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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - alternative to spraying?

I read some time ago about paint that you can brush on that has almost as good results as spraying. . . Cant remember what it's called. . . Can anyone help or tell me what their experience of this is. I am not concerned about it looking showroom but presentable from 10 yards with squinted eyes!
d j kirk

have a look at this
a friend of my sons dad coachpainted a 1930 rolls he has rebuilt looks like a sprayed finnish
mark 1500 nearly on the road

The VW camper brigade appear to apply it by roller and brush.
Alan Anstead
Guy W

I have painted this car with brushes using 2-pack polyurethane paint, and then cut it back with a machine. OK, close up it isn't completely smooth like a modern car, but it looks fine to me. In any case the GRP isn't dead flat either.

Mike Howlett

You can get as good, if not a better finish with a brush than with spraying. There are some "ifs" though.
Firstly you need brushes with a fine - preferably with the natural point to the end of each hair (not bristle!) rather than all cut to length, as in cheaper brushes. This way you minimise the brush strokes that are quite visible.
Secondly, many coats with flatting down between.
Thirdly, LOTS of patience.
I used to make violins as a profession, and this was the only way to varnish them, with high quality brushes and much time spent on the preparation, application and flatting down and final polishing. If desired, one could obtain a mirror like finish with no imperfections, but this tended to make them look factory made!
For small touch in jobs, I still find my old skills useful (if I can be ar*ed - I'd rather be driving it!)
Dominic Excell

Have you looked into automotive wraps...

ive seen a truck done in camo, looked great, several good youtube vids on wraps

Here is a link I googled as an example... id be a fan of this without the advert graphics just the paint color... plus, not alot of fine detail body work, and looks way easier then painting


Prop and the Blackhole Midget

Here is a youtube vid for how to do a auto wrap

Prop and the Blackhole Midget

There used to be a product called REPAINT, a brushable paint available in many standard car colours, I used it in the 70s to paint a 65 Anglia. Gave a really good finish too! Doubt very much if it's still available.


Yes, that was Cannon Repaint.

I've tried googling it, without success.
Dave O'Neill2

can I ask why you would want to hand paint rather than spray ? are you doing a car, or a panel ?
I have to say when I sprayed my midget, I found it one of the most enjoyable parts of my rebuild, that said the Elan pictured by Mike looks very good indeed.
I never contemplated doing my car any other way so am interested in where this thread goes.
P Bentley

I have tried both spraying and brush. For areas you cannot normally see, my technique is fine - otherwise it is awful, mainly as I don't do it every day.

Personally I would bite the bullet and go to a spray pro for anything topsides - as it were. They do it for a living, should have the experience and the technique, and can do it again if they mess it up.

You can save a bit by doing the prepwork yourself....
Mark O

Yes but for those of us that can take a piece of wood and enhance its looks through varnish and paint like Dom says then its wonderful to be able to brush and roller. I used to varnish racing kayaks, (hot moulded hardwood veneer in the old days), racing paddles, (the same), racing sailing dinghies. (as previous and marine ply construction). Its my choice every day.

In control, can decide on level of finish, and by gum it sounds like a lot less sheckles.

Thanks for the pointers fellas. I am chasing this one up as a way forward to get less ratty.
Dave Squire 1500

I painted my MGA in the 1960s. I used coach enamel and got a fantastic finish. Though I say it myself, my painting technique has always been good. You do need good brushes and a lot of patience. One thing you cannot do is compound out blemishes as enamel (unlike cellulose or two pack) takes a long time to fully harden.
Chris Hasluck

Here's a great article on the subject.

BRUSH PAINTING by Chris Benallick. Vintage Motocycle Club.
Lawrence Slater

I decided to brush pain the frame on my BSA over the winter, I hate the look of powder coating and I just thought it would look better painted with coach enamel. I used Tekaloid which I think is mentioned in the first link.

It is amazing paint and is really nice to work with, it's given a nice finish to my frame and in some places it looks almost as good as sprayed, without trying or flatting back.

The main problem I found is that in a cold garage it takes ages to dry. About two days to touch dry and a few weeks to harden enough to handle with confidence. Obviously at warmer temps it should be much better.

The stuff I got was on eBay and came with primer which is also excellent.
john payne

Really helpful comments as always. . . P bennet, The main benefit I see in brush rather than spray is for my wallet. Its not the whole car I want doing just a couple of panels.
Thanks guys (prop's suggestion of camo-wrapping my midget was pretty leftfield. . . Never thought of that I have to admit!!!)
d j kirk

As John (Hall) I also painted a 1960s Wolseley 1500 with IIRC, Parsons Repaint. It was an enamel and I foolishly decided to spray it without proper breathing equipment. I do remember being sick as a dog afterwards. It was though a great finish!

Jeremy Tickle

John Payne

Interesting on the BSA - I want to repaint my 1947 Ariel frame and that stuff sound just the job.... what about the tinware?


Mark O

Mark, not sure on the tinware as I've not got any! It's a C15T (T for Trials) so alloy guards etc.

I've got the oil tank to do but even that is small so not as difficult as a big full length mudguard for example.

My other BSA was done by my dad in the same stuff and the mudguards look good, not perfect like a spray job but passable for a decent restoration. Some bikes you see these days are way over restored in my opinion, powder coating that looks out of character and paint jobs that are better than the factory could have ever done back then.

Here's the front hub I did with the Tekaloid:

john payne

And here's the bike pre restoration:

john payne

Nice C15 John. In fact, I think your before pic looks better than my after fix up. But, then my before was pretty rough. I sprayed it though.

There was quite a trend I noticed a year or so ago about using roller to paint cars. I'm sure an Internet search would bring up a lot of info.

Here is my C15 Star before, to be follwed up with the after.


C R Huff

And here is the C15 after a penny pinching fix up.


C R Huff


That painted hub works fine for me! Very good job. If that is the quality one can achieve, tinware should be just fine.


Mark O

Whoops, I feel a thread drift coming on.

I'm salivating. It must be a pavlovian reaction.

When I was a kid, I used to positively drool over the new Starfires in Elite motors in Garret lane tooting. Me and most of my mates that is. You could ride one as a learner, so that's what I wanted for my first bike.

I ended up with a Lambretta Li150 :( -- Which not long after became a whole whopping 175 LOLOL.

Never stopped drooling over the beezers, even though years later I finally settled for a T140D US spec Bonne.

I wouldn't mind a Starfire now though. How much for a decent one you reckon?

Lawrence Slater


Your Lotus Elan coupe shell look great! Without getting in trouble for 'non Midget content' on this forum - what's the story of the car, rebuild and future use?

Rather late to ask - guess you have found Allscot fibreglass supplies in Glasgow? I found them really helpful when repairing my Reliant SST.

Also have you seen the Maurice Willins books on grp car body repair and painting, available as a reprint in a single volume from Lotus Books in Germany ( I see you are in Troon - I am in Prestwick if you want to borrow a copy (but looks like you do not need it!)

M Wood

Lawrence, about 2-3k for a decent Starfire. They come up on eBay fairly often.

Here's my other BSA toy, been in the family since 1980 and has seen quite a bit of action over the years!:

john payne

Love seeing old bikes. Makes me feel young again. LOL.
Lawrence Slater

This thread was discussed between 13/04/2014 and 17/04/2014

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