Spraying Compound Angled Surfaces


Hey friends, I'm a relative newbie in this arena and for some this may be a stupid question but I'm going to ask. I epoxy primed my tailgate yesterday, see picture. Note that the tailgate has multiple deep compound angles with relative small surface area width. As such, I struggled to effectively apply the epoxy maintaining the correct angle and distance on those surfaces. I had the fan rather wide, thinking maybe I should reduce the fan width. Also wondering about gun direction on the surfaces. Looking for a recommendation on spraying these types of surface? I'm not overly worried with the primers but I really need to get this down when I spray the basecoat and even more the clear.


Promoted Users
Hi! Wierd shapes can be awkward to spray effectively. The rule of thumb is to treat panels like a box if that makes sense, try to maintain straight even overlaps for the most part. Ive painted quite a few cars and sometimes still struggle with vehicles that have a lot of curves, because you tend to want to follow them.
A bumper cover for example, that has several recesses for grille and fog light openings etc, can be tricky as well. I treat them as a box while maintaining even gun distance from the panel at all times. Once ive sprayed it "as a box", I go back in and dust in the recesses or details that were missed.
As far as your tailgate, just maintain your gun distance as you move across the variations of the panel. Also keep the gun perpendicular to the surface at all times. So on a panel with that many variations, you will be constantly adjusting your wrist as you move over the different angles. Hopefully that makes sense to you.
I think another thing that may help with that tailgate would be to hang it up and spray it. I think it would be easier because you would have full range of your arm and wrist motion vs with the gate laying down, youre already putting your arm and wrist at an angle to begin with.
Also, you mentioned your fan pattern. You generally are spraying with a wide fan. Start with it wide open and slowly turn it in until you get where you need to be. Usually doesnt take much. Once you get it dialed its usually only an inch of so smaller of a pattern than wide open. Thats just generally speaking. Theres a lot of factors. Make sure you take your time and do some test sprays on some masking paper and gun your gun dialed in.


Trying to be the best me, I can be
Something like the tailgate you simply change your gun head angle to the panel. You try to keep it parallel with what you are spraying. Sometimes you may have a slight slant but with a gate like that it's no problem really. Start at the top or bottom, straight passes across, consistent overlap, keep the gun head parallel to the panel as you are spraying. Very simple.


When I was spraying it, I found it difficult to keep my gun parallel to the surface. Initially, I was moving too fast which complicated my gun direction. I need to figure out a way to hang this thing too, as I feel it would be easier to spray. Definitely want it hung when I shoot the clear. Thank you, gentlemen!


Hanging is the way to go. Here is how I did mine. I found an eye bolt the correct thread and threaded it into one of the latch bolt holes, made a hook from some steel rod, and used some steel wire to suspend from the ceiling.

Dont be afraid to do some dry practice runs to get a feel for your travel path and angles. Once you get something you think will work try it with primer, once you repeat it a few times it will be that much easier.