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Cheap Paint job, DIY style.

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  • Cheap Paint job, DIY style.

    We know that I went relatively cheap painting the truck. Did my own body work, and had Maaco spray it with their urethane primer, and urethane paint. $831.

    I like having a topper (truck cap, et al) for occasional use, so I was on the look out for one shortly after buying this truck a year and a half ago. There weren't too many to be found on Craigslist that fit my criteria: cheap, in good shape, AND fit my 84 long bed C10. Well, a couple months back I found one that fit all my criteria - it was only $25, and only an hour drive away... but it's brown. Faded brown gel coat and a BLUE truck.

    Maaco wanted $225 (plus ??) to paint it to match my truck. No. Too much for a topper I may rarely use.

    I know there is someone around here who has painted a car with a roller - so I know there are alternative ways to get an acceptable paint job on an automotive application.
    I explained my plight to the pros at Sherwin Williams and asked what product that they have that would work the best. He thought about the "all surface enamel" but decided on the DTM Acrylic. Technically, DTM stands for "direct to metal", but reading the instructions, it's a semi-industrial product that can be applied to several different materials. I went with Gloss Extra White.

    I started scuffing the topper with 320 dry, got tired of inhaling resin powder, and wet sanded the rest of it. There are a couple scratches that will still show - but it's a topper that will probably spend 99% of it's life in my back yard on saw horses, so I can live with them.
    After drying overnight, I started masking off everything I don't want to be white... you use Christmas wrapping paper to mask your projects too, right?

    The DTM calls for 1 hour to be dry to the touch and 4 hours before re-coating, so I'll wait for a day that I can get started on it first thing in the morning. That way 2nd coat will have time to set up nicely before the sun goes down and the bugs and humidity come out.

    My intention is to use my hand held Graco sprayer. It's like a Wagner, but a professional version. I'd like to use the big sprayer, but the dang 50' hose wastes so much paint doing small jobs...

  • #2
    Feel free to tell me how I'm screwing up... I haven't painted it yet.

    Oh, btw, the gloss DTM retails for like $94/ gallon, but since I have an account with Sherwin I get a discount... a really good discount. After buying 2 rolls of tape for $9, a pack of sandpaper for $5, and a fiberglass repair kit for $6 (it had some roof rack holes I had to fill) - I'll still be under $100 total investment for the topper.


    • #3
      the power painter is a good idea BUT it has such a wide "fan" covering the topper may be a issue, may take SEVERAL coats to get it the way you want it
      Charles W - BS Photographer at large


      • #4
        This one came with a second tip. narrow fan, wastes much less paint... hopefully it will work ok. I don't like how this hand held unit pulses. <- That's my main concern with it.


        • #5
          What kind of texture does the cap have? I'm wondering if rolling it would look "stock" or wouldn't matter if it has a pebble texture?
          Overdrive is overrated


          • #6
            Rolling does not leave brush marks.
            If you use enough, and it has time to "relax"
            Rolling will probably be fine...


            • #7
              I found a sponge roller works good.....paint lays flat after drying.

              "The object is to keep your balls on the table and knock everybody else's off..."


              • #8
                It's smooth.

                The sides and top were slightly rough from decades of sun exposure. The front that was up against the cab was still glossy and smooth.
                Now that I've rubbed it down with 320, the whole thing is smooth again. I'm hoping this paint, sprayed, will lay down flat as it dries.

                Anyone out there sprayed gloss DTM before?


                • #9
                  I bought one of those power sprayers that I was thinking of using on my POS trailer this last summer. Didn't get to it, so for now it's a next summer project. I'll take much less care painting my trailer though than you are with the topper. Wash with dawn, mask windows and spray. Won't know how it'll work until I do it. I'll be watching this thread.
                  Escaped on a technicality.


                  • #10
                    Do you have a compressor? Buy a HF gun.
                    Overdrive is overrated


                    • #11
                      I don't have a motor on the compressor and tank left in the barn. I'm sure I'll pick one up eventually....
                      Escaped on a technicality.


                      • #12
                        I don't know about that sprayer but I painted my car with the $14.00 gun from hf and I can't complain at all about it.
                        Coming at you live from the birthplace of GM,Flint,Mi. Where your car is worth more than the property it's parked on.


                        • #13
                          too bad you're not closer - I'd give you the twin to that cap from my truck... it's black
                          Doing it all wrong since 1966


                          • #14
                            I second the notion of a harbor freight gun if you have a harbor freight nearby! and a half decent compressor.
                   - catch the RealTuners Radio Podcast on Youtube, Facebook, iTunes, and anywhere else podcasts are distributed!


                            • #15
                              Here's my entry to "cheap paint". We did a tonneau for my Ranger- $9.99 litre of Armour Coat, and most importantly, added hardener to it. Guess I spent another $9 on a can of Armour coat primer. Painted with a cheap gun in a dirty garage with a tiny compressor. Hard to photo white paint, but it went on very smooth and shiny.

                              My buddy Phil sprayed it.

                              But I want to see how yours turns out, too.
                              1997 Ranger 5.0L HO, GT40 heads/tubular intake, 65mm TB, 1.7rr, B303, Tri-Y headers, dual 2.5" exhaust, Flowmaster mufflers, T5 trans, Tri-Ax shifter, CenterForce Dual Friction clutch, 8.8 Traction Lok 3.55 gears, Cobra 13" front brakes, Cobra 11.65" rear discs.
                              1997 Mustang GT