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Repainting a safe. Advice?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by SuedePflow, Aug 26, 2013.

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  1. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    As some of you know, I recently picked up an older Amsec safe. It's in good shape except for the paint. I figured it's would be a fun garage project to restore it to a good looking safe again. But though I'm a capable, hands-on kind of guy, I have no experience with this, so I have a few questions.


    I spoke with my bodyshop buddy today, and he suggested starting with 150 grit on a DA to get the current scratches out. Then going over it with 400 grit. Then, apply a 2-part primer surfacer. Then final sand with a 600 grit.

    Sound OK so far?

    I planned to keep it simple and paint it black. He suggested a 2-part tractor enamel. Would that be a better route than paint and clear coat? Thoughts/opinions on the two? I'd rather go with whichever is more scratch resistant and will hold up best over time.


    As always, I'm wide open to advice. Sanding starts tomorrow night. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013
  2. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Anything made to adhere to metal and withstand the elements. Never would've thought of tractor enamel, but probably as good as anti-fouling boat paint.
     
  3. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    You might want to consider a crinkle paint instead of a gloss black. It would save you a lot of preparation work. Many safes were originally painted with crinkle.
     
  4. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    I don't know if they still make Glyptal #1209 black enamel but that stuff is one of the very toughest enamels I've ever used. Not cheap though.
     
  5. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Tractor enamel is tough stuff when applied properly. I have a motorcycle trailer I painted with it 15 years ago. It has sat outside ever since and held up well.
     
  6. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    I was going to say get yourself a two part (epoxy) paint. And since you want black a two part tractor enamel will do just that. It will be much tougher than any clear coat over a color. Once its tucked in you won't see much paint anyway.
     
  7. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    I picked up the enamel and 2-part primer today. I also started sanding today. I got 1/3 of it done and I was beat. I'll be looking forward to when the sanding is done.
     
  8. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Without pics, it isn't really happening!

    This could become a good tutorial sticky for others
     
  9. tnxdshooter

    tnxdshooter Member

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    The appliance paint works really well and seems sturdy.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.
     
  10. Rottweiler

    Rottweiler Member

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    Garage floor epoxy paint is damn near indestructible. Sticks to anything clean
     
  11. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    Pics!

    These are the before pics:

    20130827_203354_zps4dabb428.jpg

    20130827_203433_zpsc8608e87.jpg

    20130827_203413_zpsc63e2162.jpg

    20130827_203445_zps007137db.jpg
     
  12. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    And upon taking the door apart, I found two of the fixed bolts had cracks in the weld. Overall, I am disappointed in most of the welds that I've seen. They may be good enough, but I wouldn't call them 'good'. Hard to believe this is supposed to be of higher quality than many others on the market.

    I busted out my welder and fixed the cracked welds.

    20130828_203842_zps7eded182.jpg

    20130828_203903.jpg

    20130828_210235_zps9ef7f156.jpg


    And this is how it sits right now. I still have the sand the bottom edge of each side, the door, and the top. Hopefully I'll be done sanding tonight. If so, I'll be priming Saturday and painting on Sunday.

    20130829_133920_zps909cd614.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  13. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Those were bad welds to begin with. A good weld should have solid contact such that it flows between the two metals and forms a single bond.
     
  14. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    Aside from generally poor welds, it appears that another big issue is that the bolts are only welded around one side (180*). The bolts are allowed to deflect just enough when impacted that it eventually fatigued the welds and cracks formed at the weakest and consequently highest stressed areas - the starting and stopping points of each weld bead.

    I'm going to go through the door this weekend and finishing welding the bolts all the way around the perimeter. No better time to do it than now. :)
     
  15. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    Sanding is almost finished. The safe itself is done. As it most of the door. I just need to block sand around the trim plate for the handle and keypad, and it will be ready for primer. I'm so glad the sanding is out of the way. If I don't handle a DA again for a few years, I'll be a happy man.

    20130830_000647_zpse1f03ea7.jpg

    20130830_000628_zps0842cc6a.jpg
     
  16. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Suede;

    I'd contact a good local lock shop & ask them how much they'd charge you to remove & install the lock & handle. If it's reasonable, then you can remove the trim plate & either re-finish or replace. I've done that in the relatively recent past & I think the new plate was about $30.00. After the paint, it absolutely looks like a new safe just off the truck from the factory. I don't know if it's worth the hassle to you to take the door to the shop & back twice or not, but it's a thought.

    900F
     
  17. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    I can remove the lock and handle myself. I'd be concerned with the aluminum panel though. It's glued on and I'm pretty sure I'd ruin it pulling it off. I should be alright with it taped off though. If not, I'll pull it, repaint the door, and source an new aluminum panel.

    Everything is primed right now. Just waiting for it to dry. I'll shoot paint tomorrow.
     
  18. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    I battled the spray gun all day, but I finally got it right before the final coat. It turned out pretty nice, IMO. Next comes the buffing.

    20130902_203503_zpseeada4c1.jpg

    20130902_203342_zps1e79007f.jpg
     
  19. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    More info for anyone else who wants to tackle this job down the road.

    This is the epoxy primer and hardener that I used:

    20130903_192706_zps7251a67e.jpg


    And this is the jet black enamel, reducer, and hardener that I used. Mixed 8:1:1.

    20130903_192640_zps5c95f006.jpg
     
  20. SuedePflow

    SuedePflow Member

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    I decided against any wet sanding or buffing. I think it looks fine the way it is, and I didn't want to chance messing it up. I'm also ready to be done with this project. :)

    Here are completed pics:

    20130903_211958_zpsacd3a996.jpg

    20130903_212134_zps76f6eb03.jpg

    20130903_212641_zps4625d79b.jpg

    20130903_212715_zpscf52e56b.jpg
     
  21. arizona98tj

    arizona98tj Member

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    Congrats on a nice job.....and thanks for sharing.
     
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