• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

I need to paint a tailgate...

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,007
1,511
126
So I bent my tailgate last year hauling heavy stuff. It's from a 2009 F150...the metal is crimped on the edges and where it bent, it just caused the crimps to come loose.

I picked up a primed replacement for a few hundred bucks (painted replacements are around $550) from eBay.... Basically, I just need to scuff the thing up, tack it, and spray it. After that, I'll need to move all the parts from my old tailgate to the new one. I've never done this before, but I've been told that it's not too bad if you take it slow and have decent equipment. My biggest concern is to get a decent paint for the money....but I don't want to invest a ton in this...the point of me doing it myself is saving cash.

Tools/materials I have already:
Garage with space to hang the tailgate from
Drop Cloths to make a paint booth...
6 Gallon pancake compressor
HVLP gravity spray gun (cheap amazon gun with good ratings)
Heat Gun
600 grit sandpaper
Fine sandpapers (2000-2500-3000 grits)
Car Polish
Buffing cloths

The Paint Code is UX....Ingot Silver Metallic. I'm guessing I'll need a pint of paint based on what I've read. My understanding is that you mix the paint with thinner so you can spray it...but what else will I need?
What's the best paint to get for this kind of thing?
Is it possible to order quality paint online?
Is a 6 gallon tank going to be enough volume for the job? (I plan on practicing with the inside of the tailgate to see how many passes before the compressor kicks on) Otherwise, I may pickup this: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-20-Gallon-Portable-Electric-Vertical-Air-Compressor/1000578469

Any advice is welcome.
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,504
275
126
www.the-teh.com
I haven’t painted a car in eons, but it looks like you need:

Moisture separator to take water out of the air line.

Primer/base coat/clear coat.

I assume your floor is concrete? You’ll want to wet it to keep the dust down.

You have to clean the tailgate with with a degreaser from a body shop supply store after you scuff it. Places like NAPA carry it. It helps to prevent fish eyes in the paint.

Speaking of fish eyes if you’ve sprayed lubricants or waxed your vehicles in the place you plan to paint then you’re probably going to have fish eye problems.

Not sure if Eastwood.com mixes paint, but I’d get it locally from a supply shop.

Metallic isn’t the easiest to spray. You have to get the air settings just right.

It would have been easier tonjust get a tailgate the same color from the bone yard.

6 gallons sounds iffy but you’re not painting a whole car. You can also get an expansion tank.

What’s the heat gun for?

Are you wet sanding it after?
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,007
1,511
126
I've seen some quick videos where the heat gun was used to speed drying or even curing between coats...it wouldn't be used up close (wouldn't want to peel the primer). I don't see a need, but thought I'd mention I have one from a previous project.

My floor is new epoxy coated concrete..not dusty in there at all. I've not actually done any kind of waxing or lubricating in there yet.....just got drywall hung in that room earlier this year. I was going to make a Dexter-style kill room out of plastic to protect my floor/walls/ceiling....

I hadn't considered a degreaser because the panel IS primed and pretty new, but after I scuffed it was going to clean it and tack it....I definitely can add that step if I know what product to buy.

I checked my local paint store (just now) and was quoted either $36 for a pint of paint and thinner or $114 with my color codes. I was given the disclaimer that if I went with the higher priced paint, I'd need to provide my VIN because Ford has 10 variations of that silver and that the other might look fine, but it wasn't really meant to match as it's economy paint. Looks like $114 is what I'll be putting up.

I got the number of a guy that might be able to spray it for me...but not sure what he'd charge for the work. I'm torn because I'd like to learn how to do this, but I know how much the mess can be...and realize the paint isn't cheap...a $100 mistake could happen pretty easily.

What's the point of wetsanding? Just removing imperfections? I have 2000-2500 grit sandpaper for those kinds of things from another project, but I'd prefer to have fewer steps if possible.
 

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
6,504
275
126
www.the-teh.com
I've seen some quick videos where the heat gun was used to speed drying or even curing between coats...it wouldn't be used up close (wouldn't want to peel the primer). I don't see a need, but thought I'd mention I have one from a previous project.

My floor is new epoxy coated concrete..not dusty in there at all. I've not actually done any kind of waxing or lubricating in there yet.....just got drywall hung in that room earlier this year. I was going to make a Dexter-style kill room out of plastic to protect my floor/walls/ceiling....

I hadn't considered a degreaser because the panel IS primed and pretty new, but after I scuffed it was going to clean it and tack it....I definitely can add that step if I know what product to buy.

I checked my local paint store (just now) and was quoted either $36 for a pint of paint and thinner or $114 with my color codes. I was given the disclaimer that if I went with the higher priced paint, I'd need to provide my VIN because Ford has 10 variations of that silver and that the other might look fine, but it wasn't really meant to match as it's economy paint. Looks like $114 is what I'll be putting up.

I got the number of a guy that might be able to spray it for me...but not sure what he'd charge for the work. I'm torn because I'd like to learn how to do this, but I know how much the mess can be...and realize the paint isn't cheap...a $100 mistake could happen pretty easily.

What's the point of wetsanding? Just removing imperfections? I have 2000-2500 grit sandpaper for those kinds of things from another project, but I'd prefer to have fewer steps if possible.
Since it's your first rodeo I wouldn't mess with the heat gun. Too much and you'll bubble the paint. I actually thought you were going to heat up the tailgate before applying the paint.

Epoxy is nice :) The thing with wetting the floor is spraying is going to kick up everything and it doesn't take much to have a spec of dust land in fresh paint (really on the clear coat) and ruin everything. I should mention if you haven't considered it then a respirator is a great addition to your project.

Just touching the part with your hands is enough grease to derail the paint job.
https://www.eastwood.com/eastwood-pre-painting-prep.html?SRCCODE=PLA00020&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm_H-nYe03gIVQbXACh0HzgU5EAQYBCABEgILN_D_BwE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTD63bVv-aQ

Yeah auto body paint is expensive! Ask them how much red is...

Even with the variations the adjustments you make to the paint gun is going to make or break the final color. I wouldn't worry about it so much as it's the tailgate and you can't really see that against the body. What you're doing is called panel painting and if you were painting the door like that then even a little variance in color would stick out like a sore thumb because you'd be able to see it against the fender and quarter panel. The proper way to paint and get it to match is to blend the paint into the box. You can save some money by getting single stage paint if it's available which is basically base coat/clear coat in one, but it's not an exact match.

If you want to learn then pick up some farm and implementation paint and practice on your old tail gate first. Watching video on painting is helpful, but once you have the gun in your hand and can't stop mid-coat it gets a little nerve wracking. You have to keep the gun parallel to the body throughout the coat which is hard since most humans when to move their arms in an arc. You have to learn how to slowly let off the trigger as you get to the end of the panel. It looks easy, but it's not because as you've said that's $114 you got going up in the air.

I'd call the guy and ask for the heck of it.

Yeah wet sanding mainly aids in removing fisheyes from the paint and also dirt from the clear coat. You can get out runs too, but it's not easy. Wet sanding though means you need more stuff like a buffer, rubbing compound and a ton of patience.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,007
1,511
126
I just checked Home Depot for the farm paint....nice prices. I'm torn on the whole thing....I have the gun and think it'd be fun to try, but know the risks. I recently paid someone to fix a huge chip in a $750 fiberglass tub I just bought....paid a guy $200 for a quarter-sized repair.....but it was worth it. The guy did a much better job blending the white to color match than I could...

I'll definitely call the guy and get a quote. After that, I may see about doing some project painting when I get done with a few other major house projects.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY