House Paint for Models

I'm having a heck of a time trying to find paint for a semi-scale P51
for my airbrush. I used to go to the LHS before I moved now the LHS
doesn't carry paint. Even emails to Perfect Paint are unanswered.
I seem to remember a thread here where someone went to the local Home
Depot and had a paint chip matched. My question is what kind of paint
should be used and should a clear coat be used over it?
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On 11/30/2004 9:14 PM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
Use latex paint. It makes no difference if it is interior or exterior paint. For a warbird you will most likely want to use a flat paint.
Add 1 1/2 caps of Flotrol per quart of UNDILUTED paint.
If you are going to be masking for a second (or more ) color, get the 3M blue masking tape. You want the 60 DAY RELEASE, not the 14 day release. If you look on the side of the wrapper you will see several "dots". You want the one with 2 dots - it will look like a paper tape. The 2 dot tape will not lift the paint underneath it.
Let the paint sit a day or two between different colors.
Latex REQUIRES ABOUT 7 - 10 days to "cure" before clear coating. To tell if the paint is cured, press a finger firmly on a hard spot (I use the cowl ). If a fingerprint is left in the paint it is not cured - don't worry, the fingerprint will disappear in a day or two.
Once the paint has cured, 2 coats of a water base polyurethane will provide fuel resistance to 10% nitro (definitely ) or more. Make sure the paint is cured BEFORE clear coating it. Be sure you use the Flotrol in the water base poly also. Depending on the gloss of the poly you use, you can vary the amount of gloss on the plane - satin, semi gloss, gloss.
FWIW - I normally apply my decals and other markings before clear coating. That way everything is protected. I do suggest testing the polyurethane on a piece of scrap decal first. There should be no problems, but better safe than sorry.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
I like to pull the masking tape even before a skin sets. This lets the color puddle down at the edge, minimizing the bump you get otherwise. I don't know about household latex. Most places have a minimum order size for custom colors. For me, that means shooting what's on hand or mixing it myself. That's not as bad as it sounds; living room beige probably makes a good base for desert camo schemes. As for spraying undiluted paint, I haven't tried to get the heavy goop through an airbrush. I like to thin it to about the consistency of milk or light cream.
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On 12/1/2004 1:45 AM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
Custom color mix latex runs about $10 per quart - plenty for several (or more ) planes.
You do need to dilute the paint.
The adding of Flotrol is BEFORE diluting it. I have found that if it is added after diluting, you frequently have too much Flotrol in the paint.
The purpose of Flotrol is to retard the drying so that any brush marks, sags, runs, "dimples" from spraying, etc., have a chance to level themselves out without making the paint too watery.
I have tried adding it after diluting the paint and have found the paint takes "forever" to dry because there usually is too much Flotrol in the mix. The 1 1/2 caps per quart of undiluted paint is USUALLY the correct amount so the paint levels itself, yet dries in a reasonable (timely) fashion.
FWIW - I start my spraying @25 psi. If it isn't spraying properly I go to 30 psi. If it still isn't spraying right, I drop back to 25 psi and thin the paint some more and repeat until it is spraying properly. You should be spraying latex @25 - 30 psi - not any higher than 30 psi for proper application.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
there were some articals not too long ago - I recall that you can use latex paints for gas or electric - Glow fuel is a problem I'm pretty sure - but I don't know if clearcoat fixes the problem.
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Since Cheveron paint has gone kaput,probably my next warbird will be painted with latex.. Have been reading your comments on here in regards to it..My one question is ,when is the best time to use masking tape? (Such as painting a white stripe around the rear of the fuse) General rule of thumb is sufficent...Any other tips would be appreciated....Thanx
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2 coats Minwax water based polyurathane has proven to be resistant to 15% nitro. . . .
I moved to latex a long time ago in an attempt to learn how to paint inexpensively. It didn't work, but that is another issue!
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On 1/6/2005 11:26 AM Ted shuffled out of his cave and grunted these great (and sometimes not so great) words of knowledge:
I use latex quite a bit with excellent results. I have found the following to work best:
1. Add 1 1/2 caps of FloTrol per quart of paint BEFORE diluting it. The Flotrol retards the drying a little and allows the paint to level itself out.
2. Spray at 25 - 30 psi. DO NOT GO OVER 30 PSI. If it is not spraying properly at 30 psi, dilute some more and go back to 25 psi. If it doesn't spray properly go to 30 psi. If it still isn't spraying properly, repeat the above.
3. Use SEVERAL thin coats. Latex dries to the touch pretty quick so you can add additional coats without much wait. Trying to cover in a heavy coat WILL RESULT in sags and runs.
4. Failure to let the latex "cure" is probably the biggest problem with latex. Latex takes AN AVERAGE of 7 - 10 days to cure, but depending on humidity and temperature, can take noticeably longer. The easiest way to tell if the paint is cured is to firmly press your finger on a hard part of the plane (I use the cowl ). If a fingerprint remains in the paint it is not cured. Don't worry about the fingerprint, it will disappear in a day or two.
5. Do not clear coat the plane UNTIL THE LATEX HAS CURED.
Reply to
Ted Campanelli
I second all posted here and add that it won't hurt to let the latex cure for a month or more. Use water based polyurethane for the top coats AFTER you apply decals to seal the edges of the decals, especially if they are not water transfer, but rather have self-adhesive mounting.
Reply to
Charlie Funk
There is a wonderful article on this subject found on the Model Airplan
News site. The link for this information is :
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Hope this helps.
Jim Connell Toronto, Ontario, Canad
-- Jim Connel
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Jim Connell

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