Painting on a budget

Discussion in 'Boat Yard Basics' started by firecat1981, May 24, 2013.

  1. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I go back and forth between spraying and rolling my next project boat, before anyone starts comparing the 2 methods that isn't what this topic is about. I've rolled my last few boats and am happy with the technique, but spraying would save some time and open up some options.

    So here is where I am now, I drive 15 year old jeep that is in need of some body work and a paint job. I was looking at just tossing on a cheap job to keep it from rusting away, but even a decent single stage will run me $300 or so before bodywork. So I was thinking why not buy a cheap set up and do it myself for the same money, and just play around to get ready for the boat. It has been many years since I sprayed a car, and honestly I didn't pay much mind to the equipment since it wasn't mine so bare with me.

    Don't blast me for using budget tools, I know it's not ideal, but I'm not looking to do this for a living, just these 2 projects. I want to know if it's possible, and any tips you may have to use one of the below compressors and guns? I know I may have to wait at times for it to refill and will need a filter or 2. Thanks

    http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-compressors/18-horsepower-26-gallon-150-psi-psi-oilless-air-compressor-69669.html

    http://www.harborfreight.com/air-tools/air-compressors/18-horsepower-17-gallon-150-psi-psi-oilless-air-compressor-69666.html

    http://www.harborfreight.com/20-oz-high-volume-low-pressure-gravity-feed-spray-gun-47016.html

    http://www.harborfreight.com/professional-automotive-hvlp-spray-gun-kit-94572.html
     
  2. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    I have a friend, (big time car guy) ive seen him paint several cars, with pearls and metalflake with harbor freight guns and they come out extremely nice. Granted a lot has to do with his skill, but to say it is impossible with a hf gun is false.
    When I sprayed my motor in awlgrip I used a kawasaki hvlp mini touch up gun. It was like $25. Imo spending the time to get the pressure right and setting up the gun is key. As well as the proper filters
     

  3. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Thanks Cut, I've been reading the reviews on the guns and they seem pretty favorable. I'm more concerned with the compressor, will 1.8hp and 17 or 26 gallons be enough? I think the ones we used to use were at least 80 gallon, but we weren't using HVLP guns either.

    Any recommendations on filters?
     
  4. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    26 is more on the minimum but doable.
    The more important thing is to get a compressor with a motor that can keep up.
    A 26gal with a 2hp motor is much better than a 30gal with a 1hp motor.

    I have an oil/water filter at the compressor and 2 of the little round colored plastic screw on ones at the end of the gun.
    Your going to want to use a new virgin line thats never had oil in it, and make sure every fitting from the gun to the compressor is sealed with thread sealant. A small leak will cause a "sweat" issue.
    No bueno
     
  5. tomahawk

    tomahawk Well-Known Member

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  6. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    I agree on the compressor. But ive never had much luck with the lvlp guns.
    Sherwin williams makes a hvlp "air fan" I think its called.
    Its not really a compressor but a big fan that makes filtered oil less air.
    New they are $900
    But can be had used for $300.
    They are the absolute way to go. Ive got one on my shortlist
     
  7. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    I don't want to spend much on the compressor since I don't have much use for it, or much room to store it. I've gotten by with a little 2 gallon for a while now, outside of these 2 projects all I'll use it for is to blow off sawdust and run a brad nailer. So what are the adverse effects of using a 26 gallon? Is it just that I will run out of pressure and have to wait for it to cycle? Or is there something else?

    The LVLP guns are interesting, but I did a search and don't see any with decent reviews other than the ones for latex/thicker coatings.
     
  8. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Its just going to cycle more, actually it will most likely be running the whole time.
    The bad part about that is the hot air going to cold makes more moisture, which is why I run so many filters.

    The lvlp is good for spraying primer or unthinned gelcoat, not so much a thin paint. At least thats my results.
    Remember im no pro by any means, im sure kreepa and paint it black are reading this and shaking their heads.
    But ya gotta do what ya gotta do

    Dont forget, staging the area is also key.
    Try to spray first thing in the morning, less wind and bugs, also soak the surrounding area with a hose so the wet ground stops dust. Just watch out for love bugs.
    I have considered buying a fabric carport that goes all the way to the ground on all 4 sides and cutting some holes in it for exhaust fans. That would be sahweet
     
  9. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    Check out the compressors that have a pump and a separate electric motor. They are far quieter, the ones you posted will drive you crazy with noise. HF and Northern tool have them.

    Don't forget CL.
     
  10. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    How about this one? I know it's a little smaller, but higher HP and oil lubed. Reading a bunch of reviews on these cheaper ones it seems not following proper setup and break in instructions are to blame for many of the bad reviews.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/25-Horsepower-21-gal-125-Cast-Iron-Vertical-Air-Compressor-67847.html?ccdenc=eyJjb2RlIjoiODM3MzExODEiLCJza3UiOiI2Nzg0NyIsImlzIjoiMTU5Ljk5IiwicHJvZHVjdF9p%0D%0AZCI6Ijc3NzQifQ%3D%3D%0D%0A
     
  11. jladdsmith

    jladdsmith I Love microskiff.com!

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    I view CL as a rental store. Scored a CH 26gallon horizontal with a new GE (real 3HP) motor for about $100 on there. Replacement cost on the motor alone would be $300 or more.

    If you have a little time, or just get lucky and buy it right, you can flip tools like this and possibly make money. Will add that using a smaller hp/pancake compressor is just not worth fooling with. The bigger ones like I have (flywheel type) are about 1/4 the noise of the oil free jobs.
     
  12. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

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    What about the Wal-Mart free rental program? ;) ;)
     
  13. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Lol my wife uses that program on occasion, it drives me nuts!

    I've used CL for a lot before, and while deals can be had, sorting through the turds can be time consuming. I don't like to sell small stuff anymore cause I don't like strangers coming to my home, to many shady guys out there. I'd rather give stuff away or trash it. However I don't want to get rid of the compressor, I'd like to keep it so it has to be moveable and small enough to store easily.

    Is the one I listed a few post ago the type you guys are referring to? Keep in mine I'm also running this off a normal outlet, not 220 or anything.
     
  14. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    Ok I'm back in the hunt and I'm going to try and move forward with the harbor freight set up soon. I'm going for the 21 gallon with the bigger 2.5hp motor.

    Can anyone recommend initial pressure settings for the HPLV gun?

    Also, can anyone recommend a budget automotive paint? Primer and topcoat that can be matched to factory colors? Doesn't have to be top quality. Even a base/clear will work if it's affordable.
     
  15. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    If your going to be using the harbor freight gun, I woukd spray around 40 psi,but thats just me.
    Do yourself a favor and take the time to set up the gun and get it dialed in and do a little practice first.
    Youll also start to figure out at what distance to spray and what speed. You want to flood the surface so it lays flat, but careful, a touch more and youll be running ;)
     
  16. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    There will be a few good test panels around before I go to the vehicle. Plenty of practice ahead.

    Any good suggestions on auto paint?
     
  17. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Not really.
    AUTO PAINT CAN GET REAL EXPENSIVE
    I think one of my friends painted his truck with "omni" turned out good, been lasting a while now
     
  18. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

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    You ain't kidding, looking around it seems $300-500 is the norm. There has to be a fairly reasonable alternative. I have painted cars in my youth, but it was long ago and in a shop with all the toys, so basically I'll have to learn again from scratch. It's nuts to me that I can but boat paint cheaper then auto. Really all I'm trying to do is get a few more years out of my jeep, plus practice for the new boat. Maybe I'll call around and see what's up.
     
  19. cutrunner

    cutrunner Cert. Yamaha technician

    Honestly as long as your not trying to spray some kind of metal flake or pearl, I would spray the jeep in awlgrip and never look back. Its what im going to do to mine.
    Lets face it, I know for a fact that awlgrip doesnt fade like car paint, and if you can get it cheaper, why not?
    Its polyurethane, same as car paint just has better ingredients to withstand the sun and fading.
     
  20. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    Painting on a budget, eh? Been there, done that, kept it cheap too.
    You can go with the high end paints if it makes you happy.
    But on a rust bucket beater filled with 20 lbs of bondo, why bother.
    I can still get acrylic enamel that'll cover and hide my half adzed bodywork
    for less than 50 bucks a gallon. Easy to apply, easy to clean up afterwards.
    I'm not interested in a show vehicle, just a utility vehicle to tow with and park at the ramp