Race Lawnmower Painting Tips
If you plan to paint your race lawnmower engine, here are two invaluable tips. Use high-heat paint. Use a light color such as yellow. If you have a small oil leak, it will immediately show up on the yellow paint. This alert may spare you from a DNF, a racer’s worst nightmare.
Prior to applying the paint, you will spend countless hours prepping the surface to be painted. This is tedious work, but the reward is a great-looking finish. Sand the entire surface of your race lawnmower with a minimum of 200 grit. Grits lower than 200 leave deep grooves in the surface that are only accentuated by the fresh coat of paint. After sanding, clean the surface with water to remove the dust, and then use a solvent-based cleaner to remove any oil or grease on the surface.
Safety is always a concern when painting. Tape off any items that you don’t want painted. Use household masking tape and newspaper or plastic. Cover and protect the wiring, battery, and any rubber components including the tires from the solvent and paint. And, only paint your race lawnmower in a well-ventilated area. Be sure there is no chance of sparks or open flames.
Wear a proper respirator. I have heard several horror stories of first-time painters damaging their lungs while painting just one vehicle. Three-part paints with a catalyst are especially dangerous. You may also want to wear a hat, unless of course you are painting your race lawnmower orange and tomorrow is Halloween.
To keep the dust off of your fresh paint job, wet the floor down prior to painting or cover the floor with paper or plastic. Dust and dirt are the enemies of a quality paint finish. The optimum temperature range for painting is generally 70 to 80F degrees.
The key to a professional finish on your race lawnmower is to first apply primer coat . Hold the spray nozzle 6 to 8 inches from the paint surface. Allow the primer to dry, and then wet-sand the surface with a fine paper, 320 grit or higher. Clean the surface once again using a solvent-based cleaner.
Now your race lawnmower is read for the finishing coats. Applying 2 or 3 coats will create a brighter finish. For the adventurous, you may want to apply a final clear-coat for added sheen. If you choose to do so, you must allow the paint to dry for 12 hours prior to applying the clear-coat.
Before heading out to christen the new paint job on your race lawnmower take a few photos for your sponsor and friends.