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Acrylic clear recommendations?


ianc911
01-13-2012, 05:38 PM
Hi folks,

I'm trying to pretty much stick to acrylic paints and am looking for a good clear.

I've tried the Testors and it was OK. Went on OK and dried quickly but didn't produce much of a shine. I tried the Tamiya also and it was good, but took forever to dry with fingerprints still appearing 2 weeks later!

Anybody got any recommendations for a good, high-gloss, durable, quick-drying acrylic clear? I'd be airbrushing it... Thanks,

ianc

914joe
01-13-2012, 07:45 PM
I vote for 2k. It dries hard so you can maul your model with no worries.

ianc911
01-13-2012, 10:00 PM
I was under the impression that the 2K clears were enamel, not acrylic?

ianc

Helico
01-13-2012, 10:04 PM
6 parts Tamiya clear + 3 parts distilled water + 1 part isopropanol is what I use. When applied in multiple light coats, it should dry in about a week. Avoid thick coat of water acrylic because it will not dry hard. You need to polish to bring out the shine. Water-based paint is not as durable/hard as 2K and lacquer though.

stevenoble
01-14-2012, 06:26 AM
I was under the impression that the 2K clears were enamel, not acrylic?

ianc

Most 2k clears are urethane, not enamel based. The problem I've found with acrylic clears is that they always stay that little bit 'soft' and I never get the same level of shine as I do with 2K or lacquer based clears. It depends what purpose you are using the clear for..?? If it's a car body you need the good gloss, but not so if it's just other parts. Best shine and durability I've seen is from 2K or lacquer clear.

Baxter!
01-14-2012, 09:16 AM
You may want to experiment using just regular lacquer thinner with Tamiya clear.
I forget the ratio but I had it down at one point and it went from a week+ to cure to 3 days and with a gorgeous wet look. 2+ years and still looks fresh.

But if your trying to stick with "safe" acrylic alternatives your kinda stuck.

ianc911
01-14-2012, 01:04 PM
Yeah, I'm looking at it for car bodies, both to prepare the surface for decaling and to protect the paint. Sounds like there really isn't much out there then unless I want to go to an enamel which I really don't want to do for toxicity reasons and general difficulty of cleanup, etc.

I'm not sure exactly what a urethane is. I've always thought of urethane as a plastic type material; where is it on the toxicity scale? Does it clean up with water?

Thanks for the help,

ianc

stevenoble
01-14-2012, 01:27 PM
Yeah, I'm looking at it for car bodies, both to prepare the surface for decaling and to protect the paint. Sounds like there really isn't much out there then unless I want to go to an enamel which I really don't want to do for toxicity reasons and general difficulty of cleanup, etc.

I'm not sure exactly what a urethane is. I've always thought of urethane as a plastic type material; where is it on the toxicity scale? Does it clean up with water?

Thanks for the help,

ianc

Do you mean enamels as in Humbrol type enamel, the ones in the little tins that are oil based..?? If so I really wouldn't recommend them at all for clearing car bodies. They are softer then acrylics, mark even easier and take an age to dry.
Clean up of any paint is pretty simple if you are airbrushing. Just spray the relevant cleaner through the brush after you finish painting and 'back flush' to thoroughly clean the brush. That's covering the nozzle with some tissue and spraying the airbrush which forces the thinner back through the brush to clean the inside. Takes no more than 30 seconds if done like that.
On a level of toxicity the urethane or 2K is quite toxic. It works by mixing the clear with a hardener. This starts a chemical reaction that 'sets' the clear. It doesn't air dry like regular paint. That is why it's tough and resists marking, finger prints etc. You certainly need a good respirator when spraying it and an extractor fan is preferred as well to be totally safe from the fumes. But used with the necessary precautions it's excellent clear for car bodies. It doesn't clean up with water but with the relevant thinner or cellulose gun wash cleaner..

Just to show what you can achieve with 2k urethane with no polishing afterwards, straight from the airbrush

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b61/stevenoble/Benetton%20B192/Hayabusa/Hayabusa-Finisheddaytimeoutdoors205.jpg

John18d
01-14-2012, 08:56 PM
Steve - that Busa is incredible - looks like the real thing - Oh yeah - I concur with what Steve says about urethane/2K clears - be sure and wear an industrial respirator not those white paper hospital things when working with urethane/2K- one of the hardening agents is cyanoacrylate as in the active ingredient for "super glue" you don't want that in your lungs - John

John18d
01-15-2012, 01:50 AM
ianc911 - do you have "autozone" in California? We have them here in Arizona and I saw they have "acrylic" clearcoat in spray cans (automotive 11oz spray cans) - if you have one of those stores near - stop in and take a look at what they have? It may also be available at other auto parts stores - Just a thought if you really want to stay with acrylics - hope this helps - John

ianc911
01-16-2012, 02:13 PM
On a level of toxicity the urethane or 2K is quite toxic.

Yeah, that's really what I'm trying to avoid. I wear a respirator and spray in a little home made booth with exhaust fan already to spray acrylics, but I don't want to spray oil or thinner based paints. I'm getting older now and would like to continue to enjoy this hobby for awhile without worrying about my health...

John, thanks for the suggestion. I'll check the auto parts stores but I have not seen any Autozones here. Do you have a brand name that you've used and have been satisfied with in terms of gloss and durability?

ianc

John18d
01-16-2012, 06:19 PM
ianc911 - I was out last night looking for a couple hardware items and I saw at "Superwalmart" here in Arizona they have "Acrylic clear premixed for "car painting" by "Rustoleum" in quart sizes in the auto department for around $20. According to the can is says "acetone" cleanup - which is an organic solvent - so also wear a respirator and nitrile gloves to protect yourself. I'm not sure about California - you guys have some strange EPA crap in that state - you can smoke all the "pot" you want, but not spray paint????? unless it's water-borne. hey ianc - that's a thought - have you considered contacting an automotive paint retailer "paint shops" and asking if they will sell you a quart of water-based automotive clear - like PPG's stuff - or BASF - or -etc pre-mixed and ready to spray?. I know they make the water-borne paint for cars repaired in California and they shine like any other car. Sorry for the non-Americans in the forum, the term "quart" is a little less than a liter. I still can't believe Americans cannot figure out the metric system. Anyhow ianc - try the auto collision repair shops - I'm willing to bet someone will help you. If not there is "Coast Airbrush" - http://www.coastairbrush.com/products.asp?cat=250 - and I'm sure they can come up with something as they serve the "ready to shoot" airbrush community in California - last resort when I'm out tomorrow I'll stop at autozone and get some "brand" names. - ianc - even if you use spray cans you still should have a proper respirator - I cannot emphasize that enough - if it's not "air" you don't want it in your lungs - COPD is a terrible way to die - hope this is better help - John

ianc911
01-16-2012, 09:42 PM
Hi John,

Yes, I always wear the respirator; even when I'm spraying the Tamiya primer from a can out in the driveway. I'll look for acrylic-based clears at the auto parts stores; here we seem to have Kragen's\O'Reilly's and Pep Boys. I'm sure I can probably find something there, but I was primarily looking for recommendations for stuff that people had tried and been happy with that would work nicely with my airbrush. I don't really like using a rattle can for that kind of work. The suggestion for automotive materials is probably also a good one, but I don't really know any good suppliers\bodyshops around here, so trying to hunt down a suitable product that way may be a little more trouble than I'm willing to go to. Thanks again for the suggestions tho!

ianc

John18d
01-16-2012, 10:13 PM
ianc - I also do not like using spray "bomb" cans of paint, but I have decanted them into a glass jar and allowed the VOCs to evaporate and then spray them via one of my airbrushes - I'll get those brand names tomorrow and post them - did you see the comment on the "Rustoleum" acrylic clear at the auto section in quart cans? that might be a way to go. A quart of clear ready to spray for $20 or so is cheap - also I definitely suggest you check-out "coast airbrushes" they are very helpful to those of us using airbrushes - John

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