Clear coat compatibility with enamel paint - RC Groups
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Apr 06, 2009, 05:50 AM
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kpeevyhouse's Avatar

Clear coat compatibility with enamel paint

I am about done painting my plane with Testors Model Masters enamel paints. I want to know what options are available for the final clear coat. Are there any issues with compatibility if I use something like Rustoleum or Krylon? I want to avoid having any problems with the finish crackling over time, or not adhering to the base coat.

Does the clear coat have to be enamel? Can it be polyurethane? Water-based polyurethane? Is it true that I should NOT use any lacquer over enamel paints? The plane is a PSS sloper, and the clear coat needs to be somewhat tough to handle landing on dirt and rocks.

There are too many choices out there, and I need to know what I should avoid. I would prefer a cheap rattle can approach, but could use anything with my airbrush. Thanks for any suggestions that you can give me!

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Apr 06, 2009, 07:17 AM
Will fly for food
1) If you put lacquer over enamel, it will lift and bubble it. Lacquer uses a much "hotter" solvent.

2) Enamels tend to continue to dry over a very long period of time. So any impervious clear coat may cause later bubbling as the solvents continue to be released. But if the enamel is over a porous substrate (wood or foam, without epoxy/fiberglass inbetween) the excess solvents can go into the porous substrate.

3) In general, it is better to put two part polyurethane clear over a lacquer.

4) For your next project, they make epoxy or urethane one coat paints. You catalyze them and they cross link are are quire durable.
Apr 06, 2009, 09:02 AM
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kpeevyhouse's Avatar
Thanks Pinecone.

I was painting over fiberglass, definitely not porous. How long does enamel take to cure? Are you talking days, weeks, or even longer? Would it help at all to put the plane out in the sun for a couple days before I clear coat? The last of the paint went on almost 2 days ago, but I have noticed that it still has that paint odor. Is that a good indicator? When it has a more neutral smell, then it's ok to continue?
Apr 06, 2009, 09:47 PM
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TomCrump's Avatar
If the paint has odor, it isn't dry.

I suggest that you look at clear coats from Nelson Hobby Specialties, or Warbird Colors. Both are waterborne, but require a cross linker to make them fuel proof.

Waterborne poly is not fuel proof. The oil base seems to be, but turns amber in color.

I'm assuming that you want fuel proof paint. If not do a test panel using Krylon. If applied in light coats, you may get away with using it over your Modelmasters.
Apr 07, 2009, 11:49 AM
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kpeevyhouse's Avatar
No need for fuel proofing. I'm a glider guider. The plane is a slope soarer. Thanks TomCrump, I'll look into the things you mentioned.
Apr 08, 2009, 07:56 AM
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TomCrump's Avatar
Since there is no need for fuel proofing, Do some testing with Krylon clears. They come in different glosses.

The Model Masters paints are made for display models. The definately need protection for RC usage.

I hope that Krylon works out. It would be a cheap and easy answer.
Apr 08, 2009, 09:48 PM
Will fly for food
True enamels never actually dry.

Acrylic enamels can take a month or more to fully dry. Heat and low humidity will make this happen faster. Cooler and high humidity will make it take longer.

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