Airbrushing Paint Coats & Sealing

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TomPM, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    You know it was bound to happen.;) :confused:

    I just finished airbrushing several undecorated freight cars. I used Folk Art by Plaid paint thinned with windshield washer fluid. The airbrushing went great. Very little problems with clogging. The paint went on smooth and covered well. Thanks for all the previous recommendations I received.

    Now for the question. I gave each car an a coat of light gray to act as an undercoat. The cars were originally black. The final colors will be oxide red, red, blue, and/or black. The question is should I seal the paint that I just applied? If I seal it will it cause any problems with adding additional coats?
  2. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hey Tom, Now you're on one of my favorite subjects...painting cars:D :)

    I've never tried painting rolling stock with the Folk Art paints but I'm familar with them as I use them to stain hydrocal by thinning them down. Since you have already applied a gray undercoat as a primer I would just go ahead and paint over that and then seal the final coat so it will accept decals or rub on lettering. The only thing that concerns me is just how well has the Folk Art undercoat has bonded to the plastic car? Not to be critical at all but Plaid Folk Art is a fairly low grade acrylic and I just wonder how much tooth it would have in holding to a slick surface like a plastic carbody. This is a good experiment you're conducting.

    Maybe the better route would be to first give the surface to be painted a light coat of some thing like Dullcote and that would give the Plaid paint something to grab to.

    Anyway I don't think you "messed up" If it don't work out the cars should be real easy to strip and re-do. Keep me posted on what happens.
  3. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan


    It seems like everything I do any more is an experiment. I had all kinds of trouble with Polly Scale. Airbrush would clog. Paint did not cover well. I can not use any of the paints like floquil because I can not provide the ventilation they require. The "craft paints" were recommended and since I had some of the Folk Art I figure give it a try. The airbrushing went a heck of a lot better once I figured out the thinning needed. Like you I too have a concern about the paint adhering to the plastic. I have used the Folk Art in the past with brushing and had a few problems with it adhering.

    The Folk Art can not be as bad as my recent trials with Polly Scale. And as you said I can always redo it or weather it. I have only been airbrushing for about three or four months so I don't except perfection yet.
  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hey Tom, Hmmmm problems with Poly Scale?:eek: :confused: That stuff is about bulletproof. Something ain't right:eek: If you used windshield fluid to thin it something may have reacted:eek: I use distilled water like you get at the grocery store to put in steam irons. Thin the Polly Scale about 50-50.

    I'm just wondering, are you sure you had Polly Scale? Floquil also makes a paint called Polly S which is latex based and it will clog up an airbrush like a constipated cat!!!! The reason that I ask is because I went into the LHS and asked for a bottle of Polly Scale Black and Doofus handed me a bottle of Polly S and told me it was the same thing which it isn't. Here's a pic of the bottles.

    Keep me posted on the progress. I'm interested in trying the Folk Art myself.

    PS: Sorry about the yellow cast to the pic...I turned on the wrong lights:eek:

    Attached Files:

  5. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    It was Polly Scale. The red bottle. I tried distilled water, Polly Scale airbrush thinner, windshield wiper fluid. Nothing seem to work. Windshield wiper fluid worked the best. I tried mixtures from 1:1 to 6:1 with little success.

    Back on the old RR-Line this topic came up about Polly Scale and hopefully a few of the people who participated in it will wonder over here. One major problem noted was once you opened the Polly Scale it went "bad" on your next use. I too experienced this. Fresh bottle was OK. Second and third uses were bad. I tried sealing the bottle with plastic wrap between the cap and the top of the bottle. No luck.

    Now for brushing the Polly Scale has been excellent. As I said before I am new to this so I am willing to give a few things a try.

    BTW I like your bottle holder.:D :)
  6. rich maiorano

    rich maiorano Member

    hey tom let us know how that turn out my wife has a ton of folk art paint just sitting doing nothing:D rich
  7. Tankertoad70

    Tankertoad70 Member

    I have never had to use a clear 'overspray' on any of my undercoating. I always let the undercoat dry for at least one week prior to applying the next color. Never had a problem with any undercoat bleeding through the color coat.

    I have not tried to airbrush Pollyscale since our previous discussion on RR-L. My wife uses lots of Apple Barrel and Ceramcoat colors in her painting, so, when I crank up 'enuf' courage again for acrylics, I am going to try 'em out.:)

    I still use Pollyscale for brushing on as I really like the results I get with its brush application.
  8. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I'll be following this with interest.
    For a brief period of time I tried acrylics in the airbrush, and found that they didn't like me at all, so went back to Floquil, and have been very happy with it.
    Solvent based paints, being "politically incorrect" will eventually be outlawed, and all that will remain will be water base paints. I guess I will have to learn how to use them, but for now I'll remain with what is "comfortable".
    I have the parts to build a new compressor that will deliver a higher pressure to the brush, which is needed for acrylics, so will have to try it again. Maybe with the higher pressure I can figure out how to airbrush these paints.
  9. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Mixing Paint

    I've been sitting here fretting :eek: over the problems that some have been having with the Polly Scale Paint and the only answer I can come up with is that prior to thinning it, it must be mixed very, very throughly. The second though that I have come up with is do not pour the unused thinned paint back into the bottle.

    I've been using Polly Scale in a Paache H Model airbrush with an A tip since the day it became available and I have never had it clog or give me any problems at all.:) :D I have partial bottles that are several years old and short of having to use a monkey wrench to get the caps off:D , the paint is just as good as when it was bought.

    I don't thin a large quanity of the paint when I go to paint say a boxcar. I just put about 10 drops of the paint into the airbrush cup and add about 5 drops of distilled water and stir it real good. That's more than enough to paint a piece of rolling stock. I never pour the unused thinned paint back into the bottle.

    On the subject of mixing the paint prior to thinning it....shaking the bottle ain't gonna do the trick:eek: The Polly Scale paint has to be stirred. Shaking the bottle cause air bubbles to form and degrades the paint and causes it to thicken when stored.

    I got mighty tired of stirring the Polly Scale with a small stick. One day while at the Wal~Mart I came across a gizmo called a Betty Crocker Portable Drink Mixer. Actually there were two versions of the thing, one with a plastic rod and one with a metal rod. Both work extremley well for mixing any kind of model paint. They run off AA batteries. If you get the version with the plastic rod rewire the thing so it only runs on 1 battery. Its too fast with 2 batteries and slings paint all over the place:eek: The metal one works fine without modification. The one with the metal rod must be for mixing stronger drinks:D :D :D

    Hopes this cures some of the "ills" you guys have been experiencing with PollyScale.:) :)

    PS FOR PETE:.....I spray everything @ 22#PSI with no problems.

    Attached Files:

  10. jland31

    jland31 Member

    Air Brush

    Re: paint/thinner ratio;

    Jan Myers of Badger Air Brush sez to mix the paint to a consistency of 2% milk & no thicker.

    Try it & let us all know.

    P S Just got my new Badger #200-20. What a beauty!!!
  11. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    I have always used a new bottle of Polly Scale paint. When I set-up I will do 6-8 cars or loco's. I have done this out of convenience not because I would use old paint.

    We were discussing this on the old RR-l forum and for the heck of it, I took a bottle of EL Yellow that I had been using to paint handrails and such, it was about 6 months old, the bottle was opened and closed, maybe 12 times, anyway I used this bottle to airbrush and had awful results.

    A week prior to this experiment, I airbrushed 6 cabooses with excellent results. All the settings were the same.
    This is where we thought it was the old paint. The minute you open a bottle, the paint starts to degrade or oxidize.

    I do shake the bottles and not stir. Is this another secret to success????

    I do use Polly Scale thinner (50/50, 60/40). Last week I tried distilled water with excellent results. But, then again I used a new bottle of paint.

    I use a Paache VL, #3 tip, 30 psi. I have a water filter, regulator, and a disposable oil,rust filter.


    BTW - I would rather shot Floquil. They do not offer in EL Gray or Rock Island Maroon or my LHS does not carry it.
  12. Tankertoad70

    Tankertoad70 Member

    I am with ya on the Floquil preference there Marty. I have never had a bad result with that stuff. I must admit that I did not know about not shaking the Polly Scale, but stirring it. I shall have to try that. I did recently stir my Modelflex instead of shaking it and noted that it went on very nicely.;)
  13. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Re: Mixing Paint

    Gosh darn just when you think you have it all figured out somebody up and goes and throws a new idea out there.

    Well I just placed an order with Trainworld and had to add a couple of undecorated Atheran box cars to it so I can try this out. I just wonder if I can stir my already shaken bottles or should I start with new ones.

    I can see my wife's face now after I buy the drink stirrer and tell her what it is for and then tell I have to buy new paint because my old was shaken not stirred.:mad: :eek: :p

    Well I will keep you updated on how I do with folk art in the meantime.
  14. Vic

    Vic Active Member

  15. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I've always prefered stirred over shaken. Oh, are we talking about paint?

  16. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Time for an update.

    I noticed that the Folk Art paint that I airbrushed onto the cars was not adhering as well as I would like it to. So as an experiment I took two cars a hopper and a box car and sealed them with a matte finish. After the sealer dried the paint adhered perfectly. You could not scrap it off.

    Last night I airbrushed the hopper and it came out great. Now I will seal it before I begin adding the dry transfers. I will try to airbrush the box car tonight. When I get a chance I will post some pictures.
  17. Tankertoad70

    Tankertoad70 Member

    Thanks fer the update Tom. As I mentioned, I have retired my Pollyscale colors to brush application only. I did a black overcoat on the roof of a diesel I'm doin' for a friend, and that stuff brushed on absolutely great, no brush marks at 'tall. For my airbrush application, I shall continue to use Modelflex and Floquil. I do intend to 'experiment' with the Ceramcoat many have had success with. Da wifey has lots of that here.:D :) :cool:
  18. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hey TomPM, I thought that might be a problem with the Folk Art but glad to know that sealing the cars with matte solved it. Did you use the Folk Art matte or something else? Think I'll try some this week-end....anxious to see your pics when you're done.
  19. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan


    The sealer I used was Patricia Nimocks Matte Clear Acrylic Sealer by Plaid. It did the job but I don't like it as a final coat. I think it is too glossy. You can see when I post the pictures shortly.
  20. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Ok so here is the picture of the final product.

    The car was an Atheran undecorated 34' offset hopper. The lettering is from a CDS LNE 2-bay offset hopper dry transfer set.

    I am not thrilled with the matte sealer I used. I think it is too glossy. Weathering the car will take of the glossiness.

    Attached Files:

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