I tweaked the air pressure, paint flow control, and added water to thin, but could not get a nice auto-finish. An air pressure of 60 SPI worked best, good pattern; I adjusted the flow control down to avoid huge droplets of paint but not so far as to stop the flow all together; and I added water to try to get smaller droplets. In the end, the sprayer seemed to perform properly.
Wondering if this is just the results a DTM paint will yield? Or is it likely I needed to thin the paint even more?
My guy at the paint store said I would not need to thin at all and online sources suggested a couple teaspoons of water to 8 oz would do it, and I likely added more than that.
Has anyone every gotten similar results and can point to what I did wrong?
Overall, I am fine with the results on these panels as they do not have breaks like the other panels and the finish is actually pretty nice, but when I go after my lower panels I definitely want to nail that auto-finish to match the other panels with breaks. Thanks in advance.
Thanks NCCamper, and thanks for the "How to paint your camper for $200" post. A lot of detail in that post but I was able to step through and pull it off. Did not think I could, so thanks for boiling it down the way you did.
Good to know water based paints can be tricky, thinking the guidance I was given on thinning was just wrong. My paint guy actually said I had to roll it after I sprayed it, ha... so why am I spraying it I asked myself.
Next attempt on getting the auto-finish look I'll bake-in some more experimentation time, but guessing I had to thin it a bit more.
Quick update on my direct to metal (DTM) paint experience. Painted the street side skirts. Thinned even more than last time, closer to 4:1 paint to water. Finish definitely came out better, but still a slight granular finish. Not like 220 grit sandpaper, I don't have any handy, but maybe like a 1,000 grit sandpaper. I could try to thin further, but at this point it is hard to tell any difference from the original panels without rubbing your hand across them (I am keeping the upper side panels as they are in good shape). Guessing more thinning might get me to that smooth auto finish, but perhaps this is what you get with DTM and my inexpensive sprayer?
Anyway, the good, DTM seems very durable. I believe DTM is an acrylic and it certainly seems like it will take a beating. Gather the verdict is out on longevity as DTMs are new. I followed NC Camper's post again, but this time I put on 4 coats, about 45 minutes apart. First two coats didn't cut it, you could still see the original finish in places, where the spray pattern was not dense enough. Which is weird too, you would think that would indicate the paint was to thin. That aside, the extra coats within an hour worked great. Tough to see detail in the photos but here you go: