Laying paint is a pretty simple idea when you think about it. You spray your desired color over something and let it dry and live happily ever after right? Well that may be true if you’re painting a dog house, mailbox, or fencepost! It takes a little more than that to produce a quality paint job on a vehicle. There are a lot of tricks of the trade to help you lay perfectly smooth paint right out of the gun. The tip we’re focusing on today is choosing the correct activator for your situation. Believe it or not using the correct activator could save you a lot of headaches, extra hours of sanding, or possibly having to respray the entire car!
We realize you probably don’t work in a climate controlled shop where you can monitor the temps. You may be spraying in your garage, in the yard, or in a temporary shed somewhere. This means the temperature outside and the weather can severely change how quickly the paint activates and “flashes” (starts to dry) as well as how well it flows out of the paint gun. We’ve decided to broaden our range of urethane activators into 3 simple formulas.
1. Slow Activator– Slow activator is great for when you may be painting on a hot summer day when the temps are over 80F. Once you fine tune your mixture you can use this on a hot day and your paint will flow out nice and flat and you’ll have enough time to lay all that you’ve mixed in your gun. Using this activator on too cool of a day would cause the paint to take much longer to flash and can cause imperfections in the paint. If you are in a pinch you could tweak the mix ratio, but do this with care!
2. Medium Activator– We formulated this activator to be the best “all-around’ activator when painting. If you are unsure which activator to choose, this one will work in most climates. Just remember that when you reach higher temps around 80F it may flash too quickly (causing “dry” spots) and with the temps under 70F it may take quite a while longer than normal to flash.
3. Fast Activator– Spraying on a cool fall afternoon or on a night when the temps are under 70F? Then you need our fast activator! It will speed up the flash time and allow you lay your additional coats of paint or clear coat in a reasonable amount of time in cooler weather. In a pinch you can use our Medium activator as well, but remember it could raise your flash/cure times greatly!
We always suggest to mix up a small batch of paint or clear coat and spray a test panel before you go at your project. Make sure you dial in your settings, mixture, and technique so you can quickly and efficiently lay your paint or clear. If you have a nice selection of Eastwood activators you can paint throughout the warm months of the year. Sadly we still haven’t found the right formula to paint in those cold, snowy months.. but if we get more requests than just from Santa at the north pole.. we may look into it!