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Between Coats When Air Brushing

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  • Between Coats When Air Brushing

    I am going to be painting a car next week and wonder what to do with the air brush between coats?
    Do I take it apart and do a full wash or just blast it clean with air pressure and no paint spraying?

  • #2
    Depends on what paint you are using and how long between costs.
    I use Auto Acrylic and usually about 1 hour between costs.
    So I remove the paint bottle, spray thinners thru the brush, and cap the spray bottle.
    I am using Badgers,so the bottle is easily removed.


    • #3
      Like PK said above, "What's the plan?" Knowing your recoat interval is kinda important. They are not all the same. For maintenance, I use the "better safe than sorry method". I base it on time, and err to the side of caution.

      I flush between coats for materials that have a quick (minutes) flash time for recoats. Like lacquer, catalyzed urethanes, or acrylics. You're working wet on a permeable semi wet paint film membrane, so the material never has time to set up in the rig

      Enamels are a grab bag, so you have to be careful about the recoat interval. Extended recoat means you cant let it sit in your rig. It'll say on the can/jug. If you dont, the semi cured membrane on the workpiece will wrinkle up, we've all been there at one point or another, ugh.

      Otherwise for any materials with extended flash or cure times, clean the rig between color changes, The last thing you want is a chunk of semi cured particulate from the last stage making through the nozzle and into your current stage. Flushing does not remove the minute particulate that accumulates in the passages of your rig, between uses. It might not get you today or tomorrow but it will get ya.

      Always clean before you shoot clear, especially two stage base metallic/clear jobs. You dont want any unplanned ghost effects randomly hanging or tinting in your clear. Typically metallics will cling in the guns passages while the pigment is flushed away, it can get loose if not cleaned out. Rogue metallic can appear as an irregular metallic flare in your clear on an otherwise perfect job.

      Murphys law dictates if anything can get loose it will, and the odds of it winding up on the hood or roof of your favorite new slot car is 100%!

      I could blather on indefinitely. Hope this helps!


      • #4
        Thanks guys. I am going to be spraying Tamiya non-metallic acrylic paints. They are all in the "X"series.
        Based on what you both say, better to flush the gun and cap the bottle, right?


        • #5
          A blastcthrough with window cleaner may me a quick and effective option, i use it to thin my tamiya acrylics and blow through the airbrush between coats and changing color.


          • #6
            Thanks for all this. Can you tell me approximately how many coats you apply?


            • #7
              Lots of good advice above. I like to use Testor's Enamel or Testor's Model Master Enamel - not the acrylic - and flush after a session with acetone. I use a spray booth and vent the fumes out a basement window for both the painting and acetone flushes. Paint thinner (from the hardware store works OK, but the acetone gets anything that dries in the airbrush to re-dissolve and blow out. And it seems to dry quickly so I haven't had a problem with acetone contaminating the paint at the next application.

              If I can, I try and plan to do at least a couple of things in the same color so I can paint one, move it to a protected, covered place to dry and paint the second while the first is drying. If the coats are not too thick, I can get back to the first item and repeat the process without having to do a full clean on the airbrush. Obviously that saves a bit of time and effort for other things.


              • #8
                Originally posted by s.o.f. View Post
                Thanks for all this. Can you tell me approximately how many coats you apply?
                That will depend on what sort of paint I'm using. If it's automotive enamels or rattle can it will depend on how well it covers what's underneath. I give an hour between coats (so it can turn into an all or couple days affair).

                If I'm shooting alkyd lacquers 15 to 20 minutes between coats. Flashover for Lacquer is much faster than enamels, but the coats go on thinner than enamel, so you'll need more coats.

                The key thing is to have an absolutely clean surface to start with. I use Dawn dish soap as a degreaser which works a treat. Also, it's imperative that you use the same brand of paint from primer to clear coat. The only caveat to that is if you're using Lacquer for primer or lacquer for primer and paint, you can use enamel over it. Using lacquer over enamel is a HUGE NO, NO.

                As for decals I've had issues with alcohol-based enamels as recently as yesterday. To alleviate this I have found either using a number of "fog" or very light coats prior to shooting a light-medium coat or three of clear. Another thing that seems to work is painting the decals with water-based latex clear and a brush before shooting the clear enamel...

                Shot with alkyd lacquer color and primer, fog coats of Duplicolor clear enamel over decals

                Shot with rattle can Duplicolor primer, black, silver and clear over decals.

                BTW, I use an Iwata airbrush with compressor set for 20 lbs PSI. I also have a moisture trap between the compressor and the airbrush.

                Last edited by greenman62; 02-21-2017, 08:52 PM.