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Brush Paint for your finish

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  • Member since
    October 2019
Posted by Buggybumpers on Saturday, October 5, 2019 6:35 PM

Thank you for the information above.  I've been looking for something as thorough and, at the same time, succicnt as what you provided here.  Cheers.  However, as an obvious expert, you skirted the acrylic conumdrum.  Over the past months  I have been frustrated to no end working with an acrylic - forced there becuase only Model Master had the color I needed in acrylic.  Trying brush after brush all left marks and the sanding to get rid of them, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000, 5000, never really did the job.  Then I thought try a different approach.  I used Meguiar's compound - very lightly, then used polish - two to four times - to get rid of the very fine marks, and finally, Ultimate Liquid Wax Pure Synthetic Polymer.  The finish is great (or I just think that because I'm burned out after 8 coats+ of paint, trying a range of brushes (really good ones are almost impossible to find as you mentioned) and sanding and sanding and sanding and sanding. . . . . .).  Actually the finish is very nice.  But if you have any tips on using acrylics (other than don't), would you please pass them along.  Cheers!!!

  • Member since
    October 2008
Posted by oldcarguy on Friday, March 18, 2016 3:16 PM

Tom ;

  You are very correct there . If you've gotten it pretty smooth , the clearcoat will finish the job .  O.C.G.

  • Member since
    March 2004
  • From: Lancashire, UK
Posted by marcusadam on Saturday, February 27, 2016 1:35 PM

I used this technique several years ago on a 1/9 scale motorbike and it came out great! 

  • Member since
    October 2015
Posted by TomZ on Saturday, February 27, 2016 8:34 AM

I do mostly enamel hand brushing, although I do some rattle can painting as well. Here are my tips:

     Everything I've read says you have to use enamels,and that's what I've always done.

    Spend the money and buy good brushes, they really do help. I like the Sapphire line from Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I use flat brushes for the area jobs. Treat them well, keep them as clean and smooth and straight as you can.

     I mix about 60-70% paint to 30-40% thinner in a palette cup. You can get 100 disposable droppers from EBay for about $3. Do NOT put thinner in your paint bottle, the paint will go bad.

     Start at one end and work your way across. Always brush INTO the painted area, lifting gently as you stroke into the painted area. Never go back to touch up paint that already been applied, it will leave brush strokes. I sometimes stop and partially clean the brush if it begins to get too stiff.

      The paint will cover unevenly, that's OK, it takes several coats to fully cover with the thinned paint anyway. I use some 1000 or 1500 sandpaper between coats to smooth things out.


I still have some hint of brushing, but I am happy with the result. I haven't tried it but I've read that a spray coat of clear will make the remaining brush strokes disappear.


  • Member since
    September 2011
Posted by Deathgoblin on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 9:08 AM

The original poster on that T&T article mentioned that he doesn't have room to spray paint, and I'd like to throw this out there.  I live in a small apartment, and my hobby room occupies the second bedroom.  I don't have room to spray paint in there either due to space limitations and not wanting to trash the apartment.  I put my bodies on a paint stand and just take them out the door to spray paint them.  I usually hold the stand, but you could also set it on a small bucket to paint.  Then I just move the stand back inside once I'm done to let it dry.  

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Southeast Pennsylvania
Posted by peanutgallery on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 2:43 PM

oldcarguy...Thanks for your informative post. .I wish I knew these tips back in the 1950's and 60's. Having enough money to buy basic supplies, I had to use those 10 cent brushes. I also would use some of the old housepaint that was in our basement. I remember painting a model in 1958 and it was still tacky when I gratuated from high school in 1964. Smile, Wink & Grin



  • Member since
    October 2008
Brush Paint for your finish
Posted by oldcarguy on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 9:00 AM


    This question was asked also in Tips and Tech ;

 How do you get a good finish with a brush ? This is a time honored question with few answers . The most obvious is Don't ! The least obvious is , Go for It !

    Yes Modelers ; You can get a winning finish with a brush and some elbow grease . How , You Say ? Well think about it for a minute . Paint is a liquid of a certain viscosity , right ? You change that in stages .

 As many modelers are aware , I have been around long enough to be accused of getting the first hand crank from Henry ! Not true , But during my long years I lament the loss of Pactra brand paints .

 Enter the Fifties . Revell has the first Plastic car models available to most of us . Firstly,  the time honored  " Gowland & Gowland "  Highway Pioneers . ( I present it like this because Revell bought them out ) Then , and most important Revell's own selection of 1/32 ? and 1/25 multiple piece bodied , model cars .

 The history is important as you'll see . What did we have for paint ? Well we had Aunt May's Oils or Cousin Mark's watercolors . Along comes Testors . Little bottle and lots of life . How many Generations now ?

 That's what we had and we made the best of it .Taking a fairly good brush and out of the bottle , painting that Ford Convertible to match Revell's box cover .Thick , You bet !The car looked like we dipped it in the colors . Masking ? what's that ? Along comes a New Product " PACTRA ! " Guaranteed to leave NO Brush marks ! Huh ? Really ?

 Yup ! It actually worked , IF , you shook the bottle or stirred it well and used the right kind of brush . Now , Where's flats ? They didn't have them folks . I did !  And a friend who built planes , told me to add talcum powder to my paint .The more powder , the duller the paint .

 Couldn't use it for anything else , so back to the store for more gloss . Pactra worked pretty much as advertised . But , they didn't have the color selection at the time Testors did .

 Oh Gee ! What to do . Ever heard of Naptha ? Sure , for the smokers around and among us . It's simply Lighter and Lamp fuel . Take it and put four drops ( regular size drops now , No exaggeration ) into the empty space you have made in the bottle of Testors paint of your choice . Shake until your hand hurts ( Oh , don't forget to put the cap on first ! ) This warning came as a lesson was learned . Don't Hurry !

     Now going to the Stationary and Printing store . Go back to the Illustrators brush section . Pick out a 1/4 inch long by 3/16 inch or 1/8 inch wide, very soft medium  Flat sable brush and you're in business . Oh that's right ! they don't have those anymore . Office Depot won't know what you are asking for .

 As it was then,  So it is today . Use a properly thinned bottle of whatever paint you want EXCEPT any Acrylic ( they don't brush worth a darned ) And paint your car , Panel By Panel , Learned this from watching body men work back then too . . Stroking the brush in ONE direction only . Start at one end and work to the other .

 Now here's the secret .The paint is thinned no more than 25 to 30 % . It will flow without globbing up in the corners , and don't overload the brush ! You NEVER have to put more than half the length of the bristles in the paint . Less is better !

    Have I helped you any ? Good , Are you finished with the paint and brush ? Clean the bottle lip off and secure the top tightly and place upside down in it's storage place .Take the brush and clean gently by soaking it in a jar full of thinner , set aside for this purpose .

     Do NOT twirl the brush against the sides of the bottle and Very Importantly , Do NOT let the brush settle in the jar bottom on it's bristles ! Number one good way to ruin a brush . 

     After gently rubbing the brush across a paper towel till no more paint is visible , even if you fold the bristles back against the ferrule , Hold the brush , bristles up in your hand and moisten it , shape it and put it away . It will keep it's shape for years if you do these things . I use a method My gunsmith Uncle taught me  , and I Won't go into detail , It involves spit !

    So you see there is a way to get a winning finish with a brush . How many Fisher Body Craftsmans Guild entrants had a spray rig ? Mostly None !

      The biggest rules , Clean brushes , Clean surfaces , Well Stirred paint and PATIENCE in following the conventional rules . How do you think Master furniture makers got the finishes they did ? Brushing and sanding .That's always the best way if you are going to brush on multiple coats of paint and clear . Shoot , even one coat . Lightly sanded and buffed will shine and be as smooth the next guys car .

     I hope I didn't bore you , But I had to get it out there .  OldCarGuy



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