View Full Version : Single stage paint tips for first time spraying?

10-10-2009, 07:45 PM
I have a VW rear decklid I want to paint. I have a set of Devilbiss guns my friend gave me (bottom feed, not gravity) and I want to give it a shot.

I have read/seen/been told that it's almost all in the prep work; spraying is relatively easy.

Decklid is currently blue, will be painted white and is in great shape; probably won't need any filler.

What pitfalls have you encountered that will improve the outcome? Certain types of fillers incompatible with paint/primer? Certain paint brands to stay away from?

Finish doesn't have to be perfect; just white. I am comfortable with buffing and wet sanding.

10-10-2009, 09:29 PM
Try to stick with one brand of paint products, they are designed to work together. There is a great forum called where they routinely answer this kind of stuff. Years ago I did my own bodywork and painting. The materials have really changed since then and they are way more dangerous. Just about any 2 part paint will contain isocyanates, very nasty stuff. Anyone who routinely usus this stuff will vouch for the importance of ALL the right safety equipment including an air-supplied respirator and full body and face protection

10-11-2009, 05:53 AM
It's very hard, if not impossible at times, to explain to someone how to paint over the 'net. You have to have the proper air pressure, paint flow, through the gun to acheive something close to what you want. Then the technique is the other 50% of the equation. You want nice even strokes, do not snap your wrist, come off of you piece you are painting, know when to let off of the trigger and when to pull the trigger. You will have air temperature factored in, metal temperature factored in, humidity factored in, etc. I used to lay down single stage where no buffing was required. I have also seen single stage where it looked like it was put on with a nappy roller.
The forum that tciani pointed out is a very good one. You will want to pick up a Tyvek paint suit, disposable, around $10. You also will want to get a fairly decent respirator. 3M make a good one with replacable cartridges and a respirator is a must. PPE is a necessity with painting. And ISOCYANATE poisoning is no laughing matter. I have a cousing that developed it and if he is sround paint that has isocyanates, he will break out in a huge overall rash that he says is worse that poison ivy, Not only does it itch, it burns and he has been in the hospital on a few occasions. BTW...he is a painter.
Read your material sheets on the proper mixing. Pick up some mixing cups where ever you get your supplies. They are only a few cents apiece. Follow the instructions to the "T". Don't skimp trying to save a dollar or two as it can cost way more in the long run.
If you never sprayed before, get a piece or two of scrap metal and enough paint to do your project plus practice. One of the most common mistakes that I have seen painters make is twisting the wrist. Using the right hand for example and going from left to right on a panel, you want to start your spray off of the panel come across the panel and release your spray off of the right hand side. This is with the gun STRAIGHT at the panel. Some painters or wannabees for a better term will use a paint gun like a garden hose. Just picture watering plants in a flower bed without moving. The bed is 20 foot long and you are standing in the middle, You point the hose to the left and start spraying, coming across to where you are in the middle, then sweeping it to the right. The highest concentration of water is directly in fromt of you. The same with paint, if you do it that way (which a lot of people have and do), you will get a run where the highest concentration of paint is, and your outer edges of the panel will have a rougher texture and appear duller. MOVE YOUR FEET AND BODY and keep the gun the same distance throughout the panel coming on and off. And overlap your strokes about 35%-50%.
When it comes to materials, try to stay with the same product line, don't mix and match using PPG for this, Dupont for that, Nason for something else. Stay with one. When you go to your jobber to pick up materials, ask him or her a lot of questions. If you don't knw what you are doing, or what to ask, let them know that and they can hook you up. I have yet see a jobber that has not been extra helpful either to the novice backyard painter or to the pro that is in on a daily basis. They tend to treat all customers the same. It's hard to tell you what all you will need without seeing what you have already, but they can hook you up in 5 minutes. Use that to your advantage.
Good luck and post up some pics of your project.

Rusty Kustoms
10-12-2009, 07:03 PM
I recommend using nason, it is the dupont value line and is extremely easy to work with. If you are not going to be using any filler than you should not need any primer, wet sand with 400 grit, use a red scotch bright pad to scuff the hard to reach areas and paint. You should only need sealer and paint, nason makes a great sealer that is one part, no mixing. You should be fine buffing it if it is just white, if there is any metallics or pearls then you cannot buff it. With spraying single stage it is best to have a hvlp gun, you will have a lot of wasted paint through overspray with an old suction feed gun, a 1.4 tip would be ideal and about 25psi at the gun. It has been about 5 years since I have sprayed with a suction feed but I think you will want between 55 and 60psi if you cannot find a different gun. Spray a few test panels for practice and to see what pressures work for you.

10-13-2009, 11:23 AM
I sprayed my VW six years ago, and it's the only car I've ever sprayed. I also used an old suction feed gun where the gun and compressor are probably older than the beetle. Take your time on the prep - any and all imperfections in the metal will show through. Also, spray on some leftover cardboard to get an initial feel for how the gun sprays. Keep a wet edge while spraying, and follow the recoating/ drying instructions with the paint.

I'll assume you'll be spraying in your home garage. Hang up tarps/ drop cloths, etc. to seal off the whole garage, or in some way make a sealed off area. Overspray will get everywhere, and whatever color you spray will be found on everything not protected. Also try to get your makeshift paint booth as clean as you possibly can - any dust/ dirt in that are will find a way onto your wet paint.

Rusty Kustoms
10-13-2009, 07:43 PM
DO NOT use cardboard for test panels, the paint will soak into the cardboard. Just when you think you have the gun set and your technique down you mess up your car.

11-05-2009, 01:17 PM

Is this something that would be acceptable for the first time painter? I am looking to spray a few small items (too large though for the rattle can option).

Scott (SSFOS)

11-05-2009, 05:44 PM
So what should be used for a test panel?

11-05-2009, 07:28 PM
Get a hood, fender or deck lid from a wrecked car at the junkyard. They are great to practice on and to set up your gun. When they get too much paint on them, a DA sander can take it off in a hurry and you are good to go again.

moose knuckle
11-06-2009, 12:04 AM
+1 on the nason, I used it while learning to spray. Pretty cheap, finishes good, but def. use the right ppe!!! HVLP 1.4 @25 psi at the gun is also around what I used. :thumbup:

Rusty Kustoms
11-08-2009, 07:18 PM

Is this something that would be acceptable for the first time painter? I am looking to spray a few small items (too large though for the rattle can option).

Scott (SSFOS)

Yes, that gun should do just fine.