Repainting an old Shopsmith

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Forum topic by ray5809 posted 05-26-2018 08:33 AM 974 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 4304 days

05-26-2018 08:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: painting metal shopsmith tablesaw spray gun

I received a very old ShopSmith clone. Some of the bearings were in bad shape I took it apart and replaced all the bearings and the power cord.

I would like to repaint it. It will make my wife happy. I haven’t ever done this before. Big paint job.

I have all the parts disabled. Lots of pictures and the owners manual. Please give me all of the advice you can.

I plan to wash the painted parts with water. Then lightly sand with a scotch bright and 600 grit sandpaper. To get just loose paint off. (It has a lot of over spray on it.) then wash with water again. Wipe it off and wipe it down. Then I was going to mask off any holes and the decals with painters tape and brown paper.
Question should I plug all the set screws?
Once it is dry. I was going to paint a white primer. With Walmart spray cans. How many coats of primer should I use? I was going to to lightly sand with water an a red Scott bright or 600 grit wet/dry sand paper to get everything smooth.
Next I was going to paint the parts with as close to a color match that Walmart has. How many coats should I use? What about sanding after each coat drys?
Finally should I spray on a coat of clear coat? What surface preparation should I use. How many coats.
I am going to paint outside as soon as the Florida rainy season ends. I have goggles for over my glasses. Can I use a hospital type breathing mask? Or should I get a respirator? I will be spraying away from me with the wind behind me.
Any suggestions on avoiding runs in the part. When I get them. How do I fix it?
Thank You in advance. I am a retired mechanical engineer and haven’t really painted metal or much experience with a spray can.
My wife will really enjoy any mistakes I make. Please save me from her.

7 replies so far

View mrg's profile


868 posts in 3774 days

#1 posted 05-26-2018 11:50 AM

Sounds like a fun project.
For sanding before painting use 180 – 220 paper, 600 is for finish sanding.
Sand your parts get them to where you want them. If the original paint isn’t bad you will just need to scuff the paint. After sanding wipe the parts down with a rag, then a tack cloth. Wipe with alcohol, naphtha or mineral spirits to get the oils off. Mask off what you want to mask off with painters tape, use a good painters tape so you don’t get any bleed through. Use craft/ butcher paper or a couple layers of newspaper, brown bag so paint doesn’t soak through. Any place a bearing may seat mask.

You can use a primer then paint. Or use a primer and paint in one. If you prime then paint, use a sandable primer follow the instructions on the can. Paint, sand any high spots clean and then paint.

Last project I used Rust-O-Leum paint and primer hammered metal finish and the drill press came out great.

When spraying start your spray before the part and go across and off in one even smooth stroke holding the can about 6 inches from the surface. Each pass overlap the last. Follow the instructions on the can for the second coat usually 1-2 hrs if you miss that window it’s 24/48. Most paints you won’t need to sand between coats.

Use a good respirator like the 3m with the filters for paint. Your lungs will thank you.

Good luck with the project and post pictures.

-- mrg

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2438 posts in 938 days

#2 posted 05-26-2018 11:54 AM

personally, I would go with the Rust-Oleum enamel products.
industrial primer will do you well. if you sand down to bare metal, spot prime with
the “self etching” primer. do not use self etching primer over a painted surface.
a generic rattle can “bonding” primer will keep your finish color from lifting later on in life.
look at the “spray button” for the large style that sprays in any angle.

many members here have done fantastic projects in refurbishing their equipment.
sounds like a fun project !!
what part of Fla are you in ?

Note: some spray paints say that you must recoat within one or two hours.
if not recoated within that time, you must wait 24 hours to recoat.

Read, Understand and Follow the instructions on the label of all products you use.
Pay particular attention to the safety notes and heed the warnings accordingly.


-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View ray5809's profile


9 posts in 4304 days

#3 posted 05-26-2018 12:23 PM

I am not going to sand down to bare metal. Just remove any loose spots. Should I still prime everything?
Do you have any other comments with my plan?
Have you ever done anything like this? How did it come out
Thanks for the quick response.
I live in Orlando. Where are you from?
Thank You for the tips.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

2438 posts in 938 days

#4 posted 05-26-2018 12:33 PM

Ray – I am down the road in Kissimmee at the end of John Young Pkwy.
there are a dozen or so fellow members here in all parts of Florida.
and yep – the rain is here for a few more days !!

if you are not experienced with rattle can spray paints, practice on something
of similar texture. too much paint, it will run. too little and it looks bad.
too far away and the paint mist drys before it hits the metal, resulting in a poor finish.
there is no need to clean off the solvent such as mineral spirits – it will evaporate by itself.
practice ~ practice ~ practice before you move on to your project.
purchase 3 cans of primer and 3 cans of the color you choose. there is no need to clear coat.
personally, I avoid the cheap types that says “good for all outside furniture”. that is just my choice.
check YouTube for rattle can painting – lots of tutorials there that you can see first hand results with.
also note that the spray mist will float in the general area and fall to the floor or ground.
so you must use a plastic sheet, old bedsheet or painters drop cloth to protect the surrounding areas.
I have a bad habit of painting small parts on my back patio with the paint mist falling to the floor.
naturally, I am barefoot and the soles of my feet are often a different color. (it wears off in a few days).

here is a sample tutorial for basic spray painting with the rattle can:

did I mention PRACTICE ????



-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View MrUnix's profile


8094 posts in 2974 days

#5 posted 05-26-2018 02:10 PM

There is no need to primer first. And if you aren’t going to go all out and strip to bare metal, then clean it as good as you can with whatever you have to remove any loose paint and rust. Wire wheels in a drill work nicely if you have them. Once you get it prepared for paint, give it a good wipe down with a dilute phosphoric acid, followed by a wipe down with acetone. Tape/mask off any machined surfaces, and plug any holes that you don’t want paint in (just wad up a piece of wax paper and stick it in the hole). Since rattle cans put down a really thin coat, I would do at least three. Brushing would be better (and much cheaper) if you can go that route.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View JRsgarage's profile


367 posts in 1284 days

#6 posted 05-26-2018 02:50 PM

I saw this when I went to buy some black spray for mailbox and it worked surprisingly well..just clips onto can

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2261 days

#7 posted 05-26-2018 02:56 PM

I found the rust oleum paint + primer covers well.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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