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Colours & Paints - Nuttall Lathe


Feb 5, 2021
I'm chasing some advice & opinions on paint removal & paint selection and paint colours for a 1960 Nuttall Lathe. All tips, tricks, pictures of restored machines & colour codes would be appreciated.

Whilst I understand this is very subjective I was hoping to avoid any pitfalls or common mistakes

I picked up a cheap 1960 era Nuttall Lathe and am slowly working through cleaning it up and ironing out the problems to get it up and running. This is a hobby project so budget is fairly small, but as I work through the parts I would like to give them a coat of paint to restore the machines looks as well as its functions.

This is not aiming to be a mint condition restoration but more a functional cleanup and improve the presentation along the way.

The machine has had several coats of paint in its life which are starting to peel and flake. Whilst anything I remove from the machine can be fairly quickly cleaned back the body maybe tricky given its weight and location.

Original internal colour appears to be some form of red and the external colour have been a blue grey but its really hard to tell.

  1. What is the best way to remove paint?
    • From the main body as this is hard to move?
    • From the removable components? (Currently been mostly working with wire brush on a bench or angle grinder)
    • What standard cleanup would you recommend for a good finish without spending unrealistic time (are there any short cuts or tricks that can be taken without compromising the end result)
  2. What is the best paint to use?
    • Enamels, 2 pack epoxies, acrylics etc (I was hoping to get away with an enamel as I can both brush and spray these reasonably simply and they are good with the budget)
    • Primers & fillers
    • Spray vs Brush (I can spray the parts that are removed but the body maybe harder given its location and was thinking a brush on solution maybe the way to go)
  3. Colours?(Photos please)
    • Does anyone know the original colours of a 1960 Nuttall Lathe?
    • What are go to colours for lathes & mills of other brands?
    • What non-orignal colours look great?
      My primary aim is doing this machine up for myself (but I still don't want to paint it a colour that would make it hard to sell it the future.) I saw someone suggest white looks great and someone else suggest black (but saw images of a cream coloured Bridgeport mill that the owner couldn't sell because of the colour.)
    • I was hoping to do this over a period of time as and when I either had the part off or the time available to tackle one of the major components


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Sep 23, 2002
Lawrenceville GA USA
Looks like a nice project, please just dont paint it hammer tone. I get triggered with that stuff. Ha Ha. There are several recommendations on older postings. From my memory industrial paints seem to be popular, a forum search will come up with a few postings about it.



Feb 5, 2021
please just dont paint it hammer tone. I get triggered with that stuff.

Interesting, what is the objection to hammer tone?
There is a hammer tone Dulux epoxy based Enamel paint that I have used previously and it is fairly forgiving on surface prep easy to apply either with a brush or spray.
Colours can be a little loud but it wasn't off the list especially for the drip tray area.

What would you be recommending instead?

I did search the forum for old posts but didn't come across the advise you mentioned, If you had a link it would be appreciated

Best colour on Lathe / Mill?
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Mar 29, 2018
Boat Paint Interlux

I've painted two machines so far with this Interlux boat paint. Applied with a brush or roller it lays down flat and is non toxic. Other members here have used it as well and reports no effect with oils and common machine tool abuse on the paint. Steel Gray was my choice, but I was torn with a green as my machine was originally. 64.jpg


Jan 31, 2011
BFE Nevada/San Marcos Tx
For stripping paint from main body try a needle scaler, for smaller parts mild caustic (purple stuff) sometimes works well, if that does not cut it try spray-on oven cleaner.

I like Hammerite paints, it covers lots of sins, and runs just add to character, plus its very high gloss so cleanup later in life is easy. Rattle cans are ok for small stuff, for a machine get the 1 gal cans and spray it. Spray a test piece first, the trick to using it is spray on heavy, if you spray light and try to avoid runs it will not give hammered look. I usually do 3 coats, 15-30 minutes max between coats.


Cast Iron
Aug 31, 2005
South Australia
you might try Googling B & D Machining in Newcastle. Apparently they are the supplier for Nuttall lathe spares, & they claim to have drawings to make anything they don't have in stock. Maybe they have paint/colour info as well?