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Conventional Fixtures Suggested Paint for refurbishing lights

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by jonliles, May 5, 2009.

  1. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    Guys-
    I have several Fresnel's, ERS 6X12's, scopes and various PARs I would like to beautify (i.e. get rid of the rust and repaint, and pu tmy label on).

    1) What paint (type, color and sheen) do you recommend for the exterior of the instrument (I was thinking maybe flat black grill hi-temp paint) - I'd love to powder coat, but that is $$
    2) What kind of reflective paint do you recommend for the interior of the instrument (for scopes and Par's)?
    3) Would you bother with painting the inside of a ERS or Fresnel with reflective paint? Why or why not?

    Thanks!
     
  2. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    First off, I think you mean SCOOPS.

    I use high temp BBQ spray paint in flat black to repaint units, works fine, isn't too expensive. If you are doing a high volume of units you might look into paints that you can buy in larger quantities and spray with a real sprayer.

    You shouldn't have to spry the inside of a PAR as the reflector is built into the lamp. As for the scoops, unless they are in bad condition I wouldn't touch them. Other people might have suggestions for you as well.

    You don't want any part of a light that was not originally reflective to become reflective. So don't paint the insides of your fixtures. They are designed to work efficiently the way they were manufactured, changing that may not help you at all.
     
    jonliles and (deleted member) like this.
  3. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah, I meant scoops. Scopes are something I used to use for checking wave signatures...Dang these beaten smashed hands...

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  4. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    100% agree with Icewolf. If you are worried about old fixtures looking pretty then paint the outsides. If they are somewhere that the audience will never see, don't waste your money on paint, it won't make them work better. Clean the insides but don't paint anything internal.

    You can get the high temp black paint in the spray paint aisle of any hardware store... occasionally in the summer it get's moved over by the barbecues.
     
  5. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'll tell ya what I have used and had great turnouts with. Duplicolor Engine Enamel. I get mine at O'Reilly's Parts Stores and it's about $5 a can. It goes a long way though, especially if you only need one or two coats. It comes in 2 varieties of black - 500 degree and 1200 degree. I personally use the 1200 degree because it looks more like the factory paint job. The 500 degree paint is good, but a little too glossy for my liking. This stuff is meant to paint engine blocks and headers/exhaust systems so it is more than adequate for stage lighting. It also has ceramic added. Makes a great finish, and it is hard to not get a good paint job with it because it goes on extremely even.

    I agree with the others about painting the insides of the fixtures. The only exception I can think of is when the paint has peeled off the inside of parcans (I've seen Altman par 64's do this). In that case I would remove all the old paint and spray new paint. Again, the 1200 degree stuff will be more than adequate.
     
  6. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    I used Rustoleum High Heat Ultra on my par cans and they turned out great.
    RustOleum.com
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I agree with Les on painting.

    At times it is appropriate to paint the inside of a fixture - especially if older and paint flaking or its rusting inside. If an aluminum fixture, perhaps a light scraping or wire wheeling with sanding to provide tooth to the paint than a touch of high temp. to reduce stray light as needed if needed. For a steel fixture, especially stamped sheet steel, it's possible unless treated for that rust to work it's way to a structure problem or hole in the fixture problem - gotta fight the rust. Have seen fixtures near rusting thru in the past, this especially from inside out.

    First step, remove as much as possible of the rust or flaking paint by way of sanding and scraping. Than the question of if one should rust reform - given it's normally low temp. paint this rust reformer or high temp paint over the rust in a way that might not kill off the rust. If out of the main heat I might do rust reformer first say after the gate only if needed, or on the yoke if it can't be just sanded, than high temp overcoating but overall if you have a good coat of high temperature paint and most of the flaking paint off plus rust sanded down, the high temperature paint even engine paint in possibly a better quality product I stock but have not noted a real difference on, should work sufficiently to stop rust. It's a concept to do rust reformer than high temperature paint but as a concept I don't think so much of that in reality of working. Thinking skip the rust reformer step once sanded and chipped.

    Tried the rust reformer paint with high temp. paint over it before without problems but I don't think it would work so well in 500w or over situations. More or less, if you have a good coating of high temp. paint it should stop the rust sufficiently - this especially with sanding in not needing the rust reformer overall.

    One primary thing often noted for painting is older paint on steel fixtures basically rusting under the paint in allowing the paint to flake. This byond flaking of aluminum fixtures where chipping and sanding to feather an edge plus provide a tooth for the new paint to stick to is probably appropriate. On a steel fixture rusting but probably old and or antique, does one remove the origional paint in saving the fixture or keep the origional paint? Does one just chip off what's flaking, or remove anything that's beginning to flake if not all the old paint?

    For aluminum castings that have flaking paint, I feel it absolutely necessary to before attempting to paint sand them. Short of sanding in giving some tooth to the metal for the new paint to stick to its going to chip again. Your next coat of paint will likely peel off with time no matter the thickness of layers or temperature rating unless on aluminum you give tooth to that paint to stick to - this unless special paint designed around this sticking to purpose. Do this with barn doors all the time especially.

    For steel parts, sure scrape and sand or wire wheel the yoke so all paint's gone unless above that paint is a manufacturer decal or sticker. In that case, work around it as best possible even if for the most part rubbed off. Even for such decals before painting, don't apply even painters tape directly to the decal - still too sticky. Stick the tape to your blue jeans a few times in picking up some lint a few times before attempting to put tape above an old sticker or decal on a yoke or fixture.

    After that, it's a yoke, paint away. Fixture itself, how much is a olive drab Altman 360 worth if it's paint is mostly gone or chipping over one that's been re-painted but is in workable cared for condition or shape? Sure if in good condition perhaps a few flakes on the aluminum leave it alone in chipping what's needed but only as much as needed, but a fixture that will eventually rust thru... verses one that's painted... save the fixture in my opinion but it would depend on condition. Once had some three color Century 4.5x6 fixtures I was working on. Believe I left the body/pineapple part alone in origional color, the gate assembly for some reason needed a grey primer and the lens train a high temp. paint. Or something like that in just leaving them in how it worked out to be three color fixtures, but ones once serviced still in use and if not by paint, at least would go another ten years before they needed more attention. Don't remember how they turned out three color but that's how it ended up for them and it was simple and honest. Perhaps the caps instead of the gate assembly was the third color.

    None the less, after the saving of the fixture concept - and how agressive to get in removing old paint gets done say if it might flake or easily comes up, to paint or not paint is more a question of use. Are you preserving an antique, or fixing something for your inventory?

    If preserving an antique, perhaps it might be needed to remove and paint as needed to prevent it from rusting thru. If fixing a fixture still in the inventory, perhaps than it don't matter the origional texture of the paint on the fixture and one should remove what's needed and re-paint not so much to match but so as to make the fixture look quality and cared for.

    Be it the client, talent or audience, they don't know what's modern or ancient, they do know what looks hack on the other hand. Even on an aluminum fixture, wouldn't want any chipped off paint - just looks unprofessional. On the other hand for an antique, perhaps if not an overall thing on the aluminum casting, perhaps that's fine or even making that aluminum casting natural in removing all the paint.

    Beyond that, for an antique, make it match as best possible or make it the conventional norm semi-gloss or flat black if needing to be painted. Don't make an antique gold or some similar silly thing as I have seen at times. Were it a prop antique, I might look into a texture paint below the high temp. normal paint colors. Texture paint as normal to antiques is hard to reproduce but can be done with some looking.

    On reflector paint for scoops, once did my 10" scoops with silver spray paint. Long gone in sold off. Refinished some others in the past as if a clip light work light by way of removing the paint and buffing + shining that surface with lots of work in making a reflector. Got a 1920's Ovallite with Dracula blood in it that someone at some point also painted silver. Wouldn't do any such thing for a scoop these days, this especially for an antique.

    While I know most scoops are polished spun aluminum in reflector, and that reflects better than paint, Fuch's in the 1920's specifies white ceramic paint for such a reflector. That's what I would do for a proper or antique these days. This in a debate about if the scoop is to be soft reflected light or a reflector assembly. Even remember scraping such a coating off fixtures in the past to make them reflective. Still, and even if frosted lamps as the source of lamp in such a wattage wasn't available back than, a question of what softness of light one wants for the scoop as opposed to light output.

    Overall in concept a more diffuse source of light from a matt ceramic reflector, this especially if frosted in source will be more soft than that of a reflector and even clear source in light. That's a minute detail but one that might be detected in how one does a reflector. In general however, if doing a reflector, matt white if not ceramic white veses as opposed to painted reflector spun and polished reflector I think reflects more light.

    Powdercoating. Weird process, our other ME as it were in the old shop hooked up a stove at one point and was doing so with his own use of powder coating painting materials. Worked out well but very specilized and or for doing so in an oven, something that takes education in how the process works but can be done. On the other hand, powdercoating isn't as expensive as assumed. More a question of if you have time to wait and say that color is in use, or if in bulk, it's a little cheaper to have done than if this is only say one fixture to be done. Powdercoating isn't persay a question not reasonable to look into.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  8. church

    church Active Member

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    I use the Armourcoat BBQ paint it produces a nice satin black finish and is very even in its application. I have used engine paint which also works very well. I also repaint the insides of fixtures. I always mask of the the labels and decals on the outside of the fixture when they cannot be removed. Use a sharp knife to trim the masking tape neatly. Remember to mask off any cable clamps and the first few inches of the whip. This ensures you end up with a sharp looking fixture. It is amazing how a rough looking fixture that you would think is only ready for the dumpster can look like new with a good paint job and clean - throw in a new fibreglass sheath, any repairs and a bench focus and you have a good fixture. Usually for a few dollars and less than an hours worth of time.

    I usually repaint a fixture whenever I do any repairs to it this way my inventory stays in good shape.
     
  9. jonliles

    jonliles Active Member Fight Leukemia

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    All-
    Thanks for the input.

    These are part of my personal stock that I use to supplement the equipment at my daughter's school. If they look nice and clean, then the kids tend to treat them better!

    I think I will try one with the engine block paint and one with the grill paint...

    "Say it with love, say it with Krylon"....
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Remember they are going to smoke and smell for the first hour or so of use after fresh paint. Plan a good time when no one is around to give them a good burn in.
     
  11. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hopefully not but well put and thanks. Remember also as side point if smoking, after doing so re-clean the lamp, reflector and lenses before too long in otherwise that's also going to burn into them.
     
  12. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    On the inside of fixtures, "Stove Pipe" paint, black. Doesn't smoke as bad. No good on the outside as it does not wear well, but inside it holds up well. Never any lighter color as reflection just adds noise to the light pattern.
     

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