Work is so good for this kinda stuff :turtle:.. Had to squeeze the turtle in somewhere anyway..

Okay so supplies can be picked up at your local hardware store, paint supply or auto parts store:

The metal parts, cast iron, steel, aluminum, whichever.
Masking tape
Laquer thinner
Some rags [less fuzzy ones, I'll explain soon]
Etch Primer
Your basecoat of choice
Your clearcoat of choice
Rubber gloves
A respirator and/or a well vented area to spray in
[I've seen plenty of people that don't care to use one but mind you that you should always use a respirator whenever around solvent based anything because half the guys I work with develop horrible coughs and can't breathe too well as it is because of it. Seeing that everyday reminds me to put the thing on.]

My parts were brand new which means no rust. If the metal parts are brand new and bare metal, with no rust or corrosion you do not have to scuff them or sand them, the etch primer you use applies all the "bite" neccesary for the paint to stick. If the part is smooth enough, use a red scuffpad and get in all the nooks and crannies for extra insurance.

1. Put on your rubber gloves, then take the parts and clean them very throughly with laquer thinner and a rag. This is a very good time to use the respirator anyway guys. Preferably one with the least mount of fuzz on it! The fuzz sticks sometimes depending on what it is. And is hard to get off especially on rough metal parts like the knuckles and control arms.
By doing this you remove all the grease and oils off the part. I am also aware that wax and grease remover can do the same thing, but it is not as agressive as laquer thinner. W&G [wax and grease] was meant for surfaces with a finish to them so it was designed to be less agressive. Personally I would give the part a bath in the thinner after wiping the obvious grease off with the rag. Then let it air dry. So anything you deem neccesary right now that needs to be masked off, mask off with the tape.

2. Set up your parts where you'd like to spray. Get fancy and use whatever contraptions you want to think of. Just make sure it doesn't fall. I used chains and a clothes hanger contraption that you'll see in a second.. If you're OCD like me, you'd give the parts one more bath of laquer thinner before being sprayed.

3. Next apply the etch primer in thin light coats until part is fully covered. I can't stress that enough because it runs very easily being that the consistency is so thin. Wait for the etch primer to flash off. Wait a good 5-10 mins between coats anyway depending on the temperature you're in.

Pictured above is one of my front knuckles in etch primer.

4. Wait until your etch is dry [within a few minutes of the last coat flashing off] Then apply your base coat [color] in the same manner as the etch primer.

Knuckle with base on it. I wanted it to look dark grey like the metal so that's why it looks like its just bare. I used a '95 Chrysler trim/wheel color, Medium Quartz Metallic.

There's my rigged up clotheshanger dealy.. Those plates are to hold the bearings in place btw.

5. Clearcoat 'em. You *can* skip this step if you want to. Clear just offers another layer of protection so your paint doesn't get fugly.
ANYWAY, this is where you have to put the clear on wetter than how you did the other coats. You're pretty much on your own because I can't tell you how to spray. Just get it to where when it lays down, it doesn't look dry. DON'T dump it on. Not too dry, not too wet. That's all I was ever told so that's all I'm telling you guys and girls.

6. SO your parts are pretty damn shiney, good job. Wait a while for them to dry. long while. Like hours anyway. I baked my parts for a half hour at about 145 degrees in the paint booth. So it takes that much to dry something like that. So don't go poking at the paint every so often cause its just going to get fingerprints. lol. Forget about the parts until tomorrow, then you can handle them, throw them on the car and do whatever now.
Also sorry for no finished picture w/ the clear, my camera phone was acting up when I was painting these.

Parts WITH Corrosion:

On metal parts where there is corrosion, I'm guessing that most of us have not a lot of tools around and just end up using our hands. You can either, use a wire brush on rough casted parts, wire wheels are very good, the small "cookie" shaped grinding/polishing discs, or sand the corrosion off with a rough grit sandpaper.
80 grit should be fine to kill the time anyway. But then go from 80-180-320. In tough spaces you can't get to, I suggest using a red scuffpad. You don't want the rough scratches to show from any of the tools I listed so go always finish in 320 at the least to get rid of the scratches.
Unless you don't care and just want the thing painted, then by all means.. After getting the corrosion off then just follow the steps I laid out.

If the part is painted/chipped and with corrosion just make sure the entire part is sanded, and the chips are feathered out into a proper edge to where it does not chip anymore. Then have it finished in 320/red scuff pad.

Well hope this wasn't draggy. Seemed more like a lesson than a how to, but eh. As long as it helps. I wrote this up with an intent that a novice follow the instructions, to have as a rough guidline for smaller parts. I'm not talking about painting body panels. So I apologize in advance to everyone who knows this/that or the other thing pertaining to this subject that they feel I'm going about it wrong. This method we use works for us, no complaints.

Any questions? Feel free to ask.

Disclaimer=Tiny print!
By following my guidelines I hold no liability or responsibility for failure, health issues or damage caused by your acts in following these guidelines. That's pretty good if you actually can read this without resizing it.
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Post by sleeper95 » Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:21 pm

i wish i had a nice paint booth for things like this...for some reason bugs always seem to land on anything with a fresh coat of paint. lol

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Post by 99_fly_by » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:36 am

i can read the fine print without resizing lol....good write up
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