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how to paint with coach enamel


How to paint with coach enamel

Enamel paints dry to a durable finish and can be used on things that will withstand outdoor or interior conditions. For example, garden furniture is perfect for this type of paint because it's exposed to lots of wear-and tear! You should consider whether your project needs an enamellic coat before applying but if you do decide go ahead with one make sure not is it the right kind for what’s being painted. We offer two types of Coach enamel. A spraying enamel, and a Brushing enamel.

What is the difference between spraying enamel, and brushing enamel?

The main difference between spraying and brushing enamel is the Cure time. If you use a fast curing Coach enamel for brushing, you will need to do lots of smaller areas, to allow you to add more paint, and maintian a wet edge. This means if you are using the wrong type of coach enamel, its harder work, and more difficult. In short, if you are sprying this process is faster than brushing or rollering coach enamel, so you can use a faster curing product to limit how much dirt and dust the wet paint is exposed to.

When deciding whether to use enamel paint for your project, it’s important that you take into consideration the environment in which this type of coating will be used. Enamels are best suited when working with outdoor places exposed directly towards adverse weather conditions and temperature fluctuations. The surface cure process of an enamel helps to create a dense gloss finish that resists wear and tear.

Water based Coach Enamel Vs Oil Based Coach Enamel Vs Solvent Based coach enamel

There are three main ways to formulate coach enamel. Water based coach enamel uses reduced (waterbased), or no (waterbourne)  chemicals to create a safe product. The compromise is the gloss level and longevity are compromised. We do not currently sell a Waterbased coach enamel.

Oil based coach enamels are superb in that they open the curing window. This basically allows you a longer coating window so you dont have to rush the process. The offer deeper gloss levels, and are easier to obtain a higher grade finish than waterbased coatings. Additinally they are not typically as hazardous as Solvent Enamels.

Solvent Enamels switch out the water or oil based binder for a Solvent one. The key benefit here is cure time. If you are spraying you want a fast curing coach enamel. Solvent enamels also have uses for application in lower temperatures where curting times are retarded.


  • Decide what type of coach enamel you require prior to purchase, as the type you purchase greatlly affects the outcome of the job.
  • Most chopices are between a slow or a fast cure. Slow for manual brush / roller, and Fast for spraying.

What type of brush do i need to apply brushing enamel?

Always use high quality brushes for applying brushing enamel. With enamel paints, you want a brush with stronger bristles. Stronger Bristles help spread out thick oils easily, giving even coverage. Going for cheap hard brushes will work against you, as they will leave deeper lines in the coating, and tyhe brushing enamel will struggle to self level on the surface.

  • Many high quality brushes now have a softer filament at the end using angled filaments. This helps to leave a smoother finish.
  • Do not mix brushes. Once you have used a brush for say a oil based coach enamel, even after cleaning do not use it with another type of paint. This ensures maxiumum performance.

how to paint with coach enamel

The key to a perfect paint job is preparation. The first step in preparing your surface, whether its wood or other materials like Aluminium or steel for example , should be with an appropriate primer. A primer is designed specifically as the foundation upon which all succeeding coats will build their profiles . A good quality enameling painter needs two things before he/she begins: proper equipment ( Decent brushes!), and a good base (Primer!). Our enamels can go over existing coatings as well. For this ensure the exsiting coating has good adhesion, has been dulled using scotchbrites/ sanding pads etc, and you do a test patch to ensure it adheres and dries properley.

  • Use a primer where the item you arer paitning is made up of different colours. Different colours will affect how your coach enamel looks. You want it all the same colour. Do this using a primer.
  • Pick a primer thats designed for what you are painting. 

Primers for surfaces

Wood (Our Gloss extreme slow cure enamel doesnt have to be used with a wood primer, it can be applied direct). Using a primer will however help fill the wood grain and present a higher bond.

Steel- For lightly rusty steel use Rust Encapsulator. We also offer a cheaper zich rich oxide for prepared steel, and an epoxy primer should you require a 2K Primer.

Aluminium - We recommend this etch primer, as its simple to use, and very high adhesion. If spraying a vehicle then use the 2K epoxy primer instead but provide it a key using 320 Grit.

Laying off Coach Enamel

When painting enamel paints, it's important to use the right type of brush. The smooth and shiny consistency makes mistakes and imperfections show up. Best practice is to use a second brush after you have finished painting. To do this efficiently though - make sure that both bristles are full-topped up on paint but not saturated before taking the second pass over any areas just painted for maximum perfectionism (and minimum messiness). tilt the brush towards where you brushing, in a light drag manouveur, allowing only the tips to touch. This will burst bubbles and allow the coating to sit flat. Practice this process on scrap first.

  • Using the tip of the brush to lay off the coating as above is more difficult on intricate shapes. Use a fluid motion from one end of the item to the other. Do not start mid panel if you can help it.

Spraying Coach Enamel

With a sprayer, you can cover larger areas with less effort. A tool that has been around for ages but is quickly becoming popular again due its ease and efficiency in large-scale projects like redoing outdoor furniture or appliances! We recommend a 1.4mm tip HVLP spraygun. using 5>10% Coach enamel thinners. 

Applying two coats provides you with good coverage, and extended protection. Most professionals recommend enamel paints for exterior projects because they need a protective cover and require more time between coats than other types of house-painting products do.

  • You do not need to use the laying off technique for spraying.

Drying times

The drying time of oil-based enamel paints is between 8 and 24 hours, but solvent fast cure enamel based paint may become dry to the touch in 1 hour (or less). This will depend on temperature and humidity; indoor projects can take longer than indoor ones because they are typically less exposed to fresh air even with good ventialtion!

  • Make sure you don't handle fresh painted surfaces while it's still wet as this could lead to staining - especially if there are other people around who might put their fingerprints all over whatever gets touched first!.
  • Check the weather forecast if painting outside, and dont apply the coating later in the day if the temperature is about to drop quickly. This causes moisture, so painting earlier in the day is better.

Repairing Coach Enamel

When you are repainting worn and discolored areas, use only one thin layer at a time. Apply the new coat carefully so that your surface stays even. If there have been some markings or other damage done before hand – this will affect how well the paint can cover these imperfections!

  • It is unnecessary to utilize primer when repairing existing coach enamel unless you intend to remove previous coats too; typically retouching without primers yields more durable end results than doing anything else did when dealing with old paint. 
  • Coat the entire area. patching areas leads to lines, and variations in colour. Aerosols sprayed from a distance can also be used to help blend damaged areas. Apply very lightly and build up the effect.

Cleaning Coach Enamel

Wherever possible avoid rubbing paints to clean them, even durable paints like coach enamel. The best way will be to use water and a hose to remove the heavier dirt, and then use a quick detailer. A good quality quick detailer will lubricate the surface and help mitigate damage from wiping it down with a cloth and dragging dirt and debris across the paint surface. Additionally it cleans the surface, and leaves behind a protective layer keeping it cleaner for longer. 

Removing old Coach enamel

If you want to remove existing coach enamel prior to primer and new paint, we recommend using a paint removal abrasive. The reason for this that harsher abrasives create too much heat and you will clog the abrasive with the paint. See our paint removal section for more information.

  • Chemical paint strippers that are effective are now banned under english law. As a result you will most likely find a paint stripper fluid / gel to be a waste of money and effort. You can consider sand / soda / vapour blasting as alternatives. many companies offer this service.

Colour matching coach enamel

In many cases you will want to repair a panel, paint a new door, or paint something where  the adjacent paint has faded. At this point the colour code of the original paint is irrelevant as the new paint will be more vibrant and wont match. We offer a colour matching service where we can scan your item, and provide you a pre faded "new" paint, or even uncover the paint code you didnt know. At this poiint we proivide you a sample to test. and you can order more of this colour from us at any time at no additinal charge.