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Thread: woops, can of paint apparently timed out

  1. #1
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    Default woops, can of paint apparently timed out

    I have a can of Kennedy brown wrinkle spray paint. I bought it new but it was awhile ago. Today is sort of Kennedy day in my shop as I am swapping in a used 34" wide 8-drawer rolling base I got yesterday. I dug out my old spray can, shook it up, pushed the button and nothing at all happened.

    I like to think I know about rattle cans. But this one is beyond me. Normally no matter how old a can of spray paint is, if it's never been used it will usually spray even if it might clog quickly.

    Is there anything I can try?

    metalmagpie

  2. #2
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    Sounds like the propellant leaked out. Lots of cans have minute leaks that drain the propellant. If you really want to use the paint you can verify there is no pressure and then puncture the can and paint with a brush.

    Mike

  3. #3
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    Aside from the obvious clogged nozzle, I have frequently had cans clog at the nozzle inlet (I suppose from a slow leak there on unused cans). I let carb cleaner sit in the recess where the nozzle goes, replenishing several times before it all evaporates.
    However, it sounds likely that you have lost pressure as Mike said. I have heard that you can recharge the can by using a rubber tire valve stem, but haven't had to try it. Give that a shot and let us know how it worked for you. I just googled and there appears to be plenty of info on doing it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL46 View Post
    Sounds like the propellant leaked out. Lots of cans have minute leaks that drain the propellant. If you really want to use the paint you can verify there is no pressure and then puncture the can and paint with a brush.

    Mike
    The last time I tried to pinhole a paint can it basically turned into a paint spray bomb. I threw it out in my driveway and ever since my driveway has had a big ugly blob of red paint. I'm waiting for it to UV degrade.

    Do you have a suggestion as to how to verify there is no pressure?

    metalmagpie

  5. #5
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    Might also just be a clogged tip. Got another can you can yank the tip off of to check?

  6. #6
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    It should be possible to drill a small hole (#80 or 0.0138) at the top of the can while it is setting on its base. There should be no significant amount of paint there. You also might see how easily you can squeeze the can, to see if it is pressurized.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
    Might also just be a clogged tip. Got another can you can yank the tip off of to check?
    This tip has never been painted through!

  8. #8
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    Pinch the can to see if it will dent. For comparison, find an empty can and feel the difference in how well you can dent it. A good can will be quite tight, empty a strong thumb can dent it quite well.

    Maybe your valve is a defect from day one. I've drilled many spray cans to get at the paint- I use a very small drill bit and a cardboard disc pushed onto it to protect the chuck from paint. As I drill through and gas starts escaping, I push the bit right in so the hole is filled with the shank and not the flutes. This slows the escaping gas a bit and helps keep the paint from boiling up and blowing out the hole with the gas. I use something like a 1/32 or a 3/64 drill bit.
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    I have heard that you can recharge the can by using a rubber tire valve stem, but haven't had to try it.
    I could see pumping propane or butane into a rattlecan, but air? Doesn't paint dry in air? And isn't the propellant in most spray paint cans actually a liquid?

    metalmagpie

  10. #10
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    If you've painted enough and have good experience you can tell if a can has propellant in it or not just by squeezing the can with your hand. If it can be squeezed easily with 3 two fingers and your thumb and easily stays "dented" the propellant is gone. If it is resistant to the squeeze and the dents pop out it has propellant yet.

    Like anything that takes technique, feel, or practice this does take some "experience".
    Andy

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