View Full Version : Best paint to use restoring an old lathe

10-07-2005, 03:58 PM
I'm sure it was discussed in the past, but I've searched under paint and under restoration... have seen tons of posts but nothing specifically discussing this.

What is the best type of paint to use for restoring an older (50's) lathe and do you brush it on or spray it? The one I just picked up is going to be fully dismembered, painted then reassembled (hopefully as I'm sure that's tougher http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif ).

10-07-2005, 04:08 PM
See here:


I'm sure there are other posts in the archives related to such.

3 Phase Lightbulb
10-07-2005, 04:09 PM
If you want to restore a Lathe, or any machine like that, it's going to take a lot more than a new coat of paint http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

In fact, I hate when people do that.

Paint is the last item you should be concerned with (Unless the lathe is already in perfect condition).


10-07-2005, 04:31 PM
I used a 2 part epoxy. This can be brushed but I sprayed it. You can spray a wet coat and then go back after about 30 minutes and spray a mist coat to get a really nice light wrinkle texture that hides a lot of surface imperfections. That age of machine I'm guessing had a conventional machinery enamel on it. That's still a good choice. If cost isn't too important and you want the most scratch resistant finish going then get a 2 part eurathane enamel. There a brushable versions of this available for boat repainting. It really just like paint a car

J Tiers
10-07-2005, 05:02 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb:
If you want to restore a Lathe, or any machine like that, it's going to take a lot more than a new coat of paint http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

In fact, I hate when people do that.

Paint is the last item you should be concerned with (Unless the lathe is already in perfect condition).



U B A meanie...... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I view paint as a rust preventer, primarily. Then, as long as it is needed for function, it may as well look decent too. Why not?
And it may as well stick and stay stuck too.

I quite agree about "rustoleum restorations", Mr "Coolweldstudios" over at the PM site notwithstanding.

10-07-2005, 05:04 PM
Gawd, brush painting a car? Surely you jest. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

10-07-2005, 05:27 PM
Well, I like to paint mine. part of the "get acquainted" process for me is disassembly to major componenets, then going through each of those cleaning, checking, replacing, repairing, paint, then reassembly. When I get done I know the machine, I know it's in good condition, and it looks the part. I have a lot more pride in a clean, shiny, like-new machine, especially knowing it's often older than I am.
And no, I'm not afraid to get oil and chips on the new paint.

10-07-2005, 07:55 PM
Hey Ug,
Rub down to base material;antirust primer;undercoat,two coats;engine enamel,rub down after each coat,say three coats.
Ought to look like new. Make sure all restoration work is completed before painting.
Make sure each coat is thoroughly dry before next coat.
That should keep you busy during autumn.

10-07-2005, 10:44 PM
I like RustOLeum. Very decent paint, especially if it's baked after drying. I painted a bunch of test parts and soaked them in a bucket of way oil for a few months, and saw no problems (except white, which discolored a bit). The Hammertone is the most entertaining paint I've ever used, as it bubbles something fierce when you put it on. Paint your hand tools in something inappropriate like orange or pink, and nobody will "borrow" them. Good quality engine enamels are good in the shop environment, too. On iron or steel I use a DuPont metal conditioner (basically an etchant), and no primer.

I don't paint the big stuff, though. Rust prevention? There's oil all over it anyway, so just add a bit more.

Woodworking machines are another story.

Forrest Addy
10-07-2005, 11:22 PM
I use SW industrial coatings for machine tools. Paint where the chips rub and wrenches clatter is strictly temporary. If a neat tidy shop in important to you then an easily touched up paint is the way to go, preferably in a standard, easy to match color.

Norman Atkinson
10-08-2005, 02:38 AM

Just in case you have any doubts about brush painting a car- and you have,remember the Best Car in the World.

The old Rolls Royces were- HAND PAINTED!

They were given 21 coats of brushed primer- rubbing down at every two and then 14 coats of finish- rubbing down every two.
The story goes that the paintshop foreman went in at a weekend, chucking out everyone else- including the cat for the final coat.

I have two Mercedes- but simply couldn't afford to have a car painted using the old classic techniques.

I belong to a generation that had to be able to lead in using solder paint and then eutectic lead. Want me to go on? I guess not.

You must start to research your facts more carefully!


10-08-2005, 07:13 PM
Yes Norman, point taken. I still do leading. The comment was based on current methods and products to refinish cars. Even RR doesn't do that any more. Back when a hand-crafted auto really meant something, RR was at the top.

I don't know of any company that still uses lacquer based paints. The only color I know of that you can still purchase, besides primers, it Black.

10-09-2005, 11:02 AM
I did the full treatment on my lathe years ago, complete disassembly, masking, bondo, spot putty, cellulose primer with sanding in between each. Use rustolem (sp?) primer and paint. Looked like a million bucks! for about a week.

If was to do it again I’d either say 1) its like buying a bulldozer - its only going to look all shiny for a week - so don't worry about putting the perfect finish on it, or 2) figure out the meanest nastiest toughest stuff the is, like Imron fleet paint, get professional done (so i don’t' die), bake it, whatever.

then i know i can count on it lasting at least 3 weeks

If there actually is a finish that will standup to the hot sharp chips and swarth, I'd love to hear about it

John Lawson
10-09-2005, 12:28 PM
What an oaf! I remember the Senior Prom parking lot and the cars that were newly re-finished with calcimine, applied with a brush. The occupants of those vehicles, prayed it didn't rain that night.

Norman Atkinson
10-09-2005, 04:59 PM
What on earth(?) is calcimine?
I would guess that it is some dried killed quick lime used still by the people in Spain to do walls cheaply. Maybe, whitewash of old in the UK- or lime wash?
The Spanish variety is Estrelita- a little star- and actually is fairly long lasting.

As for brushing paint- a la RR and lesser things, ICI- Imperial Chemical Industries made a Brushing Belco until recently.
Then, there was a split up to it and Astra Zeneca and the parent company took on more smaller paint firms. I confess to getting lost between it and Courtaulds.

I was going through the 1938 accounts- why, I don't know but the family had paint shares from Holzapffel which became International Paints and query Courtaulds.

And then- on the other side of the Tyne was
a shot tower- I recall Associated Lead Manufacturers- probably Cooksons.

All of these firms- interlink.
I recall the varnishes for Rollers made by Resinous Chemicals which was part of Dampneys- then British Paints.That was the early 50's= when RCL made some of the first
glassfibre resins and epoxies.
Back to where we started?