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Thread: The right semi-gloss black paint

  1. #1
    Scope Creep Poster Child
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    The right semi-gloss black paint

    I'm in the process of restoring the engine compartment, luggage compartment, and many other pieces (engine tin, etc.) on my '70E. I started to use some spray can semi-gloss black that looks great but seems to be quite fragile, so I'm thinking of trying something else. I have a compressor, a respirator with replaceable cartridges, and recently purchased a gravity feed detail gun (that I have not yet used). At one point I thought of using POR Chassis black, but the cost and toxicity disuaded me. Any recommendations for a semi-gloss black that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, looks authentic, and won't kill me? I'm also doing the dashboard. Should it be the same black used elsewhere, or is it more of a satin?
    Thanks,
    -Scott
    Early S Registry 1047
    ’15 VW GTI
    '70 911E, Sold

    '56 Cliff May Prefab

  2. #2
    Moderator Chuck Miller's Avatar
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    Scott,

    Even though the factory used oven baked enamel, I feel the best and most durable finish for your engine sheet metal is powder coat.

    First the metal should be chemically stripped (because blasting can heat and deform the thin gauge metal) ... then the trick is finding a powder coater that offers the right shade of satin black… and does the job with consistency.

    The black on the dash looks to me a little less shinny then the satin on the sheet metal...

    In '70 I believe the black in the engine compartment was brushed on over the color coat over spray.

    Hope this helps...
    Chuck Miller
    Creative Advisor/Message Board Moderator - Early 911S Registry #109
    R Gruppe #88

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  3. #3
    Scope Creep Poster Child
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    Chuck-
    Thanks for the reply. I have avoided powder coating the tin due to lack of a reliable local powder coater. I've had good luck stripping things using my blast cabinet with glass beads, and have avoided warping anything (I think!). Interesting about the brushed-on finish of the compartments. It seemed to me like they had been sprayed, as I saw no indication of brushmarks. There were numerous drips. I must confess that the quality of the finish was less than stellar, and that I was planning on producing a finish quality higher than original. It is appealing in terms of ease of application and reduction of bad stuff in the air.
    Early S Registry 1047
    ’15 VW GTI
    '70 911E, Sold

    '56 Cliff May Prefab

  4. #4
    Moderator Chuck Miller's Avatar
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    Scott,

    With thin stuff, even in a good blast cabinet/w glass beads, the problem come not so much on the surface of the work but the heat the air pressure indirectly creates… it seems to anneal the metal and loose it's work hardness.

    I once blasted a factory license valance and it 'spronged' (probably from the stress of the curve that it holds.. or held)

    It was VERY clean… but VERY twisted.

    Just take care, don't want you to warp any hard to find early sheet metal...

    I would think that some of our Oregonian members could come up with a good local powder coater for ya ... may be give Gary Emory a call.

    Cheers,
    Chuck Miller
    Creative Advisor/Message Board Moderator - Early 911S Registry #109
    R Gruppe #88

    TYP901 #62
    '73S cpe #1099 - Matched # 2.7/9.5 RS spec rebuild
    '67 Malibu 327 spt cpe - Period 350 Rebuild

    ’98 Chevy S-10 – Utility
    ’15 GTI – Commuter

  5. #5
    I want to second the "no glass beading or blasting of sheat metal" besides heat, it shot peens sheet steel and warps it. There has to be mass like cast iron parts ,heavy stuff and not aluminum. The glass will get stuck in the aluminum, like a cylinder heads, and only comes out with heat, like when the engine runs, and not when you clean it. I have witnessed bad results from beautifully cleaned and painted engines during the rebuild.

  6. #6
    It sounds as if you are taking your time and doing the proper prep. work to get a high quality finish. I would buy a respirator rather than compromise on the paint if you are worried about toxicity.

  7. #7
    Scope Creep Poster Child
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    Assuming I can deal with the toxicity issues, what kind of paint should I think about using?
    Early S Registry 1047
    ’15 VW GTI
    '70 911E, Sold

    '56 Cliff May Prefab

  8. #8
    Scott;
    Contact Tom at Perma Coat in Bend. He is a VERY reliable powder coater. He has done tons of work for me. He has several different black satins. He can mix to match as well. You will get a super durable job that will even outlast the factory baked paint. Thell him I sent you. He's a good guy.

    PS: strip the parts yourself. I have stripped more tin than I care to recall in a blast cabinet and never had warpage. It's all about keeping a low angle of incidence for the media and moving the nozzle to avoid heating the part. Fresh and sharp medai really helps too.

    Good Luck
    Scott Johnston
    scott
    73S
    73E

  9. #9
    Originally posted by Chuck Miller


    With thin stuff, even in a good blast cabinet/w glass beads, the problem come not so much on the surface of the work but the heat the air pressure indirectly creates… it seems to anneal the metal and loose it's work hardness.

    Chuck, "work hardening" comes from the heat. It is the opposite of what you say. This is why it is not a good idea to sandblast the body. The metal becomes less malable and is harder to do metal finishing. Small pieces could be heat treated to restore "softness" or to make harder. It's all in how the process is applied.

    FWIW. I have never had any problem with fine abrasives and small pieces. I don't have a lot of air pressure or material volume to really damage the metal. I don't use glass beads either.

    Scott, your blast cabinet is as dangerous to your health as the paint will ever be. I use mine only outdoors and with a dust type respirator. If you like, you can chemically strip the metal and dress it with the blast cabinet.

    A good quality synthetic enamel will do the metal fine if you don't power coat. I like PC, but it doesn't come cheap. Figure at least a hundred for 911 engine tin for top work.

    Many home paint stores have synthectic industrial machinery enamel in a satin black. You might have to blend satin with semi gloss on a test piece to get exactly what you are after. If your metal is perfectly clean and not handled by anything but latex gloved hands, you don't need primer.

    All in all, there is no way around it, you will pollute the environment and yourself one way or the other if you use strippers, blasters and paint. I take it the PC guy now and they haven't warped anything yet.

  10. #10
    Scope Creep Poster Child
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    Zeke-
    The respirator I have has two replaceable cartridges and covers mouth and nose only. Is this adequate for outdoor blasting and spraying of synthetic enamel? I know that I need to replace the cartridges in order to insure efficacy. I appreciate the comment about not needing primer. Saving that step makes the whole thing much more manageable.

    I think that if I had to PC everything I have that needs to be semi gloss black that it would break the bank. I might have 75 pieces or more, not just engine tin. In addition, I certainly can't PC the inside of the luggage and engine compartments, especially over undercoating.

    -Scott
    Early S Registry 1047
    ’15 VW GTI
    '70 911E, Sold

    '56 Cliff May Prefab

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