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Old 12-22-2011, 06:07 PM   #1
JMorrison4371
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Default How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

I have a question for you professional tool box owners. I was wondersing if you can take a Snap On tool box apart(remove drawers, slides, etc.), strip it down, and repaint it? I have experience in automotive refinishing and I know how to use a paint gun, how to sand correctly, and so on. My thoughts on this were to strip it down probably to bare metal, then coat it a couple times with epoxy primer, and follow up with a urethane base/clear coat. Epory primer, I know is the best direct-to-metal primer you can buy, and I also know that urethane paint is very durable. What you guys think?
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:12 PM   #2
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

Why not its just like a metal car, but why strip it to bare metal? it will sit in a garage and never see weather/rain sun ect. unless its a rusty mess than thats another story.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

I would use a single stage urethane instead of using clearcoat. Scratches tend to show up more with clear, especially with a dark colored box.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

I believe you should dip it in molten gold
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:37 PM   #5
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

I started re-doing mine in rustoleum sunrise red... i HIGHLY advise against that... those the color looks good its hard to keep the sheen even over the whole thing being a rattle can...that and it doest get nearly as hard as id think it should... and yes i sanded, wirewheeled to bare metal, primed then painted... i would deffinately advise the OP or anyone else reading this thread in the future to spend the money and have it painted in a urethane or base clear as previously suggested... or do it yourself with a spray gun if you know how like the OP says he does
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

The only problems you may have is if it's dented.The front cover(if it has one)is usually double walled,so you can't get behind it.Same with the sides,and you have the slide mounts on the inside.Bondo is your friend,in this case,unless ya want to go with the drill and slide hammer.I had a machinist friend make me a dolly for the rounded drawer pulls on my KRA59A,later ones are squared off and should be pretty straightforward.I wouldn't take it all down to bare metal unless its totally covered in rust.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

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Originally Posted by JMorrison4371 View Post
I have a question for you professional tool box owners. I was wondersing if you can take a Snap On tool box apart(remove drawers, slides, etc.), strip it down, and repaint it?
yes.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

I recently bought an 80's vintage 8 drawer Made in Canada Snap On side cabinet. It needs touch up in a few places. No rust though. Is there a touch up paint for Snap On Red?
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

OP, take some pics of the process.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

If you take it apart what about having it powder coated ?
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

Not sure how much it costs, but I've got this place saved in my favorites list for the future. They're not where you're located, but the process may be what you're looking for. It might be worth your while to search for someone who does similar work in your area.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

If its in good shape and does not have rust or cracked paint, then I would not bring it down to bare metal.

If it were me I would do the following provided there was no rust or cracking paint:
(1) do any neccesary metal work. Straighten your metal before doing any sanding unless using a stud gun.
(2) Remove all paint in areas you are using body filler on. Keep body filler away from paint edges or halos and adhesion problems will result.
(3) Apply body filler.
(3) Rough sand body filler with either 80 or 100 grit paper on a block. Leave enough filler for finish sanding.
(4) Finish your filler with 180 grit paper on a block. Make sure all 80 grit scratches are gone, primer WILL shrink and you will see 80 grit scratches in your finished paint job.
(4) Use a DA to featheredge the paint around your filler. Use 180 grit paper.
(5) Use aerosol etch primer on all bare metal. Keep etch off filler as best you can.
(6) Spot prime all repair areas with a good primer PPG's NCP 271 would be my choice.
(7) Block primer with 320 grit paper followed by 400 grit. Finish by buzzing with 400 on the DA.
(8) Sand the rest of the box with 400 on the DA.
(9) Wipe box down with wax and grease remover. I would use PPG's DX320.
(10) Apply epoxy sealer to entire box. 1 wet coat. I would used PPG's DP50LF. I like this sealed because it can be topcoated for up to a week without scuffing or sanding.
(11) Apply basecoat. 2-3 coats should get you coverage depending on color. I would use PPG's Deltron basecoat system.
(12) Apply clear, probably 3 coats. I would use Omni MC270. It is a PPG product and is compatible with the other products listed but cheaper than Deltron clears.

Ofcourse you can use products from other companies but I am a PPG guy. I know this is probably more labor intensive and expensive than what you wanted to do, but this is what I would do if I wanted to paint myself a kickass box.

Last edited by wreckerman5357; 12-22-2011 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

awesome advice guys. I haven't decided to do it yet, but I'm thinking hard on it. My box is the Muscle Car Mopar series and it's purple now, but I want it black, black is my faveorite color(and no im not emo or whatever), it would be a bitch to tape up all the mopar prints on it, but what i want to do to it, i think it would be worth it.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

Quote:
Originally Posted by wreckerman5357 View Post
If its in good shape and does not have rust or cracked paint, then I would not bring it down to bare metal.

If it were me I would do the following provided there was no rust or cracking paint:
(1) do any neccesary metal work. Straighten your metal before doing any sanding unless using a stud gun.
(2) Remove all paint in areas you are using body filler on. Keep body filler away from paint edges or halos and adhesion problems will result.
(3) Apply body filler.
(3) Rough sand body filler with either 80 or 100 grit paper on a block. Leave enough filler for finish sanding.
(4) Finish your filler with 180 grit paper on a block. Make sure all 80 grit scratches are gone, primer WILL shrink and you will see 80 grit scratches in your finished paint job.
(4) Use a DA to featheredge the paint around your filler. Use 180 grit paper.
(5) Use aerosol etch primer on all bare metal. Keep etch off filler as best you can.
(6) Spot prime all repair areas with a good primer PPG's NCP 271 would be my choice.
(7) Block primer with 320 grit paper followed by 400 grit. Finish by buzzing with 400 on the DA.
(8) Sand the rest of the box with 400 on the DA.
(9) Wipe box down with wax and grease remover. I would use PPG's DX320.
(10) Apply epoxy sealer to entire box. 1 wet coat. I would used PPG's DP50LF. I like this sealed because it can be topcoated for up to a week without scuffing or sanding.
(11) Apply basecoat. 2-3 coats should get you coverage depending on color. I would use PPG's Deltron basecoat system.
(12) Apply clear, probably 3 coats. I would use Omni MC270. It is a PPG product and is compatible with the other products listed but cheaper than Deltron clears.

Ofcourse you can use products from other companies but I am a PPG guy. I know this is probably more labor intensive and expensive than what you wanted to do, but this is what I would do if I wanted to paint myself a kickass box.
Step 9 should be the first thing done.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

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Step 9 should be the first thing done.
Good catch, I would wash with soap and water first, then dry, then wipe down repair areas, wipe down the bare metal before filler application, and wipe down repair areas before priming.

Also forgot to mention using a tack cloth after sealing is tack free, between coats of color, and before clear.

Last edited by wreckerman5357; 12-22-2011 at 08:36 PM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:42 PM   #16
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

Quote:
Originally Posted by NY Old Guy View Post
I recently bought an 80's vintage 8 drawer Made in Canada Snap On side cabinet. It needs touch up in a few places. No rust though. Is there a touch up paint for Snap On Red?
Yes, They do sell sell touch up paint.
http://bluetoad.com/publication/?i=45974&pre=1
or if you have a printed copy of catalog 1100 handy its on page 377, lower right...it aint cheap.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

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Originally Posted by wreckerman5357 View Post
Good catch, I would wash with soap and water first, then dry, then wipe down repair areas, wipe down the bare metal before filler application, and wipe down repair areas before priming.

Also forgot to mention using a tack cloth after sealing is tack free, between coats of color, and before clear.
No worries. We'll make a painter of you yet.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

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Originally Posted by wreckerman5357 View Post
Good catch, I would wash with soap and water first, then dry, then wipe down repair areas, wipe down the bare metal before filler application, and wipe down repair areas before priming.

Also forgot to mention using a tack cloth after sealing is tack free, between coats of color, and before clear.
Curious to know, are the PPG paints listed waterborne or urethane? I know that waterborne is being pushed hard in Cali..
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

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No worries. We'll make a painter of you yet.
I'm guessing you're a painter? I like seeing other collision guys on here. I learned a lot about paint working in the bodyshop before going to school for collision, enough to know I liked body better. My entire two years of school you do both. You do the body and paint work on actual customer cars. I do body work only at the shop I'm at now. But until I'm graduated in May I have to paint. I don't mind painting, but I like metal work better.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:35 PM   #20
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Default Re: How-To Paint a Snap On tool box

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Curious to know, are the PPG paints listed waterborne or urethane? I know that waterborne is being pushed hard in Cali..
The products listed are solvent. Envirobase HP is PPG's waterborne line. One could substitute Envirobase basecoat for the Deltron basecoat I recomended. The sealer and clear mentioned are both approved for use with water.

I would not recomend waterborne for the OP unless he has used it previously. I did not use it until I went to school and hated it at first. After taking PPG's Envirobase class at one of their training centers, I quickly decided it was the way to go. Cleanup is easy, color-matching is better, it blends well, and it saves you time over solvent.
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