Tag Archives: concours

  • How To Paint & Set Up Your Spray Gun With Kevin Tetz

    How To Paint & Set Up Your Spray Gun
    With Kevin Tetz

    In September of 2013 Kevin Tetz from the Paintucation DVDs did a live stream and demonstration at Eastwood HQ in Pottstown, PA. If you missed it you can watch the whole thing on YouTube as Part 1 and Part 2, or just read our handy summary here covering all the topics he talked about including the live questions and answers.

    HowToPaint 1

    Compressor requirements
    A question that comes up a lot on the Eastwood forums and tech lines is “how big of a compressor do I need to paint a car?” Can you paint a car with a 2hp 15 gallon home compressor? Yes. Should you? No because you aren’t going to have enough air, or the clean dry air you need to atomize the paint for a proper glossy finish. A 2 stage, 60 gallon tank compressor with a 3.5hp motor should be considered a good starting point if you are planning on painting cars, preferably with a cast iron cylinder. And you need to go out of your way to be sure you have clean dry air. A larger tank and 2 stage pump means the compressor doesn’t have to run as often, and the air can cool down. Compressing air makes it hot, and the moisture gets trapped in it. Letting it sit in the tank lets it cool and the water sinks to the bottom.

    Air Supply Plumbing
    A lot of guys who have a good sized compressor, and an expensive high quality desiccant filtration and air drying system still complain about bad quality, moist air. One of the reasons for this is having the filter and water trap too close to the compressor. You need at least 20 feet, and preferably 50 feet so the air can cool and dry after being compressed. If you have a small shop it’s not feasible to just run 50 feet of pipe in a straight line from the compressor to the pain booth, but you can cheat.
    The trick is to run 10 feet of pipe vertically, up and down, up and down, until you have 50 feet of pipe in about 5 feet of space. On this diagram A is the compressor (in the rafters), B is your desiccant filter (also up high), and C is a drain valve at the lowest point in the plumbing.

    HowToPaint 2

    By cheating it vertically you create low spots where the water will naturally collect, and by putting the filter up high you are helping it do its job of separating it from the air. The best way to plumb the shop is with a “halo” style system. Run a loop of large diameter pipe around the perimeter of the shop, up to 2 inches, with 3/4 inch pipes dropping down to work areas where you need them. The pipe then becomes a secondary air storage tank, increasing your supply of air. Then if you slope the whole system downward, with a drain at the lowest part of the drop, and your regulator slightly above it, gravity will help you dry the air.

    HowToPaint 3

    Fast Pipe Shop Plumbing
    Modular air line systems, like the Fast Pipe system from Eastwood, make is very easy to plumb your entire shop with air. With its easy to cut tubing, easy to connect fittings, and aluminum construction is promises much cleaner air than the old black iron threaded tubing that was formerly the industry standard. Black iron and rust inside, and tiny flakes of iron or rust can find their way into the paint. These new systems use aluminum tubes, coated inside and out, to resist corrosion and deliver cleaner air. These systems were originally created for hospitals and the medical industry, so you know they provide pure air.

    Refrigeration systems
    If you have an air aftercooler, do you still need 50 feet of air line? - No. Professional refrigeration systems typically are plumbed in right after the compressor, and before the tank. The air comes out, hot and wet, and gets super cooled before getting to the tank. A moisture separator is built into it and takes the water out as it cools. These systems are expensive though, and most home hobbyists aren’t going to have them, it’s more of a professional body shop set up. What has been done by some guys, with some degree of success, is to build your own out of an old kitchen refrigerator. Make several coils of copper tubing that fit in the freezer compartment. Make a hole in the side of the freezer for the tubing to go through, and back out. Hook the line from the compressor, to the freezer, then back to the compressor tank. Now not only do you have a way to cool the air, you can keep beer and lunch in the refrigerator part.

    Air Hoses
    Because you need enough air volume, as well as pressure, it’s important to use a big enough hose. Never use an air hose smaller than 3/8 inch diameter, and 20-25 feet maximum between the hard line and the gun. With too long of a hose you are going to have a dramatic air pressure drop between the regulator at the wall and your gun. Use a good flexible air hose too, so you don’t get tangled, or end up having to move awkwardly while trying to spray.

    Air Fittings
    It’s also important to use full sized 3/8 inch inside diameter air fittings on the gun and hose. Using 1/4 inch or 5/16 inch fittings or hoses can dramatically affect the spray coming out of your gun. With the same settings, same gun, same paint the fan pattern can be up to 4 inches smaller top to bottom, just with the wrong fitting.

    Humidity and Time of Day
    When you are painting, you often can’t plan what the weather is going to be like. Summers can be hot and humid and ruin a paint job, even with the best set up and technique. Use the time of day to your advantage. Typically mornings are the coolest, least humid, and most bug free time of day. Get all your set up done the night before and wake up with the sun to shoot first thing in the AM.

    Spray Guns
    There is no need to think you have to spend a bundle to get a spray gun that will give you quality results. Learning the proper techniques and using them is more important than spending hundreds of dollars on a spray gun. Kevin Tetz’s 68 Mustang show car “Jaded” was not only painted with all Eastwood paints and primers, he shot it with the Eastwood Concours Pro and Evolution spray guns. On the floor at the SEMA car show, with other professionally built cars and even Riddler award winners, the paint on “Jaded” was just as good.

    Technique Dos and Don’ts

    A common mistake people make is in being lazy, or reaching too far ahead of themselves, and not keeping the spray gun perfectly perpendicular to the surface being painted.

    HowToPaint 5

    WRONG
    When the spray nozzle is not held 90 degrees from the surface, the spray pattern causes one end to get too much paint, and one end to get too little.

    HowToPaint 7

    WRONG
    Hold the gun just right and you get an even spray with perfect edges on your fan pattern.

    HowToPaint 6

    RIGHT
    A good way to practice this technique is to just tape a cheap 4” paint brush to the end of the gun. Practice keeping the brush just off the surface, and perfectly aligned.

    HowToPaint 8

    Another mistake people make when they start painting is standing in one spot and just swinging their arm across the panel. This results in a curved arc of paint, not a straight line.

    HowToPaint 4

    WRONG
    Kevin pulls an assistant out of the audience, and teaches him the correct way to work his way across the panel. Standing with your feet slightly apart, hold your arm straight, and move side to side at the hips, so the gun follows a straight line across the panel. Done correctly the gun will follow the tape on the box, or the black arrow, from one side to the other.

    HowToPaint 9

    RIGHT
    In order to maintain the correct straight line, you may have to bend your wrist a little at either end of your pass. But with enough practice it will become second nature, and you’ll do it instinctually. Another thing you can practice with the paint brush taped to the gun is your overlap. Proper overlap is typically about 50% from pass to pass. With the paint brush/spray gun practice tool you can move along the cardboard practice panel just like you were painting. Since the brush is about 1/2 the size of the fan pattern, you want to move the width of the brush with each pass.

    On Gun Regulators
    Small air pressure regulators are available and often used between the gun and the air hose. But before committing to using it like that, make sure it doesn’t cause you to hold your hand at an unnatural position.

    HowToPaint10

    HowToPaint11

    It may seem okay now, but think about how it’s going to feel after you spray the 3 coats of base coat and 3 coats of clear all the way around the car. A better solution may be to use a regulator on the gun, and at the wall, then adjust the one on the wall until you get the pressure reading you want at the gun. Now you can take it off, and the gun is much easier to maneuver.

    Practice Paint
    For the sake of practice it’s best to use something completely non-toxic, and paint something free and disposable. Today Kevin is painting a cardboard box using water based craft paint you can pick up anywhere. This makes cleanup super easy, and you don’t need to wear a respirator to spray it.
    Open up the fluid control valve on the gun all the way and spray an example. If the spray pattern is not roughly football shaped, adjust the fan pattern control until it is. The dot at the top is wrong, the shape below it is correct.

    HowToPaint12

    A peanut shaped spray pattern usually means the air pressure is too high, and the air horns are pinching in the edges.

    HowToPaint13

    A banana shaped pattern typically means one of the air horns is clogged, the one the curve is bending towards.

    HowToPaint14

    A teardrop shaped pattern means your nozzle itself is partially clogged, or has some sort of dirt caught in it.

    HowToPaint15

    Cleaning a New Spray Gun
    New spray guns are not ready to paint. Typically they are coated inside and out with an anti-corrosion chemical that needs to be cleaned off in order to get the best results. Since you don’t know exactly what they use, its best to just clean the gun like you would after using it. If you don’t clean it you can have problems ranging from dirt in the paint, to chemical incompatibility.

    Leap Frogging a Car
    You may not realize this, but it is important to start painting the car in the proper place, and work around it in the right order for best results. The order Kevin likes to use, which he calls “Leap frogging” or the push-pull method, is this: start at the edge of the roof and work toward the middle, from the other side start at the middle and work toward the edge, down the sailpanel, other sail panel, across the rear decklid and trunk, quarter panel, back to the other side quarter panel, door, other side door, fender, other side fender, hood, front of the car and done. This method means the edge of the paint is as wet as possible when you overlap it.

    If you start in the middle of the roof and paint to the edge, you let that edge dry for several extra minutes before overlapping it and painting the other side of the roof. Then you have to apply the overlap extra wet to make up for the drying that has occurred. This is especially important since the roof of the car gets some of the worse that weather and nature can throw at it over the years, so you want it to be extra tough. Many pros do start in the middle and work toward the edge, but until you are a pro, Kevin suggests his method.

    Finding the Wet Edge
    How do you find the wet edge, when spraying the 2nd coat? Or spraying paint over a similar colored primer/sealer? Or when spraying clear? – Well, there is no trick, or easy way to do it. You just have to find the right angle, and look for the reflection of the shop lights, or sun if you are outside. You may have to move back and forth and up and down till you find it, but just keep at it until you find the light.

    HowToPaint16

    This is one of the reasons why you ought to be wearing eye protection when painting. With eye protection you can get your face right up close to the body as you spray and see the reflections. Even if you just wear a cheap pair of safety goggles and throw them away afterwards, they will keep the bounce back paint out of your eyes. Modern urethanes cure by the isocyanates reacting to moisture in the air. If it gets into your eyes, or other mucus membranes, it will start to harden and cure, and you don’t want that.

    Painting Fast
    How is it that guys on reality TV shows can paint so fast? Is the film speeded up? – No, it’s not sped up. They are just good and have the techniques down. The first thing to consider is if you have enough air, and at the right pressure. If that checks out, then the most important aspect is having the gun in the sweet spot distance from the panel. Get the distance right and you can sweep back and forth almost unbelievably quick and get good coverage and perfect flow out. Also make sure you have a big enough tip on the gun, so you are getting good flow.

    Spraying Primer
    What size tip do you use for spraying primer? – It depends. Primer surfacer, which is viscous and high build is going to need a big tip – a 1.8 or 2.0. Polyester high build need a big fat tip like a 2.0 or larger. Other primers can be sprayed with anything bigger than a 1.6.

    Sealers
    Why use a sealer? – The point of using a sealer is to have a continuous color coat to apply your top coat to. If the primer coat is already a solid color, and close to the color you are applying, you can eliminate the sealer coat. On the other hand, if you have a spotty primer coat, spraying 1 coat of sealer will mean eliminating several coats of top coat in order to get good coverage. Anytime you can eliminate a coat of paint and the solvents in it, you should.

    For application over bare metal, after media blasting for instance, Kevin recommends epoxy sealer. Not only does it protect really well, and goes on easily, and can be coated over for up to a week afterwards without having to sand.

    Soda Blasting
    What has to be done to remove the coating left after soda blasting a car? – It is very important to use a cleaner after soda blasting to remove the thin layer of sodium left on the metal. The film will actually inhibit rust for a short period of time, but it has to be removed completely before any primer or paint goes on. Eastwood’s After Blast is a good way to clean and etch the metal between blasting and paint.
    Of course do to the nature of this unscripted, live streaming demonstration, Kevin touched on a ton of topics. For more in depth explanation of paint and body matters the Paintucation DVDs are a great place to start, or the many other videos Eastwood and Kevin have done over the past few years now on YouTube.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • How to Restore a Car Battery

    If you have an old car battery that has a low voltage output, it might be time to start considering a small restoration project. Reviving worn out car batteries is an important money and time saver and one that could save you from hardships in the future. Below, we take a look at how to best restore your car battery and why it is so important.

    When Should I Restore My Battery?

    Car batteries are types of lead-acid batteries, meaning that they have lead-acid cores that can suffer a condition called sulfation over time. Sulfation occurs when sulfur accrues on the lead plates that reside inside the battery casing. If there isn't an over-abundance of sulfur corrosion, a car battery can be restored, which is much preferred to replacing a costly battery. In order to determine whether or not you should restore your battery, consider the following details:

    • If your battery can no longer start your car, it is time to restore it.
    • A battery shouldn't be restored if it has any major physical defects like burnt connectors, melted plastic housing or warped battery sides. In this case, it is best to replace the whole battery.
    • Most car batteries today last an average of four years. If your battery is older than four years and has perpetual trouble starting your car, regardless of frequent charging, it should be restored.
    • If you check the battery's voltage multiple times with a voltmeter and the charge is consistently below 12 volts, it has most likely suffered from sulfation and should be restored.

    With these factors in mind, it is time to gather your materials and restore your car battery.

    Restoring Your Battery

    You will need the following items to perform your battery restoration project: baking soda, distilled water, a power drill, magnesium sulfate (commonly known as Epsom salt), non-metallic storage funnel, non-metallic storage container, plastic replacement plugs, safety glasses, a three-phase battery charger for lead-acid batteries, water, work gloves, and a wrench. The first thing to do is turn your car off, and let your car battery cool for about an hour. Once the battery is cool, open the car hood and use your wrench to detach the negative battery cable first and then the positive cable. Be sure not to touch your wrench to any other metal part of the car to avoid experiencing a small jolt of electricity. Now, carefully remove the battery from the car.

    Take off the plastic cell caps on the topside of the battery, and find the location of the sealed cells inside the casing indicated by small marks. Put on your safety glasses, and drill into the sealed cells using your power drill. Put your work gloves on, and turn the battery upside down above a non-metallic storage container to drain the fluid inside. Add baking soda to the battery fluid in slowly paced increments of tablespoons to neutralize it. Once the fluid stops bubbling, close the container tightly, and take it to a hazardous waste disposal site. Now, take your Epsom salt and stir one part of it into three parts warm, distilled water until you have one full quart of magnesium sulfate solution. Insert your non-metallic funnel into one of the now open battery cells, and carefully pour some of your magnesium sulfate solution into the battery. Lightly shake the battery to evenly distribute the solution inside, and let the solution sit. Repeat this step for the other cells as well.

    Make sure your three-phase battery charger is off before you clip the positive lead onto the positive battery terminal and the negative lead onto the negative battery terminal. Set the charger's dial to 12 volts, and then turn on the charger. Leave the trickle charge going for at least 12 full hours before turning it off and unclipping the leads from the battery terminals. After this is done, return the caps onto their cells, or use your plastic plugs to cover up the drilled holes, and reinsert the battery into its place underneath the car hood. Once, you have reconnected the positive cable first and then the negative cable to their terminals, you have successfully restored the battery. It is best to repeat this entire process at least once a week for one whole month in order to ensure that any remaining deposited sulfur is dissolved. This way, your battery will be healthier and last much longer.

    To learn more about car batteries and for various DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • How to Restore a Car Dashboard

    Over time, the constant exposure to heat, sunlight and dust can age your vehicle's dashboard. This can cause the dashboard to look dull and the surface to be weak. This is why it is a good idea to know how to restore your dash. Below, we take a look at what you will need and exactly how to restore your vehicle's dashboard.

    What You Will Need to Restore Your Dashboard

    In order to make your dashboard like new again, you will need to purchase some supplies. Fortunately, it only takes several, cost-effective store-bought items to reinvigorate the color and texture of your dashboard, thereby strengthening the vinyl/plastic material. Here is what you need:

    • Several lint-free polishing cloths
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Cleaning eraser (any erasing product with melamine foam like the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser or Scotch-Brite Easy Erasing Pad)
    • Automotive dashboard cleaner
    • Glass cleaner
    • Baby oil
    • Paper towels
    • Dashboard protectant

    Once you have all of your supplies, it is time to put them to good use and restore your dash.

    Restoring Your Dashboard

    The first thing you want to do is take one of your lint-free cloths and dampen it with some cool water. Use your damp cloth to wipe down the dashboard, cleaning it of all surface dust and dirt. If there is any ink on your dashboard, saturate another cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe it on the affected areas. Rub any scuff marks off of your dashboard with a cleaning eraser that has been lightly dampened with water. Now, take your automotive dashboard cleaner and spray some on a clean lint-free cloth. Wipe your entire dash with the wet cloth, starting from one end working your way thoroughly to the other. Be sure to scrub any additional debris that is stuck onto the dashboard, and feel free to reapply the dashboard cleaner to the cloth as needed in order to completely clean the surface.

    Now, it is time to clean the other parts of your dash. Take another lint-free polishing cloth, spray some glass cleaner onto it, and clean the coverings on the odometer, gas gauge and other indicators. Apply baby oil to a paper towel, and rub the indicators' coverings with the paper towel to fill in any existing minor scratches. Finally, apply your dashboard protectant solution to a polishing cloth, and rub the protectant onto your now clean dash to add a UV-resistant coating that will help prevent scratches, dings and excessive heat and sun damage. You have now successfully restored your dashboard, making it once again like new.

    To learn more about car dashboards and for various DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Preparing Your Car For "The Show"

    You'll be taking your ride to a weekend car show, so of course you want it to look its absolute best on display in front of friends and colleagues. Every "oooh" and "ahhh" you'll hear does wonders for your self-esteem, and if there's a judging portion of the show, you certainly want that top trophy.

    Of course you always wash the car’s exterior and vacuum the interior, but is that enough? If you've got a lot of time on your hands, and you've got the expertise, you can detail the car to a perfect show-ready appearance by yourself. But if you don't have that time and skill set, it's worth the money to take your classic to a professional detailing pro. They know what it takes to meet the strict standards of the expert judges who will critique your vehicle at the show.

    Judges look everywhere, and that includes places you can easily miss...a hard-to-reach corner, or even under the carpet! Remember, these judges have usually seen it all, in all types of cars. I don’t want to say they’re looking to trip you up, but you better be ready to impress them.

    Now if you really want to earn that first prize, you have to make your car stand out above the rest. Bring pictures of the resto work you’ve done so people can see how much work you've put into it. Bring along past trophies that you've won to display. Add something to garner some extra attention. Let's say you're showing your ’57 Chevy Bel Air. Why don't you and your wife dress in Fifties "period" clothing?

    Don't forget to bring some soft cleaning cloths to wipe your vehicle at the show itself, to remove dust and dirt that collects on the way there and while on display.

      Click Here To Read Full Post...
  • Mike U., Eastwood Tech Advisor- What Makes Us Tick

    Do you have any projects going right now? What are you building, restoring, or a job you are tackling next? my 32 Ford High boy. It's currently in Eastwood Gray Urethane Primer that I sprayed with the Eastwood Concours Paint Gun and the interior is covered in Eastwood Thermo-coustic.  Click Here To Read Full Post...