* Painting Parts Process

Posted on February 18th, 2009 by ploughmyfield.

How I paint my parts. 

I had a question on the website: 

“Wandered if I could pick your brain? What do you know about painting, as we know nothing about it but hope to paint our TEF engine whilst it is all in bits and easier to get to. Could I ask how you’ve prepared yours and then painted it?” 


I thought this was an area that might interest others and spark some debate about how others paint there tractors. 

Stage 1,


If the parts are really dirty/oily I use a wire brush, Sandpaper or the airline to remove as much of the muck as possible. For larger parts a pressure washer could be used but be careful around gaskets and seals to the high power jet doesn’t distroy them. 
Satge 2,

As a minimum I carry out a strip down of the major items. 

I try to carry out a nut and bolt strip down wherever possible. 

Stage 3,

I get the parts into the degreaser. I like to leave them in for at least 24 hours.  I try to use the degreaser without diluting. but acording to the instructions it can be used at as low as 1 part  degreaser to 10 parts water. 

Degreaser available from Screwfix Part Number: 47781 



Using a scrubbing brush I now wash all the degreaser off the parts with hot water. This should take off the paint as well. If the majority of the paint it still on I stick the part back in the degreaser for another 24hours. 

Stage 5,

Now the hard part using a wire brush, angle grinder with brush attachment, flapper disk, sandpaper and an air line I take all the remaining paint off the part. This gets the part back to bare metal. I then wash the part again. 


Now all the muck is off the parts you can asses any ware, cracks etc. 
I now decide what parts to assemble back together before painting, what needs replacing, what needs repair 


Using masking tape mask off the areas you don’t want paint to go. 


Stage 8,

If the parts are small enough I heat then in the oven.  Turn the oven on to 100 degrees c then place the parts in for at least 10 mins. This also removes any remaining moisture from the part. I than apply an undercoat using a spray can or spray gun. 
If the item is Alloy or Aluminium I apply an acid etch primer before the primer coat. I also used this on the engine block. 


acidetchAcid etch primer available from Halfords, Catalogue Number: 741124-0 Data Sheet. It’s not cheap but it gets great results. 

Stage 9,

Now warm again and repeat the undercoat and then topcoat as many coats as you wish I use 2 of each as a minimum. 
For the top coats I use the MF original Ferguson paints as the top coats. It’s important to pick one paint from the start and stick with it. different paints from different suppliers used on parts next to each other can make your tractor look like a patchwork of grey if you are not careful. 


400ml Spray can, MF part number: 393 192 8M7 


Tin of Paint 1Litre, MF part number: 393 102 8M5 


Specifically focusing on Steves question about the engine. 

I’ve followed the steps above to paint the parts with undercoat. I then assembled the items back onto the engine block before painting. I’ve used the acid etch primer on the block and then undercoat. With all the parts back inplace on the engine I now spray topcoat on all parts. I have left the exhaust manifold off or masked as I have painted this in a special high temperature paint. 

For the engine I know people who have hand painted both primer and topcoat. I believe once you’ve done a good job at getting back down to the bare metal spray or brush can be used to apply the paint.  This isn’t going to be a show tractor so I am not worried about the surface finish of the metal on the block or parts. I won’t be filling them with anything or using 2 pac paints. 

I asked a pro once… “should I paint the bolt heads before I assemble the parts or after I have assembled them”   Both was his reply, thanks Alan. 

————– Nov 2009 update, a great DVD available on this subject————– 

Image curtesy of Old Pond PublishingPainting your tractor is always high on the hit list when looking at the pages of this website. 

I don’t think I’ve got it 100% right yet so I’m always searching for ways to improve the results I get. I’ve been a fan or Alan Davies since I met him at Newark show 4 years ago. I liked his honesty and down to earth approach. what I mean by that is at the time he wasn’t trying to sell anything or promote any thing other than himself and his work. The advise he gave was fantastic and he always had crowd around his bunch when giving a demonstration. 

Alan has got together with Old Pond publishing to produce a 142minute long (2DVD set) of preparing, filling, sanding, undercoats, and topcoats in order to achieve a super finish for bonnets, wheels and the main body of the tractor. At £19.95 it’s not cheap but I think I have gained £20 worth of knowledge and my tractor value will definitely be increased by at lest £20 once I have practiced the techniques Alan demonstrates.  It’s just nice to see how someone else does things. I disappear into my garage and I’m on my own to produce the results. I going to get one of the hammers Alan uses. 

If you don’t know what to get someone as a Christmas or birthday present and they are interested in tractors or old cars, bikes lorries you’d not go far wrong than adding this item to your short list.   

A link to buy the DVD and a more detailed description of the item. 

I’m giving it a 4.5/5 it should have been 5 hours long with a glimpse at the welding/brazing and painting small parts but other than that fab. 

————– Mar 2010 update, Link to great article on painting————– 

I can’t take you straight to the page it is a 2 part process. 

first click here: A great Article about Painting  then click on How To Paint A Brighter Picture (On the right hand side) 

————– July 2010 update —————————————————–

 I have picked this tip up from the Reborn Tractor DVD of the MF 135 rebuild.

Once cleaned add some holes in a piece of cardboard and insert all your bolts. now you can paint the heads prior to using them on the tractor. You will probably need to give them another top coat once on the tractor as screwing them up does damage the paint. It’s a lot easier doing the preperation upfront. It also makes the parts look better instantly when addded to the tractor.

Paint before adding

Washers and nuts should be preprepared in a similar way. I use a coathanger with wire stretched accross it.

Preparing washers

14 Responses to “Painting Parts Process”

  1. David Singleton Says:


    At the moment I am restoring my TED 20. I have nearly finished spraying the gearbox and engine, stripped of the parts, such as air filter, stater motor and so on. Shortly I will be spraying these parts up shortly.
    The question I have to ask is this:
    How do you persuade your wife to let you use the oven to dry the parts?
    Please help me with this because I will have to face this dilemma shortly and I also have to consider my “love life”

  2. Stephen Amos Says:

    1st time here and this is great.
    Re painting. I agree with the brush technique however do you dilute the MF paint at all?
    Especially when you spray paint.
    Many thanks and what great work and detail.
    Stephen Amos.

  3. ploughmyfield Says:

    Yes I would recommend thinning the paint in the tins. By how much I’m not sure.
    I was always told thinner and more coats than one thick mess!
    Glad you like the site, keep reading.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  4. Martin Lawrie Says:

    I have had some experience now painting with the MF paint that you show in the page. I found that when brushing it on, two coats is best. This helps to fill in the worst of the scratches and pock marks in the bit to be painted (especially if you sand down in between). When spraying, I found a 10% mix with ordinary cellulose thinners to work well. Again, two coats makes all the difference. I used thinners because it smelled like cellulose when I opened the lid! One thing to remember, though, that the second coat must be within a day or so and if not, after several days. The thinners causes the first coat to ‘pickle’ if you’re not careful. I painted my dash, wasn’t happy with it so sanded it down and repainted it. This then caused it to pickle badly and I to start all over again.

    I have obtained nice results on my axle casings by using MF’s red oxide primer and then two coats of the grey put on by hand. If you’re careful to use a good brush, don’t apply it too thick (you’re going to do two coats after all!) and make sure all the brushmarks go in the same general direction, you don’t notice that it’s brush-painted because it flattens out a treat.

    Does anyone know how long-lived the shine is on this type of paint? Tekaloid (enamel) lasts only a very short time and I’d hate to have to paint my tractor again in a couple of years!


  5. Jason Holt Says:

    Hi all
    Just found all this useful information, thanks.
    Just about to start refurbishing a petrol tvo With loader and sawbench + head gasket prob wish me luck !!.
    Whats the best way to prep the rusty main housings ?

  6. ploughmyfield Says:

    Hi Jason,
    For rust I’d use a wire brush attachment on either a drill or an angle grinder.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  7. Jason Holt Says:

    Thanks for that.
    Will be starting project in about a week and am tracking down a head gasket set, will let you know how Im getting on

  8. llewelyn quinnell Says:

    i am currently resurrecting a 1951?ish tea20 and grader blade and having good results derusting and old paint/grease removal using electrolytic reduction method.6v battery charger tub of water+washing soda as electrolyte ,scrap sheet steel as sacrificial electrode, connect it up and 4-24hrs later as wash and scrub and parts are ready to paint.For parts not able to be immersed a sponge to seperate electrodes and kept saturated with electrolyte solution is the method i am going to try.If any interest happy to provide photos etc of my setup and typical results.
    excellent web site ,have really enjoyed reading of your fergi adventures. cheers llewelyn

  9. ploughmyfield.com » Blog Archive » News Roundup July 2010 Says:

    […] Painting parts process  Nice one Cyril Wonderful pictures from Cyril of this TE-20 Barn Find. he has been restoring this one since December and was trying to get it ready for the 25/26th July in time for the Fingal Vintage show. Cyril, did you make it? It looks nearly finished to me. […]

  10. Michael Says:

    150 + psi of air pressure and a big tub of sand seems to work quite well for me. especially when youve got over 400 litres of air to blast out, (or i did have till the motor broke) 😀

  11. Michael Says:

    Roughly how long, or how much rather will a standard 400ml spray can cover?
    Also, if down to bare metal, does it need an Acid Etch Primer, or is that only for Aluminium, but for bare steel and iron, a normal primer will do? I read you only used normal primer for the steel, but wasnt sure if it was bare metal or not?
    Many thanks, and excellent and really helpful site.
    Cheers, Mike

  12. Robert Burgess Says:

    Reading the above comments and methods i was wondering what the process was at the factory and if indeed they just sprayed over everything after assembly. I use Spencer coatings for my red oxide it hand paints and sprays and is used quite a bit with Land Rovers and they love rust.

  13. Walter Abrasives Says:

    Acrylic enamel is a lot of usually employed in skilled automobile body outlets. this is often a kind of exhausting, baked on paint that lasts a really while. Most enamel paints are applied in 2 steps with a base coat and a transparent prime coat. Enamel paint is additionally on the market for reception use, in spray cans designed to be used in paint guns.

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