Re: Matching Tek Blue Paint
Gee, I thought I solved this TEK color dilemma for you guys once already. :-)
So, once again, here is a link to the correct TEK color - all ready to purchase in your preferred professional paint format. That would be enamel, lacquer, BC/CC urethane, even low VOC urethane for you California guys and gals. Get it by the quart or by the gallon. TCP Global has it in their "appliance/Military" catalogue.
$109.00 a quart in enamel, $119.00 in single stage catalyzed urethane, and $159.00 in lacquer, I believe. Of course you still have to buy thinners/reducers - and catalysts if you go SS or BC/CC. Also, you'll need a bit of flatting agent as well.
For free, here are Keith the painter's tips and suggestions. Note that this is not rocket science, but it does require some tools, a space, and a reasonable amount of skill.
a.) For my money, the lacquer is the best choice for this application if you want fast dry times, a thin film, good adhesion and probably overall a more authentic look.
b.) SS urethane is far more durable, but requires more effort and supplies. It can also poison you fairly dramatically, and it will run the risk of excessive finish film build, too.
c.) The Enamel is just ok, and only if you can control your dust and (like SS urethane) you don't mind blurring out the factory alligator/crackle look a little.
Finish thickness matters because the surface you're painting has an unique texture. As I recall, someone provided excellent information in another thread about the TEK surface texture process that gives the gear that unique TEK look. For my money, that's why I would shoot lacquer as a topcoat. It will be the thinnest finish, and will not so easily fill in and obliterate the factory crackle look - something that enamel might do.
SHEEN: Whatever you shoot, remember you will need a little flatting agent additive, too. TEK gear was not glossy when new. Or, you might cheat and post-treat it when really cured by washing down with 10% sodium hydroxide. That would probably take the sheen off without the cost of flatting agent...or it might ruin it and make you shoot again. :-/
PREP: Finally, I would make SURE my piece was as clean as possible. Most people do not understand "clean" as it relates to painting what amounts to an appliance grade finish.
1. Use an aggressive cleaner and soft bristle brush to really eliminate the funk that has settled down in that texture pattern - clean clean clean! This is very important for adhesion and for pattern preservation. (If your wife will let you and the part will fit, a dishwasher does a pretty good job at stage 1 cleaning too.)
2. I know this sounds obvious, but you must clean BOTH sides of the part! The dust and dirt from the backside is very likely to migrate up and ruin the top side.
3. Again, obvious - but remove mounting screws, Dzus fasterners, handles, etc.
4. Besides a solvent wash and an aggressive cleaner like Purple to get rid of grease and funk, I would follow up with a strong caustic flatting treatment like Sodium Hydroxide or some other adhesion promoter to take off the sheen off the substrate without damaging the factory surface pattern.
5. DO NOT SAND THESE PANELS - you will ruin the alligator/crinkle/leatherette whatever it is called surface pattern.
6. And, besides a clean paint gun or airbrush, you need a clean and dry air supply, and a clean, dust free shooting area with proper airflow...and don't forget to tack-cloth right before you shoot.
OK way over the top, but it will look good.