Brotus7 Dork
6/2/21 7:55 p.m.

I'm getting excited - I hope to paint my Europa chassis by the end of the week. Today and tomorrow are devoted to cleaning and a couple finish welds.

Who likes what for chassis paint. Preferably brush on, but I can spray if there isn't a good brush on solution- it just requires me to set up the air drier for my compressor and a sunny day next week.

Bonus points for options I can buy locally.

I used regular Rust-Oleum in my lemons car and it didn't hold up well on the floor under the pedals.  Research suggested that it can improved with a hardener, but I always value forum members' experience.


adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/2/21 8:46 p.m.

I like Rust-Oleum mainly because it is easy to get in many different forms and sizes and go with the satin black. You can spray it on with cans or your gun and touch it up with a brush from a small can down the road. I hit my bare metal with Ospho first just to take care of any minor surface rust beforehand. 

I'm sure there are better products but the convenience and simplicity is hard to beat.

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/2/21 9:04 p.m.

Gotta go with something that bonds chemically with the iron.  Zinc Oxide has been used since WWII for rust prevention on ferrous metals.  Red Oxide is also an option

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/2/21 9:07 p.m.

You can add hardener to Rustoleum to improve its durability.  Any paint store should be able to help.

Another thought is tractor paint.  It's usually reasonably priced and durable.

93gsxturbo SuperDork
6/2/21 9:12 p.m.

John Deere Blitz Black is a favorite since you can get it quarts, gallons, and rattle cans for touch-up.  The real stuff from an equipment dealer is better than the cheapo depot  similar-tos

I have also had excellent luck with VHT Epoxy Chassis Black in semi-gloss if you gotta rattle can it.  

Honsch Reader
6/2/21 10:16 p.m.

I used Eastwood isocyanate-free epoxy primer with a 2K clear overcoat on the underside and interior of the race car.

Interior has held up fine for the last five years, where the jacks go and a few other high-wear spots have had a few issues.

Extra bonus with a clearcoat: It's easy to clean later.


stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
6/3/21 9:06 a.m.
93gsxturbo said:

John Deere Blitz Black is a favorite since you can get it quarts, gallons, and rattle cans for touch-up.  The real stuff from an equipment dealer is better than the cheapo depot  similar-tos

I have also had excellent luck with VHT Epoxy Chassis Black in semi-gloss if you gotta rattle can it.  

PJ1 epoxy paint is good too, although I wouldn't want to paint an entire car chassis with rattle cans.  PJ1 products are sold at motorcycle shops.

drock25too GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/3/21 9:08 a.m.

Tractor paint from Tractor Supply.  Cheap, relatively,  several colors, and easy to match if/when it gets scratched up. 

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/3/21 9:26 a.m.

I've done the Majic brand tractor paint from Tractor Supply. You have to use the hardener for it be durable and cure quickly like a real paint. Even then, apply several coats. I have also used Rustoleum with the Majic brand paint hardener from Tractor Supply. They are both the same in durability and finish. So either way, use the hardener. I like doing Rustoluem quarts/gallons + hardener because you can always touch-up later with a rattle can from any store when you inevitably scratch the paint during install of body and suspension parts. I had very good results mixing 2:2:1 (paint:thinner:hardener).

If I were to do the Rice Rod all over again, I would just have a gallon or two of single-stage acrylic enamel mixed up in whatever color and use their recommended thinner and hardener for the chassis. There is a notable difference in tractor/rustoleum paint and actual real automotive paint. It's more durable and easier to spray. I have several chips in the tractor paint frame already, but the body with real paint is surviving my random tool strikes / general dumbassery much better. Downside is obvously cost, and touch-up is more difficult unless you get a color mixed very similar to a standard Rustoleum color.

Racingsnake Reader
6/3/21 9:43 a.m.

In reply to maschinenbau :

Is that ratio for brushing or spraying Rustoleum? I typically brush it on and find it holds up pretty well but I'm interested to try the hardener out.

Gimp (Forum Supporter)
Gimp (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/3/21 9:44 a.m.

I've seen really nice results with this stuff -

maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/3/21 10:13 a.m.

In reply to Racingsnake :

That was spraying with HVLP. I haven't tried brushing paint yet.

APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
6/3/21 10:43 a.m.

The prettiest and most durable solution is powder coating but if you were setup to do that you wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.  Second best is pretty much any brand name urethane single stage over a compatible primer. That's what I use on non-racecar applications that don't have the budget for powder coating.  For race cars I use Rust-Oleum enamel and I brush it on.  If I'm going to prep the shop for painting and get a gun dirty then I go the urethane route.

bgkast GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/3/21 11:26 a.m.
Gimp (Forum Supporter) said:

I've seen really nice results with this stuff -

I've seen some good results with SteelIt too on the youtubes. It is weldable and goes down smoothly from a spray can, but doesn't brush on well.

nocones GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/3/21 11:55 a.m.

I used Valspar Tractor Paint with the hardener on the MG.  I sprayed it on top of Rust-Oleum etching primer.

It has held up fine.

It looks like I will likely use Majic with the hardener on the Subaru.  They have a spray able etching primer.  

I may look at real paint for the body but it's hard to justify real paint on a challenge car.  

I will have to explore the adding hardener to Rust-Oleum as there are substantially more interesting colors then the tractor paint.

Brotus7 Dork
6/3/21 12:07 p.m.

Thanks everyone. Looks like I'm going with the Rust-Oleum and majic hardener route.  Isocyanate seems like bad news, so beard is going away for a bit and wear my good respirator.

I picked up some CRC rust converter to take care of any pitting I couldn't clean, and self etching primer on top.  Probably overkill for a car that will never see rain.

bentwrench SuperDork
6/3/21 12:09 p.m.

Just because no one said it



maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/3/21 12:16 p.m.

In reply to nocones :

For Datsaniti I used for a gallon kit of single-stage acrylic enamel. The total paint job including primers and body fillers was around $200. It was easy to justify because my concours performance won me the 2019 Challenge.

Driven5 UltraDork
6/3/21 12:30 p.m.

I've had good luck with the durability of 'Appliance Epoxy' on other items, and have thought it might work well for automotive 'under areas' not getting substantial UV exposure.

I've also thought about DTM (Direct To Metal) products marketed towards industrial applications, but haven't seen much from anybody having tried that either.

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