Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by N2WJW, Apr 6, 2012.
What have you guys used to re-paint Heathkit HW and SB series cases?
There were no less than 5 different colors used by Heath for the SB-Line cases. There was no rhyme or reason as to when cabinets of these various colors were provided. It was possible to purchase, at the same time, kits that came with each of the cabinet colors. For example, one could purchase an SB-301, SB-401, SB-200, SB-630, and an SB-600 and get all 5 colors!
In addition, Heath used 3 different shades of green for the front panels (4 if you include the wattmeters). It was possible to get all 3 of these front panel colors on units ordered at the same time!
The shade of green used only on the SB-104 and which is present in cabinets for the other SB-Line equipment is basically a light gray with just a "hint" of green is, in my opinion, the best looking of all of the cabinet colors. This is the color that I have repainted all of my SB-Line units. I can't really do anything about the various panel colors, but, at least all of my cabinets are the same color.
I get the paints that I use when restoring "boat anchor" radios computer matched at Sherwin-Williams. The formulas for the various paints that I have had matched are in the article at
Any decent paint store can use these formulas to produce the proper color. Please note that all of the formulas EXCEPT for the Collins S-Line cabinet paint are for 1-quart. That formula is for 1 gallon. However, the 1 gallon formula can be reduced to produce just 1-quart.
One of the cool things about the latest 3d printer technology is that you can reproduce a physical pigment mix using a digital color sample. Some paint stores are actually using this technology.
I'm wondering if any of the big home improvement stores have anything that is a close match for either the SB or HW lines?
No, or hams would be raving about it here on Zed.
They do have color matching scanner machines. Take in the case and they can match it. Then your agonizing decision is Texture and Application....popcorn, textured, brush-on, roller, or spray.
There used to be a couple of shades that were not an "exact" match but didn't look bad on the cabinets. Unfortunately, those were discontinued several years ago.
Some feel black is better than the "ugly" Heathkit green colors. Some, like myself actually LIKE those colors.
My homebrew amplifier in an old SB-220 case, to match my existing SB-220, will start out life with the Heathkit green color.
I just restored my 301 and 401. I found Krylon Sage Green to be a near perfect match. I very lightly sanded the original paint and lightly sprayed the cabinet. I could not believe how close the match was to the original. Best thing of all, the can of paint cost $4. I found the paint at Wal-mart.
Don't order that stuff off ebay. I ordered a can for my kenwood restoration. I could have bought the $1 can and done just as good as that garbage. I had $24 tied up in that can:'(
Can help on the front panel color, I was lucky and the front panels on mine were mint.
I've seen a few heathkit amps painted black. To each his own, but I wonder why would some one do that. Looks like crap.
The various Krylon "Sage" green paints were discontinued for some time. Those were the shades that I recommended when the person did not want to go the actual computer matched route. However, Krylon stopped making them several years ago. If they are again producing those colors, then that is a good thing.
Of course, each of the 5-different colors used on the SB-Line cabinets has its proponents. I definitely prefer the light gray with just a "hint" of green and keep that paint in stock.