Paint Like a Pro

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"I learn something every day," Ron “Flea” Fleenor says.
 
“I try to stay in my own lane and do my own thing. And I love teaching how to do this kind of stuff,” he says. “I’ve been doing it since 1975; you constantly try and evolve your career. You try and learn something every day to do your job better and faster. I’ve been super lucky to be able to work with companies that let me try stuff and then go ahead and teach it. I’ve hung out with some of the best in the industry and it’s great to bounce ideas without letting egos get in the way. Everyone feeds off each other; that’s how we can really move forward in this business.”
 
 
 
Flea 1
 
01
When spraying base, finding the right tip size and correct air pressure is key. SATA has a chart that makes it all quite clear for novice and veteran painters alike. For spraying base, Flea recommends a 50% overlap or so during each pass for a seamless start to the project. A space clear of all debris—even on the floor—makes for a confident start to any endeavor.
 
 
Flea 2
 
02
When sanding (as with any refinish process), wear proper eye and respiratory  protection at all times. Sand in a clear, clean space with good lighting and ventilation. When working on a larger section such as a hood (seen here), make sure you can
move around it easily, that you can reach every corner and crevice, and double-check that your gear won’t get in your way. Sand in a deliberate yet careful manner, moving in crisp, equal strokes across any imperfections or areas of focus. Even among common jobs, “you’d be crazy not to wear the safety gear at all times,” Flea says.
 
Flea 3
 
03
“Sealing is sealing,” Flea says, but that doesn’t mean all sealant applications are created equal. Flea is adamant that good overlaps make a good seal. As with sanding, deliberate movement in a regular speed is key—anything that allows you to control the gun and not let the gun control you. A 75% overlap from pass to pass should be enough to ensure a regular coating. 
 
 
Flea 4
 
04
To keep his skills sharp, Flea practiced a startling array of flake, pinstriping and color on this panel in what can only be described as a pristine passion project of powerful precision and poise. As the western regional manager for SATA, Flea’s impeccable work can be seen at his shop, Fleaz Color Faktory, in Knoxville, Tenn., or on Instagram @ron_flea_fleenor.

The Painter's Playbook is presented by PPG and SATA/Dan-Am Co.

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