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Water based motorcycle airbrushing

Discussion in 'Airbrush Paints' started by microwavable, Jul 6, 2018.


  1. microwavable

    microwavable Double Actioner

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    Hi all, is anyone else out there doing or trying to airbrush motorcycle helmets or motorcycle plastic parts with water based paints? I am looking for some tips and tricks if anyone has any experience.

    things like:

    1. airpressure
    2. what paints
    3. mixture ratios
    4. DNA paints experience
    5. material prep
    6. primers
    thanks guys, hope everyone has a nice weekend.
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  2. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Ok so there are a few things here...
    1. Depends on what you are doing, brush you are using and viscosity of your paint.
    2. I believe Trident do good waterbased for this but others will give you a better idea.
    3. See #1.
    4. I've not used DNA but have heard great things about them.
    5. Material prep, read the paint manufacturers requirements.
    3. See note on #5.
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  3. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    First of all Micro, where are you in the world? You mention DNA so im stabbing at a guess that you are in the southern Hemesphere?
  4. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Yes, he hasn't given that detail away yet... :)
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  5. AndreZA

    AndreZA Elite Member! Elite Member! Artist of the Month! Very Likeable!

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    You ask what paint but then you mention DNA. Trident is made by DNA and I'm sure DNA would be able to help you with all those questions.
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  6. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Yes, I thought DNA did the Trident range...
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  7. microwavable

    microwavable Double Actioner

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    Hi guys, I am in New Zealand, the reason I bring up DNA is that my wife who is by profession a automotive spray painter is getting some free DNA water based airbrush paint.

    I think ( just guessing) that things are named or called different in the Northern Hemisphere?

    I dont know Trident but I will ask ,my wife, its just that a lot of "DNA airbrush" is arriving next week :D
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  8. microwavable

    microwavable Double Actioner

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    ok so yes she says "It's the name of airbrush paint by DNA"
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  9. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    Pre number 1....yes basically everyone here.
    1. Really depends but usually somewhere in the range of 10-25psi
    2. Createx wicked, wicked detail, Illustration with 4030 but seems like your going to be using trident.
    3. A matter of experimenting but for .35 and under nozzles a jump off point would be 1:3 paint to reducer for most. Larger is usually more like 3:1 or straight.
    4. Not me
    5. However your wife tells you she would prep a bumper cover.
    6. If its sanded to bare plastic youll likely need an adhesion promoter or at least autoborne sealer or equivalent.

    Basically the only difference from start to finish with the waterbourne stuff compared to how your wife would do a bumper cover is the lack of flex additive and the need for much longer dry times before clearcoating.

    If you end up having any specific questions that she isnt quite sure of im sure we could help you with that.

    Lastly, if you have access to the good safety equipment I would probably just do it all with 1k urethane basecoats because 1. the process will be exactly how she would spray a bumper aside from using a bit more thinner and possibly 1k base instead of 2k base..... depending on what she typically uses. 1k because you can premix a bunch of little dropper bottles with different colors.
    2. Tip dry is a PITA and IMO waterbourne is mainly for outside a shop/garage environment. Thats its one real merit is being able to use it in less than great circumstances.
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  10. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    That’s where I want to end up. For now my practice is strictly on paper as it’s easier to burn the evidence LOL.
    As Robby said there’s very little difference in the prep when using Solvent or Waterbased. Waterbased takes longer to flash between coats and is more of a pain to use LOL. But other than that, maybe look at an Waterbased Wax & Grease remover as the ones for use with Solvent can be too harsh for Waterbased and will screw up anything you’re wiping.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  11. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    Here is their website... https://www.dna-paints.com/

    Trident is out of Australia and the guys who bring it in are based in Hamilton. Looks to be good stuff. I haven't played with it yet.
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  12. microwavable

    microwavable Double Actioner

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    Thank you one and all!! firstly I know I can Google, look at the manufacturers pages ..etc. but I thought this would be a good post to engage with you all, get a chance to "meet" you as it were. So thank you again, you guys rock. This forum is going to be a lot of fun and I have no doubt very educational.
  13. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Party Boy UK Style Very Likeable!

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    I usually ask here rather than just google. The main reason is that I can trust the information I receive on the forum. There’s too many unknowns when randomly Googling stuff. Sure the manufacturers sites are useful, but they’re not independent, like you get here. Basically everything I know has been learned right here!


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  14. jord001

    jord001 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    One thing I will add is that if you are painting automotive stuff, don't forget you WILL need to clearcoat your work with a good quality 2k uv clear as the paint on its own will not be strong enough on its own. It will fade in the sun and will also be prone to damage from petrol/fuel. Your wife being an automotive painter should be able to do that for you, or teach you to do it if you don't already know how.

    Lee
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  15. microwavable

    microwavable Double Actioner

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    Thanks Lee, we were just discussing this tonight. She was talking to me about paint and primers and clears because I want to do motorcycle helmets and apparently I need to be careful what I do and use as some chemicals can lead to a weakening or degrading of the materials to make the helmet, things I never considered before.

    There is a lot more I need to learn that I have never considered or knew of before. but I guess its all in the learning process.

    This is what I am trying to replicate.ish. I will add my own touchs and colours and my first attempt will never come out this well but I have to start somewhere.

    Helmet1.PNG
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  16. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    If I may offer tips for that design,
    Don't forget the little details like where there is edge shading where the grey swirls meet an "overlapping" line. Quotations because I would do the black nearly last on this design.
    Order of operations will be critical to not having bad edge lines and keeping your coating thickness reasonable while avoiding a bunch of sanding and even a couple coats of clear if your after a fully level finish.
    Cut yourself a few long triangular pieces out of masking tape and practice stenciling the inside shape on some scrap. You want to go lighter on the paint as it nears the edges, tips of sharp triangles can be particularly hard to get right. With a stencil masked off it is very deceptive how much paint you actually put down and its way easy to put too much. It can actually trick your eyes into thinking its still transparent when if the stencil were removed the proper contrast shows that is not the case at all.

    I would start with white autoborne sealer......depending on the helmets original color.
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  17. microwavable

    microwavable Double Actioner

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    Thank you very much Robby, that is very helpful, this helmet is all white, its a ICON Variant 4, I also have a HJC C16 (I think) in all black I am going to try next.

    Since being injured in my bike crash, I have been trying to look for things I am interested in to see if I can make a go of it at home, so working from home thing, I know what I need to make weekly or monthly to make it viable. I am really enjoying this so far. but there is a long road ahead if I want to make this a viable income earner.
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  18. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot!

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    In that case if its painted can likely just sand with 600grit and then go to town. If the color is integral to the plastic then its a different story.
    If you're unsure of the order you come up with, post it up, We'll be happy to give you our insights or opinions i'm sure.

    Oh, taping your edges, start with fineline, mask over that, then cut the mask on top of the fineline.

    Im sure youre already aware of a lot of this but these were just the major basic tips i thought of offhand.

    Stick with it and you'll be too busy before you know it.
    Custom stuff is difficult to advertise but word of mouth starts getting crazy after a while.
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