Painted with:

Rust-Oleum Paint

Rust-Oleum First painting session
Painting?. Tips & Tricks Second Session

Tips Tricks and Advice in painting your vehicle.

  This file is for the do-it-yourselfer. Although the tips and tricks worked for me, I can not give any warranty, or guarantee that these will work for you. All I can do is tell you what worked for me.

  Now, there are some questions about using Rust-Oleum for a vehicle. Those are valid. I had the same questions. I sent a email to Rust-oleum, asking about using the off-the-shelf oil based paint for a vehicle. They said it has fading qualities after time, but then all paint does. It won't liquify, won't boil in the heat of mid summer in the sun.

  As far as I can tell, and I did some home work on Rust-Oleum and car paint, compairing... yes, car paint is better, but, then the cost of the paint is around 85.00 a quart... QUART!. The qualities are about the same actually... Rust-Oleum also handles and sprays on just about the same as car paint. Rust-Oleum is a out door paint, metal paint, and so is outdoor furniture... So why not use it for a vehicle?. No reason, other than the cost, and fading after years in the sun. There were some other won't's. but I don't remember and I deleted the email. Bottom line is: I desided Rust-Oleum is almost just as good as regular car paint.

  My truck is in a enclosure, away from the sun, most of the time... So, I desided to give it a go... It's been years since I picked up a air spray gun. Actually since 1974 in my High school, in auto shop. So, these are the methods I used to paint my truck. At this time, I am in the process, Tuesday, June 14, 2011, of re-painting the outside. Why?. because I think I can do better... And yes, I now have 5 coats on. Look at Page 4 to see the differance between the first painting and the second. I also know I will NOT use rubbing compound, as this took too much paint off.

  Keep refering to this page as I may up date this page as I think of tips and tricks that I have used. When writing something like this page you always think of things, or stumble in the mind, as to make something clearer to you later on...

Tips and Tricks before painting the vehicle

Prep the vehicle

  Remove everything that can be removed that does not get painted. Bumpers for example. Grill, tail lights, and so on. Use a rag to wrap the actual bulb and socket and put it back into the area. What can't be removed, use masking tape. Most often, you don't need the expensive "blue" tape. Use that for delicate areas, like the windshield frame that is already factory painted. Chrome, and things like that you can use the regular masking tape. I used Ace's 99 cent roll.. That's good for chrome handles, plastics and such. Also good for keeping coverings in place like wheel covers. I used blankets, bed sheets I found in the trash. I had to find a LOT because I was also covering the womens things in the garage.. It WILL get all over. It will GET on the floor, it WILL lay on the sheets, and It WILL get under the vehicle if you care to cover the entrances of the under vehicle. Don't mask yet. but do remove the parts. removing the parts will save you cleaning them later.

  Now that you have things removed it's time to wet sand. I used 400 grit. I had the garden hose and using the water directly from the garden hose while sanding. Use lot's of water. Sand as the air would flow over the vehicle. NO circular sanding, no side ways, although if your sanding areas where you can't go the air flow, then there is only side to side. NO CIRCULAR sanding... No CIRCULAR got it?. You also need a sanding block. A peice of furring strip works good, but I found the "spungy" type of sanding block worked better for me. You may want to try those instead of a wood block. I cut about a 1/4 inch off of one end because the sanding paper was a little smaller than the block. Not good to have the harsher block peeping out of each end while sanding... Don't sand a lot on the creases!. The pressure from your block is higher there and you can sand to the metal easier than the non creases surfaces.. A few times, thats it. Sanding makes the paint hold..

  You want to have some towels available, as using the towels shows you where you missed spots. If it's shiney, it has to be sanded. I also noticed, sanding also takes the wax off, of course, so don't use any wax remover. You work a little harder, because where your sanding with wax, the sand paper has to go through the wax first, then the paint... I don't know how good wax remover is, and if it affects the new paint. I just sanded a little more.

  Okay, now, make sure you get a few "Lint Free" towels, rags etc... LINT FREE!!!.. No LINT!!!... Okay, I noticed, that white Tee shirts are mostly lint free... Get a few of them together... No logo's or printed material on the tee's. Regular, ordinary white cotton tee shirts. New preferiable. Go over the vehicle with one tee shirt damp. NOT wet!, DAMP... Not dripping water, damp enough as you go over the old sanded paint, it will almost follow you as it's drying. If it's warm out... Taking a few minutes to dry is okay too....

Prep the vehicle in painting position

  Park the vehicle in the garage... NOT outside, Not along side the house.. In a garage... Position the vehicle so that you have pleanty of room to work around the whole vehicle. You WILL be sticking your butt out in back of you while spraying, and you don't want to hit anything with your buttt. This will throw off your spraying consintration, and mess up the paint!!... PLEANTY OF ROOM... Got it?.

  I positioned the truck a skew sideways, so I have much access front, back, and sides.. Make sure the vehicle is in park and the parking brake is on. Okay, now, mask the vehicle and cover all that dosen't get painted... (If your covering your stuff in the garage do that first before you drive the vehicle in)... Mask the windows, and all... Have some news paper handy also. You'll need it for the windows and stuff.

  You will need a box fan. The one's that Lowe's and Home Depot sells. That will go into the window of the garage. better if the window is in the back. This will exaust most of the fumes, and paint particals in the air before they fall... NOTE: May want to cover the roses, and flowers in the back of the garage before painting. bring in your compressor, and make sure you have pleanty of air hose to go all the way around the vehicle. bring in the other materials like the paint, thinner, rags, tee shirts, and don't forget the air mask for your face. You will need several of them... Bring in some cardboard boxes, not big ones, although you will need some larger cardboard just before we start to spray. Find a spot for the cardboard along side a wall, and lay them upright. You will be using the cardboard to test, and practice your spraying before you actually paint the vehicle.

  Some materials you will need. Some things to do before you bring in the vehicle.

  Okay, so now your masked, covered, and ready to paint the vehicle..... Close the garage door AND DO NOT OPEN IT UNTIL THE VEHICLE IS COMING OUT. Don't open the garage door, Got it.?... Close all windows except the fan window. Okay, now, Damp tee shirt again the vehicle. Make sure you wipe the whole vehicle... Okay, done?... Now, tee shirt the vehicle again... Wait until completely dry... DRY.... Don't dry. No, don't pick up that dry tee!!.. Put it down!... Wait, Wait until dry... NOTE: It's better if the temp in the garage is high, like 80, 90, or so. This is because of the paint. Goes on better, and controls better. Summer time is best to do this. Humidity, should not be too high. Although I had a few hot and humid days I painted anyway because it was hot in the garage. But, it's your call.

  Okay so, let's review...

  A word about the testing cardboard... This will be used to test your spraying method, and to see how the paint reacts to your "sway" while painting... So, let's fill the spray gun cup with a quart of paint... Add about a 1/4 inch of thinner. Mix well... Put the air hose on, and walk over to the test cardboard... Now, point the gun to the cardboard and while swaying back and forth pulling the spray trigger... Now, LISTEN:, Stop spraying when you get to the end right or left.. See the video for a good example then spraying again on your way back. Stop, start... You stop at the end, and pull the trigger again on the return. This stops the paint inbetween your direction movements so the paint don't go on more than you want. Cuts down on RUNNING and SAGGING....

  Okay, now see when the paint starts running or sagging. How may passes before it does that?. Two passes all okay?. Thats good. Just for kicks, see how many passes it takes for the paint to sag or run.. Sagging will happen sooner than running.. So, after 2 passes on the same target. WAIT.. WATCH the paint... Few minutes... No sags?. No Runs?.. Your good at this point... If you do have sags, or runs, either cut down on your passes, or make the paint a little thicker. Add more paint... Not too thick.. You want the spray to be spray, not spitting large paint balls at the vehicle. Play with the cardboard. When you feel your ready go for it... remember, spraying wet is best... Cuts down on "Orange Peeling".. That caused by a lot of overspray, and keeping the method of spraying wet, helps to have the over spray "melt" into the sprayed paint better...

  Now, painting the vehicle.. Take some time and think what would be the best way to paint the whole vehicle in one spray session?.. Important thing to do.. Why?. because the overspray has a better chance of laying into the paint, instead of orange peeling effect... Now, you will probally need a 3 foot step ladder to paint the roof... Roof should be first... Then continue from front to back... it's better to paint the vehicle is sections, as you paint. Roof, hood, front, fenders, doors, quarter pannels, rear. Done.

  Empty out the gun cup back into the can. Cover the can, and poor some thinner in the cup. Clean the cup with a lint free rag. Poor a little more thinner in the cup.. Clean the guns stem... Connect the air hose, and spray a few time on the cardboard.. This cleans out the gun.. Disconnect from the air hose.. Let set for tomorrow. Next day, when your ready to paint another coat. Spray the thinner to the cardboard to make sure the gun is clean and there are no spirts comming out. Spray to the cardboard a few times. Remember before you leave the garage to take the fan out of the window and close the window.

  Now, Look close the whole vehicle. Look for sags, runs... None?. Good... Remove the fan in the window, close the window, turn off the lights, and leave the garage for 24 hours... Then do it all over again, until you have the coats you want. Too many coats of paint will be excessive build up. Too little won't be enough for sanding after the paint cures (Yes, sanding again)... I did 5 wet coats.

  Okay, so you have sagging or runs.. There is a way to take care of it before it dryes... But, personally, after 24 hours, use wet sanding. Some people wipe the area clean. Like if it's a door, wipe the door. I personally like the sanding way better. It can be work to sand away a run or sag, but It's your call.... BUT, remember, spray the cardboard first and see the reaction of the paint. test spray, test your method first on the cardboard.

After the coats of paint has cured

  Rust-Oleum cures in about 10 days... I allowed 2 weeks... Suggest, you allow two weeks.... If you want the mirrow shineing result, sand with 1500. The whole vehicle. DON'T put the things back on. DON'T put the bumpers on, or anything you took off for painting. Remove the masking tape after the last coat, after 24 hours. After 2 weeks sanding with 1500, then sand with 2000, then sand with 2500.. (If you can find 2500) Then use Liquid Glass wax... Finished!!.. Oh, but wait, now you have the stuff to put back on.... Then Finished... NOTE: Leave the vehicle in the garage for the two weeks. The heat of the day will help bake the paint on, you will have a better paint job, and it will be cleaner and last longer.

  That's it folks!... Just remember, test your movements. Thats important, plus the thickness of the paint, not too much thinner... Practice on the cardboard before you paint the vehicle... I hope your paint job turns out good... If this file was helpful, Leave a message in the comment area at the end of the sites pages.. I would like to know if this file was a help.

  I haven't tryed clear coating... I suppose it would be good to do, but clear coats are also expensive. Liquid Glass is supposed to have a protective coat. Looks like it, acts like it, and from what I read it does. Clear coats you could try if you want. But, I suggest seanding and all before you clear coat. if you do, let me know how it works out. Another thought I had is: Clear coats seem to be paint without the color pigment. I wonder if someone can purchase a gallon or so of oil based paint without pigment from Home Depot or Lowe's. Direct from the counter?. That, as I understand is clear coat... That's a interesting thought.

Sanding with 1500 grit.

  Okay. So, now your ready to sand with 1500... You WILL be using more sheets of 1500 then 2000... So, get a lot. Advanced auto sells the little packages of 1500. 5 sheets in a package. I suggest you buy 3 packs of 1500, and two packs of 2000... Sand until the orange peeling is gone. Sand each area seperate, roof, hood, fender etc. Use the hose and have the water running on the area your sanding. Always running on your sanding. This makes the sand papaer last longer and the sanded paint run off better. Making sure you dry with a tee, and then have another tee damp and go over the area. Dry, and this will tell you where you have to sand some more. You will see shiney areas, like BB's. They have to go. You WILL ba sanding a lot. Probally will take a few days to sand the whole vehicle with 1500. I suggest you DON'T use mechanical sanding. Hand sand.

Sanding with 2000 grit.

  After you sand with the 1500, and all the orange peiling has gone, Then it's the 2000.. You won't need so many, but it's a little trickier because now the orange peiling is gone, and there is no "guide" where to sand. One reason you do a section at a time. I went over the area with the 2000 for a few minutes a section. This makes the paint even smoother. Using the 2000 is a little trickier. So, what you can do, is do the roof first. Then wax the roof and see how it turns out. Better to sand the whole vehicle first. It's your call. NOTE: The wipeing with water, pay attention to the shine omitting from the water before it drys. This is a indication of what it will look like. Remember though, the water wiped on from a DAMP tee.

Waxing with Liquid Glass.

  Okay, now waxing... Use Liquid Wax... This stuff is really better than the conventional wax. Much better, easier, lasts longer, and hold up. In our job, since we diden't use a clear coat. Start applying the first coat of Liquid Wax. Like the directions says. Let dry. Then take a dry cloth and remove the haze. You will see a differance the first time.

  If you choose to use a different wax like Turtle wax, Please let me know how it turns out and if you can supply some pictures. That would be nice.

Found the best way for applying Liquid Glass

  Now, almost right after you applied the first liquid glass coat, apply another one. Yes, another one. You will see a differance... Now listen up: After 24 hours, apply another coat. This will add to the shine. Yes, more pint will be on the rag... Use all clean rags. Not the one's you used yesterday. If your happy with the shine, then your done. If you want even more shine, try another coat after 24 hours or longer.

Additional Tips for painting your vehicle.

  If your trying this by my instructions, print this page. Have it handy for referance. There is a lot here... This method has been tested, and you see the results in the pictures of this web site. This method worked for me, there is no gurantee, or warranty of any kind with these instructions. it worked for me, and should work for you. If your painting your vehicle a different color then what it was, or your vehicles paint was so bad that there is bear metal, you will need a primer. I suppose you could use Rust-Oleums primer, but I haven't tested. Probally be good. Or you can use a auto primer. Be sure the primer and the paint are compatiable with each other.

  Please let me know how this method works for you. Please send pictures. Contact me first, my return email then you can send the pictures. I would like to see how my method works for others.