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Powder coat, spray paint, marine paint, etc for a marathon carriage?

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  • Powder coat, spray paint, marine paint, etc for a marathon carriage?

    Ok, so my project this month is refurbishing a Kuhnle marathon carriage. It's not bad but starting to rust and the vinyl/wood on the seats need replaced. So i've got it mostly sanded down and trying to figure out if i want to completely remove the brakes for this or just tape them off... When i'm wondering how the heck i should paint it...

    There is a guy here in town that does powder coating, he also sand blasts and it could kinda use that if it were to look show worthy, vs. my sanding to scuff it up to hold paint on... This might be rather expensive though...

    I had originally thought i would get marine paint or something and spray it on with a paint sprayer... But this could be rather messy.

    Then i thought to heck with it, it would be cheaper to hit it with rustoleum spray paint and easy to touch up later...

    So for those that might have repainted a steel vehicle... What did you use? I know it will never be perfect, and mostly i dont care so long as i stop the rust and make it look decent... It's also going from burgundy to black because somehow i keep getting good deals on burgundy vehicles and i cant stand burgundy...
    Your Horse's Home On The Road!

  • #2
    The best rust preventative. POR15 http://www.por15.com/
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


    • #3
      I just finished refinishing a Kuhnle marathon in October under the tutelage of some expert carriage restorers. It looks wonderful!

      From this experience, I have these comments:

      1. Sand as much as you can stand, then sand some more. If I had been at my home, I would have looked into buying a soda blaster.

      2. The carriage guys refused to take the brakes off, saying that they might never get them back on. Tape them instead.

      3. While powder coating looks nice, it requires baking in an oven. I don't know if your powder coater would have an oven big enough for a carriage.

      4. Painting was done with an air compressor + automotive paint sprayer. A reddish primer coat went on first. The paint, a glossy black Valspar from Tractor supply, was thinned. Three coats were used. Care was taken to mask off the brakes and rubber on the wheels and anything that didn't need paint.

      5. Prior to painting, I took all the wood off, sanded it, stained it, varnished and replaced all of the hardware.

      6. I let the experts do the pin-striping. With the right pin-striping tool, it appeared to be fairly easy - though painstaking.

      7. I wrote to Kuhnle in Germany and to my surprise and happiness, they sent me two Kuhnle decals and a very nice note via Luftpost!

      8. I could not be happier with my carriage. The carriage folks customized the shafts to fit my horse. It also comes with a pole.

      Last edited by Zwarte; Nov. 5, 2011, 11:57 PM. Reason: Edited to add pictures


      • #4
        I was advised that powder coating was the best thing for carriages and that most of the ones made in Poland are done that way.

        The guy that was going to do mine quoted me $1500 to take it all apart, have it sand blasted and then powder coated. Since he is the one that rebuilt the brakes I had no problem with him taking them off and putting them back on.

        The reason he said they powder coat them is because if you do ding it there are layers of paint and you are less likely to get down to the metal.

        Oh, that quote including painting the wheels. Can't be powder coated because of the rubber.
        Kanoe Godby
        See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


        • #5
          What caused you to not powder coat after all?


          • #6
            It was my pair carriage and one of the pair died.... So no need for a spiffy pair carriage for the time being.
            Kanoe Godby
            See, I was raised by wolves and am really behind the 8-ball on diplomatic issue resolution.


            • #7
              If you choose to paint at home, get an EXPENSIVE respiration mask, that will be able to filter the paint finest particles from what air you breathe. Really important, to prevent lung damage, so don't go cheap here. A very good mask is heavily emphasized by all the spray paint folks we know. Leave the mask on until you leave the paint area, particles hang in the air, you can't see them. And change the filters fairly often to breathe the cleanest possible air. Particles will build up in the filters, reducing effectiveness, according to our painting friends.

              Husband also uses the air compresser powered sprayer with auto paint for carriage repainting. Paint will stick better using the primer coat first, sanding, then finish coats. Thinning paint as Zwarte said, is also recommended. Better to do several thin layers, than one drippy heavy one. Painting with correct air temps, low humidity for drying, helps make for a better job if you don't have a heated paint room.


              • #8
                We repaired a 1972 model Jerald roadmaster A, one of the little saddlebred carts. The Jerald people use auto paint with a clearcoat. DH brushed it, thinned, sanded, did it again and actually isn't quite done. He's also been practicing pinstriping, which is a whole lot harder than it looks. He can do flowers and designs but a perfectly straight line that maintains its thickness is really hard. I guess that's why a lot of the auto people went to decals.

                Anyway IIRC Jerald uses PPG paints.

                If we really wanted to restore this cart we'd take it to a body shop and have them paint it, but the color scheme for the seat cushion, dash and "spots" is long discontinued so we are just going for reasonably attractive working cart.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible


                • #9
                  Sorry to hear about your horse's death, CDE driver. From what my carriage folks told me, powder coating is cost effective if done prior to assembly.

                  But an older carriage? That would depend. The cost of supplies for my redo was less than $200 - and that included every kind of sanding device, paints, thinners, cleaners, varnishes, stains etc. So that might figure in.

                  For pin striping, this is the device that the carriage folks used.




                  • Original Poster

                    Holy Smokes Zwarte, wish i could bring mine to you and pay you to do it!!! I dont know that mine will end up so pretty... I would love to pin stripe it, but i'm iffy if i really want to or not. I've got a new pony and i figure it's gonna get beat up some, easier to touch up without a pin stripe there... It's currently only got pin stripe wheels.

                    Did you sand the old K decals off or were you able to get yours off? Mine will not come off for nothing. I've been trying to sand it off, it's being stubborn as all get out.

                    Good to know about the brakes, i'll leave them on. It's got a front brake, that was previously disabled, and truth be told, i dont care to have it either... So i was thinking about maybe removing that one completely instead of just taking the brake pads off and electric tape the ends up like it is presently...

                    I have never painted something like this before, and i do have a heated garage to use, but will have to put up plastic floor to ceiling to keep paint off everything. I hadnt even thought about thinning the paint, good idea on that, i was worried about drips and runs.

                    I'll keep sanding at this point. Mine has some kind of tape under the paint on everywhere one might hold on to, i'm guessing for grip, but man is that a pain to get sanded out!

                    I dont know at all what kind of quote i'll get on powder coating it. My Uncle had his motorcycle frame done early this year and was thrilled with the results on it... But now i'm a bit leery to look into that as the brakes would have to come off to have it done... And i hadnt thought about the fact the wheels obviously couldnt go in the oven with the rubber! I think i'll just try to paint it. But i'm seriously thinking having it sandblasted might really be a great option to keep my sanity!!!

                    Thanks for the ideas guys, i was really feeling over my head there, but now i've got some direction and i know it's possible!
                    Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                    • #11
                      Coupla thoughts:

                      1. If sandblasting is in your budget, then go for it. An alternative is a soda blaster.

                      2. My carriage did not have decals on it - so no advice there. Just keep sanding. I used electric sanders as well as hand sanders.

                      3. If you are going to replace the "some kind of tape under the paint on everywhere one might hold on to" then don't worry about that area too much.
                      I went to the local bike shop and asked for their best wrapper (yeah, they liked that) and had them put black Fizik handlebar tape in those places.

                      This stuff: http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?...jor=1&minor=32


                      • #12
                        Have you driven any vehicles with front brakes? I would seriously recommend leaving them on, getting them back working. With a brake choice, husband uses the front brakes lots more often than the rear for hills, turns, other places.

                        Just having rear brakes on your vehicle will probably cause you to jack-knife in stress situations, slippery ground. Rear brakes are certainly NOT going to stop the vehicle with horse in front, they are only an AID to driving.

                        Front brakes in use, are NOT like bicycle or motorcyle brakes that can cause you to flip when used alone. Many driving folks are afraid of front brakes and never use them to find out the usefulness of having them.

                        Testing our various vehicles after purchase to learn their limits, showed a lot of advantages to front wheel brakes during CDE type applications. Those back brakes applied fast will have the rear end passing the driver in a heartbeat! Done that!! Slings the whole carriage badly while you are holding on with both hands back there!!

                        So front brake removal might be something you want to re-think. The upper level drivers continue to have front and back brakes on their vehicles for a reason.

                        Have you tried heat on the decals? Often heat gun and scraper is best for sticky glue removal. The Service Department used heat guns to take off all the Company decal markings on vehicles going to be sold. Heat could be helpful with the grippy stuff too. If grippy stuff is anything like old Vetwrap, alchohol works in removal, though very slowly.


                        • #13
                          Excellent advice from Goodhors. Kuhnle vehicles have a well deserved reputation as the very best and restoring one will be worth it to you and future potential buyers.


                          • Original Poster

                            I've never used front brakes and am one that's been scared by the scared drivers I guess! I think all they need to work is brake pads. But I haven't un taped them to see if anything else is missing.

                            I've only driven a 4 wheel vehicle a few times, all times being marathon carriages but they only had rear brakes.

                            I do have a heat gun somewhere, I'll try that on the decal. It's not "sticky" it's more like an old rock hard and chipping car decal. Heat might be the ticket. There is a real sticky tape that was under the arm rest pads that I can't for the life of me get off. Maybe heat will get that to release too.

                            I don't plan on ever selling this one. If nothing else it's will be a fantastic training vehicle that I can't kill that rides like a cadilac completely silent too. I know I'm gonna love it! When it's not burgundy anymore...
                            Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                            • #15
                              You have pictures?


                              • Original Poster

                                I was gonna get pics of it today, but lighting is bad in the garage and it was raining to pull it out... It's nearly like yours, but the back seats are smaller without a "back rest" bar. It's a cob size, not sure what size yours is. I think my parking brake isnt on the side either, it's under the seat on the front side facing the dash. The drivers wedge is newer and in good condition, but the rest of the vinyl needs replaced. The wood its attached to was completely rotted. I've kept them to trace out the size, but they are getting new wood.

                                I'm kinda depressed on it again... I'm gonna call around this week and see if what it will cost me to take it to an automotive paint place and have it done... I think maybe it's just too big of a project for me. Or i need some help. Hard to stay motivated on it when it's just me working on it and i'm not mechanical in the least to take it apart and put it back together. I can sew anything, but give me tools and i'm a bit lost...
                                Your Horse's Home On The Road!


                                • #17
                                  We are here for you....Just one little bit at a time. I'm curious what prices you get.

                                  This is what mine looked like prior to painting. Pretty rough.