I want to thank everyone who chipped in and offered advice on what I was doing wrong, what I could do differently, and just plain speculation as to why spray paint hates me as it does. (For no apparent reason, it would seem...)
I don’t give up easily, well, not THAT easily, so I stripped all the Outlaw bodies back down to Zamac, and I’m ready to start again, again.
I mentioned in my first post that I had emailed the spray paint manufacturer to see if anyone there could shed any light upon the problem. Here is the answer from the fine folks at Rust-Oleum:
Thank you for contacting Rust-Oleum Product Support.
Aerosol paints will dry by oxidation. A skin forms on the surface, and then gets thicker as the solvent evaporates from the paint below the skin until eventually it is fully cured all the way through the coating. If you recoat the paint before it has skinned over and begun to dry to the touch, the two paints dry like a single coat of paint. This skin-free time varies from paint to paint, but is usually about an hour or so at room temperature.
After the skin has started to form, it is very fragile and if recoated at the wrong time it may wrinkle, blister or crack. Always refer to the can instructions for the proper recoat time, as this may vary from product to product. Most of our paints can be topcoated or recoated either within one hour or after 48 hours. This means that you can topcoat within the first hour, while the previous coat is still tacky, however if the last coat has been drying for longer than an hour, you must then wait a full 48 hours before the next coat can be applied. Cooler temperatures, higher humidity, or a heavy application can extend these recoat times.
Surface contaminants such as dirt, dust, or oil can also can cause the surface to have a reaction could cause wrinkling as well.
If you can provide the product and batch codes from the underside of the can(s) we can look into this further.
As you can see, they touched on some of the same issues that were raised in the comments on my post. They also gave a pretty satisfactory explanation of how the curing process progresses.
I had told them that I had let it dry for 48 hours, and it still wrinkled as soon as I sprayed the second coat. But, I was still mostly satisfied with their explanation.
I have five Outlaw bodies primed with flat white and ready to go, sitting on my home-made drying rack. (You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find wire hangers anymore...)
Stripping the paint off also melted the JB Quick Weld I had used to fill in the gas filler holes, so I decided to only redo a couple of them. I just want to get on with this project.
I have some Dr appointments tomorrow, and am going back into the hospital on Thursday for another ambulatory procedure, so, this time I’m going to let them sit for THREE DAYS before I give them their first color coat, and then wait another THREE DAYS before the second color coat goes on! While I’m waiting, I’ll twist some more paper clips into paint stands for the individual cars.
If it doesn’t work this time, for at least one car, I’m taking up bird-watching. I’m already half cuckoo...