first, figure what your end use will be. working tractor or trailer queen show tractor. then consider your budget. last, your skill level as a painter (throw patience in there too). for a show tractor, with a big budget, and decent painting skills, go with a base /clear. ball park 500 to 800 for materials. then 80 hours or so of prep work. if your budget is a little less, then a good single stage urethane. like the omni au or napa's crossfire. you'll need to stay in their paint line start to finish, primers, sealers, surfacers, reducers,hardeners ect, to be on the safe side and avoid any material conflicts. also, the materials are toxic as h*ll. paint suit, nitrile gloves, fresh air system, booth ect. even the new water bornes are toxic. i have heard of at least 8 painters that are having health problems from water born. it absorbs directly in the skin, so suit up accordingly. at the low end of cost is the farm and fleet type valspar alkyd enamel. it is low cost, easy to apply and really forgiving. does not have the performance of high line automotive refinishes. next up is the modifyed alkyds and then the urethane modifyed alkys. they are all industrial type coatings. they offer protection and an acceptable finish.adding hardener increases the performance of the coating, but also adds the additional isocyanates. for a nice shine with alkyds, i shoot 3 to 4 coats. first coat is a tack coat, very light just to get some color, dont need 100 percent coverage. next coat apply heavy enough to get it all filled out. final coat will be a wet coat so you get a real good shine, but not enough to run. that is a little tricky and takes practice. paint between 70 and 85 degrees with low humidity. if its humid, it will blush. you can apply the aklyds warmed up, helps with the flash time. use a pan with hot water (about 100 degrees) to get your paint temp up. lots and lots of options....
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