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Best all around shop paint?

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  • Best all around shop paint?

    I'll start off by saying I generally don't paint stuff. I hate painting. If I do, it's a couple quick coats of brush on/spray rust paint and that's good enough. That said I'm starting to build some shop carts, storage, and other fixtures etc and would like them to both look nice and last a long time. Before I just buy a couple more cans of cheap rust paint I'm wondering if you guys would steer me in a better direction. I kinda like the look of the wrinkle finish enamels, but have never used them. Do they hold up, easy to apply?

    I do have a powdercoat gun and small toaster oven for smaller stuff.

    Before I just go pick up another can of black tremclad does anyone have any better suggestions? What does everyone use to finish off those fabrications and other shop items. What's your go to finish?
    Last edited by Dan Dubeau; 10-16-2021, 01:05 PM.

  • #2
    This will be interesting to watch. Loved the old ACE Hardware brand spray paint, it's not the same any more. Not a fan of Rustoleum (sp) It's better now. Their hammered finishes are good if you get a good batch.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Tungsten dipper View Post
      This will be interesting to watch. Loved the old ACE Hardware brand spray paint, it's not the same any more. Not a fan of Rustoleum (sp) It's better now. Their hammered finishes are good if you get a good batch.
      I hope so. I'm hoping some good options for upping my finishing game come from this.

      The last couple cans of Armour coat (edit: they were armour coat, not rustoleum.) I bought quit spraying before I used up the contents. Always had good success with tremclad brush, and spray cans, but I'm currently out of it all. I'd like to start making an effort to make my shop built stuff look better. I want to try something different/better/cheaper/more durable, before I just pick up another can of tremclad black. One day I'll build a big powder coat oven, but it's not high on the list right now.
      Last edited by Dan Dubeau; 10-16-2021, 05:41 PM.

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      • #4
        I have settled on the Rustoleum Pro stuff. Only because it's easily available, goes on ok, and I'm likely to use it.
        It's not particularly durable, but it's also not hard to touch up. I am very sad that the 'stainless steel' color is NLA.

        Hammerite was fun when I was young and enthusiastic enough to put 4 coats on over the course of 3-4 hours.

        And yeah, painting cars for a few years cured me of the need to do much more than stop the rust on bare metal.

        t
        rusting in Seattle

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        • #5
          If you have a compressor I would suggest getting a spray gun and starting to use that, even outside isn’t real different than using spray cans as far dirt in it.

          The purple harbor freight guns are good enough and almost cheap enough to throw away rather than cleaning it.

          I recently used a 2 part epoxy primer for the first time and would suggest that.

          Ive had decent results spraying Rustoleum thinned out of a spray gun as well. I also think there are some hardeners out there to mix in for better results. YouTube has a lot of videos for tips and tricks on spraying it.

          Ive sprayed a lot of rattle cans and they are good for what they are but the end results aren’t that durable for some things.

          There are some good spray cans out now that are a 2 part mix system that I think are good but can get pricey.

          Ive also used “appliance epoxy” from a spray can that seems like it might be a more durable finish over regular cans.

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          • #6
            If you have a compressor I would suggest getting a spray gun and starting to use that, even outside isn’t real different than using spray cans as far dirt in it.

            And if you don't have a compressor you can get a spray gun with its own built-in fan to supply the air, for not a lot of cash. I have both, and the self-powered job is in some ways easier to use (and to clean!). I spray everything now, as the finish is always better than I get with a brush.

            The only drawback with spraying is that I have to wait for a fine calm day, as the over-spray means that it must all be done outside.

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            • #7
              I have found that the biggest improvement in my "fast and easy" paint jobs for small parts that I make was the addition of two heat lamps to my spray paint area. Just standard heat lamps like you would use in a bathroom heating fixture and a couple of those inexpensive, clamp on work lights and a power strip for the luxury of a single switch.

              They bake the paint on well and that has greatly improved my paint jobs.

              I mostly use the Rustoleum products.

              I plan to get a powder coat set-up one of these days. That will be my next improvement.
              Paul A.
              SE Texas

              And if you look REAL close at an analog signal,
              You will find that it has discrete steps.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tobias-B View Post
                I have settled on the Rustoleum Pro stuff. Only because it's easily available, goes on ok, and I'm likely to use it.
                It's not particularly durable, but it's also not hard to touch up. I am very sad that the 'stainless steel' color is NLA.

                Hammerite was fun when I was young and enthusiastic enough to put 4 coats on over the course of 3-4 hours.

                And yeah, painting cars for a few years cured me of the need to do much more than stop the rust on bare metal.

                I work part time at an Ace Hardware/Lumber Yard, had many customers say good things about the "pro" Rustoleum, want to try it; only comes in basic colors. I have found with Rustoleum the longer you can let it cure the tougher it gets. I like Paul's idea about the cure lights.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mike Burch View Post

                  And if you don't have a compressor you can get a spray gun with its own built-in fan to supply the air, for not a lot of cash. I have both, and the self-powered job is in some ways easier to use (and to clean!). I spray everything now, as the finish is always better than I get with a brush.
                  Do you have a manufacturer/model number of this spray gun?

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                  • #10
                    For me it's either the Rustoleum hammered finish, or the original Hammerite. Either one covers up a lot of sin, no need to get too fussy with rust pits or grinder swirls, they still leave a nice finish.

                    One thing I will say about the Hammerite, I have a drillpress I painted with the stuff maybe 20 years ago and till this day whatever coolant and gunk there is on that paint will wash off with some degreaser and look as good as the day I sprayed it.
                    I just need one more tool,just one!

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                    • #11
                      I found the old Walmart cheap spray cans (less than $1) were pretty good, especially for the amazing price, but they only came in basic colors and seem to be no longer available. I agree that Rustoleum is usually good, and Krylon is also OK. Most of my paint jobs are not very critical and usually just to make old rusty stuff usable after wire brushing the rust and remains of old paint. Flat gray primer on bare metal and rusty surfaces is my choice.
                      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                      USA Maryland 21030

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                      • #12
                        My favorite metal working paint for many years was slightly thinned Flecto brand enamels. After they had fully dried and done any final curing, if any, they were surprisingly tough and scuff resistant.

                        Have not been able to get that particular product for a bunch of years now though. I had to go with Tremclad or Rustoleum like everyone else. But those two paints don't smooth out as nicely and are quite soft and scuff prone compared to the old Flecto brand product.

                        One other option that is quite durable is engine block spray paint. A buddy used some of the silver for coating some motorcycle parts during a restoration and after "baking" it over night in a cardboard box with an old regular incandescent heater it proved to be VERY durable. I tried some other color some years later but without the "EZ Baking Oven" cardboard box and lamp and after about a week it was a durable as the old Flecto enamel. But not as glossy. The engine enamels also don't come in as many color options. But if you can get it in a color you want it's a good option to try.
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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