Paint issues - help

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Paint issues - help

Postby djdawg » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:00 pm

So I purchased a new Harbor Freight trailer a few weeks ago. My goal is to paint it a slightly different red because it's going to better match a sticker that I've already ordered to put on my teardrop when it's done.

I'm familiar with primer and wet sanding, etc and by "familiar" I mean I've heard of it LOL. Never done it before but that's what's great about the internet.

However for some reason I had it in my mind that it would be okay to paint the new color of red that I want directly over the brand new red rails as I pulled them out of the box. I'm feeling like this is now bass-ackwards but I spent many hours carefully painting the new rails without any primer.

I finally started putting the trailer together last night and noticed that if my fingernails scratched one of the rails the paint was peeling right off. Ugh. I'm now feeling like I should have applied primer even over the new rails first before painting them the new red.

I'm out of town for the week but last night before the weekend ended I took one of the offending rails and used my orbital sander to sand off all of the new paint that I put on. I continued sanding to get rid of the old paint (or original new paint to be more accurate) until I took the shine off. I was careful not to go to bare metal. I then sprayed the rail with primer.

My question is, is this the right way to do it? This is only the trailer frame and I'm not trying to paint a Lamborghini so I don't need it perfect but I definitely don't want paint flaking off after a couple of seasons. Do I need to wet sand the primer painted rail before I put the new red paint on or can I just now apply the red paint directly? Out of the 15 or so rails only 4 of them exhibited flaking paint. The others seemed fine but I'm a bit worried that if I don't sand them down and then prime them, that they will start having problems down the road? Or if the paint job looks good now does that mean it should stay good?

And now I have another thing to worry about. Someone told me that once you prime a piece of metal that you should put the paint over the top of it fairly soon. Like within a couple of days? I primed it yesterday/Sunday and I won't be able to get back to it until Friday. 5 days later. Will it still be okay to put the red paint over the primer after 5 days? What does oxidization of primer painted metal look like?

Thanks for all your thoughts!
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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Woodbutcher » Mon Oct 22, 2018 4:05 pm

There should be no problem painting over the primer 5 days from now. Rough the primer with 320 grit sand paper and clean it off well. I like to use a solvent on clean rags to wipe everything down before painting the top coat. I don't know what you used for paint so I cant recommend a cleaning solvent. I would try a real paint store for a recommendation.
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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby djdawg » Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:16 am

Thanks! I heard from other builders that Rustoleum spray paint worked well for them when repainting the frame so I went with that.

As far as a solvent, I know some have used paint thinner, kerosene....do you recommend anything specific?



Woodbutcher wrote:There should be no problem painting over the primer 5 days from now. Rough the primer with 320 grit sand paper and clean it off well. I like to use a solvent on clean rags to wipe everything down before painting the top coat. I don't know what you used for paint so I cant recommend a cleaning solvent. I would try a real paint store for a recommendation.
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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Tom&Shelly » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:29 am

djdawg wrote:Thanks! I heard from other builders that Rustoleum spray paint worked well for them when repainting the frame so I went with that.

As far as a solvent, I know some have used paint thinner, kerosene....do you recommend anything specific?


Careful the solvent doesn't take off the primer. (You may want to test first.) I'd think if you went over it with 320 grit sand paper, no solvent would be necessary at this point. I would have used the solvent before the primer, but you're past that. I wouldn't worry if it looks okay.

I once repainted a car using Rustoleum hammer finish. I first hit each panel with an aerosol bug remover that I'd bought at an auto parts store (can't remember the brand), wiped it dry, then used the Rustoeum rattle-can spray. Came out great looking and held up for about three years until I traded that car in.

However, one time I had a little over-spray from the bug remover onto a freshly painted panel. That messed the paint up, but I recovered by simply wiping out the bug spray and dissolved paint and repainting after it was dry. Because it was hammer finish, there was no problem. If it were a smooth finish, I suppose I would have wet sanded to attempt to get it smooth again before repainting.

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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby redbicycle » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:52 am

I don't think you need the primer since the new HF trailer is already painted. Did you scuff the original paint and before you put the new red on clean all of the rail with something like Acetone, or Denatured Alcohol or Simple Green (in my preferred decending order)? It sounds to me like your original steel had contamination on it.

Also, you did not clearly state that the paint flaked off? Was it fully cured or did your fingernail scrape it off soft? Maybe it wasn't gassed off yet?
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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Aguyfromohio » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:23 am

Paint chemistry can be tricky and it gets more sophisticated all the time. You can't expect every paint to stick to all others.
If you clean the old paint well to remove traces of oil; roughen with sandpaper; and use a primer before the new color it should stick.
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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Tigris99 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 4:04 pm

always sand any paint your going to cover. Primer (never use solvent once you primer) and then paint. Solvent is for initial prep (or mistakes) and you dont use anything that leaves an oily residue behind.

Make sure to wipe down after sanding to make sure primer can adhere fully.

Primer then paint and done. Never NOT use primer unless your going back over paint that you have any idea what was used. The stuff they use on things like that HF trailer is not basic spray on paint. So no other paints alone will stick to it well at all.

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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Andrew Herrick » Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:08 am

You get what you pay for. Harbor Freight "red" turns to pink within a few months of outdoor exposure. So good idea to paint it now. ALWAYS USE GOOD PRIMER. ALWAYS. And if you use any rattle-can paint, you need to apply 4-6 coats to equal 1-2 coats of brushed/rolled paint.
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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Tophog » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:59 pm

Tigris99 wrote:
Primer then paint and done. Never NOT use primer unless your going back over paint that you have any idea what was used. The stuff they use on things like that HF trailer is not basic spray on paint. So no other paints alone will stick to it well .


:thumbdown:

First, the OP didn't specify WHAT primer he was using. Spray can, 2K urethane, epoxy, etc.

Second, all of you are confusing primer with sealer. Primer is for a base over the metal before applying coating.

Lacquer primer needs to cure and be sanded. Epoxy and urethane primers can be top coated within 24 hours without sanding.

Sealer does just what the name implies. It seals what's underneath and preps for the new color.

No matter what was used, the HF coat needs to be sanded and cleaned first, or anything painted over it won't want to stick.
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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Tigris99 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:49 am

not confusing the 2. Primer is not just used in bare metal applications. When in doubt use a primer/sealer like in this application. And many primers unless specifically for bare metal prep are also sealers.

Saying I am wrong implies I dont know what I'm talking about which is far from the truth.

You are correct but missing the fact many in a can primers and such are primer/sealer in one. So we just call it primer. separate sealers are used in limited applications (which I have rarely bothered with when using primer/sealer is much easier in the applications I have needed to)



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Re: Paint issues - help

Postby Atomic77 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:08 pm

I'll chime in on this if no one minds. Here's my procedure for this one:

1. Wipe all the parts down with a wax and grease remover

2. Scuff the parts with a Scotchpad or 3M Fine foam sanding pad

3. Wipe all the parts down with a prep-clean. In this case I would use Windex

4. Spray all the parts with a non-sanding sealer. I use Dupont but for this you could use rattle can sealer

5. Paint

Pretty simple

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