For Every Airbrush Artist!

Ready to get involved? Register for free and you won't see any google advertising!

Register

How do I clear coat well?

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


  1. Blackktieguy

    Blackktieguy Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2017
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    1
    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 Gravity Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2016
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    216
    Trophy Points:
    41
    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.
    doc1, Robbyrockett2 and S10n like this.
  3. Squishy

    Squishy Queen Clown Slayer Mod

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,119
    Likes Received:
    9,573
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Hampshire South Coast UK
    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.
  4. brushit

    brushit Gravity Guru

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2016
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    216
    Trophy Points:
    41
    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.
    MeeshellMP likes this.
  5. Blackktieguy

    Blackktieguy Young Tutorling

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2017
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    1
    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

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,119
    Likes Received:
    9,573
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Hampshire South Coast UK
    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.
    Robbyrockett2 likes this.
  7. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Air-Valve Autobot! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    Messages:
    4,329
    Likes Received:
    4,438
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    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! Very Likeable!

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2017
    Messages:
    4,329
    Likes Received:
    4,438
    Trophy Points:
    126
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    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 Mac-Valve Maestro!

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    799
    Likes Received:
    679
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Location:
    Stillwater, Oklahoma
    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!
  10. S10n

    S10n Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2018
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    Chile
    I'm using sikkens, I spray 3 or 4 coats of clear and I wait like 8 minutes between layers and a Voylet new 125, it is 0.8 and it cost like $40

    autoclear-classic-fast-900-catalizador300-sikkens-brexa-D_NQ_NP_790219-MLA25859635116_082017-F.jpg


    voylet.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
    Robbyrockett2 and doc1 like this.
  11. Mister 4x4

    Mister 4x4 Double Actioner

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2018
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    53
    Trophy Points:
    11
    Location:
    San Angelo, TX USA
    Most of the 'big' clear jobs I've done so far just like brushit mentioned, using DuPont Centauri clear. Unfortunately, they don't make it anymore, but I've had good luck (so far) with U-Pol.

    The devil's in the details and finishing, in this case. Not only does the final polishing refine the surface, it also helps seal the surface, which will prolong the life of it exponentially. I painted a replacement fender on my Mom's car and didn't final buff it... and it proceeded to dull-out, oxidize, and began to lift after only 6 years (I'm sure the fact that she never washed her car probably didn't help matters either). The corners of the Jeep are still looking great 8 years on now.

    I actually rattle-canned some pre-mixed U-Pol on my Jeep's corners years ago, and followed up with cutting and buffing, which seemed to work out perfect to me.

    Jeep corners after repair. Sorry for the graininess - taken in 2010 with a 3.2Mp camera.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The DuPont Centauri after cut-n-buff on a motorcycle fender - yes, that's my backyard fence in the reflection:

    [​IMG]

    And finally, the DuPont Centauri on my pal's Ram, prior to cut-n-buff. Can't make out the flames, but dang is that clear coat nice, or what?
    [​IMG]

    When Dave finished wet-sanding and buffing once he got home, he said it looked even more like glass and had to wind up wet-sanding and buffing the rest of the truck so it would all match.

    I haven't tried shooting clear with an AB yet, but I suppose for small jobs (like model kits, etc.) it should be fine. Larger areas though (like full size car parts), you're going to want something bigger, as brushit and squishy mentioned.
    doc1 and basepaint like this.
  12. Basstrack238

    Basstrack238 Mac-Valve Maestro!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Messages:
    745
    Likes Received:
    661
    Trophy Points:
    91
    Location:
    Illinois USA
    Ppg jc630 with a Sharpe finex mini. Two coats. 4:1:1 with slow reducer. Lay it on wet but watch where it's going. Don't overlap too much. IMAG4976-1344x756.jpg the reflection of bottle shows how smooth it will lay. No cutting. Read your tech sheets, watch your recoat times. I gave about fifteen minutes between coats. Watch the reflection while you spray, stay sideways on it, so you can see the wet spray. It's clear so it's tough to get light right sometimes. This clear is nothing fancy, actually a cheaper automotive clear, but lays down nice for me.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
    doc1 likes this.

Share This Page