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What is the best paint to use for painting plastic

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  • What is the best paint to use for painting plastic

    What is the best paint to use for painting plastic rolling stock? (brush painting not spray painting.) I have several iron mountain ore cars and side dump ore cars that need paint (they look brand new, not acceptable!)

    There isn't a beginners forum so I had to choose, sorry if this is inappropriate for this forum.

    Charley

  • #2
    Charley,

    I always prime my cars with WalMart gray primer. The spray can of gray primer has very few solids and covers the plastic or wood well and will give tooth for the overcoat of paint.

    Then you can use acrylic (water based) craft paints to finish color them. However, if you just want to tone down the "brand new" look, try the weathering powders.

    Spray a coat of dullcoat (you don't need the gray primer if you're not changing colors) over the car so the powders will stick, then just lightly brush on some appropriate colors. I use Bragdon powders but there are others like Doc O'Brien and Dr. Bens.

    Powders will tone down that look, they are easier to use than paint, and you can get a varied weathered look on each car.


    Dave Mason
    On30Kits.com

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    • #3
      Back when I was in High School, I brush-painted a number of engines and RDCs with Floquil. It is possible to get an OK finish, but it isn't going to be as smooth as even a beginner's job with an airbrush. Rattle cans fall somewhere in between. I've never tried brushing acrylics on plastic, but I'd be on the lookout for trouble from runs, as the paint dries slowly.
      James

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      • #4
        I've found it makes a big difference if you thoroughly clean styrene before painting. I'm using a 10% solution of "super clean" (automotive cleaner, purple 1/2 gallon jug from Wal-Mart). Once I've cleaned the styrene, I've had good adhesion even with artist acrylics. However, for best results, I do what Dave Mason does, either gray or white primer (depending on what color I'm going to paint next.)

        dave
        Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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        • #5
          Seems like I remember Karl Osolinski reporting on a technique he used to brush paint Jordan vehicles - he used the inexpensive craft paints thinned (50%?) with blue windshield washer (automotive). He said that it didn't look very good after the first coat, but after the third, well, we all thought the finish looked airbrushed. I've yet to try that idea - will have to one of these days.

          Al Carter

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          • #6
            quote:


            Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy


            Seems like I remember Karl Osolinski reporting on a technique he used to brush paint Jordan vehicles - he used the inexpensive craft paints thinned (50%?) with blue windshield washer (automotive). He said that it didn't look very good after the first coat, but after the third, well, we all thought the finish looked airbrushed. I've yet to try that idea - will have to one of these days.

            Al Carter


            Hi, Al --

            I do remember Karl's advice on Jordans - but I believe he primes them first with a rattle can. I did try his method of using several thin coats of craft paint - and he's right. It winds up looking like it was airbrushed.

            Don

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            • #7
              quote:


              Originally posted by AVRR-PA


              quote:


              Originally posted by Tabooma County Rwy


              Seems like I remember Karl Osolinski reporting on a technique he used to brush paint Jordan vehicles - he used the inexpensive craft paints thinned (50%?) with blue windshield washer (automotive). He said that it didn't look very good after the first coat, but after the third, well, we all thought the finish looked airbrushed. I've yet to try that idea - will have to one of these days.

              Al Carter


              Hi, Al --

              I do remember Karl's advice on Jordans - but I believe he primes them first with a rattle can. I did try his method of using several thin coats of craft paint - and he's right. It winds up looking like it was airbrushed.

              Don


              Yup, you're right, Don, he does use the rattle can primer first - I forgot that part. Thanks for the reminder!

              Al

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