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Author Topic: repainting Realistic Dx-160?  (Read 5265 times)
VE3KNT
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« on: October 05, 2013, 08:47:19 PM »

I just bought a Realistic DX-160 that is in really good shape, except the previous scratched a ID number of some sort in the paint Angry

I tried tonight to to a quick paint over is with some Tremclad print grey (yes I know it's too light in color) and even though i sanded the area down i'm still seeing the numbers. I guess I didn't sand it far enough.

So I'm thinking of just doing a full repaint of the shell and was wondering if anybody had any suggestions to the brand/type/color to use?

I want to keep the looks as original as possible. I figure I need to sand the area where the numbers are down better before painting.

Tremclad (aka Rustolium) has a hammer tone paint on their website. would that be good? I'm also considering a trip to the model train store and maybe use Badge acrylic flat airbrush paint..?

Other then the scratches, it's in good shape.. some rubbing alcohol took care of contact issues in the band switch, the band spread doesn't stop on zero, and the ground pint was cut of the plug (which I plan on replacing) not bad for 30+ year old radio I got for $25 Grin
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AC4RD
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2013, 05:52:50 AM »

I've used Rustoleum hammertone to repaint several things lately--an old SX-140 (the gray I bought was a great match for the original Hallicrafters color), a transmitter, some paddle and bug bases.  It works great--just follow the instructions carefully for best results.

I've got one set of paddles that had a badly scratched base; I wanted the repaired base to be dark blue, but that shade wasn't available in hammertone.  So I sanded and fixed the base, gave it a couple of coats of gold hammertone, then a week later gave it two very light coats of regular dark blue.  That worked fine, too.

73 GL!  --ken
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W1JKA
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2013, 07:24:14 AM »

 As mentioned hammer tone is ideal, but if this is your first time use of it be sure to practice your spray technique on some scrap metal first. I learned the hard way about overspray and resulting paint sags.
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AC5UP
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2013, 08:35:45 AM »

I've had excellent luck with Rustoleum spray paint but like anything else the secret to success is in preparation as much as execution. A few dollars spent at a local hardware store can return things like ScotchBrite sanding pads and the blue easy-peel masking tape that's grossly overpriced (IMHO) but works really well. Old school surface prep involves 200 to 400 grit wet or dry paper plus a fair amount of time cleaning off the grit left behind. ScotchBrite pads leave no grit aside from the inevitable paint flecks and work real well with wet sanding. If you don't have a convenient water source at a good sanding location, fill an empty bottle or jug with water and use the splash / sand / splash / sand technique like I do. Remember the water dripping off the work will leave color splotches that require cleanup unless you're outside on the lawn.

If you want to do this like a pro, Step One is to sand the case down to the point of original primer / bare metal showing in some places. Then you prime it with an automotive sanding primer. Sand the primer enough to smooth the surface and prime again if needed. Sand again. The goal is for the primer to level out the surface while giving the color coat good adhesion. Step Two involves the color coats and you should read the label directions twice before starting. Learn the recommended spray distance and the advantage of smooth, overlapping passes with the spray. Three or four thin coats with 5 - 10 minutes of dry time between them are much better than one heavy coat that wants to run or remains soft for a while. This may not apply to specialty paints like a wrinkle or krinkle type, and personally I think matte black krinkle paint looks totally bitchin' on vintage gear.

Best time to paint outdoors is in the evenings about an hour before sunset with calm winds and moderate humidity. I usually bring the work indoors overnight then put it outside in a sunny location the next morning. Even on cooler days sunlight can warm the surface well enough to harden the finish in a few hours and you do not want to reassemble the radio while the paint is still soft.

One nice thing about paint work is that no mistake (short of painting over the dial glass markings) is so grievous that it can't be sanded out.
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KC8YHN
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2013, 09:51:29 AM »

I had a similar problem a few times in the past, I used a high build automotive filler to fill in the gouges and then sanded it even to make sure it didn't come through the new coat of paint. The last two radios I did (heath 301/401), the owner gouged his call into the covers with what looks like a screwdriver so I decided to paint the covers instead of blending the paint repair in.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 10:04:50 AM »

There is also a metal filler sold in tubes that can be used to fill in small scratches and gouges.  I've had good experience using those, then sanding, then repainting.  Good luck! 
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N4NYY
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 12:30:11 PM »

I had a similar problem a few times in the past, I used a high build automotive filler to fill in the gouges and then sanded it even to make sure it didn't come through the new coat of paint. The last two radios I did (heath 301/401), the owner gouged his call into the covers with what looks like a screwdriver so I decided to paint the covers instead of blending the paint repair in.

Yep. Great advice. I do this to. Filling spray primer. Wet sand with 400 -800 grit. Then hammered coating.
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VE3KNT
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 12:31:01 PM »

Thanks for all the replies.

I think for simplicity sake, I'll go with the Tremclad hammertone, their website shows a charcoal grey that looks close enough to make me happy. btw: Tremclad appears to be the Canadian name for Rustolium since it's on their website..

I kind of like the idea of the gold hammertone, and then just leave it they way and tell people it was a special limited edition  Shocked Roll Eyes Grin

The color doesn't have to be exact, it's not like it's a rare vintage radio, and even if it was, the original paint is already damaged..
And living in an apartment limits my option for where to paint it.. although there's already paint marks on my balcony..  I wonder how those got there.... Roll Eyes

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WX7G
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2013, 07:21:47 AM »

If you really like the radio and want to preserve its value it can be professionally painted.
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KD0REQ
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2013, 10:44:52 AM »

purists can go to an automotive paint supplier and get some lacquer or enamel custom-mixed and loaded into a spray can to match the paint where the sun doesn't shine, and the color isn't faded. put the rest of the pint or quart up on the shelf for the next radio.  match the paint type... if lacquer remover tacks up the paint on the inside, that's what you buy.  old auto shop saying... "enamel covers everything, while lacquer only repaints lacquer."

I detest "tack cloth," and prefer wiping dust and specs off with a jersey rag soaked in mineral spirits, followed if necessary for the paint type with one of isopropyl, as close to 100 percent as you can get.  put on the white gloves, position the work, and paint carefully after a good priming.
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W2WDX
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2013, 06:01:31 PM »

Actually, the is nothing wrong with using flat primer. It would look almost the same as the DX-160 flat grey speckle.

There also is a textured stone paint that ends up looking closer to the rough matte of the original.

One thing I would suggest is totaly stripping all of the original paint, use something like Samick Rock Miracle Paint remover. It's a chemical stripper that is water soluable.

Sanding will cause stratches that will show up through the paint, unless you use finer and finer grades and eventually use wet sanding. The process is difficult. Simply using a chemical stripping with the Samick product, then wiping the bare metal down with alcohol and painting the metal directly, the end finish will be consistent and smooth.

Here's a link to page 6 from a restoration showing the technique used on a transformer casing, but the principle is the same.

http://www.vikingvintage.com/gatesm5078p6.htm

Good luck

John, W2WDX
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VE3KNT
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2013, 06:26:40 PM »

Today I sanded the area the number are down to bare metal..  I could still see the scratches from the number, I'm guessing they were don't by a  Dermal or  similar, but got it smooth to the touch and masking taped the area, then about 6 costs of Krylon grey primer.  Can't see the  marks now and it nice and smooth.  The primer color is not to far off the original color so it doesn't look too bad.  Just got to find the hammertone paint now.  I tried two stores the other day and neither had grey...

So once i find the hammertone paint, I figure a light sanding and cleaning and have at it with the full repaint Shocked

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WA8ZTZ
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2013, 09:10:29 AM »

Restored an old Kennedy tool box recently and used their brown wrinkle paint to match the original finish...got it at a machine shop supply place...it was a bit pricey but did a great job in covering various blemishes.  Have seen wrinkle paint also in black and grey. 
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