Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

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Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby chris oak » November 29th, 2017, 8:43 pm

Now that wintertime is rolling in, I'm getting ready to refinish one of my teak guns. What tips do you have regarding doing a epoxy color paint job? I've done clear finishes before but I want to do a black/blue swirl on it. This will be my goto shoredive white seabass gun and I like a nice finish on it because I'm going to be beating it on the rocks.

I plan on removing most of the hardware and using acetone to try to remove as much remaining teak oil as possible. Put a base coat of black tint west marine epoxy and then putting a wet black coat on it when it dries and then mixing in blue before the second black coat dries. Are there any other tips I need to know?
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Behslayer » November 30th, 2017, 1:05 am

Hi Chris, I'm sure there are a few ways to get the desired effect. If I were going for a Black gun with some Blue Swirl to it I'd go with these steps.
-Sand the Teak gun down to 220 then Acetone wipe it let it dry then scuff it with 100.
-I'm not sure if you are using a Rotisserie set up or just hanging it. Some kind of horizontal spinning set up is always best.
-I'd coat that gun with a few build coats of Black. I'm not sure about using black tinted Epoxy, it has a tendency to run thinner and the pigments to pool, so you'd need to do a few build coats. when I say Build coats I mean kind of slopping it on and letting it spin and self level and then putting on another coat as it get's tacky. I'd do a few coats ie 3-4. If it were my own gun I'd consider using Graphite as the tint or in addition to the tint.
-I'd let it sit for a few days and harden to the point that when you sand it it's chalky white. I'd flat sand this with an orbital sander with 320, and make it flush. A Light is key so you can see the shadows. Then I'd scuff this up with 100-220 so the next coats will hold nice. If you used Graphite, you can expect a mess. definitely wear gloves, respirator.. I had some great Coveralls I'd pick up at Army Navy store Surplus. I'd vacuum this to get all the dust off.
-For the Swirl coats I'd mix up two colors. Your Black whether it's tints, graphite, or a mix. (graphite is more of a matte look but could be cool), the other color will be your Blue. Now I'm not sure about this part because you want the Blue to 'Pop' so it should be fairly light and quite concentrated. One thing I'd do is mix in some Candy, like Silver or Gold Metallic Flake this will add some 'pop'.. Then I'd put on what looks like an abstract bad camo of patches or lines etc of Black and Blue. At this point I'd either hang the blank one way, and then reverse it's direction 10 minutes later, or let it spin on a rotisserie or a mix.
-Based on how that turned out I'd possibly add another coat like that.
-Once I'm happy with the effect, I'd slop on 3+ clear coats.
-Then I'd let it cure, flat sand to 320. Vacuum away any dust, and Topcoat with a thin layer of Clear coat.
But I'm sure there's a few ways to do it. Might be some less labor intensive.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby chris oak » November 30th, 2017, 8:05 am

Many thanks Jon, wow I had no idea that it takes so many steps! I have an old rod wrapping machine dryer but I didn't think about hanging it and spinning it, the last time I just hung the gun and unfortunately got some spots that dried in a drop shape. I just sanded it off and then hit it with a light touch up.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Behslayer » November 30th, 2017, 10:42 am

Yeah, I don't mean hanging it and spinning it.. The ideal is you slop on the colors, then hang it rightside up for 10 or so minutes, then reverse it and hang it upside down for 10 or so minutes, then put it on the rotisserie and let it self level, you can also just do some abstract painting and then put it on the rotisserie and let it self level and can turn out cool too.. Hanging is not the best way for drying the Epoxy.. it's self leveling so when you hang it forms drops etc hanging is okay if you use reallly thin coats for clear, but for what you are trying to do the swirl effects kind of require thick coats. So the hanging is just to get those Blues and Blacks moving and intermeshing a little then you return to rotisserrie for a leveling cure. Yeah... it's a process. If you want it to be nice. If you don't care if it's imperfect or ripply, etc you can skip half the steps. But if you want it to be Guitar quality...
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Bill McIntyre » December 1st, 2017, 2:17 pm

Now I'm reminded why I think a coat of oil every few months is all a teak gun needs.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Behslayer » December 1st, 2017, 8:34 pm

I guess.. but I can Epoxy finish a gun quicker than I can Oil Finish one, but I'm a stickler when it comes to Oil Finishes.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Bill McIntyre » December 2nd, 2017, 6:07 am

I’m sure you have higher standards for an oil finish. When I had guns that didn’t come with epoxy, I’d rub on one coat of tung oil when they started to look bleached out. I’ve known two different guys who owned Riffe Islands that looked like white driftwood on the beach. When one of them was visiting from Hawaii I offered to rub some oil on and he grabbed the gun back from me. He took pride in the fact that his gun was so faded. It still worked and that’s all he cared about.

In Chris’s case he said this is his beach dive gun. It seems like wasted energy to put so much work into a gun that’s going to get trashed on the rocks anyway, but I guess I’m lazy.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby chris oak » December 2nd, 2017, 10:08 am

That's why I like the resin to lay on thick, it protects the gun from the constant beating on the rocks. I don't care about scratches, I just don't want splintering mainly.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby phil herranen » December 2nd, 2017, 7:49 pm

Bill , the difference is I have only refinished epoxy guns a couple times in the last 15 years , oil needs constant maintaining, and scratches go into the actual wood , on a epoxy gun it's a sacrificial layer and you never damage or sand into the actual wood ..
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby phil herranen » December 2nd, 2017, 7:54 pm

Once you get the process down you shouldn't need to sand at all , you can get some really cool effects when you know what different fillers ,solvents,and pigments do to the resin
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby chris oak » December 3rd, 2017, 11:03 am

Phew that's sick Phil, beautiful end product.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Behslayer » December 3rd, 2017, 7:29 pm

Phil that's pretty trippy, cool how you have so much depth. True. If you got it down you could skip the Sanding and Curing process to get a black starter and just keep running. But, unless you got a real smooth spinner, controlled environment, and some practice, you can get some irregularity, uneven build up, waviness. If you do it all in one shot and then decide that you want to give a flat sand and then clearcoat, you might wind up sanding off some of your Blues. For this reason, it can be beneficial to use a two step process where you start with a flat all black base, then add your colors. That way if things get crazy.. ie dust, bugs, uneven waviness, lumps, etc when you sand flush you'll still be having some of your blues in place after you sand. I never had a really controlled environment for Epoxy finishing, ie completely dust free, but if you can fashion one, and you have a smooth spinner, ie no jerky motion, then you can do it all in one continuous process.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby ryno » February 11th, 2018, 10:27 pm

Chris, let's see the refinished guns! :)
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby chris oak » February 12th, 2018, 9:40 am

The first gun turned out way better than my other two I did simultaneously afterwards, it was because I wasn't trying to rush doing the finish before it dried on two guns. Word to the wise: do one gun at a time. One of the guns was so bad I couldn't stand it, there were uneven runs all over it and it looked horrible. I sanded it level with a random orbital sander and hit it with a very light coat of epoxy.

I also did an experiment where I mistakingly had sanded too much and the wood showed through. I talked to our fiberglass guy at work, he said that using paint is tricky because if it's the wrong paint it will bubble up. The gun looked horrible and I figured I might have to resand the whole thing anyway so I used some epoxy spray paint and let it dry hard, then I coated it with the same clear coat epoxy and it came out pretty nice. On my next gun I might just do a clear coat, sand it, and then spray paint it and recoat it again.

The first gun I did has been through a lot of reef and boat abuse and the finish is definitely holding up better than the raw wood was.

Reexpoxying a gun is a royal pain in the ass though because you have to sand off the gun, remove all the mechs and then mask it off. I suck at masking and the resin ended up getting through it and clogging up vital areas that I had to chisel out later. I also had a problem because I was doing several coats of different colors etc and had to let them dry, it dried so hard it was super difficult to remove the tape and the tape had to be cut out. If I wasn't so lazy I should have removed the tape when the finish was still tacky and then retaped it later.

Refinishing guns might be on my top ten list of stuff I hate doing.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Bill McIntyre » February 12th, 2018, 12:20 pm

I’m humbled by your work ethic. I could never put in that much work. I just got a teak gun and settled for about 10 light coats of Tung Oil. I say “about” because I lost track but I think it will do. I don’t shore dive and I carry my guns in a rack on the boat, so they aren’t really subject to deep gouges.

The biggest challenge they face is when i go someone else’s boat and they get shoved in a bait tank, but that doesn’t happen often.
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby chris oak » February 21st, 2018, 2:11 pm

by the way, here's the before I finished it. Dam took it to baja and when it came back it looked like it was dragged behind the truck :(
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Re: Tips for Refinishing a Gun?

Postby Robert Watson » February 21st, 2018, 3:32 pm

Hey Guys,
I just wanted to thank you for this thread. This is some really great info. Thanks for taking the time.
RW
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