painting track

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by petersd, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. petersd

    petersd New Member

    I would like to paint my track to give it the weathered look. The question that I have is do I paint after solder the joints and if not then how do you go about getting a good electrical connection if you solder after the track has been painted.

  2. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Peter, What I usually do is buy buy a can of dark brown, flat spray paint. Mainly because I don't own an airbrush, Paint all the track, make sure you tape the points on your turnouts, you can go back latter and touch them up with a brush. when it comes to soldering I scrape off the paint, solder, then touch up with a brush. Another hint is to put a light coat of oil on the top of the rails, it makes getting the paint off alot easier!!:eek:
  3. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Dave, I like to do all of the track work, both mechanical and electrical, before ballasting and weathering the rails....but that's just my way of doing it:D

    TIPS: If you use masking tape to tape off turnouts points or rails, apply it just before painting and remove it right afterwards. The adhesive on the tape gets gooey and then hard in a very short time and you have to scrape the rails to get it off.

    If you want to use an oil to coat the tops of the rails before spraying them get a small can of Wahl Clipper Oil. Just put a generous drop of it on your finger and spread it on the rails to be painted. The beauty of the Wahl Clipper Oil is that it is electrically conductive and if by chance you don't get it all off after painting the rails no problem with electrical pickup. You can find it at Beauty and Barber supply places.
  4. Jim de Bree

    Jim de Bree Member


    I'm with you. I get the track soldered and running right before i weather and ballast. I use Krylon paints--three colors of primer Rust colored dark brown, flat black and gray. I remove the paint from the top of the rails right after painting so I don't use any oil. I just don't like putting oil on my track.

  5. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Jim, There was an article in one of the MRR mags some years back about the Whal Clipper Oil. I think it was RMC. Anyway in essence the article said that if you clean your track real good and then apply a thin coat of the oil that dirty track problems would be greatly reduced and that the oil would not cause any significant loss of tractive effort.

    Well being the "skeptic" that I am I had to try it. :D I have several 2.5 % grades on the layout and quite frankly I didn't see any difference in the way things operated. Nothing slipped. :eek: AND I didn't have to clean the track for well over a year. I still use the stuff and I must say that it does work but of course that don't mean that it would work for everybody!!:D :D :D

    The way I use it is to thourghly clean the track with a Bright Boy then wipe all the rails off with a rag dampened with alcohol.
    Then I applied some small drops of oil to the rails all around the layout every 6-8 ft or so. I then ran a loco (no cars) over all of the track and then came back with a dry rag and wiped the rails again. I then cleaned the wheels on the loco. Boy you should have seen the gunk that was on them from what I thought was already clean track. :eek: Anyway its reduced track cleaning from around once a month to around once a year!:) And I don't see any difference in the way things operate.

    One of the stangest things I've seen in Model Railroading!!!!
  6. NYCentral

    NYCentral Member

    I have to agree with Vic, I have been using Wahl Clipper oil for years with the same results.

Share This Page