I know there will be numerous ideas, recommendations, solutions and techniques, but please remember, that every individual giving these methods, are different and these methods are what works best for them. For you first timers, try some of the methods, experiment different ways, and eventually you'll find which one works for you, or maybe even find one that hasn't been shared.
I know I'm not perfect, and I'll be the first to admit that. Some of my ways and methods aren't acceptable by some, but for others, they are very helpful. I just ask that, with each method or recommendation that is submitted, that others don't be judgemental, or criticizing. This is not intended to show right from wrong, but simply to find useful ways and techniques, that others can learn from. I think this will be a very useful thread, and many people have been looking for these type of answers for a long time, so with that said, let's get started, and post away!
After all of the primed parts have been fully cured, I like to go over them one last time with a piece of brown paper bag, like you get at the grocery store. It isn't rough enough to remove the paint, but yet it's enough to smooth out the texture. After I'm done with the paper bag sanding, I wipe all parts down with a little rubbing alcohol, to make sure all dust is removed. I paint all my parts with standard John Deere spray cans, so I make sure my paint is fully mixed by shaking them for at least a minute and a half, minimum.
Before I do any outside painting, the first thing I do, is spray some Listerine Mouth Wash around the area I'm painting. The Listerine helps with bug control, as bugs don't like the smell, especially nats, so less chance of bug legs getting on the parts.
First coat is alway a light coat, just enough to let a little primer show through, constantly moving and never stopping in one place too long. Always start spraying off the part being painted, work your way across the part, and finish spraying off the part on the other side. Don't start or finish spraying on a part, as this will cause build up and possible runs. Always finish a part that was started, as even just the slightest little cure, will show overspray, if you have to go back and finish an unfinished area. I like to wait at least a day before applying the second coat.
When applying the second coat, which will be heavier than the first, I like to stand next to the part, on the opposite side of the sun (facing the sun). This allows me to use the suns reflection, so that I can see just how much paint is being applied. While applying this coat, I like to apply as much paint as needed, in order to see my reflection. Again, finish each part, and be constantly moving.
I allow the second coat to cure for at least three days. After the third day, I wet each individual part down, and start wet sanding them with 800 grit sandpaper. After sanding, rinse each part, and wipe down with a lint free towel or other material of preference. Let the parts dry at least over night, before applying another coat.
I'll apply another two coats, letting them cure at least a day between coats, and then follow up again with wet sanding, this time with 1100 grit sandpaper. Another coat of paint will be applied a day after the wet sanding, and this time, I will let cure for a week before wet sanding the last time. After cured, I give a final wet sanding using 1600 grit sandpaper. I'll apply one last coat of paint, and put the parts away to cure for a week.
Undercarriage parts, interior dash tower parts, and other parts that won't be seen, will be assembled to the tractor, usual after a week of curing. Visable parts, like the dash tower, motor sheet metal, hood, fenders, top of frame, and other miscellaneous parts, will only get assembled after at least two to three weeks of cure time, but not before getting one coat of Maguires Deep Shine wax, where decals won't be apllied. Decals will get applied after the tractor is completely assembled, and then I'll apply three more coats of wax.
When the tractor is completely assembled, and all the finished items are installed, I will then go back and grease all my fittings, and lube what is needed.
For my wheels, I prime the rims, and then mount the tires. After the tires are all aired up, and show no signs of leakage, I'll let the air out, and start taping off the tires. I tape the complete tire, so that there is no chance of overspray getting on them. I use the same procedures on the rims as I do on the tractors parts, including wet sanding and wax.
That's some of my methods, and I hope you guys will share some of your's. Remember, all methods are just techniques that we use, and should not be judged as right or wrong!
Edited by johndeereelfman, April 09, 2012 - 08:41 PM.