Wrinkle finish on chassis of SB-220

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by W4KV, Nov 30, 2017.

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  1. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check "K9STH's" site. Glen gives the mixing requirements for Heath paint color. But be aware, Heath used several different shades of "Apache Green" for their equipment.
    And YES, do scrub/scrape down to bare aluminum. THEN use primer. A couple of days to dry is a good idea, THEN use the proper color spray, usually two coats will be sufficient.
    Also, be aware that some larger "Wally World" megastores may have a spray paint that can be very close to the original Heath color, and may be acceptable. (And less $$)

    There has been good advice above; I don't know about your SB-220, but the case of my SB-200 is GRAY, not HeathKit "green."
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  2. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    None of the SB-Line cabinets even approached the "Apache Green" in color. The colors did range from a definite, but light, green, to a grey with just a "hint" of green. The grey with just a "hint" of green was, in my opinion, the most pleasing of all of the 5-different colors that were used on the cabinets. That is the formula which appears in the article on my website. Also, I have repainted all of my Heath SB-Line cabinets with that paint.

    There is just not that much which can be done with getting the 3-different front panel colors repainted all the same color. That is, unless one has the ability to silkscreen the lettering onto the repainted panel.

    Walmart, generally, has the best selection of spray cans of paint. Their selection is definitely better than any paint store that I have been in and the selection is almost always better than what is available at Home Depot or Lowe's. I found one color that is almost exactly the same as one of the 5 SB-Line colors although, again to me, one of the less attractive colors. I had a client who wanted that particular color used on the cabinet of his SB-610. I suspect that his other SB-Line equipment had that particular shade. So, I repainted the cabinet with that color. I might still have the spray can around and, if I do have it, I can post the color name and the can's part number.

    Glen, K9STH
  3. W4KV

    W4KV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks, everybody!
    Glen--I could use the color name and part number.
    The cabinet of this amplifier looks gray to me, but I can't see subtle shades of red or green.
  4. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I will see if I still have the spray can. However, the color is definitely a shade of green!

    There is a very "hint" of green in the most gray of the 5-colors used for the SB-Line cabinets. However, it is very subtle and a number of people may not even be able to see the green. I can see the green. However, my eldest daughter, the artist, has "perfect color" and can look at a paint and tell you every color that makes up the particular tint. She can mix a "touch up" paint that, when applied, you cannot tell the slightest difference between this paint and the original paint. Often, she can come closer than what "computer matching" can achieve.

    However, she lives about 100-miles away so I cannot get her to match any paint within a reasonable length of time. Also, I generally need at least a quart of the paint because I normally am painting the whole cabinet. As such, I go to my local Sherwin-Williams store and they do an excellent job of matching the paint. Sometimes, they have to do more than "computer match" to get the paint "exact". Fortunately, there are 2, or 3, employees at that store who are able to do this and come up with an "exact" formula that perfectly matches the original color.

    Now, I have the paint matched to somewhere, on the original cabinet, that has not been exposed to the "elements", that is, basically, the original paint color. When I restore a unit, I want it to look like when it was brand new and not like what it is 30, 40, 50, or more, years later. Just where one can find such a sample differs from unit to unit. But, if one looks closely enough, there is almost always such a place on the original paint of the cabinet.

    Glen, K9STH
  5. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Glen,

    I'm not a HeathKit collector, so I don't know the various color variations. I just have a few pieces and accessories. "Apache Green" was close enough for my Heath GDO. But my SB-200 and SA-2040 tuner are definitely "gray" in color. Unless one is particularly persnickety, I would think "Wally World" would have a gray shade that should be acceptable, or one can try to get a custom match at Sherwin-Williams. Since my use is usually "one off," I usually have to rely upon Wally World or the home box stores who carry spray paint at a reasonable price. Unlike you, while I would like my Heath equipment to look (at reasonably) like it was originally manufactured, I intend to use it, not just have it in a collection or restored for someone else.
  6. WA7PRC

    WA7PRC Ham Member QRZ Page

    @W7UUU nailed the answers to the OP's questions. :)
    W7UUU likes this.
  7. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    Most of the units that I restore for others are used and not put in collections. However, when a cabinet repaint is requested, the client wants it to be as close to original as possible.

    I have repainted all of my Heath SB-Line equipment and that equipment is definitely on my main operating console. Some of the units are starting to show some wear and tear and, probably, should be in line for another repaint.

    I am always on the "look out" for spray cans that are very close to a number of manufacturers' cabinets in color. Walmart definitely has the best selection of spray cans when even compared with the paint stores let alone the home improvement centers. I haven't found an off the shelf spray can that even comes close to the various gray paints that Heath used on any of their equipment. Krylon (owned by Sherwin-Williams) used to have a fairly close paint to the Heath "Apache green". Unfortunately, that paint was discontinued and there has not been a replacement made for a number of years.

    Although I do not have the "perfect color" ability of my eldest daughter, I still can see subtle differences in paint colors that, probably, quite a number of people cannot see. Most people have 3-cones in their eyes and can see about 10-million different shades of color. However, there are those of us who have a 4th cone and can see more like 100-million different shades of color.


    There are a number of "tests" that can be taken over the Internet that will show if one has the 4th cone.

    Because of this ability to see more shades of color, I probably am more critical of having the paint "match" the original color. What others see as an excellent paint match I may see as a noticeable difference in match. My daughter can see even more differences. As such, one can go through all sorts of gyrations, depending on their color perception, in getting what they believe is a good match in color. Frankly, only the owner of the equipment has a real right to say if the color is "close enough" to satisfy their needs.

    One thing to note is that it is much harder to get a "decent" paint job using a spray can. Using a "real" paint gun, with an air compressor, is considerably easier to manage.

    Glen, K9STH
  8. W4KV

    W4KV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    UUU--Thanks! When I check out the eBay site for the color, even my feeble, color-blind eyes can see that the cases on these instruments are greener than that on the SB-220 I'm going to redo and greener than my other SB-220. I'm definitely going to use a gray with a "hint" of green.
    STH--My XYL is now terrified that I am going to go out and buy a paint sprayer to coat this cabinet, once it's stripped and primed. She has already saved us a fortune in pointing out that we have no need for a Graco airless setup.

    My ultimate goal with this amp is to add some value for when I sell it in "Dayton" this coming spring, so I'll probably take the cabinet to Walmart before stripping it, and try to match it off the shelf.

    All these comments have been very, very helpful!
    WA7PRC likes this.
  9. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good luck with your project! Don't get too hung up on "exact color". Heath had a zillion slight variations with a number of the shades even edging into shades of blue! They got their paint from the auto industry and bulk-mixed to get "close enough" on large batches.

    The eBay link I posted earlier in this thread is, IMO, "perfect Heathkit SB green" - I painted 19 SB boxes with it and they all look wonderful and match perfectly.

    WA7PRC likes this.

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