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First try at using a paint gun


lostviking
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Preparing to spray parts of my truck, I purchased an Eastwood LT100 paint gun. I'm using single stage Eastwood poly for paint. Not wanting to mess up the truck while I learn, I painted a motorcycle front fender. It was mid 60's today with no wind.

 

I didn't use it this time, but I bought a popup screen room tent to spray the truck fender in. When a friend sprayed my other bike, we used one and it worked out pretty good. No "stuff" in the paint and they are fairly cheap.

 

Anyway, amateur here. The paint is fairly pebbly looking. I figured with several coats, I can wet sand it. But why? Too thick and not enough reducer? Too cold (65F)?

 

The gun worked great. I watched a few online vid's on setup and when I sprayed some lacquer thinner through it the fan seemed perfect to me. No bulge, even width, wide and even deposit of lacquer thinner. I think the gun was setup well, so the finish is something in my technique.

 

Regards and have a great Saturday.

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did you actually test your viscosity and properly calculate your flash time between coats...so so many variable in mixing and spraying, hard to truly say what was or was not in line.  BUT.........you will learn as you go...starting small project is good for you.....use a test paper hanging on the wall for viscosity, speed and distance when spraying and see what works for you to get the smooth layer you looking for.

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I have sprayed auto paints for years but often has been long periods of time between and the paint formulations change constantly  more so in recent years due to environmental rule changes.

 

I also always request the paints data sheet for the paint I plan to use.  Used to get from my local paint supplier but all seem to be available online by a search with name of brand type etc.  I would think this info would be available on Eastwoods website?.

 

They will give you all the mixture details, gun pressures and distance gun to subject. All are subject to fine tuning by applicator.

 

That is were experience is key.  You may need to try and try various mixes, pressures, etc.

 

Learn your own experience. There is no fast and always works rules.

 

It can be fun however to learn how and the end product can be your reward.

 

Painting the final coats are the most enjoyable part of working on cars for me! 👍

 

DJ

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24 minutes ago, lostviking said:

The gun worked great. I watched a few online vid's on setup and when I sprayed some lacquer thinner through it the fan seemed perfect to me. No bulge, even width, wide and even deposit of lacquer thinner. I think the gun was setup well, so the finish is something in my technique.

Kind of reminds me of my first time behind a spray gun .... @Plymouthy Adamsset me straight ....

My problem was using a enamel paint & thinning it with lacquer thinner which is not compatible with the paint.

29 minutes ago, lostviking said:

I'm using single stage Eastwood poly for paint.

I have no clue about it myself, just asking you if it is lacquer paint & compatible with lacquer thinner?

 

I'm using a very inexpensive single stage paint from tractor supply. My first go around on some body panels was bumpy, I wanted to call it orange peel but not sure.

Switching to a paint thinner or a compatible reducer instead of using lacquer thinner cured it.

 

As others have said above, practice will improve your skills & confidence.

I built a 16'x16' garden shed & painted it with same paint from tractor supply, I practiced mixing & spraying the paint.

 

0429221057.jpg.11a8993f88f71796f153a024e422ef94.jpg

 

Then later I built the raised bed & sprayed it, I have a 3 bin compost pile & I sprayed that. .... I restored a old wheel barrow & sprayed it.

I have been spraying body panels on my truck .... no problems with my mixing or my spraying.

I'm 100% confident I will end up with a 20 footer because of poor bodywork, not bad paint techniques.

 

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I only used the lacquer thinner to clean up and test the spray pattern. I have the correct hardener and reducer from Eastwood. I bought it all together. I mixed it 8:1 paint to hardener, and used the hardener for lower temps. I didn't have specific information on how much reducer to use though, so I was thinking I left the paint too thick. Area's along the rounded sides of the fender where the paint was sprayed thicker flattened out, but other area's there is a big of roughness.

 

I waited 10 mins between coats, starting with a fairly thin coat, then two thicker ones. I thought that I've read you do a tack coat first and then cover and finish with a wet layer.

 

I used a mixing cup that has the ratios printed on it. I used the 8:1:1 and that was paint, hardener, reducer.

 

Definitely started with a small object that I can sand easily and fix :)

 

Thanks for the comments.

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OK, I see the problem, it was me. I was supposed to mix 3:1 paint to activator. It is drying fine, but isn't the activator also supposed to make the paint flatten out and give it the shinny surface?

 

I should have looked it up again today, rather than rely on memory. I did for the gun setup...not the paint. 8:1 was the enamel I didn't use :)

 

Oh well, live and learn. I'll sand it tomorrow and then repaint with the correct ratio.

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1 hour ago, lostviking said:

OK, I see the problem, it was me. I was supposed to mix 3:1 paint to activator. It is drying fine, but isn't the activator also supposed to make the paint flatten out and give it the shinny surface?

 

I should have looked it up again today, rather than rely on memory. I did for the gun setup...not the paint. 8:1 was the enamel I didn't use :)

 

Oh well, live and learn. I'll sand it tomorrow and then repaint with the correct ratio.

It may never cure completely with that small amount of activator.  To give it the best chance to become hard enough to sand, I'd warm it up with a heat lamp or portable heater.  Then sand as much off as possible before recoating with the correct mix.

 

The activator doesn't do much of anything to flow and gloss, just the actually curing of the paint film.  The other comes from application technique.  Proper paint amount, distance from surface, air pressure and gun speed are the key things.   That is assuming it is reduced to the correct flow rate for your gun and tip size.

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the times they are a-changing....ring true with paints today.  My go to line of paint has changed over the years.  Where once the mixing rate was higher for added reducer, today, they sell you reduced paint at a higher price and premix the reducer to the point that you only have to slightly alter the viscosity for spraying.  So, paying more and getting less is the trend here now.  As advise, if you do not get the mixing data sheet with the sale, do go online and download their instructions.  As stated, tons of mixing info here for viscosity, hardener and other agents used in spraying.    As paint is very expensive, you can usually buy a quart/pint of so of the brand paint in a color not needed or wanted as it was mixed wrong color etc.  Buy some of this at good price for practicing your mixing and spraying techniques on good heavy masking paper taped to the wall.  In this manner, your lessons will be at a much reduced cost in both time and money and rework as you get familiar with this brand of paint and learn the setup of your gun and your own handling techniques of spraying.

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Sand your panel flat with 600 wet and reshoot it. The problem with painting each panel at a different time is that you will end up with different textures. I paint everything I do in pieces unless it's a Kandy or custom/flake. I shoot them all at the same time though. Also, 60 isn't ideal for painting. I usually only shoot base clear so first thing I do is set the can of clear in the sun. That way, it has time to warm up while I'm shooting sealer and color. You can do the same with single stage, warm it up. Good luck.

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I'm leaving for Thanksgiving in Texas tomorrow, so I won't be touching it until next weekend at the earliest. I will probably have to strip it completely due to the poor ratio's as Ken pointed out. I'll leave it in the sun and see, but I'm not confident. The motorcycle fender was never going to be this color anyway, it was just something to practice on. Good choice I'd say.

 

They don't really recommend reducer at all, and then a max of 10%, so I think I probably just sprayed it too thick and maybe didn't wait long enough between coats. I pushed the 10 min wait due to inexperience and not reading enough. I see now that it won't start to gel in the time it takes to paint it correctly. Lesson learned.

 

Eastwood says to hold the gun a bit closer to the surface than I expected from my YouTube college classes :) They say about 6 inches, but I am at work, so I'll check that again. I sprayed at 20psi, but that's the lower end of the range for the gun. I'll up the pressure a bit also. I'll also turn down the paint adjustment. I'm sure I had it too high and pushed too much paint.

 

Rushing into things without reading isn't normal for me, but I guess I got excited about having a painting window with the weather. It was mid to upper 60's and got into the lower 70's right after I sprayed.

 

Even though it was mostly a disaster, I at least got a feel for the process. It's not scary anymore, but I do need to read and do it correct next time.

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33 minutes ago, lostviking said:

 

Eastwood says to hold the gun a bit closer to the surface than I expected from my YouTube college classes :) They say about 6 inches, but I am at work, so I'll check that again. I sprayed at 20psi, but that's the lower end of the range for the gun. I'll up the pressure a bit also. I'll also turn down the paint adjustment. I'm sure I had it too high and pushed too much paint.

 

 

On the air pressure issue, if using an HVLP gun the 10psi is an 'at the tip' measurement and is usually achieved with a 30-35PSI at the gun inlet.  And, it's important to note that that pressure is read and set with the trigger pulled.  

 

I always set the paint needle to full open less maybe 1/2 turn when painting panels.  Fan size is also near full and distance from panel is closer to 8-9" than 6.   For me,  it seems that settings and gun speed  'just before it runs' provides the best finish.   Stopping at that point is the trick   !

 

And, I always reduce a bit, usually a little over the recommendation but in cool weather that can push it past the 'just before it runs" point.

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Got lucky with the paint, it cured. I did some wet sanding today to see how it might come out...remember, this isn't going to be finished, the bike is Rootbeer brown. This is just to practice with the paint and gun before working on my truck.

 

I didn't sand the mount points at all, so you can see what a mess I made of the spray out. But, after some 320 and a bit of 600, it doesn't look bad. I think that a bit of 1000 and 2000, plus some polish and the paint would look better than what is on the truck now.

 

I learned from my many mistakes on this job, but it was my first ever, so I'm OK with it.

 

before sanding.jpg

 

 

 

320 and 600.jpg

 

 

Edited by lostviking
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Didn't do any more sanding, so only 600. On the truck I'll go to 1000, 2000 and maybe 3000. I have all of them. Today I just used some Maquiars Ulta cut compound and 3 inch foam pad, the some Maguiars X20 scratch remover. I wasn't expecting spectacular results...just wanted to get an idea how the paint buffed out.

 

Not too bad either. It's better than the rest of the truck actually.

 

 

slight polish.JPG

 

You can see the unbuffed part at that bottom. Some higher numbered sanding would have gotten the top to bottom scratches out completely. But, it's going to get sanded off and painted with the correct color eventually. I think I like the single stage Eastwood poly.

Edited by lostviking
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