Originally Posted by oldschoolphazer
Hi my magna tank is purple now, but want to change it to black. How should I go about this procedure? Sand old paint off or paint over it? Im completely new at this...
Sand the clear off the stickers so you can peel them, then sand the whole thing smooth. The stock paint is really a good base to paint over, it's just getting the ridges from the stickers smoothed out.
Sand everything smooth, then prime it and paint it. Warm the paint with hot tap water to get the paint to atomize better. Keep it warm and it will flow smoothly. Do a light coat from about 8-10" to get a tack surface, then within about 15-20 minutes apply another coat at about 8" getting most of the surface to color. The key point is to NOT put too much paint on to the point where it runs or sags. Continue with maybe about 4 coats. When you do the color coat each progressive coat should be a bit heavier and the final coat fairly wet and shiny - a good coat - but not so much paint as to run.
All sanding should use water - wet sanding. Use only wet/dry from an auto parts store, 220 to rough sand to get the stickers off, then smooth out the ridges and go to 400 before priming. After letting the primer dry sufficiently use 600 grit to wet sand the primer for color coat prep. If you should let the color coat dry completely or do multiple colors, wet sand the color coat lightly till the shine is gone, using the 600 and water again. Usually you can put on a few coats without letting the paint fully dry, but if you do delay do NOT try to wet sand too soon, be patient and let it sit for a few hours or more. I'd paint and let it dry overnight, wet sand and paint again, let dry overnight and do it again when I did that flame fade from yellow to red.
After your final color coat, let the paint dry thoroughly, then wet sand with 600 to take out any "orange peel", smoothing the surface. Don't sand through by any stretch. Then rub out the paint with some good rubbing compound. Technically the rubbing action actually does two things, the abrasive cuts the peaks off the paint surface and the heat from rubbing causes the paint to "flow" a bit, smoothing to that shiny surface. Final rub out would be with really fine polishing compound and should end up with a glass-like finish. If you apply clear, all you'll do is wet sand the color coat to scuff the paint for the clear to adhere.
Again, keep the paint can warm to the touch. I usually hold it under hot tap water or sit it in a pan or sink of hot tap water. Obviously DO NOT put it in a pan on a stove.
When it comes to bare color coat or clear coats I will tell you gas will eat most spray can paint these days. There is a two part clear coat in a spray that is on par with current pro finishes for gas resistance. Consider doing that clear coat. It's not cheap, but if you have as good a job as the one I'm showing below, it would be well worth it. It is called SprayMax 2K urethane and can be gotten from R&E Paint supply. They are on-line, but the policy of this forum not allowing links prohibits me from hooking you up. PM me if you want the link.
This paint job was done with Krylon $2.98 a can paint. It is a poor picture, the paint job was exellent, some people accusing me of lying when I said I did it myself. The worst mistake was getting the wrong "pro" to spray a clear coat on it. He didn't scuff the paint, which allowed the clear to lift when it got a small stone chip. Ruined the paint job. I wish they'd have had the two stage clear back then.
I knew what I was doing with cans, I've just never had the time and equipment to try to mix and spray like a pro. I did cans because one pro I knew did the detail on my old flat tracker using a spray bomb, he said for the amount of paint the stripe took it wasn't worth mixing paint and that laquer (at that time what was used) was laquer. His results bore that out, I learned from him, so I wasn't afraid to do the spray can paint job.
Have a go at it, keep the paint warm, don't get impatient and cause a run, and have some fun.