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Pinstriping starter: What you need

Discussion in 'Pinstriping' started by Red Baron, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest

    Hi all,

    I've been asked by Madbrush to help out with getting all that are keen to grab a brush and start pulling some lines.

    Firstly I'm not a pro at this by any means but I have done a little, so I would regard myself as a stage above beginners level.

    What I've done is attached a photo of what I started out with and believe me it was plenty to get you going especially if your on a budget. Number one rule don't go spending a heap of money until you think you are going to continue on with it.

    In the photo you can see my starter set up that got me going (From left to right)

    Empty fudge tin for a brush holder - One Shot black & One Shot white - Ordinary baby powder - One shot brush cleaner - Neatsfoot oil - Turpentine - Wax and grease remover - household windex.

    In front of that:

    two small metal tins - an old magazine - two Mack series 20 brushes (size 0 & 2) - Practice panel that I made up.

    I'll add the next couple of threads with some other tips to get you started.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2012
  2. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest

    I decided not to start another thread as it will be easier to follow it on through here.

    I used a metal framed picture frame. I drew up a grid on white poster board about 1" x 1" filling the entire frame and slipped in behind the glass and sealed it up with the existing backing board.
    I also marked the centre both way with a darker line. This will help later when you start to stripe designs.
    This is the perfect practice panel as you can pull as many lines curves and whatever else you want. Once you have filled the practice panel up all you need to do is wipe it off with some wax and grease remover and start all over again.
  3. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest


    There's a few different brands on the market but I chose to go with Mack. Its totally up to you guys what you what to use. I bought two Mack series 20 brushes sizes where 0 & 2. They are cheap to buy and if you look after them they should last you a long time.

    BRUSH HOLDER: I used an old Fudge tin as a brush holder. I used a couple of clothes pegs to hold the in position. Work a treat for me and helps with the budget.

    BRUSH CARE: I use neatsfoot oil. This can be found at any good air/ pinstripe shop. If you have any troubles finding it then go to your local saddlery they will have it. It's very important to soft rub this oil into your brushes when you first get them. Store them like that. Also after each pinstripe session make sure you clean your brush out thoroughly and then repeat the oiling process for storage.
    gordon enquist and JackEb like this.
  4. Madbrush

    Madbrush Guest

    Once again Red, thanks a heap for your input here, I know for sure since your spreading the love in this way, it will come back at you ten fold, and I think your on your way to becoming Mitch's best friend.

    I would firstly ask our members not to post comments here, but keep this thread free for Red's valuable tips, and it also means you will be able to see every thing you need at a glance without having to search for it.

    If you have any questions or need advice on something, please post your questions in the introduction thread.

    And Red, fantastic idea with the photo frame, it makes my bucket idea look stupid which was for the same reason, to be able to pull the paint off and use it again and again, but also to get used to striping curved surfaces, the beauty of your idea is that as well using it in the way you instructed, if you post a PDF of your design, it could be inserted into the frame and used in exactly the same way and would require only one print, they can even throw in their own designs into the frame.

    This will be my last post in this thread, just like I asked the guys, I'll post future comments in the intro thread.

    Keep up the good work Red, and thanks again.
    JackEb likes this.
  5. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest

    Hey Madbrush, no probs I don't mind helping out, but just remember you have a hell of alot of industry knowlodge with the sign writing so you'll be up to your neck in valuable answers too. I'll continue on with what I used for a basic starter package and what I use each item for as well to help everyone understand why.

    The design PDF that you are after I will still do but I'll design up some simpler ones to try out as well. This way first timers wont be under too much pressure. Even before these designs everyone should be master palleting the paint with the paintbrush and pulling some controlled lines and curves. I'll try and do up a couple of exercises of that too.
  6. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest


    To get me striping I purchased two colours (black & white). I decided to go with One Shot because the research and info that I got was that One Shot was the way to go. And I do believe it was the right choice. It's very easy to use and clean up is easy and cheap. The reason why I bought two colours was so that I could do two colour designs. (it up to you whether you go two colours or one). With it being a enamel paint it can be used on top of your work without needing a harder.

    Where I live in Australia I found that I didn't need to use reducer very often with the One Shot enamel colour. When I did have to use it I used One Shot reducer (very sparingly) If you are only practicing and not doing an actual striping piece then you can get away with using normal thinners.

    Once you are up and running then you can always move to more expensive Urethane paints, but don't get yourself bogged down with all that. Just enjoy pulling some lines and stuff first.
  7. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest


    This is the perfect palleting board. The pages have a shiny coating so it makes for easy palleting with the paint and brush, and also once your finished it easy clean up with a rip of the page you've got a clean start again.


    Well it can be any type of powder that you use on your body. I powder up my hands before I start pinstriping. It makes your hands slide long the surface of the project you are working. With out this you will find that your fingers will jutter along making for a uneven line thickness. I use a different method now, but I found that the powder was a huge help when I started.

    WINDEX window cleaner:

    Sometimes you will find that you will get a static charge after clean the glass panel of even a project that you are doing. What happens here is that when your brush gets close to the surface its like as if the paint jumps from the brush to the surface below. I use the Windex to neutralize it. I think in other stuff that I've read or watched the pros use alcohol cleaner.
    OutlawGraphics likes this.
  8. mika

    mika Guest

    [h=2]Pinstriping <3 love it :D[/h]
  9. Max Chickens

    Max Chickens Guest

    hey red baron.....whats the other method you use now instead of the baby powder?
  10. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest

    Hey Max Chickens,
    I now use paper towel wrapped around my last two fingers. I then tape them (not together). I'll take a photo to show everyone.
    I have seen really soft gloves been used where they cut the glove up and only use the last couple of fingers.

    The most important thing is what you find feels right for you. Everybody develops their own way of striping and you need to go with what works for you. I'll try and get some pics up very soon.
  11. crumbs, there aint enough hours in the day and money in me pocket to keep up :)
    one shot isn't cheap in the u.k and don't you need the hardner as well please?
  12. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest

    Hey worldofglasscraft, no hardener buddy. One shot is enamel. Only the urethane paints need a hardener and that's olny if you are striping on the top surface where it will be out in the elements.

    Cheers, Red.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2012
  13. Hmm, so why do one shot sell a hardener please?
  14. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest

    Hey W, hell you got me there. Let me do some research. I'll get back to you.
  15. Max Chickens

    Max Chickens Guest

    I think it might be or cold climate and stuff? I think I remember seeing a YouTube vid on it
  16. Red Baron

    Red Baron Guest

    Yep that's it. Its for striping in cold weather. It helps the enamel harden up otherwise it would be sticky for man, a long time. You can also get two different reducers as well for warm weather to stop it drying too quickly.
  17. therufus

    therufus Guest

    Hey guys. Started striping couple of days ago and been struggling with the picture frame practice board, my hand bumps to the frame border and i ruin my lines . Here's my version of a practice board, i took the glass out of a picture frame and taped it to my cutting board with 3m rubber insulation tape, the glass doesn't cut through the tape and it's easier to take the glass out and to add practice sheets. Hope this helps somebody.
  18. KustomCandy

    KustomCandy Needle-chuck Ninja Very Likeable!

    May 27, 2013
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    South Melb, Australia
    Nice write up Red Baron,

    If no one minds me adding.
    For the beginners starting out on a budget. For us aussies, You can replace 1shot with good old Rust-Kill. Found in any Bunnings store. Its close the the viscosity of White 1shot and flows well with min reducing.

    While Turpentine is ok for beginners, Dont get to hung up on it once you get the feel of the proper reduction. Turps can cause adhesion issues on your surface I found. This may be brand specific? 1shots Medium reducer is cheap and can be brought in small quantities. Go's a long long way. For one practice session, you would use only an eye droppers worth.

    Avoid the Green Feral Mac brush's. But use instead the Blue's. Blues are much more versatile, Allowing the Noobs to learn their Arcs much easier.

    Practice your strokes over and over. Both left to right and right to left. Down then up. aim for consistent line work! REduction is KEY!
    Working Glass is hard, But it will teach you control. Once you get a feel for reduction, your lines will follow.

    Good ol' Olive Oil can also be used for brush's. Just dont let them sit for to long in warmer climates, as it dries out.

    Oh and RE: New brush's. DONT use or oil them strait away. Wash them in clean warm mild soapy water to wash out the 'Sizing' from the hairs. Rinse in running water, hang up right (hair hanging down).

    1shots Hardner is used for the paint to be Cleared over, Tho many (not all) still claim it makes little difference (Still finding Fish-eye). I feel its an issue with the aggressive Clears used. But this could be a debate in its own?

    DETART likes this.
  19. rdawk

    rdawk Triple Actioner

    Mar 15, 2014
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    Illinois, USA
    If you are going to clear over, I was told to put just a small amount of hardner in your One-Shot from the urethane clear coat system that you were going to clear over it with. The first coat of clear should be dusted on somewhat dry to keep the One-Shot from raising up and then with each coat, a little wetter (three to four coats of clear).This has worked well for me. If I don't clear over-I don't use any hardner. I would say practice with the Macks (blue)... I have tried the Xcalibers and they are good but I had trouble turning them. If you want to scroll like a fool, the Kafkas are really the best but for me they didn't seem to hold as much paint as the Macks but you can turn them all over the board and not have to twist your brush. I think I tried about all the new stripers from Mack and still you can't go wrong with the old blue ones-but to each his own-Von Dutch couldn't stripe with a Mack.o_O Get the three dvd's on striping from Action air brush from the Wizzard...well worth the $ if you want to learn. Just my one-dollar and twenty-five cents worth.
    Strictly Attitude likes this.
  20. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA QuickDraw and very happy #nobrushleftbehind Staff Member Admin

    Jul 16, 2014
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    Auckland New Zealand
    OK do any of you guys utilize penetrol or a similar type of flow additive?

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