Question about Rustoleum Appliance paint for frames


Just keep pluggin' every day and it'll get done!
I'm aware that many people have used Rustoleum Appliance paint for motorcycle frames.
I'd appreciate advice from people who've actually got experience using this product.

I have a number of Honda 4s I want to modestly restore. So far I've stripped them down and power-washed each chassis. I'm about to bead blast each one with the primary objective of stripping only rusted areas to bare metal - I'll carefully wet sand the original finish so long as it's otherwise in good shape. I don't have the capacity to entirely strip these frames to bare metal.

My first question is that Rustoleum's advice for the appliance paint is that no priming is necessary. That's basically the sum total of their online information. I've sent them a query but I'm not holding out for a detailed response. Normally with some sort of automotive paint, an etching primer would be a wise choice. Can anyone comment on Rustoleum appliance paint applied to bare metal?

My second concern is how well appliance paint adheres to original finishes - any problems? Any advice about preparation, etc. would be much appreciated.
Blast it, wipe it with acetone, and spray it. 3 Coats and done. It works great.

I've used it for the frames and anything black on my past few projects. This is with no primer, some bare spots on the frame where I blasted and where the OEM paint was good, I left it and just scuffed it.

I used an etching primer on the XL350 under the appliace epoxy and it wasn't worth the extra time. I generally just blast to bare metal and spray DTM.

Awesome response! Thanks advCo!
I knew I came to the right place!
Re: Question about Rustoleum Appliance paint for frame

This isn't really an answer to your question--just a comment. After spending all that time and effort I would want to know that the paint will hold up. Most noncatalyzed paint will not hold up to gasoline or solvents. The durability can't compare with a catalyzed paint. If painting equipment is an issue then you can buy single stage 2k in a spray can. The two components are separated in the can. You activate the paint when you are ready to spray. After all the prep work, you can be confident that your paint job will last.
Appliance epoxy, when properly applied and cured, is fuel resistant. Ask my leaky float how I know. ;)
Honda didn't use catalyzed paint, nor did they even clear over it. In fact they used a crude primer/paint combo on frames and the application was very hit/miss. If you've ever bead blasted a chassis even with a small home system, you'll find that frequently the paint on the underside of a chassis will strip right off in an instant, it's that thin. By comparison, if you check the projects here, lots of people have had great success with rattle cans. You might realize that paint technology in a can these days is far superior to the "basic black" that Honda shot on frames back in the 70s.

Now on to more important news. I actually received a useful response from Rustoleum. My query was basically, "what primer should I use on bare metal before applying Rustoleum Appliance paint."

Their response was a bit of a surprise - "I would recommend that you use the Tremclad Primer and then the Tremclad oil based paint or the Tremclad Professional Enamel". I didn't realize that Tremclad was owned by them. I used the flat black primer, let it sit for about 20 minutes (max time to recoat is 1 hour) then went over with the gloss. And incidentally, I know a few folks who have used Tremclad with good success - one guy painted the tank and side covers on CB900C daily driver about five years back. Another guy who is a fastidious restoration man found a Tremclad color that closely matched the red/orange used by Honda in the 60's.

Lastly, a word about clear over rattle can paints. I did some tests on an old tank last year, first applying combo prime/paint from Rustoleum then clearing over with automotive 2K urethane clear. At first I had some clouding and microscopic crazing on the finish after the clear coat. I checked with a local paint guru and he said that the rattle can stuff just needs to "off-gas" longer because the paint is so dense. Even though it was 90F during the day and the surface temp of the part was 130F, a few days in the sun was not enough. I applied the same Rustoleum to a tank and side covers for an 83 750 Shadow for my son, let it off-gas for two weeks, then applied the urethane and it all came out very nice.

Now I have to knock the mirrors off my Cadillac! ;D


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Tremclad Professional Enamel is Rust-Oleum 7578838 repackaged for the Canadian market, fwiw.
I have a similar question, but it's about the blasting required. Do I need to take the whole frame back to bare metal? Or just rough up the surface so the new paint adheres?
Psychopasta said:
I have a similar question, but it's about the blasting required. Do I need to take the whole frame back to bare metal? Or just rough up the surface so the new paint adheres?
See post #2 in this thread.
Psychopasta said:
and is that blast it to the bare metal?

Not sure why this is so hard. If you blast something, are you really going to leave paint on it? If you have rust, blast it off down to clean metal. If there's paint there, scuff it up.
Thanks advCo. I guess that was the bit I wasn't getting: I totally get removing rust and scuffing the existing non-rusted paint, but I thought maybe the advice was to just blast the whole thing down to the metal in any case
Psychopasta said:
Thanks advCo. I guess that was the bit I wasn't getting: I totally get removing rust and scuffing the existing non-rusted paint, but I thought maybe the advice was to just blast the whole thing down to the metal in any case

If you have the means to blast the whole thing, you will get good results. Personally I don't have a blast cabinet that can fit a frame so I opt to spot blast rust and leave original paint, scuff and paint over. It really doesn't make much of a difference as long as your surface has some tooth for the new paint to grab onto and is clean.
I kind of did a test using the appliance enamel and had excellent results. My "sweep the floor" project the past two years is a Honda CL360. Like advCo I don't have a blast cabinet and blast outdoors. I blasted the rusty areas, wire wheeled the rest. I primed the frame with cheap WalMart brand red oxide primer and then three coats of Rustoleum Black Appliance enamel. I ran out of room in the garage so the frame sat outside for over a year. It still looks good and i am very pleased with the outcome.
About blasting - I switched from soda to bead blasting last year because the soda residue is a PIA. With bead, for clean-up you can just blow off the dust and prior to paint, wipe with acetone and you're done. With soda, if you don't really wash the part, that residue can remain, causing corrosion and stopping paint from adhering. I gave up on soda after I worked on a headlight bucket that was great on the outside and peppered with rust on the inside. I ran it through electrolysis to clean that up, soda blasted it to a consistent sheen, then wiped it down and painted with Tremclad. Six months later it was peeling and rusted. No more soda. :mad:

For items too large for my cabinet, I scrounged a 10 X 10 tarp shed. I keep the cabinet in there. I have a tarp on the floor so when I'm "open" blasting, that tarp allows me to still reclaim the bead, run it through a sieve and reuse it. El Cheapo rides again! 8)

I remove the "floor tarp", lightly power wash the interior so I can use the same structure for painting. It's working out well so far. But now the weather here on Canada's Pacific coast is turning now, about 50F in the morning - all too soon that will be our high for the day. I have some very important tanks and side covers (Sandcast CB750 etc.) to paint with House of Kolor basecoat/clear metallics and some flake work. So I'm going to throw a ceramic heater in the shed to warm it. I'll shut it off when painting to avoid explosion risk. I'm El Cheapo, not Wile E Coyote :D I'll turn it on a while after the painting is done.

For bead blasting, I'm using .5 to .8 material (assuming it's microns). Bead cuts faster than soda, doesn't cake with moisture and generally feeds better using the same gun I used for soda - just an El Cheapo Campbell Hausfeld siphon gun. I have a 3HP compressor running 80-110 psi with a 30 gallon tank plus another 30 gallon tank for extra storage. Bead will not strip good solid paint, but it removes the oxidized surface. Unlike doing tanks, I see no reason to fully strip a frame. Rust is no problem. I've reused the old bead about five times. However, I found one thing people may want to remember.

I've so far done five Honda frames (two 350F, two 400F and a CL450) none of which were really nasty to start with, but they had some scuffs and rusted areas. I found one consistent issue - the underside of the sheet metal parts welded across the top frame rails for supporting/attaching battery boxes etc. are very poorly painted - the blaster blew that crap off and took those areas to bare metal with a quick pass. :eek: You may not notice this if you're hand sanding in those hard-to+get-at areas. Those places are not in plain view, but you don't want your new paint peeling off and rusting. So beware. ;)

I've painted all those frames following the advice of Rustoleum, Tremclad primer followed by Rustoleum black paint. I'm surprised they didn't go along with my suggestion of using Appliance paint but I didn't question them on that issue. Bottom line, the results are just fine. I've left several outside and there's no issues so far. I hope to have the first 400F assembled in about a month.
I have had excellent luck with Appliance epoxy.
Much better luck than with VHT or similar.

My method is blast or sand to scuff, clean with acetone.
Paint it on in 2 or 3 coats.
Then set it in a corner and DON"T TOUCH IT for a week or more.
Once it's cured its bombproof. Gas doesn't touch it. Brake fluid doesn't touch it.

I did an engine with POR15 engine enamel and the side covers in Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy. Float suck and a ton of gas drained overnight. The por 15 was ruined, the rustoleum didn't even notice.
I have used regular Rustoleum spray paint for years for everything from wheels, side covers, oil tanks , exhausts, brackets, and just about any small item that needed paint. On one of my BMWs the wheels were painted over 10 years ago and the paint is still perfect. Usually I don't use
The main thing is to really deep clean the item painted and using a lint free cloth wipe it down with lacquer thinner. Here is a wheel that I did for the Ducati F1 replica I am currently working on.
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