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Old 04-29-2011, 08:02 AM   #1
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Painting My Car Tappa Cover


hello everyone, i plan on painting my cars tappa cover soon to make it stand out slightly more, as im new to this sort of thing how ever, i nedd some help;
Firstly if it had paint on it originally am i better to use paint stripper and a scrapper to get it of or sand it away?
Secondly, im going to prime it, what primer should i use and why?
Thirdly, once the primmer is on what do i sand it back with (what grit) and how many coats of primer do i apply?
Any help is appreciated,
Thanks..David

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Old 04-29-2011, 08:12 AM   #2
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Painting My Car Tappa Cover


First, Im sorry I have to ask, but what is a "car tappa cover"?

My next question is, what is it made from? Is it metal of some sort, or vinyl, or something else?

Stripping or sanding smooth will depend on what it's made from, how badly damaged the current surface is, and what type of paint or other protective finish is on it now.

When painting most things, I usually just prepare the surface by sanding smooth and applying a compatible primer and the proper top coat for the application. For automotive applications this is usually a fast dry alkyd enamel primer and paint.

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Old 04-29-2011, 06:46 PM   #3
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Painting My Car Tappa Cover


Thanks for your reply fabrk8r. Sorry, i should have explained, the tappa cover or rocker cover is the cover of the engine in a car, so yes its steel. I havent seen the replacement cover that im going to get yet so im not sure if its in good nic or what the paint is like thats on it.

But what you have given me is a start, so i know now when i got and get paint and primer to get fast dry alkyd enamel. Also, with the paint i wanted a sort of shiny or glossy effect, would you know what the easiest effect to get is (metallic, etc.) ?

One last thing, how heat resistant is enamel? as it covers the engine it does get fairly warm, if not hot so i need something that will be heat resistant to a certain point...
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:29 PM   #4
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Painting My Car Tappa Cover


Oh, tappet cover...valve covers should be painted with a high-temp enamel...the oil that is splashed onto the thin steel is over 200 F.

You can buy hi-temp engine primer & paint at most auto parts stores in a variety of colors and sheens. You can get it in spray cans or you can mix it yourself and use a spray gun. Do yourself a favor and buy a tack rag to use between each coat of primer and paint.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:06 PM   #5
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Painting My Car Tappa Cover


Thank you mr fabricator. I thought it was pronounced Tapper, my bad...

ok, so if i sand it or use paint stripper, make it nice and smooth, clean it with a air comprssor, rag and a tack rag, and paint it with a high temp enamel primer, sand it back with 600 and keep doing this untill i have a nice even spread of primer, and put it in our booth at work and paint it with a high temp enamel gloss purple (for example) and give it 2 or 3 coats with 10-15 minutes between each coat, and than give it about 30 minutes and put a clear coat on (do i need a clear coat?), am i sort of getting this right, is there anything you can see that wouldn't work here?

Thanks again for your reply... :D
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Old 04-30-2011, 10:37 AM   #6
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Painting My Car Tappa Cover


It sounds like you have a good plan and they should turn out nice.

The surface preparation is the key to a good paint job. The more time spent making the surface as flaw-free as possible the easier it is to get the perfect paint job. A tiny spec of dust will look 10 times bigger after a glossy paint is applied over it!

Your painting technique sounds perfect...light coats, especially the first tack coat, and about 15 minutes between coats to allow the paint to flash. This will prevent runs and give you a nice thick even paint evenly coated surface. I normally don't have to sand between finish coats if I've prepared the surface well, sanded lightly after the primer and most importantly, used a tack rag before and after every coat of primer and sanding operation. It sounds like you have access to a paint booth with filters? That should make the job even better!

If this is the first time you've sprayed with a paint gun you might want to find someone with experience to show you what the consistency of the final mix should look like. I compare it to the consistency of butter milk when you pull the mixing stick out of the cup and watch it run off. I would also advise you to practice painting an a curved surface first so you can get the feel of how much paint to apply to avoid getting runs. Also, make sure you have not used any silicone based lubricants or cleaners on or near your project or you could have "fish eye" blemishes.

As far as a clear coat, I personally wouldn't worry about it on tappet covers, unless it was a car strictly for show.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:40 PM   #7
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Painting My Car Tappa Cover


Lovely, that sounds really good, thank you for all your help, i will just continue looking at high temp enamel paint and primer until i find what i need and i should be set.

Also i have one question with what you said, you said you would use a tack rag between coats of primer, how long do you give each coat of primer? Also if i want a glossy finish am i after a metallic primer?

Thanks again for all your help..

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