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Can I Powder Coat my Machines?

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Forum topic by Chris_Tx posted 04-16-2019 03:43 AM 428 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris_Tx

9 posts in 62 days


04-16-2019 03:43 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question finishing refurbishing

Hello all,
I am in the process of restoring several vintage wood working machines, that belonged to my grandfather, and I would really like to have them professionally coated. At first I was thinking powder coating, but when I contacted a local business to ask a price, they told me that due to the potential of the heating process causing warping, that powder coating was probably not my best option.
So I would love to hear what you have to say. Is there a danger of warping? I know I have heard of other guys powder coating machines. Would I be better off having them sprayed with a two part industrial paint? Is there a better option out there that I am unaware of?
I have tried painting them myself with rustoleum, both brush on and rattle can spray, but have to say that I am very disappointed with the results.
Any thoughts, opinions or advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance


14 replies so far

View SMP's profile

SMP

610 posts in 236 days


#1 posted 04-16-2019 06:10 AM

Do you know what they are all made of? I’d guess cast iron would be ok if heated evenly. But someachines maybe other metals?

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5598 posts in 2051 days


#2 posted 04-16-2019 09:27 AM

I would stay away from powder coating as warping could become an issue with some large surfaces that have been machine flat. If you’re looking for a good finish, consider taking them to an automotive painter. You could get away with less disassembly and spec the quality and color of paint you’re looking for.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View HackFabrication's profile

HackFabrication

101 posts in 42 days


#3 posted 04-16-2019 10:57 AM

I would not recommend powder coating anything cast iron or cast steel. I’ve had a number of things powder coated, and it does turn out nice, but everything I had done was steel. Regular steel plate or sheet, would be okay, if say, it was the base/covers. However it’s not easy to ‘touch up’ if nicked at a later point. And you’d need to make certain that you could match the powder with a similar spray paint. You’d be best to get everything sprayed with a good two part epoxy or industrial grade single part urethane type paint. Or buy yourself a decent spray gun and do them yourself. There are a few vendors that sell really good single stage urethane paints. Read up: http://www.epoxyproducts.com/ I purchased their single part urethane for use on the plywood sides/floor of my utility trailer.

Give them a call, they are very, very helpful. And ship quick.

What were your issues with using Rustoleum? Did you properly prep, clean, and prime the surface? My experience with Rustoleum (enamel rattlecan or brush), is that it takes a long time to cure. Especially brush on. Up to a month in regular conditions. You can shorten that by ‘baking’ the finish with a heat lamp/gun, but that might be difficult on a large piece of equipment.

When I built the extension wing support legs for my table saw, I sandblasted, cleaned, and primed with Rustoleum. Top finished them off with a couple coats of Rustoleum enamel and hit them with the heat gun a number of times over a two day period. They turned out nice:

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View Brawler's profile

Brawler

29 posts in 161 days


#4 posted 04-16-2019 10:58 AM



I would stay away from powder coating as warping could become an issue with some large surfaces that have been machine flat. If you re looking for a good finish, consider taking them to an automotive painter. You could get away with less disassembly and spec the quality and color of paint you re looking for.

- bigblockyeti


I agree, Automotive paint is really tough paint and the colors are endless. As a bonus I think it may also be cheaper than power coat.

-- Daniel

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Richard Lee

236 posts in 1106 days


#5 posted 04-16-2019 11:46 AM

Ive restored many old machines, only painted one and im sorry I did.
I like the look af the original paint and well used patina look.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2207 posts in 2320 days


#6 posted 04-16-2019 12:18 PM

If you want to pay someone, auto painters but there might be someone who paints implements/industrial machines. For diy, use implement paint in rattle cans or buy a $15 spray gun from HF if you have a compressor, which you are going to need for a workshop any way, and get quarts or gallons. Get the implement paint that you can get the separate hardener for. Its oil based paint that takes a month to cure out but its tough stuff. Magic is one brand Ive used.

View Chris_Tx's profile

Chris_Tx

9 posts in 62 days


#7 posted 04-16-2019 06:20 PM

Hi again,
Thank you all so much for the help, I am very new to forms, and have been amazed at the wealth of information now available to me. I certainly will not be powder coating any of my machines, I would be sick if they got damaged.
SMP, you are correct that they are for the most part cast iron.
Richard Lee, I wish I could leave them with their original paint jobs, but my grandfather had given them all a liberal coat of gray paint that is bubbling and peeling off. They have been sitting in my grandmothers garage uncared for and unused for 25 years, and were partly submerged during hurricane Harvey. So in order to clean them from rust and dirt, I had to take them back to bare metal.
Thank you all for the suggestions of automotive paints, I will do some looking into those.
I don’t know of anyone around me that does two part industrial paint, so that may not be an option for me at the present time, but we’ll see.
As to my problems with Rustoleum, unless I could lay the item flat, I could not keep it from sagging, or running, and areas that didn’t sag, later wrinkled as they dried. I am sure a good deal of the problem is my lack of skill, I am no painter, and I really don’t have anywhere to set up a spray booth. The humidity here right now is also very high, so that might play in. I would greatly appreciate any help or advice concerning painting, since I would like to do this myself.
Anyway, thank you all for your willingness to help!

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7309 posts in 2530 days


#8 posted 04-16-2019 07:04 PM

As to my problems with Rustoleum, unless I could lay the item flat, I could not keep it from sagging, or running, and areas that didn’t sag, later wrinkled as they dried.
- Chris_Tx

You are spraying too thick of a coat (sagging/running), and not letting it dry sufficiently or drying too long between coats (wrinkles).

I’ve restored a number of machines which involved stripping and painting. I’ve always had good success with industrial oil based enamels, either brushed or sprayed. Always thought that powder coating, or other exotic finishing methods like two part automotive finishes were just overkill, and enamel is what they were usually painted with originally anyway. I might feel different if I was restoring it for a Museum though :)

For rough cast iron surfaces, brushing works well, as the imperfections help hide any accidental brush strokes, drips or sags. For larger, flatter surfaces, I prefer to spray – typically using a cheap $10 purple HVLP gravity feed gun from HF. I’ve done a few with rattle cans as well, but those are usually the smaller machines that don’t require as much paint.

One observation though: You get WAY more bang for the buck buying the paint by the gallon (or even quart) instead of by the spray can. I wound up using somewhere around 10 cans when I restored my first Delta bandsaw. If you consider a can is $3-$5, that means I spent at least $30 on paint, and probably closer to $50 than I would like to admit. If I had just bought a quart instead, I could have brushed/sprayed that machine 2 times over and still had paint left over.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Chris_Tx's profile

Chris_Tx

9 posts in 62 days


#9 posted 04-16-2019 10:13 PM

Hi Brad,
Thank you for the tips, my biggest problem with sagging is on what I brushed on. I was getting fairly acceptable results with the rattle cans, but gave up on them due to the high cost, and how terribly thin the resulting coat was, it didn’t seem like it would offer much protection.
As to the brushed on sagging, is it also because I am brushing it on to thick? My paint seems awfully thick and hard to spread in a thin coat, but the can says not to thin it, is this normal? And how long should I let it dry between coats? I would really appreciate any advice, and by the way, your band-saw looks great, I wish I could get tat kind of result!

View Chris_Tx's profile

Chris_Tx

9 posts in 62 days


#10 posted 04-16-2019 11:23 PM

I mean THAT kind of results, not tat. Sorry i didn’t see the error until it was to late :(

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2207 posts in 2320 days


#11 posted 04-17-2019 12:48 AM

You can buy the implement paint/hardener at farm & home supplies like TSC. The mfr’s say not to thin due to voc regs – yes you can thin it usually with mineral spirits or naptha (not the green crap tho). Sounds like thinning the paint you have and brushing will get you fixed up.

How long between coats depends on weather, how much you thin the paint, how thick you put it on. The can label should say. What specific product is it? If its stops rust in qt cans 24 hrs to recoat, and bare metal is to be primed.

View HackFabrication's profile

HackFabrication

101 posts in 42 days


#12 posted 04-17-2019 03:07 AM



As to the brushed on sagging, is it also because I am brushing it on to thick? My paint seems awfully thick and hard to spread in a thin coat, but the can says not to thin it, is this normal? And how long should I let it dry between coats?
- Chris_Tx

Enamel (Rustoleum, et al) in cans can be thinned. Without looking at a can, I seem to recall you can use Xylene as a thinner.

On cast parts brushing shouldn’t produce any sagging (runs) as long as you aren’t laying down a lot of material. I’ve restore a number of old ‘hit and miss’ gas engines, and always brushed the finish on them with excellent results. Brushing seems to ‘scrub’ the paint into the rough surface of cast iron better than spraying. Brushing or rolling on flat steel is another story. But can be done, although I would prefer to spray on steel plate or sheet metal.

One of the secrets to a good rattle can job is not to lay down too much paint with each coat. It will sag/run if you do. Better to lay down a number of light coats. Another tip is don’t get too close to the object you intend to paint and keep a constant distance as you make your passes. Pretty much the same technique as using a spray gun.

A good primer will make things easier. I’ve had a lot of success with the Rustoleum Professional paint in rattle cans.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7309 posts in 2530 days


#13 posted 04-17-2019 03:47 AM

As to the brushed on sagging, is it also because I am brushing it on to thick? My paint seems awfully thick and hard to spread in a thin coat, but the can says not to thin it, is this normal? And how long should I let it dry between coats?
- Chris_Tx

Any sagging or drips indicates you are trying to put on too much paint. Lots of thin coats is much better than just a few thick ones. And I can’t remember the last time I used enamel out of the can without thinning it a bit first… as you noticed, it seems to always come out of the can a bit on the thick side, and thinning it lets it flow out much better. Most oil based enamels recommend mineral spirits as a thinner, but others can be used if desired (eg: Rustoleum recommends mineral spirits or acetone).

As for how long to wait between coats – that is entirely up to the paint you are using. Look on the label for ‘re-coat time’. They all are different, even between the same brand. For example, Rustoleum spray paint says to re-coat within 1 hour, or after 48 hours. Rustoleum in the can (brush on) says to re-coat after dry, which is approx. 24 hours.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2595 posts in 1553 days


#14 posted 04-17-2019 02:45 PM

For painting, the key to longevity is using a good primer over clean metal. Look for a “self etching” primer (automotive grade) to get the best bond to the raw metal.

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