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Thread: Non-pc- paint- mods

  1. #11


    Hey Darkmatter

    I really like the bronzish color you have going there in the first picture. Mind if I ask how you did it.

  2. #12


    Sure no problem, did you want to know more about the process of doing it, or more about the products I use? Or both?

  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatter73 View Post
    Sure no problem, did you want to know more about the process of doing it, or more about the products I use? Or both?
    Also VERY interested! And both, please.

  4. #14


    I'm at work now, will write up something tomorrow

  5. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatter73 View Post
    I'm at work now, will write up something tomorrow


  6. #16


    Ok here goes. These are not set in stone rules, this is just how I roll for painting sabers at home. No doubt lots of folks have had great success using other methods, I'm just trying to add to the body of knowledge out there =) I do run an aerospace paint shop, but I find painting the parts at home to be most satisfying.

    #1 - Plan
    Decide where your paint is gonna go, and where the trickiest spots are. If you paint section A, but section B is now much harder to mask off and paint, you'll just add time to your build ( and possible mistakes ).
    Also, in the case of my Slave 1 saber, multiple layers of paint are required for the weathering and whatnot.
    Plan this out beforehand.
    #2 - Prep and mask
    You've heard this before, clean your parts thoroughly. Use acetone if possible, or even nail polish remover with acetone will be fine.
    Now when it comes to tape, do not use paper masking tape. In my experience it does not lay down smoothly, and more importantly can leave a sticky residue, especially if you are baking your parts. More on baking later.
    This is the tape I use 99% of the time, in various widths. It's a 3M product, and in the pics it looks more yellow than the green that it is.
    I do not know if this is available commercially or not, just showing what I use.

    Mask off the areas that aren't getting painted. Go slowly and evenly, pulling up a bit if it starts to get uneven and then continue straight.
    Take your time! This is an important step, and if rush it you wreck it. ( You've watched your Madcow, right? )
    When you're satisfied with your masking, lightly burnish the edge with your thumbnail or something to press it down tight.
    Do not mask, and then go out to dinner or something. As soon as your masking is good you need to be painting.
    #3 - Prime
    Another solvent clean is in order right now. Your hands feel clean right? They aren't, another wipe with solvent on the area to be painted, after this only handle parts by the masked area.
    For home priming, this is the only one I currently use, works great. It's clear, and very smelly so don't forget a well ventilated area, and a mask. A nice light coat is fine.

    #4 - Topcoat
    I apply whatever topcoat I'm using within 5 minutes or less of priming. If you don't have time for both, do not start! Just a general rule for good adhesion. After awhile ( depending on the type of paint, 12-48 hours) the paint surface will go passive ( chemically ).
    I could write a dissertation on the proper use of rattle cans, but suffice it to say, quick light coats are the way to go with your colors. Do not paint heavy, it could leak under your masking or worse, leave a thick bridging line when you unmask later. Let your parts flash for 10 mins between coats, so the solvents can evaporate. Resist the urge to paint heavy, just apply to the color you're going for.
    As far as paint products, here is a small sample. I say small because I have what you could call a paint library, lol. Of each product line shown, I must have 10-15 colors of each if they make that many. Yep it's a problem =) And there's more, much more.

    The sabers I showed earlier in this thread were painted with some color of one of these products.
    Allow plenty of time to dry, overnight is good. Remember parts can be dry in a couple hours, but won't be cured for a week ( baking does not accelerate this). Be patient.
    If you decide to bake your parts, wait long enough to unmask them first. You don't need to bake your tape on there. 200F is plenty hot, an hour should be fine. Keep in mind, all baking is doing is accelerating the flashing out of the solvents, it won't make it "harder" somehow. Baking is not a necessity, sometimes I don't at all.
    #5 - Overcoating
    If you want cool chipping effects, or want to clearcoat your parts, I would only wait maybe overnight. Remember adhesion from earlier? Now we are talking cohesion. If you wait days and days, you could have cohesive failure between your layers of paint. You've all seen it, where paint peels off another layer. To avoid this either 1) lightly sand ( 600 ) your undercoat to reactivate or 2) paint within a day or so.

    For clearcoats, honestly I normally paint them at work with good stuff =) But I do use these alot too.

    Go LIGHT coats on this or it will be too thick and not flash off correctly. You will end up with a clear that is tacky to the touch. Not good.
    Krylon is pretty common to use, but even the satin can dry a bit shinier than you think. Unless you are going for glossy, then use Crystal Clear or some such. If you use Testors Dullcote, be aware that it can have a
    speckled finish if not applied evenly.

    Now that your parts have a cool paint job, let them sit and go build your chassis for a few days while they cure =)
    I guess that was alot to say, I just want folks to get good results. I hope this helps someone!
    Feel free to comment here for specifics I might have missed, and thanks for reading.


  7. #17


    The last paint job I did, I used a self-etching primer. Got some really good results!

    Last edited by CET; 03-04-2016 at 12:27 PM.

  8. #18


    Thanks Darkmatter.

    I used a self etching primer on my saber, too, and it worked well. Found it at Home Depot or Lowes (can't remember which).

  9. #19


    That's some good, detailed information there Darkmatter. Thanks for posting that!
    We all have to start somewhere. The journey is all the more impressive by our humble beginnings. for the lazy man's resistor calculator! for getting resistor values the right way!

  10. #20


    What's the advantage of a self-etching primer over "regular" primer?


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