Is paint catalyst optional ? - SailNet Community

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Old 11-13-2013
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Is paint catalyst optional ?

I have some paint from an automotive paint store and the directions say that there is a catalyst that can (or should ?) be mixed with the paint, but the person at the shop said this was unnecessary when I asked about it. He said that if it were on a vehicle that it would be necessary, but not on a piece of plate steel.

My question is, what is the difference if you do (or don't) use the catalyst, how will the paint be different one way or the other ? I thought that the catalyst caused a chemical reaction that made the paint cure, but will it cure without the catalyst too ?
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Old 11-14-2013
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

Paint is simple... Look at the directions on the can. Unless the clerk at autozone has a phd in coating technology I doubt he knows more about paint than the manufacturer of it.
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Paint is simple... Look at the directions on the can. Unless the clerk at autozone has a phd in coating technology I doubt he knows more about paint than the manufacturer of it.
The person at the store has 30+ years experience. It is a specialty automotive paint store, not Autozone.

Another reason I believe the catalyst might be optional is because the paint could be put into an aerosol can at the store, and of course it isn't possible to put the catalyst in the aerosol too without activating it.
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Last edited by wind_magic; 11-14-2013 at 01:43 AM. Reason: sp
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

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Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
The person at the store has 30+ years experience. It is a specialty automotive paint store, not Autozone.

Another reason I believe the catalyst might be optional is because the paint could be put into an aerosol can at the store, and of course it isn't possible to put the catalyst in the aerosol too without activating it.
Like i said, what does the manufacturer recommend?

Seriously the manufacturers spend millions a year designing, testing, and evaluating coatings. Then they print labels, books, and users guides to explain how to get the best out of their products.

Why would you post a general question on a sailing forum about automotive paint, not include the name brand or type, and expect a better answer than what the manufacturer has created at great expense?
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

Sounds like a polyurethane aerosol paint - in which case you should only be using it with proper protective gear - which would be a full face respirator with external air supply.
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
Like i said, what does the manufacturer recommend?

Seriously the manufacturers spend millions a year designing, testing, and evaluating coatings. Then they print labels, books, and users guides to explain how to get the best out of their products.

Why would you post a general question on a sailing forum about automotive paint, not include the name brand or type, and expect a better answer than what the manufacturer has created at great expense?
Stumble, chill out, I wasn't out to destroy your day or anything.

I asked because metal boats often use automotive paint for touchups, automotive paint isn't just for automobiles.

And like I said, it is sold in a paint can AND as a store packaged aerosol, so why would the manufacturer allow it to be sold as an aerosol without a catalyst if that wasn't really an option ? It seems to me that since the instructions on the tech sheet say catalyst, but the manufacturer also allows the option of having it packaged without a catalyst, that the catalyst might be optional, that belief reinforced by the fact that the shop guy said it was optional. It was just a question.

I didn't need to post the brand, etc, because I was just trying to find out if every paint that called for a catalyst needed it.

Again, calm down, it's just a question. If you don't want to answer, don't answer it, but since we have a lot of people on this forum who paint for a living I thought someone here might know.
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

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Originally Posted by wind_magic View Post
And like I said, it is sold in a paint can AND as a store packaged aerosol, so why would the manufacturer allow it to be sold as an aerosol without a catalyst if that wasn't really an option ?
I just rechecked the can and it looks like the aerosol is a different manufacturer than the paint, so maybe it is just some kind of generic can that the paint shop can put any paint they want into.
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

Just guessing , but it sounds like a simple alkyd enamel paint,that will cure without a hardener, but will take much longer to dry( rustoleum is a alkyd enamel) a hardener is available for most of these types of paints which will cure it faster( meaning less chance of dust or debris from sticking to the paint surface, and a harder paint which can be wet sanded and buffed much sooner ,
But the hardener is a isocyanate derived product and should be only sprayed with a full fresh air mask set up or rolled and tipped..
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

All a catalyst does is speed up the process of degradation of the inhibitors in the paint. Thus why people call it hardener, which isn't the proper term. If you want it to cure faster use the catalyst. For some paints like awlcraft and awlgrip, and you are brushing it they have certain reducers and catalysts that are slower than the spraying versions. This allows the paint to "lay out" better to allow the brush lines to settle smooth.

My family owns and operates a marina and boatyard. I have painted boats, masts, cars.. My advice to you, use the catalyst. If your in the northern hemisphere, it's winter now, it's cooler than normal so it takes even two part paints longer to cure, so I'd use the catalyst. If you don't want to wait for it to cure over the course of a few days to a week, I'd use the catalyst. If it's there and all you have to do it mix it, I'd use it.

Any two part paint will get hard over time, usually it's uv that breaks down the inhibitors (same goes for resin and epoxy) but it takes a lot longer.

-sent from sea via corked bottle
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Re: Is paint catalyst optional ?

Wind Magic,

I just reread what I wrote and ya, it came off as seriously d*ckish. Sorry about that. It wasn't intended that aggressively.
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