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Thread: Refinishing my Featherweight....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Refinishing my Featherweight....

    DH and I are in the midst of refinishing my Featherweight. A few thoughts in retrospect:

    1) Be sure to buy automotive paint and look to see if it is high gloss.
    2) 600 grit sandpaper is good but I'd go with higher grit.
    3) When taking all the parts off the machine, be sure to tape all the pieces, screws, washers etc together and write down what each part is.
    4) Toothbrushes, small brushes can help to get the stripper into the corners and small spaces.
    5) Have lots of paper towels to clean off the stripper from the machine and parts.
    6) Wear two pairs of rubber gloves and have spares handy.
    7) Keep work are clean and dust free if possible.
    8) Use tack cloth to clean the machine after dusting.

    We've finished painting at this point and about to add the decals. Will post pics before and after later.

  2. #2
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Can hardly wait to see the pics.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Here are a few pics of the stripping process...

    This is just a few pics of the stripping process
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  4. #4
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    How did you apply the paint? Spray? Special tools? I can't wait to see more. I want to get a really beat up featherweight and paint it blue like I've seen on some sites...can you estimate how much it will cost in supplies? Did it take a lot of elbow grease to strip it? Can you tell I've thought abut this a lot I just missed buying a featherweight for 100 bucks and would have loved to do what you are doing now and use it forever

    Thanks,

    Jen
    Last edited by Xtgirl; 09-03-2012 at 05:20 PM.
    The Potomac Quilter
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  5. #5
    Senior Member almond's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing pictures of your project. Am looking forward to seeing more. Nice job.
    Mary

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    She looked so sad with all her paint stripped off. But she's starting to perk up now that you've got her re-painted. I'll be watching her progress.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xtgirl View Post
    How did you apply the paint? Spray? Special tools? I can't wait to see more. I want to get a really beat up featherweight and paint it blue like I've seen on some sites...can you estimate how much it will cost in supplies? Did it take a lot of elbow grease to strip it? Can you tell I've thought abut this a lot I just missed buying a featherweight for 100 bucks and would have loved to do what you are doing now and use it forever



    Thanks,

    Jen
    We used Duplicolor automotive spray can paint. No special tools other than what I mentioned in my first post. Critical would be to have very good gloves, just getting a little bit of the stripper on your skin and it burns like heck! Cost of paint - $6.00 per can Stripper - $11.00 New decals - $13.50. Gloves - ? (depends on what you want to spend.) As far as elbow grease, no, let the stripper do it's thing. Take your time...and just be careful for the stripper - use a well-ventilated location as the fumes are can be bad. Throw away the paint as it comes off the machine...could be exposed to lead. Not sure...it's just messy and I don't like that part. DH will do that part in the future. I'll clean, sand and repaint. Not a fan of the stripping part.

    We had a small problem last night with a few areas of the paint...but I think it's because my DH has a heavy hand and didn't understand the idea of 'light' sanding. More sanding and paint needed. Since this is our first attempt we aren't expecting perfection. This machine will go to one of our grandkids to learn to sew and they don't really care if the paint job is perfect. :-) More pics to come....this is a work in progress.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    One more comment -- Don't expect perfection on the first try....give yourself the freedom to make mistakes....and learn from them.

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    This is just a thought, but could a paint shop strip and paint a FW? I know that local shop will strip and repaint metal doors with that car paint that is incredibly shiny. I want to do ours, but have never called for a price.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clements View Post
    This is just a thought, but could a paint shop strip and paint a FW? I know that local shop will strip and repaint metal doors with that car paint that is incredibly shiny. I want to do ours, but have never called for a price.
    I'm sure they could do it, but they probably wouldn't want to deal with all of the little parts that have to be removed and they would most like loose something for sure. I'd rather do it myself, that way if a part gets lost then I can only blame myself. Also, I like learning how to do things like this and to be able to say I did it myself.

  11. #11
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    I agree that with her stripped down she looks pretty sad. I also can't wait to see her in her new glory.

    I have always wanted to do this but have never found a fw that was in bad shape paint wise for this. Ok I did find two but that was before they started to re-paint them. Those two I gave away to friends.

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    Ebay has replacement decals! They are nice. Sand, paint, sand, paint. I like to lacquer, then apply shellac as final step. It should come out pristine!

    I would suggest going down to wet/dry sand paper 600, 1500, 2000, then 5000, then wax.
    Last edited by DanofNJ; 09-04-2012 at 05:54 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanofNJ View Post
    Ebay has replacement decals! They are nice. Sand, paint, sand, paint. I like to lacquer, then apply shellac as final step. It should come out pristine!

    I would suggest going down to wet/dry sand paper 600, 1500, 2000, then 5000, then wax.
    I have finished the 2nd coat of paint. Going to wait till tomorrow night to put on the decals. I bought some on ebay, just not sure how to put them on. I also have 2000 grit sandpaper. So after the decals go on, should I lightly wet/sand with 2000 grit and very lightly go over the decals? Then wait 24 hours to apply the 1st coat of clearcoat, lightly sand and then apply clearcoat, sand and clearcoat once more?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    After 2nd coat of paint.....decals come next

    These pics are after a 3rd coat of paint...because we had a couple of places where the paint didn't look good so we used a couple dabs of black automotive touch up paint and then sanded with 2000 grit, the a light 3rd coat. Waiting till tomorrow night to apply the decals. Can you see the little 'suspension' system we made to hang the light cover, wheel and the bobbin refill clip? Yes...it's a little bit redneck....but it worked!!
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    Senior Member Dottie Bug's Avatar
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    more more ,pictures please,, I would'nt sand the decal's DottieBug

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    Super Member Rann's Avatar
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    What kind of stripper did you use? I'm starting one soon.
    If you wouldn't write it and sign it, don't say it.

  17. #17
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    It's looking very nice...I may have to try a 99 that is in rough shape first and wait for a featherweight to come along...really nice!
    The Potomac Quilter
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    We bought the stripper at O'Reilley Auto Parts...It's airplane stripper. Strong stuff...wear thick gloves! Burns like heck if you get it on your skin.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Major setback -- decals are running.........

    So I waited two days to let the paint get good and dry. Applied the decals and did a light, very light, wet sanding of the machine using 2000 grit. Then applied a very light coat of clearcoat. I used self-sticking decals and not waterslide. Not sure that makes a difference but unfortunately three of the decals ran really bad....

    I don't know what to do at this point except to request replacement decals from the ebay store I bought them from. Carefully, remove the decals that ran, resand and hopefully not have to repaint...reapply the new decals and hope they don't run.

    This machine is going to my grandson so I don't think he'll even notice but it's just that I want to do this renovation right. Hopefully, this will end well for this little machine. More to come.
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  20. #20
    Super Member Surfergirl's Avatar
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    I'm in the process of repainting several featherweights. I used the waterslide decals and didn't have any problems. I would sand the decals off and replace them with the waterslide decals. Sorry this happened to you. I guess after we do a few, we'll get better at it. My problem now is getting my clear coat on without getting "overspray" that I have to keep sanding off. Let us know what you decide to do.
    Lynn

  21. #21
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfergirl View Post
    I'm in the process of repainting several featherweights. I used the waterslide decals and didn't have any problems. I would sand the decals off and replace them with the waterslide decals. Sorry this happened to you. I guess after we do a few, we'll get better at it. My problem now is getting my clear coat on without getting "overspray" that I have to keep sanding off. Let us know what you decide to do.

    Hi Lynn -- My clearcoat goes on but the spray is not a mist but more of a spray. It's not as smooth as I'd like. Not sure if it's a bum can of clearcoat. Anyway... I'm waiting in the mail for another set of decals...not waterslide though. This time it will be a very light coat, then a second light coat and then it should be good to put a final coat. Let you know how it goes after I get those decals in the mail.

  22. #22
    Super Member Surfergirl's Avatar
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    I hope the decals work for you this time. I live in Florida and the heat and humidity has been very high, so I've been waiting for conditions to be just right to begin my clearcoat application again...hopefully, in a couple of days. Good luck on yours!
    Lynn

  23. #23
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Well, the ebay store still hasn't shipped my replacement decals. I sent another email reminder today. Hopefully, I will have them by the weekend. The machine is ready for them and the weather should be good to clearcoat. Keeping my fingers crossed and will knit on my sweater until then. Can't wait to start sewing Yellow Brick Road quilt pattern on the machine.

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    what are you doing for the chrome parts? i've been wondering if there's a way to reface those. my grandmother's red eye treadle has some pitting in the chrome and the faceplate is in awful shape. i know you can buy replacements but i'm hoping to refinish the originals.

    your work looks fantastic so far. i'll be watching to see how the new decals do.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Stitch124's Avatar
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    Hi Oregongirl - My FW chrome parts are fine so I don't really have to do anything with them but tape up so paint doesn't get on them. I think refacing chrome is not so easy. You may need to google it to see if it's possible. If they aren't expensive I'd just replace them.

    I should get the decals on Saturday and if the weather is dry I will reapply with a very light coat of clearcoat. Apparently, humidity and too much clearcoat on the first coat is a killer on decals, both ink coated and waterslide. My clearcoat can has been sitting for a while and the spray was not as fine a mist as I wanted so I'll probably pick up another can of clearcoat and make sure it's warmed up so the spray is not thick and more of a mist. More pics to come soon.

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