Fading Tractor Paint

Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:14 pm

I'd like to paint my Cub. I've been thinking about using VanSickle paint in rattle cans because it is readily available from my local farm supply store, convenient to use, and cheaper than automotive type paints. It is an alkyd enamel, and I've recently been reading that alkyd enamels fade quickly in sunlight. My Cub will never be a show tractor, but I would like it to look nice without having to repaint it frequently. What have others experienced with using VanSickle or other alkyd enamels? Do your tractors fade or does the paint continue to look good for at least several years?

Re: Fading Tractor Paint

Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:51 pm

I think you get a lot more value using automotive paint. Shopline single stage urethane is relatively inexpensive, covers really well and is repairable. Trouble with enamel is that it reacts to any laquer based paint including primer, and it looks like crap out of a shaker can. Fading is an issue and it remains somewhat soft for years, meaning it's easily damaged. When someone brings me something to paint that's been sprayed with enamel, they pay a lot more because I have to strip that crap off before I can do anything.

Re: Fading Tractor Paint

Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:07 pm

Alkyd will fade over time. Some colors and paints less than others. I have no know experience with Van Sickle paints but Alkyd will fade. Months to years depending on the UV light exposure. Some Alkyd paints are acrylic modified and have better UV protection but will still eventially fade. What to do depends on you, not everyone wants a $300-$400 a gallon paint. you determine the level you want.

I have not had any cross reactivity between an alkyd topcoat and a lacquer primer.
Last edited by Landreo on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Fading Tractor Paint

Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:21 pm

Here's a pic of my '47 painted with IH Case Ironguard #2150 (acrylic enamel) in Fall of 2009:


Still bright and shiny, but parked inside most the time. IMO, IH Case Ironguard is a step up over VanSickle, but no where close to automotive-type finishes.