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Painting Valve Cover and other parts

Discussion in 'General Tech and Maintenance' started by Dual-500, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    Here’s a few tips that may come in useful for painting a valve cover or really any component part.


    Intent here is to add a few tips to the sticky on this topic that’s already sticky posted elsewhere.


    If it comes out of an aerosol can it may look good when finished, it may not. If it comes out of a gun it has a better chance of being a decent paint job. Not saying it can’t be done from a spray can – just that sometimes the paint quality isn’t the best. For this project I used a spray can and the results are acceptable, but not what I would have liked. I’ll redeux the original valve cover this coming weekend and swap them out. Probably try another spray can job with different type paint and colour. This time I used a basic purple, next time I’ll use one called Grape.

    Step one for this project was a couple of phone calls and a trip to the wrecking yard Saturday morning for a valve cover. For $15 I had a spare to paint while still being able to drive car – when project was complete, just a 10 minute swap out was all that was needed.

    That being said, let’s get to it. First of all, a good sandblasting job is the best surface preparation and by far the easiest. I used a fine media that is crushed aluminum oxide as it cuts fast and leaves a nice rough surface that the paint will adhere to very well. For those that don’t have a sandblaster, a good paint remover followed by scotch brite pad preparation will suffice. What’s important is to degrease, get the old paint off, and scuff it up. Degrease can be done with carb cleaner, simple green or wash it in a bucket of detergent and warm water. The degrease should be done first.

    A quick word on sandblasters - the one I have is my second or third blaster and one I consider the minimum that’s worth having around. Smaller units are out there and are essentially useless as I’ve owned them. In face at the pictures show, I modified the unit I have by replacing the bottom material control valve with one that have a much larger hole for the material to pass through. It doesn’t use this full capacity, runs well about ½ open on the valve. The difference here is it doesn’t clog up when you’re using it. A simple and inexpensive (about $20) modification that makes a $100 sand blaster useable.

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    Tape off areas you don’t want painted. For the raised letters and Honda logo I opted to use the brushed aluminum look for this project as the colour value of the purple is high and it’s fairly dark, so the bright aluminum will contrast nicely. As such, I painted over the letters and Honda logo. Pictured above along with sandblaster and below is the cover with 3 coats of paint on it. Drying in the hot summer sun on a 95 degree day, I was able to recoat in 30 minutes time.

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    Once the final coat of paint was on it’s drying time. Before reassembly it’s best to dry it well for a couple of reasons – it’s a harsh environment and it could get damaged during reassembly. Paint will cure fairly nice by spending a day out in the hot summer sun. I went for a fast and sure way to get it dry. Be careful if you use your oven. First I let it sit in the hot sun and bake 4-5 hours after the last coat went on. Then, brought it in and let it cool off in shop for about ½ hour and ensured it wasn’t tacky at all. Then put it in the oven and set to lowest temperature of 170 degrees. Why I dried it in the sun first was to reduce the amount of nasty vapors that come off the paint while drying. It was dry enough when it went into the oven such that I could not smell it while heat curing. Left it in for 3-4 hours, then switched it off, and left valve cover inside for a slow cool down for another hour. Once I took it out, it was cured nicely and I probably won’t incur liver cancer from the bagel I’ll use the broiler on next weekend. IF YOU OPT FOR AN OVEN CURE, MAKE SURE IT'S DRY FIRST SO YOU DON'T SMELL PAINT FUMES. Sitting it under a heat lamp for sufficient time will also speed up the curing process. One could also simply let it dry a couple of days if you’re painting a spare as I did.

    After the paint was cured, I used an old school rubber sanding block with #220 wet dry paper and wet sanded the paint off of the letters and Honda logo – this took 15-20 minutes. Honda, in their infinite wisdom, kept the lettering on this cover on a flat plain, which lends itself readily to block sanding.

    Here’s the finished product.

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    SPECIAL THANKS TO:

    My technical advisor Arnold

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    Security Field Marshall Casey Von Ratzenhund

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  2. Mattfuryintegy

    Mattfuryintegy New Member

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    if i did use a spray can what paint would i buy
     
  3. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    Just goto the local auto parts store or building materials supply house and ask for salesperson assistance.

    Valve covers get hot, but not hot enough to blister paint - about hot enough to cure it good.

    Any decent quality paint will work - it doesn't need to be high temp paint.

    I usually use a Rust-O-Leum product - but others are ok too. That's why I say just find a salesperson with a clue and ask for help.

    :)
     
  4. B20 newguy

    B20 newguy WTF

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    Did you also paint the inside of the valve cover?
     
  5. DESPAIN

    DESPAIN yep....mmhhm.......yep...

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    reallly..............
     
  6. Dual-500

    Dual-500 Well-Known Member VIP

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    No paint on the inside. That would cause problems - potentially catastrophic.
     
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