Coat It Yourself
Powdercoating at Home With a New Kit From Eastwood
From the February, 2009 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Mike Petralia
Photography by Mike Petralia
First, after disassembling...
First, after disassembling the part, all passages must be sealed to keep powder or cleaning media out. The Eastwood HotCoat kit comes with an assortment of silicone plugs in various sizes just for this purpose.
Las Vegas provided the special...
Las Vegas provided the special plug we used to seal the 1.25-inch bore on the cylinder.
Although not absolutely necessary,...
Although not absolutely necessary, we used an Eastwood bench top-mounted blast cabinet to clean the part using an abrasive glass media. This assures a clean, smooth finish for the powdercoat to adhere to.
After blasting, all plugs...
After blasting, all plugs and tape were removed, and the part was first cleaned in solvent, then liberally sprayed with Eastwood's PRE cleaner to remove any residual dirt or grease. The part was then resealed, using the same plugs as before, and the fluid reservoir was sealed with aluminum foil using the fiberglass tape supplied in the kit. The cylinder is now ready to be coated.
The part must be grounded,...
The part must be grounded, so we tied a wire around the end of the casting and attached to it the green ground wire from the HotCoat unit. Be sure to use a properly grounded 110-volt outlet to power the system. While we could have hung the part from a wire, we made a more secure mount by drilling two holes in the side of our bench, then hung the cylinder using two 3/8-inch wood dowels. We covered the floor and workbench with cardboard.
Your air source must be regulated...
Your air source must be regulated to 5-10 psi. We didn't trust the old gauge on our compressor, so we cross-checked it using a leakdown gauge.
While spraying, be sure to...
While spraying, be sure to hold the activator switch down to energize the system. When finished, release the button and touch the tip of the gun to the ground wire; a spark will ensure that the part is safe to handle. Be sure to wear the supplied dust mask; eye protection is also recommended.
After spraying, turn on an...
After spraying, turn on an exhaust fan to ventilate the garage during the curing process. Carefully move the part into the 400-degree F preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Be sure to wear the recommended respirator--not the supplied dust mask, while the part is cooking, if you will be in the area of the oven during curing. A small amount of toxic gas may be produced as the powder heats up.
Unplug the unit and use the...
Unplug the unit and use the cooling time to clean your equipment. Cleanup is a breeze: With your compressor regulated to about 40 psi, simply blow off all the components. Do not use any solvents or liquids for cleanup. The instruction book gives a more complete description.
Once cooled (we let ours sit...
Once cooled (we let ours sit overnight), the part can be reassembled and installed on the vehicle. If you're powdercoating a master cylinder as we did, be sure to bench-bleed it before installation. Although powdercoat is more chemical-resistant than paint, try to immediately wipe up any brake fluid that comes into contact with the powdercoating. CHP
Has this happened to you: You spend half a day cleaning and preparing a part to be painted. You strip it, grind it, sand it, or blast it. Then, after carefully laying out your homemade spray booth and checking your local weather channel for the latest wind conditions, you begin painting. You use two cans of spray paint on a single part, with most of the paint wafting away and some permanently bonding to your car's paint. Once finished, you gently pick up the wet part using only needle-nose pliers and you hang it to dry in an out-of-the-way place. The following day, you return to your part, gingerly touching a spot with your fingertip to check for wetness. Once you're sure the part is totally dry, you begin to install it. Then it happens...a slip of the wrench, a brush with another part, or the dreaded brake-fluid spill.
Now there's a better and easier way. Powdercoating is the answer, and Eastwood has the supplies you need in its new HotCoat kit to safely powdercoat your parts at home for a fraction of the cost professional shops charge for the same results. Powdercoating has long been recognized as the professional choice in the coating industry for durability, ease of application, and chemical resistance. Auto manufacturers have been using a powdercoat finish on suspension and underhood components and wheels since the early '70s, but recently the wide choice of colors and show-quality "depth" have given the restorer and customizer a new coating choice.
The new HotCoat powdercoating system can be used on any metal part small enough to fit into an electric oven (toaster ovens will work as well) that can withstand the 400-degree F (204-degree C) cure temperature without damage. Powdercoating is applied in a manner similar to spray painting. Many colors are available, including Chevy Orange and Semigloss Chassis Black. There are also finishes that resemble stamped steel, cast aluminum, and cast iron, and there is Satin Clear and Full Gloss Clear to protect and highlight natural finishes, such as billet or brushed aluminum.
The HotCoat powdercoating system should only be used in a clean, dry, well-ventilated work area. You should also have a dedicated electric oven just for powdercoating. Do not use an oven that is used for preparing food or is located in a living area of the house in order to eliminate any potential food-contamination problems. All the necessary equipment for powdercoating is included in the kit. You will need an air source, such as an air compressor or a portable air tank regulated to 5-10 psi. Detailed instructions are included in the kit to help create professional results with your system.
To demonstrate how easy this new Eastwood system is to use, we powdercoated a new cast-iron master cylinder. Add to this the $149 price tag and almost any enthusiast can benefit from the advantages of powdercoating at home.
The Eastwood Co.
263 Shoemaker Rd.