Paint Tips Please Read

Paint Tips

Aerosol Tips please page down!

Here I will post some tips to help you get a respectable paint job.  I will expand on this page as I have time.

 Tips that apply directly to the usage of aerosol will have a link to that page along with primer information to keep this page uncluttered.

I have set up a terminology page.  If you see a word or phrase highlighted, you can go to the terminology page for a brief description.


  2K products generally have isocyanides in them.  Read the labels, be careful.  Long term health issues can arise from improper protection.

1K products still have solvents that can attack portions of your body.  Read the labels, be careful, Long term health issues can arise from improper protection.

Use in a well ventilated area.  Use proper health protective equipment consisting but not limited to a respirator, gloves, and proper skin protection.  A paint suit will also keep your item that you are painting cleaner also.

Do not use near a open flame.

Do not use near non-explosion proof electrical devices. 


It is recommended that you water clean and solvent clean BEFORE you start to sand or media blast.  If you sand or blast before you clean you are potentially driving contaminations directly into your substrate which you may never remove.  You need to wipe dry before the cleaner air dries so that the contamination can be lifted off by your wiping action.  If the cleaner air dries, the contamination just went back to your substrate.

Water clean is either with HOT Soapy water or water based cleaners designed for the purpose.  Water based cleaners also disperse static electricity which is a good thing on plastics and fiberglass.  Water cleaning will help to remove water contaminations including but not limited to:  Tree sap, bird droppings, Dirt, Acid Rain etc.

Solvent clean is using your wax and grease removers.  This will remove oils, road tars, etc.


Preparation is 90% of the paint job.  It is difficult work and some tools are needed to do it correctly.

If you can feel body work by taking your WHOLE hand (not just finger tips) than you will see the body work

The finer your sanding, the less surface area you have offered to the solvents to penetrate and you will have a better gloss with less sand scratch swelling.  It is best to sand to 240 grit BEFORE priming of filler, paint and fiberglass.

After priming, sand with 400 grit.  If you must use a coarser grit to start, step down gradually to 400 never jumping more than 100 grit at a time.  IE, do not go from 180 grit to 400 grit.

If using basecoat type product, you will want to step it up to 600 grit.

Use quality primers.

Use a guide coat.  A guide coat is a mist of paint that you apply and then sand off.  Once you have sanded the guide coat off, it should be smooth.  There are also "dry guide coats" available from any Paint store.

Clean before painting

We all want to jump into painting when the item is ready to be painted.  A clean work environment, a clean item, clean filtered DRY air, and a clean painter will give you a nicer paint job.  Do not skimp on the cleaning.

Wax and grease again.  I prefer to use a water based cleaner and then a "pre paint" type of fast drying cleaner.

Use a tack rag.  DO NOT LEAVE FOLDED UP.  A tack rag is designed to be unfolded and then "balled up loosely".  I prefer to use the "basecoat" type tack rags also.

Use anti-stat wipes or spray anti-stat products on fiberglass or plastic to help eliminate dirt in your paint.

Know your products

Read the tech sheets along with proper mix ratios of any 2K products.  Follow proper flash times.

Application of paint

If using aerosol, please ALSO read the aerosol tips page.

Never apply paint at less than 65 degrees.  The colder it is, the longer it will take for the paint to flash.  Most paints go dormant at 60 Degrees F.

Allow any sealer to flash properly.  Many problems can be associated with improper flash times of the sealer.

Do not apply heavy coats.  It is best to apply nice thin medium wet coats.  You will also get better coverage and use less product this way.

Apply product with a 75% overlap.

Get your nooks and crannies before starting your main "money coat" areas.

If clear coating, use a basecoat clear coat type of paint.  If single stage paint is to be cleared, let it dry thoroughly, and then test the clear coat for compatibility.

Paint Gun tips and recommendations.


Ground Coat Colors

Your color of ground coat whether it be a sealer, sanded primer or sanded paint can have an effect on the finished color AND COVERAGE. 

Yellow, Red, and Orange paints of any brand do not cover as well as the other families of colors.  If you use a white or off white ground coat you will use a LOT LESS PAINT.  If you try to cover gray with yellow, your color will be "greener" and you will probably use twice as many coats.  If you cannot seal with white, or if you are not spraying over a white surface than I recommend spraying a white coat of paint down first.  You will be money ahead and end up with a cleaner looking color.


Spraying Metallic Paints

Please do not confuse this with Metal Flake paints that Scorpion, Viking and other companies used.  Metallic paint has small aluminum flake combined with the paint that shows up in the final product and is generally sprayed with the paint in one operation.

VintagePaint can mix all paints as a single stage (needs no clear) or as a basecoat/clearcoat (which needs clear).  On high metallic paints a basecoat/clearcoat is recommended unless you are trying to be 100% original.  With high metallics, basecoat will spray easier and you will end up with a better gloss that we tend to want today rather than the original gloss level.  When ordering, you will probably get a email verifying which type of paint that you desire.

The following tips will also aid you if spraying basecoat/clearcoat but are imperative to follow if using single stage paints.

  • Move the paint gun or aerosol can back a few inches.  Probably a 8-11 inch distance compared to a 6-8 inch distance for solid colors.

  • Use extremely light coats

  • Wait for the paint to flash completely between coats

  • Overlap your spray gun passes a LOT.  This will give you more uniform coverage helping the flake to be more uniform in it's film depth.  Overlap is the amount that the pass being sprayed covers the previous pass.  We want a MINIMUM of 75% overlap, I prefer even more with a high metallic.

  • If using a paint gun, turn your air pressure up a few pounds to further atomize the paint.

  • If using a paint gun, you can add a little more reducer.  Please note that too much reducer can "burn" the paint and cause a loss of gloss.

  • Keep your spray gun or aerosol at a consistent distance from the product being painted.

  • Change your direction of spray with every coat. 

  • On your last coat, spray a very light coat over the entire project while the previous coat is still a little wet.  This will help metallic placement. 

What causes Metallic issues?

  • Some of the metallic issues that you can incounter are what we call "streaking" or "mottling".  What happens is the metallic is at different depths in the paint.  Where the metallic is deeper, the paint will be darker.  Where the metallic is closer to the surface, the color is lighter.  So, if we spray one part with the metallic deeper, and one part with the metallic closer to the top, you will have streaking or mottling. 

  • If you spray two pieces with a different gun technique or at a different time, you may have a difference in the color.

  • The painter can also change the actual color somewhat by how you spray a high metallic.


Aerosol Tips


While aerosol paints do not have isocyanides we still need to protect ourselves. 

Use in a well ventilated area.  Use proper health protective equipment consisting but not limited to a respirator, gloves, and proper skin protection.  A paint suit will also keep your item that you are painting cleaner also.

Do not use near a open flame.



I will be the first to tell you that a aerosol paint will never be as good as a catalyzed product out of a spray gun.  Vintage Paints offer both Aerosol and Liquid paint which are both quality automobile quality products.

A hardener will help the gloss and improve chemical resistance including Gasoline, carburetor cleaner  and other chemicals along with improve UV protection from the sun.  There is no hardener in aerosol paint unless you get some very high tech 2K aerosol, now available also from Vintage Paint.

Color match should also be checked BEFORE painting.


Our Product

The paint that Vintage Paint supplies is a quality automotive grade enamel product.  This will have higher solids which cover better than many "hardware store" type products.

These are Custom Filled Cans with high quality paint and quality reducer which aids in the painting process.

Vintage paint is not about choosing a "close enough" to the original color, but supplying accurate color that restoration specialists and hobbyists alike will be satisfied with.

Please read the Vintage Paint Color Information page before continuing. 

The next equation for a quality product is the aerosol can itself.  Vintage Paint has tried many aerosol paint can/nozzle set ups and is using the best that we can find, not the cheapest.  You will find that this can/product combination sprays very much like a paint gun.  A better can is also needed to spray higher solid products which we are supplying you.

The nozzle can be turned to move your pattern from a vertical position to a horizontal position if desired.

You will see a small amount of paint on the nozzle when you get the aerosol.  The can is shaken and purged when it is filled.  This cleans the pickup tube and verifies that the can has a proper charge before it is shipped.

I am now sending a spare nozzle for free with each can.  This is a spare incase the first one gets plugged, but you will also notice a bit different spray pattern.  Check out which one sprays best for your needs.

Tips for Success

The better the prep before painting, the better your results will be.  Please read the Paint Tips Page.

Always tip the aerosol can upside down and purge paint out of the pick up tube when done.  This will also help spitting if done in between coats.

The can MUST be shaken properly to thoroughly agitate the paint.  The paint solids will settle and plug the pickup tube if not shaken properly.  The aerosol can is now useless to you and the cans are not warranted for improper use.  If the can is shaken properly, the bottom of the can should have small dents from the ball inside.  Shaking between coats will help keep the product properly suspended during the painting process.

Do not use if the can is below 70 degrees.  Warm can by soaking the lower 2/3 of the can in warm water, or setting in a warm area.  This will allow the viscosity of the paint to be at it's best spraying temperature.

If your can is spitting and or plugging the nozzle, more than likely the can is too cold! (note the 2k epoxy will start plugging the nozzle when the paint is getting past it's prime, warming it may also help though)

Make sure what you are painting is at least 70 degree's also for best results.  If the item that you are painting is cold, your paint will not flow properly, and your dry times will be increased a LOT.

Between coats and when finished painting, dipping your nozzle in lacquer thinner and then blowing it out will keep the nozzle from getting plugged.  Extra nozzles are available for sale.

Making sure that paint does not build up in the nozzle cavity during the painting process can keep the can from dripping. 

The can will work best in the upright position as the paint needs to cover the bottom of the material pickup tube.

Use over Vintage Sleds primer or test over other brands of primers before painting.  Please read the Paint Tips Page.   NOTE: Enamel paint cannot be put over lacquer primers.

Allow plenty of "flash" or dry time between coats.  Rushing paint only causes headaches.

Apply thin coats not heavy coats.

Store in the upright position at normal room temperatures.

Warning, using a tip from a different can can cause the can to discharge it entire contents in a uncontrolled manner.  Only use the tips supplied with the Aerosol can from Vintage Paint.












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