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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Spiveyman's Avatar
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    Central KY
    Tractor
    Ford 6610 II

    Default How to paint a tractor...

    Not sure if this is the right place for this thread, but it's as close as I could find. I just bought my first tractor, Ford 6610. I bought it on the internet, so I don't really have any local contacts tractor-wise. It's generally in pretty good condition for a 1991 with 4,000 hrs, but there are some spots that I'd love to have touched up, or just have the whole thing painted. Problem is, NO ONE seems to paint tractors around here any more.

    First: Aany locals (central KY) have a clue who might be willing to do this for me?

    Second: If not, anyone have any advice if I decide to do it myself? I don't know much about painting, or have the equipment. I've heard one "tip" so far, cut the paint with gasoline when you spray because it will leave a really good shiny finish, but keep a flame burning on the ground and fan going to control and disipate fumes.

    Or, should I just accept the tractor as is with some character because it's going to look like that again in a few years even if I do paint it.

    Here's the photo's from the internet ad, I haven't taken any of it yet.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."

    "No one but cattle know why they stampede... and they ain't talkin'."

    "It doesn't matter how big a ranch ya' own, or how many cows ya' brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna to depend on the weather."

  2. #2
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Central florida
    Tractor
    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    I paint my tractors... costs a fraction of the price to pay someone to do it.

    Here's a tip.. -Forget- the tip about thinning with gasolene..

    I like to remove all sheet metal that is feasable to remove. Sometimes you just get stuff that's easier to leave on the tractor.

    I then sand with a variety of papers.. usually starting with a 350 or 400 and finishing down to 800 or perhaps 1000 if I'm feeling real energetic and the tractor might make it to a show.

    Previous to this I wash and degrease the tractor. I wire wheel the cast to remove loose paint.

    If possible I put the tractor on cribbing and remove wheels and tires.

    Shoot primer on the tractor.. follow cure and re-coat instructions onthe primer / paint. Get a paint system and stick to that manufacture's products.. don't mix. get the primer that is recomended for that paint.. and use their thinners and addatives.. etc.

    After priming.. you may want to finish sand.. if so.. do it with 1000, if needed.

    Then shoot your finish coat.

    Any small parts you have can be hung from a pole and wire and painted hanging all at the same time.

    If you buy multi gallons to do this.. intermix part of each gallon to ensure same color.

    I paint outside inthe open air, so i can use a little hardner. Hardner can be harmfull to you if you are alergic to it.. or if you are in an area where you are breathing fumes.. like painting indoors without a fresh air hood. The hardner gives the paint a great look and modifies cure time. ( i use the cheaper farm grade alkyd enamils.. like TSC's BPS paints.. along with their primer.. and valspar hardner, and i use naptha as a spray thinner, or mineral spirits as a brush / roller thinner.

    Finish product for painting is 80% prep work, and only 10% chemicals.

    IE.. you can use 500$ car paint and do a bad sanding job and it will look bad.

    OR you can do a perfect sand and prep and paint it with spray cans and take it to a tractor show... etc.

    Same with tools. I use a 9$ cheap chinese paint gun.. and a disposable 4$ filter. I used to use a chinese 2hp/4gallon 89$ pancake compressor and an extra 15 gallon walmart air tank to get some more air capacity.. plus a chinese 25$ air regulator.

    I finally upgraded to a better 27gallon 5 hp air compressor with built in regulator...

    Get an old car hood and test your paint skills on it. I keep an old flat piece of metal and test my mix prior to spraying my tractor.

    Don't paint when too hot or too cold.. or when humid or when expecting rain in the next 24 hrs.

    I'll post a few pics of some of my tractors i've painted.. again.. all with 24$/gallon paint and hardner, and 8$/pint hardner.. and cheap gun and small compressor.. and lotsa sanding and wire wheeling.

    By the way.. that's a real nice 6610II you have there... I wouldn't paint it.. it don't need it yet..

    I added a pic of my 7610s.. a close realitive of your 6610II They are real workhorses.. you should love yours..

    Forgot to mention.. get the blue easy-remove masking tape.. and either newspaper.. or the brown paper from lowes that comes in rolls.. and DO mask off any parts that you don't want overspray on. Sometimes it is easier to do alot of masking vs completely disassembling the sheet metal.. or other large heavy parts.. like those big rear rims.. etc..

    Soundguy

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiveyman
    Not sure if this is the right place for this thread, but it's as close as I could find. I just bought my first tractor, Ford 6610. I bought it on the internet, so I don't really have any local contacts tractor-wise. It's generally in pretty good condition for a 1991 with 4,000 hrs, but there are some spots that I'd love to have touched up, or just have the whole thing painted. Problem is, NO ONE seems to paint tractors around here any more.

    First: Aany locals (central KY) have a clue who might be willing to do this for me?

    Second: If not, anyone have any advice if I decide to do it myself? I don't know much about painting, or have the equipment. I've heard one "tip" so far, cut the paint with gasoline when you spray because it will leave a really good shiny finish, but keep a flame burning on the ground and fan going to control and disipate fumes.

    Or, should I just accept the tractor as is with some character because it's going to look like that again in a few years even if I do paint it.

    Here's the photo's from the internet ad, I haven't taken any of it yet.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    7,514
    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiveyman
    Not sure if this is the right place for this thread, but it's as close as I could find. I just bought my first tractor, Ford 6610. I bought it on the internet, so I don't really have any local contacts tractor-wise. It's generally in pretty good condition for a 1991 with 4,000 hrs, but there are some spots that I'd love to have touched up, or just have the whole thing painted. Problem is, NO ONE seems to paint tractors around here any more.

    First: Aany locals (central KY) have a clue who might be willing to do this for me?

    Second: If not, anyone have any advice if I decide to do it myself? I don't know much about painting, or have the equipment. I've heard one "tip" so far, cut the paint with gasoline when you spray because it will leave a really good shiny finish, but keep a flame burning on the ground and fan going to control and disipate fumes.

    Or, should I just accept the tractor as is with some character because it's going to look like that again in a few years even if I do paint it.

    Here's the photo's from the internet ad, I haven't taken any of it yet.
    First and formost, don't take any more advice from whomever gave you the "tip" involving the gasoline as thinner. What they told you would probably put you on the front page of the local newspaper and IN intensive care or a burn clinic. That isn't a tip. That is a set-up that might kill you. Gas vapor is highly explosive. The open flame is an ignition point. That isn't a risk. It's a sure thing to blow up.

    If that was my tractor, I'd start off by simply cleaning it up a bit. The paint looks better than average as it is, Repainting a tractor, unless done in a very professional manner, doesn't do anything to increase value, and in many cases, DECREASES the value of a tractor, especially a later model that's already in good condition.

    Take a drive to SHELBY SUPPLY in Shelbyville, Ky. (or call, Ask for Mark Allard [owner]) (John Deere dealer) That should be just a short hop from Richmond. Behind their parts counter is a bulletin board with the name and location of a "tractor painter" who does "class A" grade restoration painting. There's several pictures on the flyers, as well as a number of references. Last time I was there, the painter had basic pricing information listed on his advertisement.

    I've painted about 15 tractors. A couple were just a quick clean-up and respray. Most were complete dis-assemble-strip to metal-leave nothing to chance-restoration. Doing a paint job "right" requires a certain amount of disassembly, a LOT of prep, and the right materials. Long story short, no one can tell you in a few paragraphs what you need to know to do a professional grade paint job. It takes experience. Short and sweet, you won't go into your first paint job with zero background and do any sort of decent job, especially one that looks anywhere near as good as what you have to start with already.

    Any paint of good quality takes a very controlled environment to turn out anything like "original quality". Alkyd enamels, such as the paint you get at TSC can be sprayed with varying degrees af success outside under a shade tree, but good acrylic enamels, uerethane enamels, ect, require more of a controlled environment. Those cheaper akyd enamels won't hold up to time or exposure to sunlight like OEM acrylic enamels. Better grades of paint require more skill and experience. Low quality paints will look good initially, but they don't hold up. BTDT. It looks good from a distance, and takes a nice picture while it's fresh, but in short order it will begin to fade as well as offers less resistance to wear and scratching. Alkyd enamels are nothing more than a form of exterior grade house paint. They haven't been used in OEM automotive level painting for 75 years or more. If you go to all the trouble of painting an already decent looking tractor, why downgrade the finish to far less than what's already there?

    The "shine" you probably want comes from using hardeners or activators in the paint. They are extremely harmfull to very LETHAL. Breath enough hardener and you'll end up with symptoms of asthma, emphysema, or a trip to the morgue. It's not anything to mess with unless you use proper saftey precautions. Hardener (icocyanates [sp?]) can even be absorbed through the skin. A charcoal mask is simply trying to fool yourself.... They won't filter the hardener. It takes a fresh air system. They aren't cheap. Some people (myself included) try to fool themselves into believing that "it won't happen to them", but it does. Repeated exposure to hardeners will FINALLY get you, even in very small concentrations, and very limited exposure. After my first paintjob, I started having some asthmatic symptoms. I bought a fresh air breathing system. With that one single incedent, I still have breathing problems at times. It won't go away, it won't heal. You get to live with the results for life....provided it doesn't end your life. Hardener isn't something you might be "alergic" to. It is harmfull to anyone with lungs. You would be "alergic" to it in the same sense as being alergic to a bullet. (Except you might heal from a gunshot wound. Ico poisoning won't go away) Go over to Yesterdays Tractor website, post on the painting forum any thoughts of hardeners being something that some people might be alergic to, and let the experts take their shots at you. Many full time painters on there. Hardener is bad stuff. It CAN kill you on the first exposure.

    Long story short, unless you're willing to A.) learn as you go, making mistakes and repainting a few times, B.) Invest in equipment, including breathing equipment, C.) plan on painting several tractors to make the investment in equipment worthwhile, it's probably better to find a qualified painter to do the job for you. Short cuts and cheap materials almost always net you a mediocre paint job.

    I'm going to be VERY blunt with you on this one..... If you even for an instant, fell for the gasoline and open flame "tip", you need to skip "tractor painting 101" and let someone else do it. That's possibly the WORST advice I've ever heard anywhere. Someone is looking to get you killed.
    Last edited by Farmwithjunk; 08-05-2007 at 08:30 AM.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member weldingisfun's Avatar
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    West Bell County, Texas
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    Mahindra 4500 4WD w/FEL, and Scotts S2048 lawn tractor

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    Unless you plan on restoring that tractor for show, leave it alone. It looks good!
    Get some touch-up paint and cover the bad spots.
    That tractor looks like a workhorse not a poodle.

  5. #5
    Member
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    SE Michigan
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    1987 JD 750 4WD

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    If you just want to touch it up, like on the step boards and other wear spots, just go down to Tractor Supply on get yourself a couple cans of Ford Blue, some 220 and 400 grit sandpaper and have at it. At least you will have the bare metal covered. Keep up on the touch ups til you feel like doing it right like SoundGuy suggests.
    1987 JD 750 4WD, Model 70 FEL, JD 550 Tiller, Woods 750 BH, 6' Rake,6' JD blade, 5' BB, 5' Woods finish mower, 6x10 EZ Dumper, 16x6 tandem utility trailer, Millermatic 211.

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    Spiveyman,

    You need to show your tipster the back of your hand - Bogart style!

    Next - if you repaint that beautiful tractor you must be either nuts or very very particular about how your tractors look. It looks good to me.


    Professional tractor painting can take $3-600 in paint, couple hundred in sand paper, chemicals and other supplies. That's the cheap part. Labor can eat you up, especially if you are doing it "right". It can cost as much as the tractor. Then it's too pretty to use!

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Spiveyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    709
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    Central KY
    Tractor
    Ford 6610 II

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    Thanks for the replies so far. First of all, perhaps I was a bit too subtle with my sarcasm on the "tip" to use gasoline and an open flame. I wasn't making that up, someone actually told me that. However, I am a chemical engineer and am smart enough not to get myself blown up. That's why I used the quotation marks around the word "tip."

    Second, this is my first tractor. I'm just getting in to farming. Yes, I am rather meticulous about my stuff and would like for it to look as good as possible, but I'm not psycho about it. That's why I was open to you all telling me that I'm nuts for wanting to paint this thing. As much as I would love to do this job myself for the cost of it and the joy of doing it myself, I can already tell that this isn't something that I want to mess with. An example of my nature, I bought a carry all frame, bale spear, and boom pole from TSC. They came in that standard construction yellow color and that just killed me, so I bought the TSC Ford Blue paint and painted each of them. They are blue now, but I can't say that they look all that great. They don't look horrible for what they are, but I'm glad I didn't try that on my tractor. Here's pics of the carry all fram and bale spear. Even though I'm meticulous about how my stuff looks, that doesn't mean I have the skill or patience to do it myself and be satisfied with how it turns out.

    For the time it would take, the health risks, and the potential that I would mess it up, I think I will try to find someone to paint the thing. So, thanks again for the advice and I'll steer the thread towards the "know anyone who would do this for me?" direction. I'll follow up with the Shelby Supply place.

    Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."

    "No one but cattle know why they stampede... and they ain't talkin'."

    "It doesn't matter how big a ranch ya' own, or how many cows ya' brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna to depend on the weather."

  8. #8
    Elite Member sandman2234's Avatar
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    Jacksonville, Florida
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    JD2555 and a few Allis Chalmers

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    One more person who would appreciate you ignoring that tipster's tip. That is just too cruel to even consider a joke. It would have fallen into what is known as a SERIOUS ACCIDENT!!!

    David from jax
    A serious accident is one that money won't fix.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Spiveyman's Avatar
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    Central KY
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    Ford 6610 II

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    Just looking at your sig there, sandman2234, how appropriate.
    "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."

    "No one but cattle know why they stampede... and they ain't talkin'."

    "It doesn't matter how big a ranch ya' own, or how many cows ya' brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna to depend on the weather."

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    Goffs Corner, KY
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    IH 2444

    Default Re: How to paint a tractor...

    Spivyman, I live east of Winchester, KY a bit, will ask around about someone who paints tractors. I do my own, but have no time to paint others.
    And I do not do show grade, just like them to look decent and have no rust.
    Soundguy gave good advice.

    But if you are going to use it just touch it up, it will get dirty and scratched up pretty fast anyway.

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