What's your experiance with ACE paints?

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Oct 30, 2003
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I've tried a few ACE Hardware paints trying to save money. I used a great looking fire engine red that goes on super smooth and is stunning to look at but it never seems to cure. I painted a 3" nose cone with it 4 days ago, it's dry to the touch but I laid it down on a piece of styrofoam for an hour and it left dents and marks in the paint! I've used ACE white as well and it also seems to take forever to cure although not quite as bad as the red. I don't recall having any problems with the gloss black but I might not have noticed since I clear coated soon after. The flat black worked fine and I've been using the gloss clear with no problems.
I was just wondering if this is color specific with ACE and if anyone else had run into problems with them. Mostly I use Krylon and never had a problem with any color but I like to save a few bucks sometimes so maybe some ACE paints work better than others?

ACE Hardware rattle can paint is my favorite. All my paint jobs have came out very glossy, even more so than Krylon. Drying time is longer, however.

Your problem is it is just not dry. Lay it aside and smell it every once in a while. If you get a strong smell of solvent, its not dry yet. I've had the same imprinting problem but after it is completely dry, you'll no longer have this problm. How long will it take to dry... depends on humidity, paint application, temperature, just a lot of things. Don't get in a hurry and botch a great paint job.

My Nuthin Special is painted with the ACE fire engine red and gloss white. It is beautiful and was worth the wait.

Sure I'm patient (I'd address you by Kwai Cain whatever his name was's master but I forgot it) , but 4 days and still soft? I can't set it aside, it has to sit on a dowel forever and I'll never be able to grab that **** pebble.
I seen cases where the paint attacked the plastic on the nosecone, and when that happens, it becomes very soft (and sometimes the cone melts). This is very true if the nosecone is from an old kit, and has become brittle with age.

I think that may have happened minus the melting on a thin hard plastic type nose cone that I used the same paint on. This cone is pretty tough though, a PML. The paint is still soft though. Still looks good too, except where I laid it down :mad:

What are your choices?

1. Wait a week or so. It will dry.

2. Strip it... big mess. See choice #1.

3. Speed up the drying process by baking it somehow. Disclaimer..(I've never tried this and have no idea if it would work)

If fingerprints don't show while you handle it but it does imprint when it lays on something then it will just take more time. I make it a point not to touch after I have painted for at least 48 hours and then to leave it on the dowel until the smell of solvent is basically gone. That amount of time may be significant. As long as the smell is present it will probably imprint.

I'll take box number 1.

But seriously it hasn't smelled in days. The rest of the rocket is cured so I'll just rest the cone in that without seating it. Unless of course I can fit it in the oven...

I sure would like to know how it turns out. Keep us informed, and, do you have a picture?
This is a quickie web cam pic taken before I knew how soft the red still is. The cam doesn't do it justice and as punishment I will someday cram it into that very rocket. The scratches are only on the nose cones shoulder.


That looks like the identical ACE red I used. Even though the pic is not great the paint job looks exceptional, and the rocket is very nice. Because it is just the nosecone you might take some acetone and wipe it all off. Messy, yes, but doable. Then, use some Krylon. But, if it will dry as is you've got a great paint job.

It is a great looking red, I'll give it another week before I do anything drastic.
Try exposing the paint to direct sunlight. Even though sunlight has been known to yellow or darken some colors; UV light should help cross link and cure the paint. Exposure to a black-light might also do the trick!

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055

I like the sunlight idea, I'll try that for a few days. I haven't had any blacklights since the 70's though.
Zippy, If you don't mind check on the back of the Ace paint can & see what the coverage is. A 12 ounce can of Krylon will cover 20-25 sq. feet. I've noticed that some of the less expensive paints have less coverage & not the good drying qualities that Krylon has. Thanks. :)

Sorry but it doesn't actually state the coverage. It is a 12 oz can and seems to go about as far as Krylon. I now know it's actually called Banner Red after looking for the coverage though. :)
I'm resurecting this thread to post this terrible web cam pic of the finished rocket. The silver payload section really was originally intended to house the web cam I used for the pics. It still might, but I now hate this EZMegaCam so much I might want to have it eject at apogee with no parachute.

The Banner Red Ace paint now seems to be fairly cured. I'm not going to clear coat it though as I think it will craze. I am going to use a liquid Turtle Wax on it though.
Just incase I never mentioned it the rocket itself is a scratch "scale like" design in 3" diameter, about 48" tall with a 29mm 9" long MMT intended to easilly accommodate the 29 - 240 casing. I borrowed the paint schemes from the IQSY Tomahawk, Black Brant X, Patriot missile and a V2. On the other side between fins is a little cheese cake . :)
You should be able to clear coat it with Future floor polish. It is the same clear acrylic that is in many clear coat rattle cans, but without all the volitiles that can do nasty things. Even with Future, I'd wait a week or two before applying it since you've had so much trouble.

As for heating to speed the curing process... It will work, but the temp has to be kept fairly low to prevent bubbling.
I might give the Future a try sometime. On this one though I think I'll stay safe with the auto wax since I know that won't hurt anything and looks great too.
Originally posted by tbzep
You should be able to clear coat it with Future floor polish. It is the same clear acrylic that is in many clear coat rattle cans, but without all the volitiles that can do nasty things.

Future huh? I've heard about that. How do you apply it? Sounds like a good alternative.

So far, I've been using a foam brush. It applies easily and levels itself out as long as you don't put it on thick. Any bubbles that show up can be popped by blowing gently on them.

I'm seriously thinking about getting an airbrush. I've heard good things about applying Future with them also.


You could try some Future on the rear of the cone to see if it is compatible with your uncooperative paint. Auto wax won't protect the paint like a clear coat will, but you should get a nice short term shine out of it.

I think Sandman said somewhere you should'nt use Future on silver of shrome paints. As a matter of fact I think he said it was taboo for any clear coat over silver.

Applying future is easy just keep it away from the kitchen counter...peeking over the rail and eyeing the counter of mine...oooohhhh was she mad. :kill: ...but only for a little while. Anyway, make sure you have a place where it can drip dry. I concur, do a nose cone first and see what happens.:D
I don't have to worry about the silver, it's allready clear coated with ACE gloss clear. Same for the rest of the rocket. I just tried a little Future on the NC shoulder. Looks OK so far but it's still wet.
Well... experiment a failure. The Future softened the red so I went ahead and Turtle Waxed it. If it protects a car's finish it should at least help protect a rocket's finish. And it glows too.
Sorry the Future didn't work.

Don't give up on it, though. Give it a try on another rocket that doesn't have paint curing problems. I think you will love the finish you get. My Citation Patriot still looks wet a couple months after finishing it. It really brought out the decals (from Tango Papa) too.

I picked up a quart of Future the other night at the grocery store. I tried it out on the replaced fins on my battle scarred Bull Pup. Not bad at all!. I coated a paper rocket (gee, I wonder where that came from?) with a small brush and that worked out just fine also. I'm going to give it a real test soon when I coat a hiking map with it. I use clear coat for that and I can go broke using Krylon. I'll use my air brush. Thanks for the tip it looks like a real good alternative.
Hey Zippy, you might find this funny, but the last time I was in ACE the clerk that was assisting me told me that ACE spray paint is actually made by Krylon! I can't confirm this to be true, but take it for what it's worth. I have been looking everywhere online to see if I can confirm this, but according to the store clerk, the ACE brand is nothing more than Krylon paint. Hmm... :rolleyes:
It might well be made by Krylon but I bet it's not the same formulation. I'm going to try Krylon's red on the Jayhawk so I'll have something to compare with eventually.