It ain't easy tagging anything paint-related with the Do-It-Yourself moniker these days-and unfortunately, it may just get worse in time. But as long as we can still do it, you know we will! Yes, folks, I'm talking about painting at home, be it small parts or an entire vehicle. As the country becomes more environmentally aware, we hobbyists become victims of legislation-sometimes for the better ... other times, well, that's for speculation. When it comes to releasing toxins into our atmosphere, there's no arguing that the less we do, the less we contribute to global warming. Does that mean we should all throw away our paint supplies and spray guns immediately?
While the answer may not be a unanimous "No," for the most part, our days as hobbyist painters may be limited to some degree (it all depends on where you live), but they're far from over. The main objective is to comply with all local regulations concerning the use of solvent-based paints in residential areas-whether that means severe limitations like Southern California or almost complete freedom to spray like random Midwest states, do what Big Brother tells you.
When it comes to painting complete vehicles in your driveway, no matter where you live, it's probably not the best idea, and for reasons above and beyond health hazards. However, when it comes to painting individual items-like a dash for your truck-you can get away cutting a lot more corners than if you were to spray your entire truck. Plus, you're not forcing as many toxins in the air when working with smaller parts. Furthermore, it's a lot easier for a novice or even a beginner to work on a smaller scale, as it were-fixes are a lot easier to, well, fix! And with the availability of kits such as Eastwood's Master and Deluxe Paint Prep Kits, not to mention the company's plethora of hobbyist paint products/aids, it's easy and safe for practically anyone to paint like a pro or almost like a pro.
Beyond the knowledge, there are numerous factors involved with automotive painting, and it all starts with the obvious: air (or more specifically, air supply). Your compressor is a vital component, more so than the equipment it forces air through. Use a wimpy single-stage air compressor, and even with the best spray gun on the market you'll be fighting an uphill battle all day long. On the other hand, it is possible to pull off a decent paint job with the appropriate compressor-one that consistently puts out at least 15 cfm @ 50 psi-and a cheapo gun (clean and in good working order, of course). Another key to success is keeping your air supply clean and dry, and for that, oftentimes a simple inline desiccant air dryer will suffice. For heavier volumes of work, you'll obviously want to step up the quality of the latter two components, as the cheapo gun and basic dryers will only last so long. As your proficiency progresses, so should the quality of your equipment.
Once you have the "hard" essentials handled, the Eastwood Master Paint Prep Kit accompanied by the required materials (primer, paint, and related hardeners/reducers) is pretty much all you need to get the ball rolling and the paint flowing. And whether you're painting something as basic as a dash like we're about to do, or diving in head-first and attempting a full vehicle job, Eastwood's kit has you covered-from an assortment of Dura-Block sanding blocks to paint strainers and mixing cups, wet-dry sandpaper and tack cloths, to guidecoat and masking tape, it's all included. The kit even comes with a step-by-step instructional DVD!
With the exception of a large variety of mixing cups and related accessories, this is what
Really quick before we get into the job, we just wanted to reiterate the importance of hav
Here's our guinea pig patient for the day, all primed and ready. The guidecoat shown alrea
Sanding the guidecoat can be done with either dry or wet-dry paper (with water) in the 400
However, if you choose to sand dry, make sure all coats of paint are completely dry; other
In most cases, it's easier and less time consuming to wet-sand. Since the topcoat is of me