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Old 05-10-2004, 11:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Rattle Can Paint 101 - Make your rig rust free and purty :D

I searched a lot on the board and could not find a write-up on doing a decent home paint job, or a rattle can paint job. Hardore rigs need a hardcore paint job, not a pretty glossy one, so it has to last, be easy to replicate and fix after trail damage, protect your rig from rust, and make it look decent or less scary Teh last thing you want is for your rig to start rusting (read metal cancer), after you spent a bunch of time and money to get it to where it is.

Since I went through the pain in the butt process of painting the Jeep, I will post some pics and tips on doing a decent job from your garage (yep, not mine). This write-up came a bit long, but I hope this will help. Do a good job, and you will be happy (your neighbors will be thankfull too!!

I wanted a decent rattle can job, easy to spray over and fix after trail scratches, etc, and cheap but durable enough to avoid any rust and keep the Jeep away from looking like an eye sore. My Jeep had originally some huge renegade plastic crap all over 80's style, so after I removed the plastic I had a bunch of holes, and painted all stained.

Most of the rattle can paint jobs I have seen are people rattle-can painting their Jeep over the original paint so that it ends up looking either crappy or flaking after a few months. I wanted to do something that would be durable, and easy to fix or touch up, so ended up on the Military OD Green bandwagon, and got some "Aervoe" Olive Drab paint. I bought a spray gun and a gallon of the paint, which was the original idea, but could not come across a decent solution as far as painting the Jeep (needed some space), and my garage has been a freaking mess. In CA you get big S fines if you use a spray gun and paint outdoors, so the rattle can was my approach.

These instruction may help even if you are planning to use a gun, since I discuss some useful stuff and tips on the prep. This project can easily be done in a weekend if you plan your time right. Follow the icons for important tips or indication to take a break and have a cold one


Ok, on to the write-up:

Material:


- About 12 cans of OD green semi flat. I used Aervoe, about $3 a can. Since this is a rattle can job, use some semi-gloss to avoid the bling factor and paint streaks.
-primer - use automotive primer, rust inhiitor primer or similar. A buddy that works on the business recommended using weld-on primer. That crap is $6 per rattle can. I had the crappiest time with it. Fopur of my cans had something worng and started spraying crap half way. That sucked, and it took time away since I had to do more sanding to take the excess crap. Use some Auto primer from OSH at $3 a can, and you should be set I ended up re-doing most of my primer with that. I learned later that the weld-on primer has a tendency to "chill" in the can after a while, so that is why the crappy dots flew everywhere. If going that route, have a bucket with hot water and leave the cans floating to regain temperature.
- electric sander is recommended, but you can get away with regular sandpaper. Buy different sheets of grit paper, from 80, 120, 200, 400, 800, 1000.
-Good ol' Bondo - Since I was covering some tiny holes from my stock Renegade Jeep stuff, I used a bit of bondo here and there. The hood I got was pretty beat up, so Bondo helped make it look a bit better.
-plastic tarps (cheap s tarps at OSH, about a buck for a large size tarp) - use it for the floor and to cover interior, whatever.
-masking tape - get decent marsking tape, about 2 inches wide
-thinner, and acetone to clean up stuff
-some latex gloves won't hurt either
-a ratio of 3 beers per can of paint will make the job look nicer


Start:


Start by planning and preparing the space you will be doing your work. Have materials ready, and budget your time depending of what you are planning to do. You can easily do this is a weekend if you budget your time right.

Friday: I started by removing flares, bumpers, etc, and covering areas like the interior, over the tires and wheels on the evening before I painted. SInce I had just done my interior herculining, most of my stuff was out, including the cage, but removing all this stuff is not necessary. Wash and clean the Jeep after removal of the stuff, and let the Jeep dry overnight. If you want to do any additional sawzall work this is the time to do the cutting


Last edited by geberhard; 12-12-2005 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Saturday morning: Meet Bondo, James Bondo and Bondage

Start by preppring sander and sandpaper. I used 120 grit for most of the job, and some 80 here and there for rougher stuff. The 120 is good, any lower than that you will see scratches. Clean up the areas that you are planning to bondo, sand with 80 grit to bare metal, and prep the bondo. Use thin layers than a bunch of bondo to do a decent job. My recommendation is making small quantities, and doing an areat a time. Bondo dryes pretty quickly, specially if u use a bit more of the hadner than recommended. Use a bondo type plastic spatula, apply the first layer, let it dry for 20 minutes, than use sander to take excess. Make sure you are sanding around the area as well (i.e. a minimum of 5 inches after the bondo covered area, in long strokes with teh sander. I used 120 grit for that. If the job came out smooth, you are done on that area. If you have minor holes or darker spots in the bondo, you may need a new thin layer, so repeat the process with less quantity. If you are covering holes, as in my case, use tape or duct tape from inside when possible so the bondo does not go through.



After being done with the bondo, let it dry well for at least 30 minutes, and start sanding the Jeep. If you have rust, and it is minor, use a rust reverser chemical (turns rust to balck primer). You can use Jasco, or other stuiff to remove most of the rust first if it is pretty bad, then use the rust reverser (most aoto part stores have them in rattle cans, I bought one at Kragen for a few bucks). Important, clean and repair any areas that have any rust!!!! You do not want to paint over that.

Start the sanding process, and again, I used a cheap but decent hand sander, and it worked great ($25 at hardware store). If you have compressed air, you can use a pneumatic sander instead, if it is rotary, be careful regarding the rpm, too much and you may have metal burns and expansion and fudge things up. You can also use a paint remover, but then will go to bare metal and loose factory base coat. Since My basecoat is in decent shape, removing the whole paint did not seem like a good option. If that is the aproach, you will need to use a good primer with base coat (i.e. weld on), or apply a base coat to avoid metal to surface rust.

After sanding, there are some all purpose cleaners you can use with a rag, or use thinner lightly on a rag to remove the dust from the sanding process. I would avoid using Acetone, since it leaves residuals (i.e. small stains) after it dries, but since you are going to primer it is not a big deal at this stage yet. Clean throughly, and do some final disassembly during that process. I removed the hood and tailgate while the Jeep was drying, but this step is optional. If you are going to paint using rattle cans, I recommend removing the hood for best leverage while spraying.

Masking:

I used a plastic tarp on the floor of the driveway, and after removing the hood, put a piece of plastic to cover the engine bay. the masking process is important since it will avoid overspray which looks crappy, and protect areas from paint and dust, as well as the interior. I recommend covering the wheel wells and tires, so they do not get painted and look crappy. Remember, focus on doing a clean and decent job. Use that masking tape well, and press on it hard so that it adheres to the surface and does not leave lifts where paint could run through. My girlfriend helped with the masking tape while I took the hood and tailgate to a table in the backyard to get things primed. No, you can not borrow her. Remember that areas that get overspray can be cleaned with Acetone or thinner.



Primer:

In my case, I was doing a TJ front clip conversion, so I had to do more work on the hood I got since it was pretty beat. Bondo paid a few more visits to get it as decent as it would get. I have not used bondo before, but it was a pretty straight forward process. While the bondo was drying on the hood (I had to work on the hood a few times, sand, etc), I started the priming process on the body. leave your cans (not referring to beer cans ) in a bucket with warm water, and alternate between cans after shaking them well. The same tip applies to the paint process.

Shoot the first spray on a tarped area, or test piece, since the first shoot of primer from the can may have sediments. When primering or painting, keep about 10-15 inches from the surface, and make sure you spray pass the end of the areas you are spraying. I used the techinque of painting using horizontal moves, from beggining to end, on a back and forth motion, and running slowly but straight spraying evenly thorugh the surface. Try to keep each pass within two inches, which will avoid "stripes" and keep the areas covered even. This is almost like mowing the lawn, slightly go over where you just sprayed.

While the primer started setting in, I went back to the hood, windshield and tailgate, and did the same process. I recommend waiting about 30 minutes, for the primer to cure decently, and apply a second thin layer of primer. Depending of the primer yoiu are using, a couple hours or letting it siyt overnight may be needed for the primer to cure fully. Have a couple beers, check out your rig in gray, and relax. I worked on my rockers while the Jeep was drying, banged and primered the TJ grill I was going to use.



Sunday - Paint:

The primer dried well and fast, As I mentioned before, I had some issues with the "Weld On" primer (left tiny bubble sediments here and there), so I had to do some heavier sanding in some areas and re-primer using other primers. After doing this step, I let the primer sit and dry well for another four hours. During that time, I started with the hood and tailgate.

I sanded the hood, windshield and tailgate with 800 and then 1000 grit sandpaper, to make things smooth (I did wetsanding, but either way should do it). Use the cleaner to remove dust and let it sit a bit, then use a clean pice of cloth to remove any minor dust. The hood is one of the biggest surfaces in your rig, so it is a bit tricky to do a decent job without leaving stripes. I recommend propping the hood over a table so it is slightly below waist level. Shake well those warmed up cans, and start around the middle of the hood from front to back, in straight motions, all the way. remember to spray pass the end of the hood. Do the side to side motion back and forth, walk around to the other side of the hood, and repeat. Let the paint cure about 15 minutes.

While the paint was curing, I did my tailgate. Since the hood will see a lot of action, I did three coats of paint. Avoid mixing cans on the final coat, since sometimes they vary slightly in composition, so it may have a different "shade". Before the last coat, I used a 1000 grit sandpaper by hand.

Back to the rig, I repeated the process starting from the front to the back, and rear of the Jeep , and then front to the rear on the other side. The paint cures pretty fast, so I was taking a few beer brakes and starting with second and third coats on the same order I did before. Do the wetsanding process before the last coat, clean, and shoot the last one. Take extra care on this step, and your paintjob should come really good. Jeep back in the garage, and let it dry well (I recommend 10 hours if possible), before putting flares, hood, tailgate, etc back. If I did not had the problem with the primer, I could have the Jeep literally done and back together at the end of the day. Leave rockers off for the next 4 days, and let the paint cure well. I recommend not washing the Jeep for at least 10 days, so that the paint can really cook and adhere. You can optionally shoot rattle can clear coat, but that will make it harder for touching up scratches in the future, when you could just clean, shake the can and voila.



To check how things came out and my YJ to TJ front clip install, check here:

Good luck!

Gui
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The paint looks a bit shiny on the picture right after I used the cleaner. It actually came out on the semi-gloss side, not shiny bling bling. I still need to do the doors, and put the interior back.

I got a hold of a round TJ gas filler. I was looking for a CJ type, since the YJ sucks when putting gas (you need three hands since it is behind the sprung rear license plate, a pain in the butt). I will post pics after the install.

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Old 05-10-2004, 11:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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looks great!

you should add or link your pictures here too: /forum/general-4x4-discussion/190280-best-rattle-can-paint-jobs-thread.html
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
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My Jeep had originally some huge renegade plastic crap all over 80's style,
Hey, now, don't go puttin' that crap off on the 80's...that's pure 90's Chrysler
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I was too drunk to remember much of the eigthies...wait was that the 70's??
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nice writeup. Can't believe I read all that...but good job. I'm hopefully doing about the same thing this summer too.
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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i did about the exact same thing to my scrambler...i used a honda silver, it turned out great...no runs or orange peel...all with duplicolor auto paint...great stuff for the job....

-James
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice writeup. Can't believe I read all that...but good job. I'm hopefully doing about the same thing this summer too.
Damnit, everything I was about to say was taken by you so i am just going to quote you.
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Old 05-10-2004, 04:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I did that last summer, but used a HVLP gun. Your prep instructions were spot on. I wish I would have picked up some of that rust reverser, but I'll just have to use a lil bondo outside when I do my interior...bahaha!
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Old 05-10-2004, 04:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Looks like a great paint job.

I did mine with rattle-cans and was looking to start using my bro's spray-gun. But why is it fined to use outdoors?
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Old 05-10-2004, 05:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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HI,

I bought this HVLP gun from Harbor Freight (model 43430), for about $50 and was going to use it. Teh gun kicks butt, all kind of setups, and a real good professional tool for the buck (no, I do not work for Harbor Freight ) Check this link out for some great tips on using the gun:

http://purplesagetradingpost.com/sum...Pspraygun.html

Both the guy that sold me the paint and the store asked if I was going to use the paint in a booth, or paint indoors, and the guy selling the paint told me that CA laws prohibit the use of this guns in open environments (environment related stuff). The fine is supposed to be pretty high, around $25K, so I did not want to risk having a cheap paint job becoming a $25K investment I can understand the use of guns indoors only, since these suckers produce a huge cloud. If you have the space or garage, there is no problem doing this indoors. I kept my gun and paint, and may shoot a coat indoors in the future.

The job came out better than I expected, specially for a rattle can job. I have seen some Miracle And Earl Scheib paintjobs that do not look half as good, modestly speaking
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Old 05-10-2004, 06:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good write up Gui
Ok a couple of things.
1) to make bondo easier do not let it dry completely. When it is rubbery use a curved surform/cheesgrater file to shape it. Then sand it to 80 grit and on.
2) Show us pics of your GF's tits.

Here is how I do bondo on beaters/trail type rigs. After I get the shape using the above method I prime, then wet sand with 220. Look down the side of your work. Water will give you and idea as to what your work will look like when finished. I follow up with another coat of primer then 320, and prime again. Then I do a final wet with 400.

Use 400 as a good general grit for scuffing/adheasion.

You can wash it after the paint is dry to the touch. The water will only slow down curing as long as it's wet. I've put stuff out in the rain in the winter 24 hours after it's done.
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Old 05-10-2004, 08:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Does anybody know who sells Hammerite in the US?
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Old 05-10-2004, 09:42 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Good write up Gui
Ok a couple of things.
1) to make bondo easier do not let it dry completely. When it is rubbery use a curved surform/cheesgrater file to shape it. Then sand it to 80 grit and on.
2) Show us pics of your GF's tits.

Here is how I do bondo on beaters/trail type rigs. After I get the shape using the above method I prime, then wet sand with 220. Look down the side of your work. Water will give you and idea as to what your work will look like when finished. I follow up with another coat of primer then 320, and prime again. Then I do a final wet with 400.

Use 400 as a good general grit for scuffing/adheasion.

You can wash it after the paint is dry to the touch. The water will only slow down curing as long as it's wet. I've put stuff out in the rain in the winter 24 hours after it's done.
All that for a trail rig??? Wow, i am just going to paint the fucker like it is.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:31 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Does anybody know who sells Hammerite in the US?
That brand can be found in a few stores but I know for sure that any True Value can order it. First place I went in said they didn't carry it, couldn't get it but when I talked tothe manager then he knew what I was talking about. Krylon and Rustoleum sell their own version of the same thing, not bad stuff either way.


That's gotta be the longest writeup I've ever read on a rattlecan paint job! One thing though, if that took you 12 cans of paint, that's gotta be some cheap junk paint. I did my XJ in OD green, tried Krylon because it was cheap but the coverage was terrible and I could tell it was going to take a lot. I ended up using Hunter's Specialties spray paint and it's definitely worth every penny! Took a total of 4 cans and that's with several coats, one can is still over 1/2 full for touchups. High solids and good quality paint.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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That brand can be found in a few stores but I know for sure that any True Value can order it. First place I went in said they didn't carry it, couldn't get it but when I talked tothe manager then he knew what I was talking about. Krylon and Rustoleum sell their own version of the same thing, not bad stuff either way.
Cool, I knew Krylon & Rustoleum made a version but I dont think it is avaliable in large amounts for spraying, just bomb cans.
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Good write up.
I think you might have gotten a bum steer on the weld-through primer. Most weld-through primers are not meant to be painted over. They're intended to be applied to panels in areas that will be enclosed or inaccessible once welded together, so they help prevent rust-through from the inside. Usually they're supposed to be removed from any exposed areas before painting.
Ditto, too, on using the cheese grater while the bondo's still pretty soft. It'll save a LOT of finishing time.
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:20 AM   #19 (permalink)
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No Steve, no tatas for ya! (Tata Nazi ) Yep, I will try the cheese cloth approach on the bondo next time. It came out pretty decent for my first time. I bought a hood from Brad that was a bit scared here and there, so it gave me some good practice area I was surpised the rattle can using Aervoe OD came out so decent in the whole rig. I will leave as is for the summer, and hopefully the bondo will not fly off in the trail, hehe!

Yep, agree on the Weld on Primer; I really wish I had not used it over the whole rig and the crap is pretty expensive. On the areas I used regular primer, it came out extremely smooth, so I recommend using a regular autgo primer.

Here is a pic of the hood "work":

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Old 05-11-2004, 01:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Yep, agree on the Weld on Primer; I really wish I had not used it over the whole rig and the crap is pretty expensive. On the areas I used regular primer, it came out extremely smooth, so I recommend using a regular autgo primer.
The weld-through primers can have problems w/ topcoat adhesion. Since yours is a rattle-can job, that's less of an issue, since you can always just sand, reprime and respray any areas that go bad on you. Curious to see how it lolds up for you... Please post w/ any problems that might come up overe time.

If you're priming over rust-free bare metal, self etching primer is available in rattle cans, and provides a good bond w/ the metal, as well as a solid paintable surface. (Usually has to be painted over w/in 24 hours, or else sanded before topcoating.) It's not cheap, though, so you probably don't want to use it on areas that already have primer/existing paint on them. For those areas, if the paint is sound, sanding alone should be sufficient for a rattle can job... no primer necessary.
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
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All that for a trail rig??? Wow, i am just going to paint the fucker like it is.
Dammit, now you said what I was going to say.
I don't know how much prep work I'd do for a trail rig, never done a paint job before.
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:59 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yep,

It was a decent amount of work, but the main reason I was painting is just that, it looked pretty crap with all the stains and holes to begin with, so if I was going throw the trouble of painting it, I might as well do it a bit better than way half ass. My buddies painted straight over paint before, and it looked crappy, plus it pelled in less than two months. This was not a make it bling bling project, but a make it good, fix crap, and protect from rust
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Old 05-11-2004, 06:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Gui,

Much better without all the holes!

I too found out how much of a PITA it is to paint stuff in my garage. I got those blue doors painted up. Hope I don't have to do that again for a while.

Did you ver get your OBA fixed up?
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Old 05-12-2004, 08:13 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Hey Rich!

Glad the doors worked good for you. Yep, you gotta check out my Jeep, totally differenet now, and with the TJ front end Check some pics here:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=248791

I am still trying to figure out what to do for the OBA. I have another Sandeem compressor I may end up installing until I get a York like yours. With the TJ hood I got a decent amount of height and space to play with (about 2+ inches) compared to the YJ hood.

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Old 05-12-2004, 10:57 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Looks nice...

Something to think about for future rattle-canners. Most rattle-cans come with a tip that sprays O 's, that makes it easy to get runs. You can buy different tips for them at paint supply places. If you pick up a couple of fan tips, they will spray | 's. Makes for better coverage and a more even coat.

Just a little graphitti tech for you guys
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