I need some painting advice


New Member
I quit smoking, so I'm in the process of turning my stainless zippo into Pyro's lighter from X2. I would like to use the lighter occasionally, so I am using automotive-grade block paint for the red. Unfortunately, I can't get the paint to stick. I've cleaned the surface with acetone before painting, and roughed it up a little with some emery, but it doesn't seem t o want to stay.

Currently, my only option seems to be to primer the whole damn thing and then paint, but I'd like to leave the stainless bare if I can help it, as the original prop seems to be painted in this manner. This board is full of gurus who can do anything with anything, so I'm looking for some advice on how to continue.

Any help is appreciated.


Sr Member
When you say it doesn't stick, do you mean that it peels or chips off, or that there is no actual adhesion (like the paint rolls off)?

Stainless steel lighters are tough to paint because, well, they're stainless steel. Your best bet may be to pick up some acid etching primer. It's designed for circumstances such as this. Now I don't know if it comes in a brushable type (it's usually in a spray can) but check with some of the better equppied home service stores and auto paint stores.

What you can do to avoid having to primer the entire thing is first draw the basic outline of the mouth, eye and nostril on the lighter and just prime those areas. If you get the brushable primer, it's a lot easier. If you can only get the spray kind, you're going to have to mask off the rest of the lighter (leaving only the parts you want primed uncovered).

I painted mine using testors enamel (no primer coat) and haven't had any problems with chipping or peeling. Of course when I do carry it, it's always in a pocket by itself, so there's nothing there to bang in to it.

Anyway, hope some of this helps and good luck.



New Member
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Gigatron @ Apr 29 2006, 04:12 PM) [snapback]1235485[/snapback]</div>
When you say it doesn't stick, do you mean that it peels or chips off, or that there is no actual adhesion (like the paint rolls off)?
It sticks, but I can chip it off with my fingernail.


Sr Member
Sounds like your paint isn't as durable as it should be. Try an epoxy based automotive paint (the kind that uses a catalyst). You'll get a much tougher finish. You might also consider and "etching" primer underneath.

Jedi Lawja

Well-Known Member
I found an OD zippo a while back. Perhaps you could get a pre-painted Zippo, paint it to your liking and then remove the paint from the areas you desire stainless. If you'd like, you can have the OD zippo I have -- the flint has galvantically (sp) bonded to the lighter, and would take a little work to get it functional. However if you already have a lighter you could just remove the 'guts' from it and slip it in the OD case. PM me if you're interested. I can mail it 1st class, won't cost you anything. :)



Master Member
I painted one of these lighters a while ago. I used auto paint and then used clear resin (or maybe it was clear epxy...Cant remember) to give it a protective sealant on top.

I basically gave the image a clear coatd and made sure I went just outside the edges of the graphic areas.

Unfortunately I can't tell you how well it protected the artwork...I had the Zippo for about a week, then I lent it to a friend of mine and he lost it somewhere.