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Old 08-15-2007, 05:48 AM   #1
Aarons72s
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Unhappy Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Hi everyone. I know I said awhile back that I would do a test panel to see how alkyd (equipment) enamel would react and look with urethane clear shot over it for extra protection. Well I finally did it yesterday and I will now post my results and pictures.

I got the idea for this do to the price base coat paint. Which can be very expensive. Well tractor supply as well as other stores sell 1 gallon cans of alkyd enamel for a mere $25 a gallon. I know it holds up of but wandered if a coat of clear would help in both appearance as well as durability. So here is what I did.

The color I am using is allis chalmers orange, which is very close to the orange on my truck. I have included a pic of the panel laid on top of my oe orange glove box door.

Tools and temp.
paint gun- cheap non hvlp gravity feed with 1.4 tip
Paint gun settings- I do every thing by feel and sight so no real help there.
temp- about 101 out side- shot in the shade

basic panel info.
piece of steel that ws sanded smooth with 220 and coated with 2 coats of acid prime and 3 coats of urethane primer.

panel prep.
As is shown in the pic I used 2 grits of sand paper, 220 and 400.
I also used 2 of 3m's sanding sponges- fine and super fine- used both wet and dry.

Panel was cleaned with paint prep wax and grease remover and tacked.

Paint material info:
paint: 8 parts paint, 4 parts naptha, and 1 part hardner.
Also waited the 30 minutes after mixing for it activate before shooting.

clear: 4 parts clear, 1 part urethane reducer, and 1 part hardner.

Flash time between coats.
paint: 15 minutes, recomend more time, say about 20 would be better
time between paint and first coat of clear: 30 minutes
clear: 15 minutes

total coats of paint and clear:
paint: 3 coats
clear: 3 coats

Observation: Paint laid down real smooth. The 220 and fine sponge sanding pads scratches were still visible after the third coat. It looked to me as if I should have let the paint flash a bit longer than 15 minutes. Probably should have did 20 minutes. But it looks to be ok. Paint gloss was ok but still had orange peel. But after clear was sprayed, most orange peel disappeared. Has very light ornage peel, about as smooth as you can get without the clear or paint letting go.

I will give update reports after it has had time to cure. I will then also place the panel outside to see how everything reacts.

Now be warned that if you do this you may have differnt results than I have so always do a test to see if it is acceptable to you.

Hope everyone has enjoyed this. I also would be glad to answer any questions that I can. So feel free to ask. Enjoy.
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Last edited by Aarons72s; 09-08-2007 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:50 AM   #2
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Last pic with the panle and oe orange glove box door.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #3
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

those look pretty close in color. i think you're doing a great job, keep the pics coming!
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:33 AM   #4
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

so what is your overall opinion, being that you physically can see the results.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:47 PM   #5
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

I like it. It lays out pretty good. Not show quality but better than original. I just shot the inside of my cab with it. This time I waited 20 minutes between coats and it turned out great. Here is the pic of the inside of my cab. I even shot it with 100% humidity outside and it appears to be drying well. I just shot the inside of the cab this past sunday. I am waiting for it to cure so I can mask it off and paint the white. I will be shooting all the orange on my truck with the alkyd enamel and urethane clear.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:15 PM   #6
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Update: Well I did this panel on the 14th. I decided to try blue painters tape and highland tape yesterday, 20th. Well I removed the tape today and the tape left marks on and in the clear. The paint is still pritty soft at this point. So it looks like masking for another color with in a week is a no go. No pealing just leaves marks and indentions in the paint do to still being soft. I will give another update when needed.

Last edited by Aarons72s; 08-21-2007 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:19 PM   #7
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

EDITED See post 12. Well I shot my outter cab today. My test panel is still soft after over 2 weeks. Plus I have noticed solvent popping really bad on both the panel and my cab. I hoping it will eventually cure. I hope I wont have to strip it back down again. On the cab i waited 30 minutes between coats and still got solvent pop. Strange the inner of the cab turned out good. ( revised)

Last edited by Aarons72s; 08-27-2007 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 08-26-2007, 09:25 PM   #8
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

If the enamel you used is petroleum based you will run into a problem with fish eyes if you dont take it all off.
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:36 PM   #9
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Bummer! Whats your next plan of action?
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Old 08-27-2007, 01:15 AM   #10
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Well it looks like I spoke to soon, was having a bad day. It is starting to dry better now. Will keep it updated. As for fish eye problems, I didnt have any with the clear going over the alkyd, oil base paint.

What made me think it was really going down hill was about an hour after I finished painting it there was alot of solvent pop, really evedent in some spots. But I went out and looked at it 6 hours latter and didnt seem as bad as before, only slight solvent pop was evedent. Plus it seems to be getting darker to. I think I was just freaking out after putting all the time and money and might have to start over again, I have been working on this cab for 6 years. So the program is still on. I will give updates as needed.
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:01 PM   #11
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

It's been years since enamel has been used in most bodyshops, but I think enamel cures by absorbing oxygen. Clearing over it will prevent oxygen absorbtion and it might never cure completely. I remember when basecoat/clearcoat first came out and most shops used acrylic enamel. Some paint companies said you could clearcoat over acrylic enamel after an overnight dry. Problem was the clear all started peeling after a few months.
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:53 PM   #12
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Yes if a hardner isnt used. But if a hardner is used it will still harden. As for the peeling you described it souds as though the enamel had cured to long and wasnt sticky enough for the clear to grab ahold of. Same thing happened when they first came out with base clear. Alot of them peeled to do to letting the paint dry to long between clear.

Also one other guy on here cleared over the enamel. He waited a day between color, the enamel, and the clear. He has had it this way for over 10 years and reported no peeling. Only thing he didnt like is he shot the clear to dry and had alot of orange peel.

It seems to be hardening and cureing prety good now, well after a day and a half. The orange I shot inside the cab a week ago is pretty hard and can be taped without peeling or leaving marks. Still not as hard as the white, basecoat/clear, but seems to be getting there. I think my test panel isnt doing as well as I didnt let it flash long enough.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:01 PM   #13
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

This is right up my alley!!!!!! I had bought some regular tractor paint for a test on a couple of pieces with great results.I hadnt thought of the clear coat over but at $23.00 a gallon and $6 for hardener it works VERY well,compared with about $460.00 for base coat and clear I very well may go this route.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:00 PM   #14
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Make sure you do a test panel as I have found it is taking forever to cure. My test panel shot over 3 weeks ago the clear is hard but the underlying paint is still soft. If you set a screw driver on top of it the screw driver sinks in in just a few minutes. The trick to this I think is figureing out the right flash time between the coats of paint and dry time between the last color coat and clear. I think I am clearing to soon, 45 minutes is the longest I have waitedand I think it should be longer. The test panel had 15min flash and 30 min clear. I also think I reduced it to much, 50%naptha which I dont think is helping. I just hope it will eventually gas out and cure. I am thinking of doing the rest of the orange in acrylic enamel, tractor supply is selling it in some colors now. But I will still continue to report on how it is cureing on the test panel and cab. I dont know if it would help to use actual enamel reducer and acrylic enamel hardner as suggested by cdowns in longhorn man thread but I will give it a try.
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Old 09-08-2007, 06:35 PM   #15
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Update This stuff is still soft! I am thinking that what I have heard about it needing oxygen to cure might be true. So I may have to strip the orange off the cab. I tried to get the test panel to cure faster with a heat gun. Still as soft as before. I even took a razor blade and shaved a 1" by 1/4" piece of paint off the test panel to see. It isa not that thick, total thickness of the paint and primer is about the thickness of a sheet of copy paper. The thing is the naptha and oil in the paint has absorbed all the way thru the urethane primer and the acid primer. So the piece is real flexible. I can roll it up and the paint and primer wont crack like it usually does. It fills about the consistency of piece of plastic sheeting about the same thickness.

So in sumery this was a bad idea. I highly suggest that no one try this. As you will probably have similar if not worse results. If I do strip the paint off it probably wont happen anytime soon. So I will report every so often if it gets any harder or just stays the same. It was learning experiment. I just should have made the test panel alot sooner so as not to have actually done this to the outter and inner of my cab. Live and learn.
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Old 09-09-2007, 07:42 PM   #16
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

You can do what you are trying to with Alkyd enamel, but you have to let the Alkyd enamel dry, then wet sand it before you clear if you want the clear to stay on it. My racecar was done this way in 1993, and it still looks very good considering it has has been 14 years since it was painted. I spent all my money on go-fast parts, and skimped on paint, but most people think its a high-quality paint job.
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Old 09-09-2007, 08:55 PM   #17
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Aaron,

Well, Im glad you shared your experience with all of us even though you werent sure how it was going to turn out. Sorry it wasnt in your favor.

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Old 09-09-2007, 11:25 PM   #18
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Thanks 67c30 and vic. That will be helpful if anyone else wants to try it. I was hoping to find a cheap and easy paint job that reseambled base clear for pennies. I think I might be able to sand the clear off and let the paint harden then prime over it and coat with something different. Only time will tell as I have moved on to working on other things and wont worry about it till later.
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Old 07-31-2011, 11:54 PM   #19
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Used to get Glidden from Home Depot until they decided not to carry it anymore.
Lowes has Valspar alkyd. Make it what ever color you want pretty much.
Oil based enamels take like a month to cure, that's why they went don't use them on
cars anymore. Hardeners, VMP's will shorten this process.
If you let it cure till it's hard enough to sand without gumming up your sandpaper then sand it with whatever process your hearts desire. Shoot it with polyurethane clear.

I did the engine bay 3 years ago, wrinkled a spot that was in a corner and had too much enamel and didn't dry enough. I waited overnight before clearing it. Alkyd goes on thick and orange peels so, waiting for it to dry so you can sand it is the way to go anyway. Basically, unless you don't mind orange peel, your going to have to sand alkyd to get a poppin shine on the top clear. I wet sand my normal base coat/ clear coat paints anyway. (clears too)

Oh, just remembered. I did my engine with the stuff back in Feb. (like 30 degrees). Just heated up the block and shot it alkyd/ spray can engine clear. Looks fabulous still.I waited overnight before clearing it.

Depending on your weather and what you use as an accelerator this method does actually work and will save you major bucks on a tough finish. Just have to be patient and put in a little elbow work. Here's a couple of pics of my current windshield replacement project. (Sheriff actually gave me a ticket for crack). And the engine.
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Old 08-03-2011, 02:14 PM   #20
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

did not read all of this thread but I just did my 66 gmc with PPG Omni base coat- clear coat....the paint was not that expensive.....I used a polyurethane clear and with the hardner it was about $100.00 per gallon. The base coat color was $65.00 per gallon and with the solvent ( 45.00 gal) that makes 2 gallons of paint. It worked great still had to to the prep work correctly, etch primer, sanding primer, sealer them base coat then clear coat......its almost finished

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:28 AM   #21
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

Sorry to hear things did not work out and you'll likely need to redo things but this does bring up an interesting point. I have seen so many people post on boards I read how they will spend years on a project (you said 6 years on the cab) and then try to do the paint as cheap as possible. I completely understand trying to save a buck but sometimes in the long run, it's worth spending the money for the right products so you don't go through having to redo a bunch of work you already did. I think that should be the lessoned learned from this thread.

Wish you the best and hope this doesn't discourage you from completing your truck.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:48 AM   #22
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Re: Alkyd enamel with urethane clear coat

how is the gloss before you cleared, is it really needed , other than protection
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