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Preparing the surface for airbrushing acrylic paint

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  • Member since
    June, 2017
Preparing the surface for airbrushing acrylic paint
Posted by GaryM on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:05 PM

I am an absolute noob to both airbrushing and acrylics. My attempt to apply Testors Aztec to a scale truck was not very successful. I applied it over a base of automotive primer that was sanded with 400 grit. Sanding scatches were visible thru the acrylic. What level of sandpaper do you experts use before appyling acrylic color topcoats ? Thanks for any and all help.

GaryM

Tags: acrylic
  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:32 PM

Surface prep is everything with a paint job. 400 grit is nowhere near fine enough, but don't panic. A good polishing kit will have anywhere from 800 to 2600 grits. I would start your first sanding with 800, go to 1600 next and finish off with the 3,000 grit sanding sponge found in the auto body section of most department stores. This three step process allways works for me, but you'll get many good tips from the rest of the members. Choose the one that will work best for you. Just remember that the finish is only as good as the start.

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
Posted by GaryM on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 6:36 AM

Thanks 195X ! That's the info I was looking for. I am used to painting with enamels and then polishing, but acrylics are a brand new game. I'm off to pick up new super fine sandpaper. Gary

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 2:37 PM

GaryM

Thanks 195X ! That's the info I was looking for. I am used to painting with enamels and then polishing, but acrylics are a brand new game. I'm off to pick up new super fine sandpaper. Gary

 

Cool! Don't forget, after all the sanding a good wash or wipe down with a tack rag is always a good idea to get rid of any dust collected in corners and grooves like door gaps. 

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
Posted by GaryM on Friday, June 16, 2017 2:14 PM

I did as you recommended and hit the surface with sandpaper all the way up to 3000. MUCH better result. Still learning the airbrush and refining the filter/watertrap. Even after wiping it down and using the tack cloth, still getting a few small pieces of trash in the paint. BUT, it's progress and I thank you again.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Friday, June 16, 2017 2:23 PM

Awesome! Glad I could help. :)

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
Posted by GaryM on Saturday, June 17, 2017 7:05 PM

I had a filter trap I'd never used , so I hooked it up using a new hose from the trap to the airbrush; however, I'm still getting a little water and a little trash in the paint.

What trap/filter do you recommend?

  • Member since
    January, 2017
Posted by 195X on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:37 PM

GaryM

I had a filter trap I'd never used , so I hooked it up using a new hose from the trap to the airbrush; however, I'm still getting a little water and a little trash in the paint.

What trap/filter do you recommend?

 

I am actually the wrong guy to ask, as I have never used a water trap on my AB. However, my first suggestion would be to check first to see if your filter is positioned right, concerning flow. If you have it backwards you're beating a dead horse. I would recommend the same brand trap as the compressor you're using if possible, but either way this is nowhere to skimp on quality. May I inquire as to your setup? What type compressor, brush, filter trap are you currently using?

My favorite color is clear. I am also ambidexterous, I can screw up equally well with either hand. I am 53 years old and been building for most of that time. :)

On the bench... somewhere. Pink Panther show car, 1978 Dodge Magnum Charger Daytona Midnight edition SE 300. Mongrel T.

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