Recommend inexpensive but good car paint spray gun, please?

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What the subject says.

I did a search on eBay and saw some as cheap as $25. I know it's probably a long shot, but those couldn't be any good, could they? (please do a quick search for "spray gun" on eBay to see the results). A buddy of mine has offered to take my hood off and repaint it. He just says to buy a spray gun and the paint and basically he has everything else. I'm really trying to get in on this before the warm weather totally ends!

uh.. also while we're at it, if anyone has a thing or two to say to me about getting paint that would help me out a lot! :laughing:

posted by  JaneiR36

There are four things that directly affect the quality of a paint job;

1. How well the prep work was done.
2. The quaility of the materials used.
3. The quality of the equipment used.
4. The person doing the work.

How good do you want this paint job to turn out? How long do you want it to last? How well do you want the color to match? These are questions you need to answer in tandem with giving a realistic assessment to the four bullet statements. A good painter can do wonders with a cheap gun under the right circumstances, but a $500 SATAjet gun in the hands of a hack will still turn out crap. And somebody that knows how to do it can make lousy paint look great... At least long enough to get it of the car lot.

A quick look at eBay shows me that any of the low dollar guns are only good for blowing on primer, not top coats. As you go up in price, as with most things, the quality gets better. Unless you're easy to please, or he's an artist, I don't think you'll be happy with the job that gets turned out using low grade equipment or supplies. And as I've already already established with you on at least one other situation, the cheapest price usually isn't the best deal.

Final thought. I don't know anybody who is a competent, much less good painter who doesn't have their own gun and related equipment. It sounds kinda fishy to me.

posted by  vwhobo

Hobo covered most of it.

Harbor Freight has an inexpensive knock off of the SataJet that I have: gravity feed HVLP. Not what I would use for doing high end work, but decent enough for what you're looking at if your friend has any sort of an eye for laying down paint evenly. Like hobo said, that's an important part.

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=43430

posted by  ChrisV

50 bucks, that's a damn good price :thumbs:

My buddy has experience painting farm equipment........ from when he grew up on a farm. So he's not necessarily into painting cars on a regular basis (or possibly at all), but he heard me say I wanted to paint my car myself and mentioned that he had an air compressor and some related experience so we could give it a whirl.

I thought he simply didn't want to paint the car when it was cold outside, but apparently paint takes better in warmer weather? Any idea just how warm it must be then for the paint to turn out half way decent?

As for the quality of the work I need done..... that was hilarious, by the way, paint stays on long enough till you leave the parking lot :laughing: .....yeah I doubt this car will have any resale value whatsoever. I think I will drive it to the ground and it's already showing its age (Dark green '96 Camry LE, cheap paint job from Maaco after it was bought off of an auction lot). So as long as the paintjob looks half way decent, that should be fine. The matching should not be a problem as I would like to redo the whole body when I get a chance. I will say, though, that it is really quite important that the paint lasts for at least a couple years before it starts peeling or anything. I don't want to be right back where I started too soon. :oops:

posted by  JaneiR36

Ok, a couple things... Laying a good paintjob down on a car is vastly different than making farm imlements one color. Making it even and not sagging/running/dry/orange peeled is a skill.

Yes, paint needs warmer temps to lay down good. Too cold and it won't flash fast enough and can mottle, blush, and most importantly, stay wet and sag/run very easy. You can add ore hardener to copensate, but if you add too much it will not gloss and it will be more likely to react with the paint layers below it and wrinkle. I wouldn't paint in room temps under 50 if you wanta good job (I've painted down to the low 30s for cheap ass race car jobs that didn't have to last but they always look like hell).

Another consideration is the quality and type of paint being used, as some are more forgiving than others. Catalyzed paints are easly touched up and reshot over bad areas without chance of reaction, and can be color sanded and buffed out to give a higher shine and get rid of mistakes. Uncatalized paints are what you see is what you get, dirt runs, orange peel, dry, whatever is permanent. And the cheaper teh paint, the worse the quality. Maaco uses cheap synthetic enamels, like Western and Nason. If you spend extra money, they will ada urethane hardener to it for more durability, but it's still cheap paint. (and if they didn't add a hardener to it, you HAVE to strip it completely off before repainting it with a catalyzed paint, or you WILL end up with a wrinkled mess)

But the single most important component of a successful paint job is prep. Proper trim removal, proper dirt cleaning from every nook and cranny, proper degreasing and de-waxing, thorough sanding with the right grits of sandpapaer, proper priming, correct dry times for each different step, etc. Take care and take your time with prep work, and even cheap paint done in improper conditions can end up looking relatively decent and last a long time.

So I don't have to retype it, here's a link to some prep work info I gave out a couple years back:

http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=154272

posted by  ChrisV

Just a question, related to the topic.

How much, on average, is a good paintjob?

posted by  PontiacFan27

Thank you, ChrisV. We could probably write a small but highly informative book on painting cars with the information on car-forums by now. If only I would just paint the freakin' car already!! :laughing: The whole thing just got postponed by at least six months as I have decided to wait till the Spring. Who knows, I might even have a new(er) car by then!

PontiacFan, I've heard at least a thousand if you really want to pay someone to get it right.

posted by  JaneiR36

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