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How do I clear coat well?

Discussion in 'General Airbrush Tutorials' started by Blackktieguy, Feb 25, 2017.


  1. Blackktieguy

    Blackktieguy Young Tutorling

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    Hey, guys!

    The title says it all -- looking for a good guide on airbrush clear coating and also how to get that beautiful shine that I see some clear coats have.


    Thank you!
  2. brushit

    brushit Triple Actioner

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    Hi buddy, on helmets i use single pack automotive acrylic clear coat. Thin according to directions. After airbrushing and making sure your surface is 100% clean, apply 2 /3 wet coats.

    Leave about 10 or 15 minutes, then do the same again. Wait about 3 days to harden. Then cut back with 1200 wet paper, until you have a flat non shiny surface. Then go over again with 1500 wet and finish with 2000 wet. Then use cut and polish compound and finish with wax polish. Guarantee you will have a mirror finish. Lot of work, but worth the effort. If you`re like me, and don`t have the facilities for 2 pack spraying, this is the way to go mate. Cheers from down under.
    Robbyrockett2 and S10n like this.
  3. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    Read the spec on the product you choose to use, and stick to the flash times religiously. You need a warm, non humid, dust free safe (ie proper ventilation etc) space. Start with a dust coat, then I like to do a covering coat, and then a flow coat. Overlap each pass by 2/3 to get a good even finish. Then wet sanding, cutting compound, buff and polish to finish.

    I notice you said airbrush clearing. You ideally want a fan spray pattern for best results. I recommend a mini hvlp.
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  4. brushit

    brushit Triple Actioner

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    Yeah as squishy says, you can`t clear coat with an AB. Use a full size gun with a good spray pattern. Also have to take careful notice of the humidity otherwise you will get milkiness in your clear. A real bastard unless you know how to fix it.
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  5. Blackktieguy

    Blackktieguy Young Tutorling

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    Wow, that makes sense. I have experience with HVLP so using it won't be difficult but I need to know of some good mini hvlp considering my current one is way too big for what I do. Also -- any suggested clear coat brands? I hear good things about auto air in general.
  6. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

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    For clear I just use regular automotive 2k. I like U-pol, don't know if that's available where you are? It lays down great, cures hard, is gas resistant etc, and polishes up like glass.
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  7. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Well, you can, but it's not easy. A bit like using a miniature conventional gun w a round pattern....or a spray can.

    Anyways, long story short, get an ani r150, devillbiss starting line mini, finex mini.

    .8 or 1.0 nozzle

    .8 if you'll only use it for clear
    1.0 if you wanna use it for anything and everything.
  8. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    The lacquer brushit mentioned, buffed properly will give the highest possible luster available, but is not durable as 2k.

    Hok show clear is good.
    Most budget 2k isn't bad.
    DNA seems to get good reviews.

    You'll just have to look around at reviews, and try some til you find a preference.
  9. wickedartstudio

    wickedartstudio Needle-chuck Ninja

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    Spraying a final clear coat "well" is an art form on its own. It takes practice. Different brands will spray completely different and usually require changing your gun settings or changing your spray technique. My advice is find a brand you like, learn its characteristics and stick with it. Bouncing back and forth between different brands breeds frustration.

    As far as the ultimate final finish goes, brushit gave some good advice above. However, there are faster ways to achieve the same results with less labor. Personally, I don't normally cut and buff my work anymore (haven't in quite a few years) unless the client is willing to pay for a show winning finish or there's a flaw that needs repaired. Generally, I spray 3 or 4 coats of clear, bake it, sand it flat with 800 or 1000 grit wet and then spray 1 or 2 flow coats of the same clear over the project. More reducer is added to the flow coat mixture allowing it to "flow out" resulting in a glass smooth final clear without buffing.

    When I cut and buff I use Sonax products. Their compounds are water-based which makes clean up much easier. The clear is sanded flat with 1000 grit wet and then buffed using one compound and a wool pad. Another finishing compound is used with a foam pad for the final cut. This system has reduced the cut and buff time by half to two thirds in some cases and yields an amazing finish!
    doc1, Robbyrockett2 and JackEb like this.

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