Sunday, July 24, 2016

Paint Along 9: 3rd Coat of Paint

Have you let the first two coats dry/cure for a full week?  Good for you.

Slapping on the third coat is just the same as the first two coats, but there are some additional things to do before you get to that.

The two coats that are on there now have depth and dimension.  You have painted over painters tape and painted right up to and around the toothpicks and wood skewers that are blocking the holes in the machine.  What you have to do now is carefully disconnect those objects from the paint before adding even more depth and dimension.

The tool to do this is something skinny and sharp.  An exacto knife is good, as is a medical scalpel.  I was lucky enough to find a box of scalpels at a thrift store.  They make dandy seam rippers too.

Run the razor sharp exacto knife or scalpel around the base of the stick, or the perimeter of the tape to be removed.

Then carefully peel it away.

In the photo below you can see that there are some tiny areas where the black paint still shows.  I took my smallest paint brush and filled in these areas.

and in the photo below you can see that this covered things pretty well.  This particular gold logo is sticking out from the machine a bit.  An earlier Singer that I painted had a logo that hugged the machine much better.

Also in the photo above you can see that the area around the stitch length knob didn't get covered with the first two coats of paint.  But I've got it covered now!

I removed all of the bits of tape and toothpicks, etc.

In the photo below you can see that even with careful scalpel-ing a ridge of paint is standing up from the surface.

Even after a week of curing it is still soft enough** for me to press down the projections with the back of my fingernail.  I also did this with a couple of boogers that had escaped my notice last week.  **remember this!  we will talk about it more at the end.

After pressing down the paint it was then obstructing the hole (where the presser foot pressure regulator will go).

Dr. Scalpel cleaned it up nicely.

Nice and clean now.

You are probably wondering why the heck I bothered with the tape at all if I then take it off and have to clean up behind it.  I used the tape to keep paint out of the screw threads in some of these holes, and to keep paint from dripping into the guts of the machine.

and now it is time for my constant reminder to you
The purpose of this blog is not to set myself up as the guru of all things sewing machine-y.  It is for me to share my experiments with you and hopefully show you that I am having fun and if it looks like fun to you, you should try it too.

So please feel free to jump in at all times with your own experiences and if you have another way of doing things, share it in the comments section.

When I removed the tape from the hand wheel I could see that I had not done of very good job of burnishing the tape down to the wheel.  Paint had bled under the painters tape.

Scalpel to the rescue again.

Keep in mind that you do all of this BEFORE putting on the third coat of paint.

Eleanor has written in from Sydney where it is cold, compared to the steaming soggy heat here.  She is repainting a crinkle finish Husqvarna and has decided on hammered copper.  I will show more of her pictures in a future post, but right now I want to share her brilliant method for dealing with the hand wheel.

I did not replace all of the tape and sticks before the third coat.  I used the usual tiny paintbrush to touch up any areas around the openings.  Then I used a small paintbrush to put on the third coat.  See the last post for all the special techniques for using xylene and hammered paint.

I did not see any need to apply a fourth coat, but I DID go over the whole thing very carefully (after it had dried to the touch) looking for any areas where extremely small bits of black paint still showed.  Hit those with the tiny paintbrush.

And that concludes the paint job.  Now we wait at least ANOTHER FULL WEEK before proceeding with the decals.  Remember that it is still somewhat soft and pliable now?  That's why you can smash the boogers flat with your fingernail.  This means that THE PAINT HAS NOT FULLY CURED.  Ms. Rhymes-With-Tequila wrote in on the last post to say
"And after the third coat goes on, wait at least another week for the paint to cure! Ask me how I know... Let's just say there was some repainting involved. This time (my second repaint) I waited a full month after the 3rd coat!"
implying that she ended up needing four coats.  Mine didn't need four.  But the warning is a good one.

Looking good, don't you think?  It has been a lot of fun so far (except for the guilt over all the delays.  but we are on a roll now).

Next step will be the water slide decals and the clear coat.  I did have plans for experimenting with something unusual (which you will still probably see on my next machine).  But in the end I decided to play it safe and ordered some decals on eBay.

I have gotten four sets of decals from Keeler Sales.

  • First set:  I paid for a set of flat gold Tiffany style decals and put them on a Singer 27 that I painted a sparkly blue.  
  • Second set:  I bought a set of 301 decals and replaced just the worn bed decals on an otherwise great machine.
  • Third set:  I assisted Keeler Sales in the development of a decal set for the Singer VSII fiddlebase, and in return for my help they gave me a set of decals.
  • Fourth set:  I bought a set for a Willcox and Gibbs, have not applied them yet.
Absolutely no problems whatsoever with the Keeler Sales decals.

I also made my own black water slide decals that I used on a Domestic high arm fiddlebase that I painted with copper hammered Rustoleum.  No problems with that either.  Follow the link if you want to see the techniques and material sources for this.

When I looked on eBay this time I found another seller who is NOT doing reproduction Singer decals, but IS creating their own designs in the spirit of, and meant to be applied to, antique Singers.  I liked one of the patterns and bought a set.  In the next post we will discover how well they work--or not.  But water slide decals are easy to make and easy to apply, so I am expecting success.

There is at least one more seller of Singer decals on eBay but I have not tried their products yet.

A few final comments on reproduction decals.  They do NOT have the shading that the originals have.  The flat gold is all one color with no shading.  They are pretty but they are not going to look like the originals.  This does not matter to me.  Pretty is good enough.  I have not tried any of the colored decals, but I hope to in the (distant) future.

So get your decals ready and meet me back here next week!


  1. Hello Cheryl, it has been ages since I stopped over to visit. I love the painting project. What delightful fun
    I wonder if you might know the item # for the 316G thread guide down at the bottom. Mine is missing.
    I have my mom's old 316G in tan. It is pretty and I still love it to bits.
    I need the guide that is the last one that is at the bottom of the actual machine, just before it leaves to go to the needle bar (not the one on the needle bar) So it is the one guide that is below the tension thing.
    Anyway, I want one. :-D Thanks for any help. Enjoy your summer. It is a toaster here in Northern Virginia 35 miles west of the Cesspool [better known as Washington DC, PU]

  2. I'm wondering if you have any idea why a singer 338 cams aren't working. Straight stitch works cam. # 1 will zig zag but other cams will not stitch the correct design .

  3. I bought decals from the same eBay seller for my second repaint (Florence) and she was wonderful to work with! I asked her to adapt some decals for a 221, and even though she doesn't have one, she took the dimensions that I sent her and made some for my featherweight. The decals are super easy to work with, and she even customized them with the year and name of my machine. I'm working on a third repaint now, and guess who I want to do the decals?


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