Step 7: Paint!!!

Picture of Paint!!!
This is the big showdown. You'll have spent many hours preparing by now, and this is the moment you've all been waiting for! If you want to try rolling on the Rustoleum, be my guest. People have had success with that in the past, but I have a feeling that doing the door jams would be hell and half compared to spraying it on.

You may want to re-mask everything, because dust and paint on the used masking paper can find its way onto your new finish. And remember to clean off all dust on the car by hitting it with compressed air or using tack cloth.

For rolling on paint:

Get a foam paint roller - 4" wide should do, and make sure it's as fine as possible. This creates a very smooth finish if the paint is thin enough.

Mix acetone into the rustoleum in a mixing can. I've read that you want something around the consistency of water, which means a LOT of acetone. You'll probably need more than 1 quart to do the whole car. When mixing paint, stir it with a stick, DON'T shake it or bubbles will happen.

Note: This method requires a lot more patience than spraying, as you're supposed to do 8 or 10 coats, sanding in between each one if orange peel starts happening. I highly reccomend you read the original source of this method (which inspired this entire project) here:

For spraying it on:

To spray on paint, mix a little acetone into the paint. The can recommends no more than 5%, but don't worry about that since the thinner the paint, the smoother it goes on. However, it is also more likely to run on vertical surfaces so be careful.

This process is somewhat risky, but has great potential. Hard to get areas like door jams, cracks, etc will look amazing when the paint is sprayed on. On the other hand, the entire car may turn out looking like an orange. If that happens, you probably need to mix in more acetone.

If you get lots of orange peel, fish eyes, or other demonic paint problems, you can always sand them away and try again, and in hard to get to areas it won't matter anyway. Spraying on multiple coats also makes for a smoother finish. Wait a few hours between coats to allow drying.

Leave the paint to dry peacefully for at least a few days. I let my car sit in a dry garage for over a week before putting any of the trim back.
gerry.pomanti4 months ago

Yes, acetone is the correct thinner to use with the Rustoleum, Tremclad etc. I painted my boat hull last winter with it and it turned out fantastic. I used Cloverdale alkyd rust paint with polyurethane. This is an excellent paint to brush on but I had never sprayed it before. The paint salesman suggested mineral spirits for thinning so I tried a test spray with that first. The next day the paint was still not dry!. This may work if you are in an extremely hot environment but most of us amateurs paint at room temp. Next, I mixed a bit up thinned with Acetone and sprayed a test panel of masonite. The paint "flashed off" which means went tacky within about 15 minutes. This is perfect as you can do another coat almost right away, allowing the two coats to melt together without running and give a really nice glossy finish. This is the trick of professional painters, of which I have helped a few on paint jobs. Timing the coats so that they can adhere well to each other without getting a run. The reason acetone works well is that it evaporates faster than regular paint thinner or mineral spirits. When I used to buy automotive enamel paint to spray cars you could get the reducer (thinner) in a fast, medium or slow which related to the dry time of the paint and based on the temp of your spray booth. If it drys to fast you don't get the gloss and if it drys too slow you get runs.

are you realy REALY sure you used acethone as a paintthinner ?

they actually use that stuff as a paintremover (like with nailpolish ) and to thin 2 compound resin (think fiberglass)

the original paint on youre car and rustoleum are oil based and spraying it on youre car mixed with the rustolium even with a primer undercoat will have the same effect on youre old paint as painstripper would , it will start bubbling and you can peel it off in sheets down to bare metal

on the 50 dollar paintjob (the original one on a mopar forum who started the hype ) he thinned with white spirit , the slow drying time and the thin layers made the paint lay verry flat after rollering and the thin layers prevented the thinnergasses to get locked in under the hardened surface of the paint made it realy tough to scratch once all those thin coats where finaly and polished

i agree on the fact that its a lot more work and time than spraying it on though , it will take a lot longer to get truely hard enough so you can wetsand and polish the surface to a mirror finish

anyone who's willing to try the acethone as a paint thinner but want to know for sure , heres a simple test to check :

take a rag , make sure its a white natural fiber (cotton wool) rag as some fabriccollours will allso leach out with accethone and anything based on plastic like dralon will melt

make it wet with acethone and lay it on the car on the old paint and leave it there for a little bit then pick the rag up and dry the surface of the paint

if it dry rag sticks to the surface the paint feels like rubber or you can wipe the paint of to the bare metal dont use it as a paintthinner but use white spirit

tsbrewers7 years ago
" I highly recommend you read the original source of this method (which inspired this entire project) here:

Just thought I would correct this, here is the link to the original place this cult got started,and is actual referenced in the above page. martin tibensky on moparts.com

But it was popularized here, so who cares.
dfsteel6 years ago
I am going to try and paint an old car with the rustoleum method...My question is ...Why do you put acetone in the paint and where do you get it...I would have thought you would have put laquor thinner in there. Dan Finley Irmo SC