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Author Topic: Basic painting tutorial  (Read 4802 times)

slewis

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Basic painting tutorial
« on: April 30, 2007, 10:17:04 PM »

Ok as the title says its basic but from other forums I have tended to gather that painting is a black art only to be undertaken by the chosen few . Lets put this record straight right now.

A bit of background here . I have been painting for the last gawds knows how many years cars . It's my trade and something I can do quite easily and with no thought at all . I was asked a while back if I could write a basic tutorial on painting techniques and after a bit of thought I did.
Believe me it took a LOT of thought to actually write down something that is automatic to me each and every day and try to make it understandable .
So below is the result of my efforts .
Bear in mind that I paint cars for a living and the tutorial was made for rc aircraft builders but the techniques remain the same .

If you have any questions please feel free to post them or PM me . I look in at least once a day  ;)

Shane

Preparation
This is most probably THE most important section in this article, without good preparation you are simply wasting your time, effort and money.
So what does good preparation entail?

For the purposes of this guide it is to be assumed the object to be painted is already glassed , or finished ready to accept paint .
Firstly you need to make sure that any imperfections are taken care of. Small dents can be filled with Balsa filler or a product made by 3M called Acryl red, a very fast drying lightweight and easy to sand filler used in the car repair business.
High spots can be sanded away using fine 800 grit wet and dry sanding paper (used wet) on a small rubbing block .Once you are sure that the surface is as smooth as you can make it ,you can move onto using primer.

For this guide we will be using car aerosol primers, as they are readily available and ideal for the job in hand.

What colour primer?

A good question, there are a multitude of colours available but as a general guide, try to imagine the top coat being opaque and you can see the primer underneath. Ask yourself if the primer colour detracts from the topcoat colour.
I.e. you wouldn’t put dark grey primer under a white topcoat. Then again you wouldn’t put a white primer underneath a white topcoat either because it is very difficult to see where you have and haven&undefined;t painted.
Try and find a colour that is either a close variant or one that will enhance the topcoat.
Light grey primer will suffice in the vast majority of cases, white is good under bright colours like yellows and reds.
Also get a primer of a different colour to the one you will use , it will be beneficial during the preparation stage.
So your ready to start priming are you?

No .............. You still have preparation to do first.
You are satisfied with the finish ready for the primer, what else is there to do?

CLEAN UP!

At the very least you should have a good sweep of the workshop and work surfaces to get rid of as much dust as is possible.
Dust is one of the main reasons a paint finish looks bad. So make sure the area you are painting in , is clean.
Don’t paint in the cold either, a warm environment is better for the paint as it flows better, take this as meaning each paint drop from either can or spray gun flow together creating a nice smooth finish.
Make sure you have adequate safety equipment for yourself as well; rubber half facemasks with screw on filters are ideal for the job. Believe me you DONT want to fill your nose and lungs with paint vapours, apart from the looks you will get when blowing your nose to remove brightly coloured mucous, do you really think lungs were designed to be painted on the inside?

Ok let’s start

First we need to make sure that the surface is totally clean so we use another couple of automotive products for this job.
We need to make sure that there is no grease or oils on the surface as these create fish eyes in the paint, which are very hard to remove without rubbing the paint away completely. So we use a product called panel wipe /spirit wipe which is a gentle thinner. It’s important to use 2 different cloths for this 1 to wipe the solution on with the second to wipe it off with; this ensures you are not just pushing the oils around.
Next up is a "tack" rag which is exactly what it says ,a tacky rag !!, this is lint free so will leave no residue on the surface. The tacky covering it has will pick up any remaining dust from the surface.

Now we can start priming.

For the first coat we need to very lightly cover the surface with a single "dust coat", NEVER EVER try to put any primer or paint on with one good thick coat, you will get a terrible finish that will need removing.
Build up to the finish.

The second coat can be applied after the first looks dry but is still tacky, (flashed off); this coat can be thicker than the first but don’t go overboard with it.The third and any subsequent coats are applied in the same manner.When you have a nice smooth even finish you can consider the job “primed “.Allow the primer time to cure and harden off, usually about an hour will be fine in a warm environment. Then take your second and differently coloured primer and dust a light coat over the top of the finished job.Now when you rub this down with 800 grit wet and dry paper (used wet) you will be able to see low spots in the surface (the second colour will remain).These low spots can be filled with 3m’s Acryl red, a very light and easily sanded filler that dries very quickly. By this stage you should of removed most of the primer that you have applied leaving a very smooth finish.All “dings” now filled? Apply another coat of primer, again , building up from a dust coat to a top coat. Then rub down again, use wet, 800 grit wet and dry sandpaper on a small rubbing block .You should now have a very smooth surface ready for painting .

CONGRATULATIONS!
Materials used in the above are generally available from good motor factors stores like Brown Brothers . You may struggle to find these materials in Halfords.

Now you are ready to paint !!

Equipment
For this we will be using a small touch up gun and an air compressor with a 25 litre tank. A tank of that size will help to ensure an adequate supply of air, at a constant pressure, without the compressor continually recharging itself .
The spray gun, to do its job effectively, requires air at an even pressure and a constant flow.
While smaller tank volumes can be used, there is always a danger of the gun being starved of air and the compressor will constantly be recharging the tank.
Using the spray gun.
Don’t be fooled into believing it’s just a case of pull the trigger and a fantastic finish will appear.
Practice with your gun, with your chosen paint, on some scrap material, before committing to the job. This practice will enable you to improve your technique and learn about the limitations of the paint and the spray gun.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is how they actually move the gun from side to side.
Practice moving the gun whilst keeping the spray head the same distance from and parallel to the surface. This will ensure an even coverage of paint.
If the gun is moved in an arc, a common mistake, this causes a heavier build up of paint in the centre of the arc and light coverage at the outside edges.
The secret here is to be able to move the gun while bending your wrist to keep the gun at the same angle to the job at all times .
When you are confident you can apply an even coverage of paint, it is time to think about the next stage.
As with the primer, top coating, is all about careful preparation. Clean up again and carefully mask off all areas of the model, or surface, that do not require painting.
The best material for masking large areas is masking paper, it is commercially available, not expensive and can be obtained from your paint suppliers. Newspaper is OK, but because of it&undefined;s porosity, two or three layers should be used to prevent the paint from soaking through, and spoiling the finish underneath.
Normal masking tape will be fine, and as long as your primed surface was well prepared, you will not damage the surface when removing the tape.

Time to paint….

Wipe the surfaces over with panel wipe, one rag to apply one to remove. Then use a tack rag to remove any traces of dust.
You are now ready to go.
Load the gun with mixed paint, put your face mask on, and apply a gentle dusting of paint over the whole surface. Try to overlap each pass of the gun by about 50% of the pass before, this will ensure a nice even coverage.
When this coat has flashed off you can apply a second slightly heavier coat. This should be just enough so that you can barely see the primed surface . Let this coat flash off and then spray a third heavy coat. Make sure that this coat is not too heavy or you will start to get runs in the paint.
If runs do appear, DON’T panic and try to wipe them off. You will create a bigger mess. Instead let the paint dry thoroughly and correct the problem later.
The term “flash off” in case you were wondering refers to the point where the solvents in the paint have evaporated enough to give the appearance of dry paint when actually its still wet . This will become clear as you paint .

Troubleshooting
Runs in the paint.
When the paint is thoroughly dry, these can be removed by rubbing back with 1500 wet and dry sand paper, used wet, on a small rubbing block. Don’t worry if you rub through the paint you can always dust over with more paint to blend it back in.
Orange peel effect.
Either caused by working in too cold an environment, which prevents the paint from flowing smoothly, or applying the paint too heavily.
Simple remedies are keep the work place warm and practice your spraying technique. If you do get this effect it’s a case of rubbing down with 800 wet and dry, used wet, until its smooth again, and spraying another top coat.
Very dry paint.
Feels rough to the touch, like fine sandpaper.
This is the result of spraying too far from the surface, causing the paint to be almost dry when it hits the last coat.
Remedy as for orange peel
atchy areas.
A result of bad painting technique, you have not overlapped the passes and some areas have received more paint than others.
Go back to your test surface and practice spraying an even, consistent coverage of paint.
Foreign bodies in the paint.
These are bits of dust, and everyone experiences them, the paint soaks into the dust and builds up around it, creating these spots.Only one way to deal with them, and that’s to rub them away with very fine wet and dry sandpaper, used wet. I would start with 2000 grit and work up through 4000 and 8000 until the spot has gone.

For multiple colour schemes and camouflage, the paint techniques are identical, there is only one rule to remember, and that is, to paint the lightest colours first. It is easier to paint over a light colour with a dark one, rather than the other way around, and also uses less paint. Less paint = less weight.

Happy painting and if in doubt practice first on scrap material.

Have fun and bear in mind this was written for model aircraft but the principles are the same as are the techniques


Shane

ps  any questions I might help with  pm me

Practice makes perfect.


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Stavros

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2007, 11:20:28 PM »

3M acryl red now if memory serves me right that stuff has a tendency to sink surely it would be far better to use a 2 part filler such as Easy light which you should yourself know is a far superior product which has a consistency of cream cheese,and rubbs down like a dream.
One major point you have failed to point out that these days 99%of car paints that are sold in motor factors are 2pack and SHOULD NOT BE USED AT HOME,this is because to spray these paint you DEFINATLY need an AIR FED MASK which a 25ltr tank compressor WILL NOT provide enough air for.Yes it will be OK to spray cellulose and enamels with a cartridge spray mask but please lads and lasses DONT USE 2 pack at home it could kill you the fumes contain a product called isocianate which basically means CYANIDE.
In case you wonder what my credentials for writing this is 25+years as a paint sprayer
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slewis

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2007, 05:52:49 PM »

Quote
One major point you have failed to point out that these days 99%of car paints that are sold in motor factors are 2pack and SHOULD NOT BE USED AT HOME,this is because to spray these paint you DEFINATLY need an AIR FED MASK which a 25ltr tank compressor WILL NOT provide enough air for.Yes it will be OK to spray cellulose and enamels with a cartridge spray mask but please lads and lasses DONT USE 2 pack at home it could kill you the fumes contain a product called isocianate which basically means CYANIDE.

I wasnt aware that the stuff was still sold ! We have been using water based paints for years now as I think coshh regulations outlawed the stuff in boidyshops (might be wrong here)
But that said I do remember using it and it was a joy to paint with and an excellent finish as well . But your warning is quite correct and something I should of made clear .
Thanks for the reminder  ;)

3m acryl red we use all the time but only for small uneveness in the surface its not used like conventional filler , certainly not in the case of models .Like I said this was written firstly for aero modellers and it was a great way of ensuring a smooth wing surface which usually got a bit of hangar rash while waiting for finishing.
As an alternative and a real filler I have not used your Easy light but something no doubt similar called easy sand . Makes the hard work a bit easier  ;D ;D

Thanks for the input

Shane
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Stavros

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2007, 06:43:04 PM »

Yes shane 2 pack is still available unfortuantly as yuo have said it is orrible stuff but the gun finish as you said was and still is excellent,the move to water based paints initially was treated with contempt in the trade but the health aspect is far superior but as you know yourself an air fed mask is still the way forward!!!! albeit a dammed nusance. cheers Stavros
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Jonty

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2007, 10:17:16 PM »

A word of warning. I picked up some stuff in Halfords called 'No Mix'. I may have misunderstood the blurb, I was in a  hurry, but got the impression this was usable as a filler on primer. Something like the cellulose putty used when I was last involved with cars.

Not only is it reluctant to go off in anything other than bright sunshine, it is an absolute swine to rub down. Even worse, when you rub down wet it becomes invisible.

Result: hours of extra work.
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funtimefrankie

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2007, 08:28:08 AM »

A word of warning. I picked up some stuff in Halfords called 'No Mix'. I may have misunderstood the blurb, I was in a  hurry, but got the impression this was usable as a filler on primer. Something like the cellulose putty used when I was last involved with cars.

Not only is it reluctant to go off in anything other than bright sunshine, it is an absolute swine to rub down. Even worse, when you rub down wet it becomes invisible.

Result: hours of extra work.
I'll second that....avoid >:(
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Ghost in the shell

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2007, 08:57:27 PM »

for my models since the najade I have used Plasticote spray-on enamels :) they work quite well.  those of you who were at the mayhem bash would have seen Gemini and Celestia, - they used plasticote
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catengineman

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2007, 08:27:23 PM »

I second the use of 'plasticote' a fantastic product for models  ;D and modelers alike.

I will now stay clear of Halfords own brand spray paint no good in my honest opinion, poor coverage, messy nozzel and not much in the tin!
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Guy Bagley

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2007, 02:04:28 PM »

read the tutorial, and agree with it, common sense really. but i have to ak the question, what colour primer does everyone else use under a white topcoat ?

i must admit i usually use a light covering of grey primer- finish any blemishes , then when happy,  a  light coat of white primer,  then a full white top coat.....

so what do you use prior to a top coat of white ?
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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2007, 02:10:57 PM »

I use white plasticote primer usually.
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Pointy

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2007, 08:24:39 PM »

Just don't use platicote varnish over halford paints!!!  :'( :'(
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rem2007

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2007, 10:15:38 PM »

a couple quick questions, just starting Snowberry thread and need some tips on painting as I don't want to get air brush just yet,
so, how do you mix paints? what is bestfor a plastickit that will be on the water? is there a difference between enamel and acrylic?
are primers necessary for plastic? and if necessary can a waterbased paint be sealed and with what?
cheers robert
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Voyager

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2007, 04:15:46 AM »

Hi Robert, when i get a bit more time i'll help you out on this one!

I couldn't possibly answer this one without going into great detail, pros and con's need to be pointed out and all that...check back later tonight: OK!

Voyager
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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2007, 08:57:45 AM »

a couple quick questions, just starting Snowberry thread and need some tips on painting as I don't want to get air brush just yet,
so, how do you mix paints? what is bestfor a plastickit that will be on the water? is there a difference between enamel and acrylic?
are primers necessary for plastic? and if necessary can a waterbased paint be sealed and with what?
cheers robert
Hi Robert on my corvette I used Tamiya acrylics and coated them with Ronseal matt varnish.
I'll leave the rest for voyager.
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rem2007

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2007, 09:16:17 AM »

thanks dicky and voyager. i will check back in the pm
robert
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Voyager

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2007, 11:10:45 PM »

I will just try to point out the pro's and con's, Shane has gone through quite a bit so i don't want to recap on what he's already mentioned...so here goes:

When your referring to mixing paints, you must be referring to the Revell Snowberry kit. If you want to mix as per the instruction then you could buy a measuring container if you want to be precise. On the other hand the box art is also a good reference to work with, mix the two colours as per the instructions and test some on a piece of paper, see that you allow the colour to fully dry before deciding if your happy with it!

As for what is best for plastic, no right or wrong here: Acrylic or Enamel paints are designed for the job. The most common makes are Humbrol enamel (shortly to be renamed Hornby!) or Tamiya acrylic. Both of these are available in bottle/tinlet or spray form. There are a couple of differences with enamel and acrylic, the first one being the drying time! Acrylic dries much faster than enamel, enamel tends to be much slower unless you speed up the drying with quick dry dedicated enamel thinners. Tamiya acrylic paints nearly all come out of the tin as satin (with few exceptions of the odd bottle that are in gloss). Humbrol on the other hand have a mixture of finishes in gloss/satin/matt finish.
If you want the best finish then you should always primer the model up first, this shows up any imperfections that require attention. Primer keys to a surface and gives the main coat something to bond to.
Sealer is another problem!!! My advice after trying a number of makes is to stick to Ronseal clear satin varnish O0 It's ultra tough-waterproof-scratch proof!!! Tamiya do their own satin varnish and so does Humbrol, both in my opinion are ok for a static on the shelf model but for a working model your need something much tougher and longer lasting.

Follow these steps as a guideline:

*Always primer a model (Halfords plastic spray primer)
*Lightly sand the primer before applying the main colour
*Enamel can be sprayed over Acrylic, but will attack each other if you try it the other way around!!!!!
*Take your time! Always give the paint 24hrs to dry before applying a second coat!
*Start with the lightest colour first, then work on the mid colours and then finaly your dark colours.
*Ronseal is available in: gloss, satin, matt finishes.

Hope this helps!

Regards: Voyager
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rem2007

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2007, 09:32:09 AM »

Hi voyager, yes it did help, thanks I owe you a pint. Quick question, when priming, does that just apply to the hull? and have you ever used plasticote(was planning on getting some later to seal it all in). oh yeah, what did you use for sealing the hull prior to priming and painitng?
robert
make that 2 pints
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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2007, 10:49:57 AM »

Hi Robert
I used epoxy resin to seal the joints on mine. Never had any water in at all.
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rem2007

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2007, 11:02:06 AM »

thank you, sir. never wanted to be a sir as my parents were actually married, old joke from the stoker mess.
robert
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Voyager

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2007, 03:24:56 PM »

You should use primer on everything!

Do you have any progress to show us yet?
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rem2007

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2007, 04:31:44 PM »

no not really, just been doing some priming and sort out a medical thing, hopefully by the weekend I shall have made some progress.
cheers
robert
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Voyager

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Re: Basic painting tutorial
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2007, 05:07:04 PM »

OK! Keep us posted.


Voyager
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