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Options besides Matthews paint

Discussion in 'Dimensional Signs' started by Bradley D, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Bradley D

    Bradley D Member

    Sep 10, 2018
    Any good paint options out there maybe at Napa for painting channel letters? I'm hoping to lightly sand Alumet letter coil and then use an auto paint to match color I need.
  2. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    We use Imron, I think it is an Axalta brand now, used to be DuPont. Its available in reduced gloss and the price is reasonable for what it is. For automotive paint, most distributors shy away from any sheen besides gloss, they may not even be able to produce it.
  3. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    you could always use a single stage auto paint, our PPG jobber always takes care of us. I can say if you want to save a dollar use their OMNI line. Its a sign not a car. Also remember their is nothing wrong with latex
  4. bowtievega

    bowtievega Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Gilbert, AZ
    We have a Grip Guard EFx mixing station in shop but will probably be switching to Sherwin Williams in the future. They came out with their own single stage system based on the automotive system they already produce. We were pretty impressed with how it sprayed when we had them come in and do a demo. Their sign paint system gives you the option to change sheens as we produce almost everything in satin or low gloss at this point.
  5. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    We are using Imron right now.
  6. kcollinsdesign

    kcollinsdesign Active Member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Normal, Illinois
    Any single stage auto paint will work (Imron?). You may even get the auto parts store to deliver, (I am assuming you do not have a mixing station).

    Why not use Matthews? It's pretty much the industry standard. Grip-Guard and Sherwin-Williams are out there, and probably offer about the same quality (never used either). All these systems are designed specifically for the sign industry, and offer advantages over automotive paint.

    Painting is the biggest bug-a-boo in sign fabrication. If you do not have an adequate spray booth, ventilation, etc., you cannot produce signs at a competitive price. Local codes have become more restrictive and many cities have clamped down. Long gone are the days of hanging plastic sheets from the ceiling and opening a window. Painting was the major factor that influenced me to outsource most fabrication.
  7. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    I saw that they introduced this but it says they only have 70 locations mixing it so nobody will know anything about it and tech support will be a pita. The biggest issue that I have with Sherwin Williams is they are always out of stock on items and any local reps don't know anything except house paint. We have an industrial rep that really knows his stuff but he has a huge area and stays really busy.
    The other day we started a project painting a barge, customer supplied the paint and it took us a few hours to finally get an answer on proper reducer for their primer. Then of course, nobody has even heard of it and can't find stock anywhere. If it were me, I would not put my eggs in that basket.
  8. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

    Oct 10, 2014
    Which line of Imron are you using? Do you accelerate it? We usually use 3.5 and have to kick the crap out of it to cure quicker.
  9. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    Oct 5, 2005
    I sure hope you are using a fresh air system as you spray it.
  10. signbrad

    signbrad Member

    Jun 15, 2014
    Kansas City
    Most paint manufacturers offer single stage urethanes or polyurethanes. That is what Matthews is. Matthews has the advantage of offering an online formula cross-referencing system that will give you paint formulas to match a huge number of colors from most major paint makers, as well as manufacturers' colors of other things, such as vinyl, Dryvit, prepainted aluminum, vehicle fleet colors, federal government colors, Pantone colors, Rowmark plastic colors, standard Gemini colors...the list is seemingly endless. Or send them a sample and they will match it. This matching service is free.
    You just need a mixing station.

    Before we had a Matthews station, we simply picked an automotive color and had the local Dupont jobber mix it. Not convenient, but it worked.
    We have also used the Sherwin Williams line of polyurethanes. Again, not convenient, and most Sherwin Williams retailers do not carry them. Most of the Sherwin Williams stores are not even familiar with these paints.
    The Grip Gard system is good.
    Matthews, however, leads the way in both product offerings and customer support. Their training manual and free 2-day seminars have no equal in the industry. And the focus is on sign paint, not autobody or house paint.
    If your volume is smaller, there are mixing stations available for quart size cans.
    A working relationship with another sign shop that has a mixing station would be another alternative to having your own.

    A mixing station is not cheap, true. But it is an important investment for a commercial sign shop to be competitive, in my opinion.

    Polyurethane is the best choice for painting things like channel letters. No other readily available paint will offer the same durability.

    Brad in Kansas City
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

    Apr 17, 2003
    Valle Vista
    I pretty much agree with the others about Matthews Paint. I have worked at other shops who also used Akzo-Nobel (Grip Guard) and Cardinal Paints

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