Wheels will be ready soon with beautiful new hickory wood
I think painted black is appropriate but I've also seen photos of T's with natural varnished wood that are gorgeous.
So every couple of days I flip-flop on what I want. I know there have been threads in the past but had trouble finding them or the info I wanted so I'm re-asking (is that a word?)
1) For Paint - What is the best paint to use and the best method for the paint to stay glossy, and resist chipping off the wood (the wood is new so it's not contaminated with oils yet). Marine paint? Do I prime the wood?
Do I use the same paint on the felloes and hub?
2) For Natural - What is the best product and method to use? I had read up some on Valspar's Man-of-War varnish (formerly McClosky' s marine spar varnish). I saw suggestions of using several coats of satin with a top coat of gloss for the UV protection? If natural, I would like the spokes to stay light colored and not have the varnish yellow or darken over time.
Thanks for your input, thoughts, ideas, and experiences (good and bad).
I use nothing but Sikens Cetrol natural. A marine finish that lasts and can be recoated without sanding or stripping.
Andria -- You have a nice T there. Please do as God and Henry intended, and paint the spokes shiny black.
I had a buddy whose dad did hardwood floors for a living. He also used Sikens on his high end jobs. If you choose clear, as Don pointed out, that's the best.
Mike has it right. "Natural" wheels are insanely popular, but they're a modern fad. How many of them do you see in Model T era photos?
I use Ace rattle can appliance epoxy enamel. So far so good.
Andria, i happen to agree with Mike about using black, but it is your car and you can do what ever makes you happy. If you do choose black, Rust-oleum makes a great product that i used on mine almost 3 years ago, and they still look like new.
Epoxy primer, followed by DuPont Nason works for me. I just did this to a set of wheels that I had respoked by Stutzman's Wheel Shop this spring. Of course, as soon as I got that glass-like finish, I scuff sanded them and hit 'em with flat clear to match the patina of my unrestored car. When I get around to restoring the car, I've already have a good base on the spokes, ready to be prepped for a finish coat.
Due to its' propensity to expand and contract, wood needs to be treated specially. Not just any finish will do. The finish needs to be formulated specifically for the properties of wood. Anything else, will eventually crack and flake off due to the movement of the underlying surface.
30 years ago, I painted my Victorian house with Sherwin Williams paint and had such good results, it only made sense to use the same method of painting wood spokes that worked so well on my wood house, so I used Sherwin Williams oil based exterior wood primer and oil based, gloss black enamel on my spokes and I have not had to recoat them.
Unlike lacquer and paints meant for metal, enamel is flexible and will move with the wood and is the best thing for your wooden spokes. It also goes on very smoothly when applied with a good 1" artists brush.
Of course the metal hub and rim should be primed with red oxide primer that can also be brushed on to avoid getting it on the wood of the spokes. The gloss black emamel will be fine over the red oxide primer.
The oil based exterior wood primer should be allowed to dry for at least 4 days before applying the enamel finish. Read the instructions on the can. If you try and recoat too soon, the subsequent coats will soften the prior coat and wrinkling will occur, so it is better to wait longer to be sure the prior coat is dry before re-coating. If you can smell the fumes from the applied primer or paint, it is not yet fully dry. Jim Patrick
Most people think of paint as color .... just slap some color on it and hope it lasts. As mentioned above, wood
presents a real challenge, as the surface is always moving. I am ALWAYS arguing with clients who want their fences
painted, notably white. It would be like painting your dog and expecting the finish to stay nice, but lack of understanding
of the how wood swells when dampened and contracts when dry makes for an absurd request and guaranteed disappointment
after a few months.
Whatever we put on wood needs to "ride" that movement of the wood, OR the such movement needs to be stopped
by not allowing wetness to swell the wood .... good luck with that latter proposal, especially if a person wants a low
maintenance item, be that fence or car.
I am of the Farmer Brown School of Practical vs. high maintenance on this subject and wood should be oiled, not painted.
Tint your oil and let it soak in. The wood could do the jitterbug and look no different after 1000 dances. But that's just
me, and prolly why I own a TT and prefer a more "down on the farm" approach and appearance than the over-perfect
look of museum pieces.
I am a big fan of volatile solvent based rattle can paints for things like wood spokes. Easy of application and repeat
potential when a little wear begins to show just make it too easy. I have had enough monumental and expensive paint
projects with my post-war cars. I like my TT for it basic and organic nature. It looks best out in a field, the woods, dusty
and forgotten back roads, or covered in hay, firewood, or mud. The iconic vision of vehicles in the Tin Lizzie Age, the
Dust Bowl, the REAL times these vehicles were a part of.
Jim, love your house!