What is everyone using for paint... (1 Viewer)

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Nov 29, 2014
Columbus, OH
As the title states. I just got a new Bud built tie rod and it came unpainted steel. What is everyone using to paint various suspension pieces? I know powder coating is always an option but I'm ideally looking for the best spray can option that I can pick up from one of the big box stores, and then of course be able to easily touch up down the road.
Best thing I've found (spray cans) is Appliance Epoxy Paint. It's tough, stays put a long time and can be touched up at a later date. Most are 'glossy' however, if that is not an issue for you, try it.

Takes several days to dry well and requires a good clean surface.
Krylon Satin Black. Easy to apply, and easy to touch up. $3.96 per can at Walmart, and lots of cans are 25% extra for free.
I always just go to Home Depot and buy Rustoleum Clean Metal Primer Spray and then topcoat with Rustoleum Protective Enamel Spray. There is also a Rustoleum "Professional" High Performance enamel and a a "High Performance V2100" enamel that supposedly dry faster and have better coverage (these are also available on Amazon). Surface prep is key, especially since you live in the salt belt.
John Deere Blitz Black. You can order it online if your local JD dealer doesn't exist.
I got the same rods and used an epoxy primer then tractor implement paint from Tractor Supply.
If you're going to spray it yourself, any spray can will give you the same results. If you're after an OEM finish, you'll need a cup sprayer and OEM paint.

Regardless of what you spray on, I second the opinion that surface prep is vital. As a matter of fact, everyone who paints for a living will tell you that surface prep is the most important part of the job (also why I don't paint for a living). A phosphate surface prep is recommended regardless of the condition of the metal, prior to painting. I use Ospho; you can get it practically everywhere. It makes the paint adhere better (compared to painting a non-phosphated surface).
Ospho Rust Treatment - Since 1947

Any phosphate solution will work as well. Here's a little industry insight, from a company I won't name, but you know:


  • ZircPhos datasheets.pdf
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John Deere Blitz Black. You can order it online if your local JD dealer doesn't exist.

Really believe in this stuff. Been using it for years. Holds up very well.
Really believe in this stuff. Been using it for years. Holds up very well.

What is your metal prep?
What primer do you use under it?
Where do you buy it locally?
I've liked any of the "engine enamel" spray cans. They dry quickly and last a long time, at least on parts that don't get a ton of UV.

I recently tried some John Deere Blitz Black. It's got a huge following in the rat-rod community. It's just about a perfect match for OEM Toyota black used on, for example, the air filter housing.

I like Rust-Oleum when sprayed with a HVLP gun (thinned with acetone, optional Valspar hardener), but I don't really like it in rattle cans. It takes forever to dry.

And don't forget to clean the surface before painting! Mineral spirits works well for that.

sandblast, or get to bare metal for rusty areas, otherwise just scuff with 80-120 grit.

Primer, I use two part epoxy. Southern poly is my choice of brand.

Buy it from JD dealer. But get the hardner from Amazon. Valspar makes the paint for JD.

Oh, and under $40 for a gallon of paint!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tons of info here....

Blitz Black John Deere

pictures of my daughter spraying it...

What the Foo is this???

axle porn.

Front axle - Rust as a lubricant??

on my slee front bumper.

The official Boost build thread

on the UTE sliders.

What Did You Do with Your 80 This Weekend?

jambed out the UTE too.

Father, Son, and the Unholy UTE

For clean steel I've had great luck with Rustoleum "Industrial" in the taller cans.

The gloss black on my welding cart still looks as new as when I welded it up 12+ yrs ago. And it sees gloves / metal particulate on it all the time.

MUD!!!! Do you have a Land Cruiser or a Heep?! Leave the “cute” s*** to the tools in the Heeps.:flipoff2:
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What is your metal prep?
What primer do you use under it?
Where do you buy it locally?

2fpower has a great process outlined above.

On most things...

First, I degrease & clean: combination of power washer, Super Clean, Purple Power, Dawn and/or Citriol from Schaeffer Oil. With brushes, putty knife, wire brush, etc. Rinse and repeat.

Second, physically remove as much rust as possible with grinder, wire wheel on drill, power rotary sander, dremel tool, hand sanding, putty knife, trusty Craftsmen screw driver.

Third, degrease and/or clean again, see first step, and/or compressed air.

Fourth, treat with rust remover of your choice, like evaporust or a gel product from the rust store, then spray with phosphoric acid product of your choice to convert as much rust as possible. Reapply as needed. Rinse with water.

Fifth, Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer and/or Etching Primer. Couple light coats. Sometimes, and only sometimes, use POR 15 instead if it makes sense and is easy enough to get to. (Hate POR15 running down my arm and/or dripping on my head.)

Sixth, Blitz Black, one very light coat, then three light coats. Or, sometimes, POR 15 Top Coat.

Just degreased, cleaned, de-rusted, rust converted, primed and Blitzed -- with rattle cans -- my rear axle and everything attached to it with some confidence it should last another TEN years with occasional top coat touch ups and then I'll think about redoing it. Seems to have worked on other outdoor equipment.

Get Rustoleum from Amazon, buy a case at a time. Purchase Black Blitz online the same way. Closest store with Rustoleum is an hour away and Blitz is well over two hours one way.

Depending on where the parts being painted are, I DO use rattle cans, because "doing it pretty dang good," beats never, ever doing it "perfectly."

Having spent decades around agricultural environments, doing something to clean, paint and prevent rust is almost always better than doing nothing at all while waiting for the perfect solution. YMMV
I second the commonly available rustoleum "appliance epoxy" it's gloss black , but it is very tough paint .


Gave up on powder-coat years ago. That stuff just chips off. But Appliance Epoxy...is TOUGH stuff. I have some wheels on my Early Model Bronco that I did in black A/E 20 yrs. ago and it is still on there. And I wheel the heck out that thing.

Yes, it takes awhile to fully cure, but once done...it will last.

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