Steve Maas wrote:
>> Recently I was given an HVLP sprayer. Previously, I've painted frames
>> by spray can, with good success, but now I'd like to take advantage of
>> the greater versatility that this sprayer offers. Problem is, I'm not
>> sure what kind of paint to use or where to get it.
>> I have the following requirements:
>> 1. Not too difficult to apply successfully.
>> 2. Reasonably rugged and chip resistant.
>> 3. Good color selection would be nice, but I'm willing to mix colors,
>> if necessary.
>> 4. Readily available.
> and Tony Rentschler offered some VERY Important commentary:
I've painted a few frames and steel forks with System Three waterborne
epoxy primer and polyurethane topcoat and have been very pleased with
the results. The paint is much less toxic than those containing
isocyanate solvents. It takes some practice to learn how much to thin
the primer and paint, how to adjust your spray gun for the paint, etc.,
but this would hold true for any other paint system too. This is tough
paint! I've put well over 1,000 miles on a bike I painted in February
and it still doesn't have any dings or scratches in the paint. Here's
the home page (and you can get a small sample kit for $15):
http://www.systemthree.com I live on the East Coast, and buy quarts from
a marine supply outfit (about $40 per quart, which is enough for about
three frames, or two frames and forks):
I had not heard about "systemthree," so I'm grateful for that info. But more, I want to amplify Tony's comment about "isocyanate solvents." Imron and its ilk rely on a really nasty class of neuro-toxins. This is the class of "stuff" that caused some significant problems when a tank leaked in Bhopal, India. In the automotive body business, one hears of painters getting fired just for walking into the booth without proper (positive pressure, air-supply) face mask/breathing rigs. Do not even think about using these if you have a beard; you cannot get proper protection.
Beloved Spouse Susan and I were lucky to have Les Lunas as a close friend; Les had been painter to Bruce Gordon and others in the Oregon mafia. Together we adapted a shed to a paint booth. Just for bike painting, we used a 5000 cfm fan, which turned over the air in that "booth" every six seconds. No paint or solvent can was opened unless the fan was open. This for a spray gun whose output could be measured in oz/hr. etc.
Please, guys and gals, if you don't have proper equipment and a deep understanding of how to this safely, don't get into these systems. Brains don't grow back.
And don't get me started on the value and need for proper surface preparation, another area where Les was a fanatic. 25 years after he did a lovely pink champagne to purple fade on Susan's bike, it is still essentially chip-free. Imron over epoxy primer, all done with fanaticism.