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Thread: Anyone with experience painting their sm with lacquer..

  1. #1
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    Anyone with experience painting their sm with lacquer..

    I have been off and on working on a restoration/painting project. This is my first brave attempt and I have to say, it's not going great... It looks great. Really great. Then the lacquer paint just flakes off the lacquer primer. The lacquer primer stays on the original paint and if I sand down and paint the base lacquer on the old paint, it sticks.. BUT the lacquer primer and lacquer base won't stick to each other. They are the same brand and meant to be used together so that's not my issue. I tried a different primer (Rustoleum self etching) to see if the primer was defective but got the same result. There is a small part I have literally painted 5 times trying different variables to see what I did wrong. No luck so far.

    Where I can, I am just painting the base paint on the original finish and it holds well but there are sections where the original paint doesn't exist and I am confident that it's not going to just stick to bare metal. I went with lacquer because it's recommended by Dave McCullum (the only fairly extensive resource I had on painting sewing machines) and is generally considered more forgiving for newbies. Second guessing myself though!

    Anyway, I know some of you have painted machines successfully. Any insight you could provide or suggestions would be helpful. I should maybe add that I am just rattle can painting.

    Also, maybe what has worked for you in the past so I know what products I should use if I forget and decide to try something else again in the future.

    I apologize in advance to any of you I have offended by painting my sewing machine. I promise it isn't rare and wasn't looking great when I started.

  2. #2
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    Well, for the few that I have painted, assuming black is the color, I use Dupli-Color DE1635 Semi-Gloss. Is in a ceramic engine paint that is the closest you will ever find to the original Japanning. Needs no primer.

    If you are painting a more modern machine with colors, I have no experience.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Steve!

  4. #4
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    This is one my DH did for me for use with my Gracie II quilting frame. It is a 1916 Singer model 66 which has a long throat. He stripped it down to bare metal. Be sure you remove all of the stripper with soap and water, letting it thoroughly dry. He wiped it down with mineral spirits making sure to reach all the nooks and crannies. Make sure there is no rust on the metal. If there is any you can either sand it down or use Rustoleum Rust Reformer. Then he sprayed the entire machine with Rustoleum self-etching primer. Then he put Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Gloss Enamel lavender spray paint over the primer coat and then sprayed that coat with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Clear on top of the color coat. MAKE SURE you follow the drying times and/or recoat times on each each coat you apply. If you wait too long, i.e. between the primer and color coat, you will not get a chemical bond. He suspects that you may be waiting too long between coats, therefore you are not getting that chemical bond and the color is just sitting on top of the primer instead of chemically bonding. He has used this method in restoring many machines and it works great. He has never used lacquer as it is incompatible with many primers and old paint surfaces.

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    Name:  Little Gracie left front cropped.jpg
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    I have used this machine for two years and have had no problem with the paint or the finish. If you would like to talk to him, send me a PM and I will give you his phone number. Best wishes with your project.

  5. #5
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    Wow twinkle, your machine is beautiful, and JoannaD good luck on painting your machine, wish I had the nerve to do that, I have several machines I'd like to freshen up but have no experience, Good luck,

  6. #6
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    Twinkie, your husband did a beautiful job on that machine. So lovely!

    I ended up scrubbing my favorite test piece with white vinegar, rinsing, then coating it with a 3:1 mixture of denatured alcohol and shellac. Once the shellac cured I painted it with base lacquer and allowed it 24 hours to cure and it sticks. (Big sigh of relief)

    Thanks to SteveH and Twinkie for what has worked for them. If I am ever crazy enough to do this again, I will likely use an enamel paint or start using ginkgo biloba to improve my memory.

  7. #7
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    Nice to hear you have it sorted out. You might have something weird going on JoannaD, because the regular primers should stick to cast irion very well. There are special primers for aluminum and stainless steel, and some are made for regular steel and those are usually recommended for cast iron. Primers for metal on boats and anchors should work well. Could there have been some sort of contamination left on the surface?

  8. #8
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Twinkie: How do you like using that Gracie frame? Your husband did a great job on your machine.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey2 View Post
    Nice to hear you have it sorted out. You might have something weird going on JoannaD, because the regular primers should stick to cast irion very well. There are special primers for aluminum and stainless steel, and some are made for regular steel and those are usually recommended for cast iron. Primers for metal on boats and anchors should work well. Could there have been some sort of contamination left on the surface?
    Yes, I was surprised the rustoleum one wasn't working for me because it should have worked on any metal type. Maybe user error but I don't know what I did! The shellac I had on hand so I was glad to find that it worked.

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