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Tractor painting tip and tricks


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I'm starting on my first tractor paint job. The tractor gets used so I'm not going for show quality, but I want to do a decent job. I know how to mix and spray, and I've removed the sheet metal to spray it separately, but what other helpful hints do you guys have that I might not know? Thanks

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Do the nooks and crannies first then work your way out. That will give your painting hand a chance to warm up and also give you an idea how the paint will lay.

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Clean it, and when you think you have it clean, clean it again and so on and so on.

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If I was to paint a working tractor today I would power wash and degrease a couple times. Clean with a solvent wax and grease remover. Scuff what I could with a scotch bright. Clean with wax and grease remover again. Epoxy everything with a grey epoxy, following instructions for cure time and then paint with a high quality single stage paint. Sounds easy!

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Didn't look to me like the factory was scared of a few runs now and then, so I never did either.....

More authentic that way I figured...:rolleyes:

Mike

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1 hour ago, mikem said:

Didn't look to me like the factory was scared of a few runs now and then, so I never did either.....

More authentic that way I figured...:rolleyes:

Mike

Remember the days when John Deere parts came wrapped in burlap, and the paint was still sticky, and full of runs?

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I wash, hot dish soap soapy water in a hand sprayer, then hot water pressure washer, then sand/scuff/prep etc, then to get the bulk of the sanding residue off along with any more oil and grease that has popped up, a thing that I like to do is to take a gallon or two of -cheap- paint thinner (like the $8 plastic jug from the hardware store, not the tin can of $30-50 reducer from the paint shop)  and I put that through a pressurized sprayer of some sort (I use an under coating gun, but your paint gun  or a siphon hose air wand would work too) and I sort of indoor “pressure wash” the machine again with the thinner, working  top to bottom.     Maybe do that twice. And then wipe it all down by hand with a higher quality paint prep solvent, and tac cloths, just before shooting the primer.  I use a garden sprayer to keep the shop floor wet while painting too. Because it traps the paint overspray dust and keeps the regular dust down as well.  

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Hot pressure washer and a K-Tools gun is what I've always used. Make sure you have a water separator from the air tank to your hose. I've painted a 1206, 986, 1486 ,1586, 3688, 856, hopper wagon's, various tillage tools that way. 1486 was here the longest after I painted it, 22 year's. 986 the shortest, 2 years. Never experienced any peeling, etc. Used 2150 red with just enough thinner to paint good. Didn't use hardener. Everyone has their own way of doing things.

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I did not use hardener back in the day, recently I have been and I think I like it. Definitely on the water separator, I have a cheap one from Harbor freight bolted to the wall in line, and then also the small one that spins onto the end of the gun. And drain the water out of your compressor daily.  The body shop scotch bright pads work amazing for lightly sanding those hard to reach areas on castings and such.  Also source all of your supplies ahead of time, I don’t know how things are right now where you are, but this past winter and all through last year in NY even the big body shop suppliers were low on basic items when I wanted them.  Local shop usually has at least 25 or 50 gallons of epoxy primer on hand, but they did not have a single gallon container last winter and I needed to buy quarts, Which cost a lot more and I didn’t like it 

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Did this 544 in 2018.  Power washed and degreased.  Scraped more old dirt off and removed more parts.  Rolled back out and power washed a 2nd time.  Made sure all leaks were taken care of.  Scuff and used wax/grease remover.  Also wire wheeled tough to get areas.  Cleaned again with wax and grease remover.  Tack clothes from paint shop also help.  Some areas used self etching primer.  I used a few 2150 cans to first to get hard to reach spots.  As others said make sure have water separator.  Final spray was 2150 with hardener.  Be sure to have a good respirator.  I’m not a professional but this one came out ok.

TP Tools in Canfield, OH, has a lot of good paint items.

The 544 is used for raking hay and was used this year to spray since the 884 was waiting on the injection pump.

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21 hours ago, bkorth said:

Clean it, and when you think you have it clean, clean it again and so on and so on.

Move it to different light and clean again .

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On 7/4/2022 at 3:16 PM, Art From Coleman said:

Remember the days when John Deere parts came wrapped in burlap, and the paint was still sticky, and full of runs?

Some IH parts came like that also.

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Thanks for bringing this topic up I want to paint my 1566 one of these days. 

 

So the 2150 Red at the CNH dealer, what hardener do you all use with it? 

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I have 4600 psi and 4 or 4.2gpm, and it won’t remove a old original decal cleanly. It will make a streaky mess out of them. Leaves the glue. The rotary nozzle was $125……it’s too aggressive to use on anything else, but I did try it on decal removal.  

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2 hours ago, B.B. said:

Thanks for bringing this topic up I want to paint my 1566 one of these days. 

 

So the 2150 Red at the CNH dealer, what hardener do you all use with it? 

This is what two of my IH dealers sell. Expensive, but does make it a more durable finish.0706221554.thumb.jpg.ca41a58be3a1ad16a1aca25eba761035.jpg

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Don’t use the $10 stuff from tractor supply. I thought it was good, until the body supply guy talked me into getting a $35 or $40 bottle.  It says “Wet look hardener” on it but I can’t remember the brand.  It’s much thinner than the $10 stuff, and it ends up thinning out your mix  a tiny bit, so I had to add .5 parts more paint to compensate 

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Clean, clean, clean.

Prep work makes all the difference.

On the sheet iron use a high buildup primer and wet sand. Repeat  until it's really smooth. Paint light coats. When it's hard, wet sand with 1500 grit and buff until the letters on the bulb of your shop light reflect crisp and clean. You can make paint look like a glass mirror.

 

 

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Some guys sand  like that with 1500 or 2000 and then put on another coat of paint. I’ve never been that fussy myself. I San the hi build with 400, maybe 600, and then put on paint.  For a field tractor 220 or 320  would be considered pretty nice by most. 

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