FYI, Stewart Systems EkoPoly Dry Times

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
767
Location
New Jersey, USA
#1
Finally got around to spraying the base color yesterday (EkoPoly) and went about laying on the first three "fog" coats. My shop was somewhere between 70 and 75 degrees and the coats weren't drying as quickly as they seem to dry in the youtube videos. By the third coat I was starting to see the beginning of orange peel so I stopped for the night and will have to sand the surface a little to even out the finish and to get the top layer ready for more paint.

Not a total disaster but thought I'd share for anyone that is giving this a try for the first time as I am. You can definitely see in some places how nice it's all going to look when it's done so it sucks and it's exciting at the same time.

Just plan a little more time between coats if the temps are in the low range, that seems to be the lesson here. :)
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
767
Location
New Jersey, USA
#2
Learned something new today, the videos on Stewart's youtube used an older formulation that had a shorter pot life so there was more of a rush to get the paint on before it timed out. The new EkoPoly has a longer pot life which I knew but I didn't put two and two together to recognize I'd have lots of time between coats to let them set up. Instead of going right into the next coat I was told it was okay to wait thirty minutes if I had to to let the prior coat tack up enough.

I also probably wasn't running enough air as my gun was set for about 22 psi so I've got to up the air to better atomize the paint.

Tomorrow's another day! A little sanding, a couple of coats of paint and we're back!
 

Bartman

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
767
Location
New Jersey, USA
#3
Was thinking about this some more, the recommended technique is to put down three "fog" coats followed by a heavier top coat. My experience has been that by the time you're applying the third fog coat there is enough paint on the fabric for it to begin flowing. By flowing I mean the tiny little droplets that are encouraged to build texture can start joining up with each other, usually resulting in a very fine orange peel effect.

So it seems that while you can get away with not waiting as long before putting a second slightly heavier fog coat over the first, the paint really needs to be as described in the manual (tacky to the touch with no transfer onto your knuckle when touched) before adding the third fog coat. This will ensure that the paint can't move around when the third fog coat, which is heavier than the first and second but still relatively fine compared to the final top coat, is sprayed.

If you don't have color saturation after three fog coats then another fog coat can be added but with each additional coat there is a greater chance of the orange peel forming, especially if you're not waiting long enough for the last coat to tack up.

:)