I want to repaint the cabinet on one of my VMC's - its the standard off-white sort of light tan cream sort of color.
What kind of paint is it? Single part? Two part epoxy paint? Acrylic/enamel or what? Where can I buy it? Should I get spray-on or brush on? What sort of prep should I do? The metal cabinet is just all black inside (not rusted, just black from coolant over the years). Do I need to sand it? Steel-wool it? Prime first then paint? Whats the best way?
I'm also thinking of repainting the back cabinet too so spray on would probably be easiest and provide the nicest finish.
American Machinist ran an outstanding article recently on paints to use on machinery.
It discussed epoxy's, polyurethanes and other stuff that is much more robust than simple 'paint'. They talk preparation too....
Preparation for ANY painting operation is depandant on the type of paint/coating to be applied versus the condition of the original coating/paint.
The problem with simply applying paint is that you may get a reaction between the old coating versus the new stuff. Lifting, blistering, orange peel and all sorts of other stuff can occur if the paints are incompatible.
Applying paint over oil/coolant stained paint has its limitations. Perhaps the paint might stick to paint, who knows if it will lift, stick, or peel off later due to a bad reaction between the new coating and the contaminated surface. That is a crap shoot in my estimation.
The BEST way is to sand it and remove any loose paint or corrosion. Then wash and fully degrease the surface. Some paints require primer, some need special primers, some can simply be brushed or rolled on.
This is a case where you really need to talk with your industrial paint supplier (not the kid who works in the paint isle at the local "big box" store). Perhaps a call to the paint supplier (IE: PPG, Dupont, Sherwin Williams, whomever) would answere these and other questions that you might have.
Follow their recommendations as they surely have answered these and other questions previously.
SRT Mike If I had my druthers, 1.) confer with a Sherwin Williams tech guy; 2) If he agreed, use his recommened barrier coat; 3) paint machine with high density solids epoxy with a throw-a-way sprayer in a well ventilated place, preferably circuit blue. A real PITA but I've never found a coolant to harm it, it's easy to clean up and as long as I don't have to paint it, wonderful stuff. I'm retired now, so there may be better stuff out there, but I'm not aware of it.
The article I referred to in a previous post was a "one pager" in the September 2006 issue of American Machinist magazine. Interestingly, some of the info was gleaned from Practical Machinist website.
They discuss epoxy's, urethane's, enamels and a lot of info that will help you do the job right. A real good read.
The article also advises that the aspiring machine painter should contact the industrial coating's tech folks for information about the proper material to use and the proper application method. Surely, time well spent.
Gone are the days when 'steel mill gray or green' Rustoleum paint is THE paint to use for everything. The coatings technologies are much more advanced as are the coolants involved in machining.
Whereas "paint" can/will discolor or be attacked by coolants, the more sophisticated coatings actually "cure in place" and offer much more robustness to chipping, discoloring and/or lifting if chosen and applied properly.
Since machine painting can be such a PITA, why do it/redo it lamely several times when you can do it right once and be done with it????
SW, DuPont, PPG, etc all surely have sound industrial coatings support staffs who can help you find/use the right stuff.
that article is available online. don't have the link handy, but google is your friend. Basically you have some major health risks using the two part products (imron's nice but not worth dying for) or a crap product that six months later will look as bad as when you started - it just doesn't stand up to hot, sharp chips. If were to bother again making a machine tool pretty I'd try powder coating.