painting stainless steel

Discussion in 'Painting, Welding, Bending and Gas Tanks' started by blckwlfny1, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. blckwlfny1

    blckwlfny1 Member

    Got m'self one of those great worksman tanks from pirate cycles :grin5:
    does anyone know what is the best way to paint the stainless steel? I can not afford a pro.
    Can anyone recommend a good DIY product?
    And is scuffing the tank with 220 grit rough enough?

  2. professor

    professor Active Member

    220 will work but a little finer would be fine too.
    I like the spray cans with the little nozzle that you can rotate to change the pattern. They cost a little more but are great.
    Do use primer.
  3. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    220 will be ok, but you might see tiny scratches in the paint.
    you might want to do 220, and then follow up with 400 or 600 grit paper.
    the 220 will knock off any minor imperfections or coating that is on the stainless, and the 400-600 will smooth out all of the scratches. 400-600 will still leave enough "teeth" for the primer to grab ahold of.
    remember as with any paint joib, prepping the surface is 80% of getting a good paint job.
    after sanding, clean the tank with a tack rag, and then with a good quality grease and wax remover (called prep-sol) or alcohol. even the oil from your fingers can ruin a paint job.
    clean the tank surface after priming, and after painting if you do more than one coat of paint. clean, clean, do not want any dirt or oil on the surface or you will not get good paint adhesion.
    i am not a professional painter, but i have done some really nice paint jobs in my day just for fun.
  4. crowvise

    crowvise Member

    Are you painting it a solid color(s) or doing art work? 220 is too rough to use without a finer grit. I'd deburr with it 220. Then go to 320. 600 is overkill . That should be plenty. Use at least 2 coats of high quality oil based primer. Then 2-3 coats high quality oil based paint. Then (if desired or if art work) a coat or 2 of clear coat.
  5. blckwlfny1

    blckwlfny1 Member

    no artwork just solid gloss black,vinyl lettering and then a clear coat.
    i will make sure to sand and clean WELL with denatured alcohol.
    i was planning on using rustoleum 'industral" primer and then rustoleum "industrial" paint. it says "primer can be topcoated immediately" and "recoat within one hour or after 1 day: so in the past on other surfaces, it seemed to have worked best to prime, reprime, paint coat one and then coat two all at once waiting about 15min in between to let the paint get tacky.
    ...of course i dont know the long term results yet. whaddaya think? :grin5:
  6. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Personally, I'd go w/ a Krylon system.

    Make sure to degrease the tank before you sand! You don't want to grind anything into the pores! 320 grit is fine for sanding the steel. You can go finner for the primer if your picky but I agree 600 is overkill and your more at risk of seeing finger gouges if you go that fine! Wrap the paper in a sponge to avoid them if you don't have a faker (sanding block).

    It's always good to powder your first coat of primer and paint on, it helps w/adhesion!
  7. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    yes, 320 will work on the bare metal.
    here's a tank i just painted.
    sanded it down to bare metal with 80 grit paper.
    went over the bare metal with 220, followed by 400 grit and then cleaned the bare metal with a tack rag, and then alcohol. did some bondo work to fill a weld that i ground down on the front of the tank. cleaned it again witrh alcohol.
    Primed it and let the primer dry for a day.
    wetsanded the primer with 400, and then 600 grit to get rid of any dust, cleaned it with alcohol.
    sprayed the first coat of paint on thin, concentrating on covering the edges first. let it dry for a day, and then cleaned it with alcohol.
    sprayed the second coat of paint on to cover the primer...let it dry for a day.
    wetsanded with 600, and cleaned it with alcohol. then sprayed a 3rd coat of paint on to cover the entire tank.
    let it dry for a day and wetsanded again with 600 grit cleaned it with alcohol and then sprayed a 4th coat on "wet" so it would dry glossy.
    let it dry for a day.
    wetsanded again with 600 to get rid of any dust. using a sanding block to sand down any "hills", "craters", or orange peel. if you wet sand, you will see high and low spots as soon as you start to sand, you want the entire area smooth and shiney spots at all. high spots will be dull, low spots will be shiney.
    cleaned it with alcohol and sprayed the first coat of clear on it and let it dry for a day.
    wetsanded with 600 grit to do the same as with the remove any dust, hills, crators or orange peel. again, you want the entire surface smooth and dull.
    cleaned it with alcohol.
    sprayed the 2nd coat of clear on it, and let it dry for a day.
    wetsanded again with 600 grit and cleaned it with alcohol.
    sprayed the 3rd coat of clear on "wet" and let it dry for a week so the clear would harden enough to be buffed out.
    wetsanded with 600 grit, and then buffed it out using rubbing compound, followed by a high quality wax.
    The paint i used was metalic black laquer so it has a relatively fast dry time and you can fix mistakes in laquer a lot easier than you can with enamel paint.
    the reason for so much wetsanding is to get the entire painted surface uniform and smooth. in the end, this is what gives paint depth....which is what most people are looking for in a custom paint job.
    sure, it took me about 2 weeks to do the paint, but in the end, this is how I paint, and I will not settle for just a rattle can spray job on anything.
    if i paint something, it's going to look good, be very glossy and have depth....that's just me.
    I used a touch up spray gun to do the paint. it's bigger than an airbrush, and smaller than a regular size paint gun.
    I realize that not everyone has the tools or the means to do a paint job in this fashion, but you can get the same results with spray cans IF you take your time and do it right.



  8. blckwlfny1

    blckwlfny1 Member

    beautiful work! thanks for the advice
  9. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    That looks awesome!
    What do you use as a rag when you do the alcohol wiping?
    It seems like everything I have tried leaves lint on the surface.
    Hairy paint jobs suck...
    I have tried to get the quality you have achieved, but the best knowledge I have is which direction to hold the spray button on the can.
    I eventually give up and figure it is painted now and won't rust.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  10. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    That is a nice job, however I could offer advice contrary that would yield better results with less work...

    I don't want to sound like a know it all, because I always seem to learn something on here!

    Just a few notes, A) You are correct that laquer is easier to fix mistakes in! It's more brittle than enamel, and therefore cuts (with sand paper)quicker! Laquer for these reasons is also thinner... My old boss was so good at laying that stuff down, He'd get away w/o buffing! I've seen laquer scratch from a fingerprint tho!

    B) Not necessary to sand between coats as described. If you do it w/modern base coat clear coat applications for cars, this procedure will get you in trouble in a hurry, never sand between the color and clear coat on modern automotive finish systems.

    C) I realize the tank pictured is not a high end sports car! And I by no means am trying to put your work down. NICE JOB! 600 grit is to coarse for use prior buffing, use 1000 or finner! 600 to flatten a run is ok but 1000 before buffing or you'll spend more time w/ the wheel in your hand! Look at the base of the lightbulb and you can see scratches, 1000 will get rid of that!

    All-in All, nice work! I can't believe you got away with sanding the color before putting down the clear, especially w/metallic color!
  11. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    GN, Most important, take your time between coats.

    A cotton T-shirt works best, but only when paint is 100% dry!
  12. motorpsycho

    motorpsycho Active Member

    oh i hear what you're saying. but i did use 1200 grit before buffing...i wrote 600, but i used 1200.
    i did not use a machine buffer, i rubbed it out by hand.
    yes it is laquer, and yes i wetsanded each color coat with 1200 to get rid of dust in the paint, again, i said 600 before, but i meant 1200.
    this is old school laquer paint, not the new basecoat-clearcoat stuff.
    I am not a professional painter, i just do this for i learn a little each time i paint something.
    you know, i did have the final coat of paint where it was really nice & glossy.
    I thought about leaving it, and just shooting the clear over it, but, there was dust in it and that's why i wetsanded it.
    sometimes you have to know when to stop and say, "it's good...leave it alone" that comes with experience.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  13. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Couple tips! If you get dust, between coats, use what they call a tack rag, they are cheap and good for removing overspray. The best thing you can do for shooting paint is wet the floor down and walls if you can! The water creates a suction to the dust! Best thing to do @ dust is be concious of it and don't kick it up!Bigger pieces can be removed from fresh paint using tweezers and a real steady hand!
  14. crowvise

    crowvise Member

    Eckwlfny1;287758] then coat two all at once waiting about 15min in between to let the paint get tacky.
    ...of course i dont know the long term results yet. whaddaya think? :grin5:[/QUOTE]

    you do not want to paint over tacky paint/primer. as the carrier (water/oil)dries the remaining compounds(pigments & binders) are drawn closer together(low grade paint has less of these compounds) wait until completely dry to allow complete molecular bonding. condition. tried to find an old paint book to explain w/ reference. No dice. On the krylon issue, I'd stick rustoleum for primer but use krylon for paint. Get gloss black in both and do a test while primer is applied. You will see the difference. Their colors are among the most vibrant as well. I've spray painted many a picture sold to tourists, carnival goers, college kids, etc. Across the U.S.(minus the west coast) been on net tv radio at the request of the dj(the womb) newspaper(the sun - mami ; artist name cheshire) had murals indoor and out. All spray paint.
  15. crowvise

    crowvise Member

    All pictures. not graffiti or graffiti style. Also, I grew up the son of one of the top painters in the D.C. metropolitan area (see washington post- calypso painting 1984). I have to say some of what you read here is plain wrong. A nice looking finish does not always equate a durable one. Maybe your best bet would be to ignore the well intended and hit a website specializing in this topic? I know near nothing about motors. So here i am ... Sorry about double posting but my cell only allows so much text at a time. Also takes 5 minutes to load a page. That only works half the time. And when i post, some phantom cursor takes over half the time ruining my ability to post. Screw virgin mobile's web service. When my access was prepaid (per data consumption) there was hardly any lack of connection. Now that it is unlimited all kinds of disconnect and lack of service messages.
  16. beentryin

    beentryin Member

    i thought i was the only person to buff rattle can paint with a t-shirt,it will give flat paint a semi gloss look and harden the paint in the process
  17. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    Absolutely, as crowvice was explaining, paint contains oils and that's exactly what causes the shine! Buffing paint, actually warms it and brings a fresh oil to the surface while shaving off the top oxidized layer!

    I am niether a good painter or buffer! One of my best friends is the KING tho!LOL!

    I've learned a lot from him, my metal and body work is supreme, wish I could paint like him!

    Crowvice, never knew Krylom paint will get along on top of Rustolium primer, was always scared to try!

    As a side not, because oils cause the shine, if you paint something flat and clear over it, your result will appear as a gloss!

    Here is a good example, I hand painted a rose with flat enamel. After the FLAT enamel, I used automotive clear. You wouldn't know by the result that the enamel was flat! See the effect that I got! Look at the blending of color where stem and leaf meet!

    The rose was done for my buddy Amanda, who's grave I left it upon... RIP Girl, she would have loved it!

    Attached Files:

  18. machiasmort

    machiasmort Active Member

    One thing that I failed to see mentioned here is the use of an etching primer. If you don't get a good bond between steel and primer, kiss all of your hard work goodbye with the first stone chip!