Us! If you can build it, you can paint it. You may not come out with a Grand Champion finish, but you can get a respectable, go-to-a-fly-in-and-say-I-Painted-It finish!


  • Pressure hood. When the paint is catalyzed, respirators won't cut it! Feed hood/helmet from outside air source like a turbine compressor.
  • Gloves. I use latex, several layers to pull off a messy glove, still have one or more. Vinyl gloves work better for clean up as they resist solvents better than latex.
  • Cover skin with long sleeve shirts, gloves pulled over, long pants. Paint suits didn't work too well for me.
  • Glove up as soon as you enter the booth. Clean the parts, prep the paint and shoot without removing the gloves, then remove the outermost layer, cover with vinyl and clean.


Cost is one factor, but have to weigh the cost and the quality. Few of us can paint Grand Champions.

My paint job was about $1,100.00 in materials (paint, thinners, reducers, hardeners) not counting the gun, compressor, booth material or safety equipment. Why Not?


Paint brand

  • PPG Concept is a two-part, single stage automotive paint, supposed to apply easily and buff well <>.
  • K38 high-fill primer for fiberglass, easy sanding. Better than Smooth Prime!
  • DPLF primer for metal - non-sandable but can be done with enough water and sandpaper.
  • DCC paint - Concept.
  • Reducer - fancy term for thinner. Temperature specific:
    Cool 60-70
    Medium 65-80
    Warm 75-90
    Hot 85 and above


  • Paint brand cleaner-degreaser DX-103 to clean parts
  • Lacquer Thinner to clean equipment
  • Clean the gun is the priority after every session. Clean well! Use lacquer thinner by the gallon!

Don't hurry!


Atmospheric conditions

  • Air temperature > 70 degrees
  • Humidity < 50 percent *

* You can affect this with a kerosene heater - heat external air and draw it into the booth. Both warms and drys. Not a safety factor - the open flame is outside the booth, heating the incoming air.

Reducers come in different temperatures as mentioned. Make sure to apply to the artificial conditions to your choice of reducer for the particular paint session. You may use one today, another tomorrow.

Before or after assembly? Depends on facility size. First-timers are better off painting pieces.

Don't hurry!


Paint booth

  • Size: the bigger the better. Better to set up all parts of a color and shoot them all, than fill up usable space and shoot in sessions.
  • Intake filter bank. Try framing a pre-hung door (put feet on it), cut the intake filters into it and use it to access the booth.
  • Exhaust filter bank. Three box fans with filters on the booth side. Filters catch the paint. If using heat, adjust the fan speeds to match exhaust rate with the heating rate. Use a combination thermometer/hydrometer.

Air supply

  • Big air tank, or gang several tanks together. Keeps constant pressure rather than up and down and up of a smaller compressor trying to keep up.
  • Motorguard MX-60 air filter. No water in your air!

Don't hurry!



  • Pin holes. Fill with microballons, sand, prime, fill, sand, prime, repeat until you find yourself asking the question: "Who's idea was this, anyway?"
  • Wash aluminum with water, dish soap and scotch brite pad. Only a degreaser like Dawn will remove the fish oil on the aluminum, and the scotchbrite pad will scuff the surface at the same time you're cleaning.
  • Sand/scuff fiberglass

Paint Mixing

  • Use cooking graduated glass cups.
  • Use a clean stirring stick each time.
  • Filter mixed paint into gun.

Use paint can lids to pour. Dipping wastes expensive paint!

Batch size

  • Not too much at a time! Have a couple of cups ready with paint and reducer, ready for hardener. In the middle of a session, have only to add hardener, mix and add.
  • Glass measuring cups to get portions right - 4:2:1 using cup markings


  • Clean gun well! Learn to field strip the paint gun, take it apart every time.
  • Re-adjust using reducer or lacquer thinner after every cleaning. Material adjustment changes when you remove the needle and you might change the pattern knob.
  • Be extra careful cleaning at night under the back porch light! You may miss some paint and have a gunked up gun next time.


  • Don't try and wipe them! Let the mistake dry and sand it out. You can affect sags if you can move the part to get the sag horizontal.

Remove masking

  • Immediately. Best to lay masking down to within the width of the fine line tape, then lay the fine line on top, so it can be removed by itself.
  • If overspray, immediately clean with reducer (except on the canopy). The fresh paint will come off before you damage the coat underneath.


  • Straight lines, use a string and lay the fineline along it.
  • Use only fineline tape at the edge. The blue tape turns corners better.
  • Paper patterns, a design can be layed out on paper folder in half, cut, and then unfolded. You'll have both sides symmetrical.

Canopy Concerns

  • Fineline tape at the edge
  • 2-inch masking over the fineline
  • Mask with plastic dropcloth
  • Mask the inside too! All bolt holes!

Don't hurry!