laquer vs. enamel to paint body help plz

07-09-2003, 10:00 PM
OK, I read the FAQ and couple of other painting threads already before I painted (actually read them couple times over)...however:

Sanded, washed, primed the body and let it set for 7-8 days. Started doing mist coats (3-4), then gloss coats (3).

The paint looks like an eggshell (same as the primer looked) has really good, even coverage, but kinda rough looking, like I sprayed it while I was dusting the house (which I did not). No big bubbles or drips at all. Ans I let it sit about 20 minutes between coats.

Is this cuz I used testors enamel spray paint and should've used laquer? Or will these micro bumps buff out?

I don't get it. I used quick strokes about 7-8" from the model. What gives?! Any ideas? Thanks,


07-09-2003, 10:11 PM
Testors enamels take a while to master, but you can probably buff out the surface unevenness, or sand before if necessary. Do not use a harsh polish/sandpaper though, because enamels are naturally soft.

07-09-2003, 10:58 PM
We were just having a similar discussion on the Hobby Heaven Board.

Testors does, indeed, take a while to master. Personally, it sounds like you were a little too far away on a warm day. The "bumps" will sand right out, but you'll need to wait a while to do it.

Let the paint cure for about 2-3weeks, and then LIGHTLY sand the body with 1000 grit wet or dry. Wet the paper with water that has a bit of dishwashing detergent in it - it'll help. As the surface smooths out, you will notice a change in the sound and feel of moving the paper over the surface. As it smooths out, the paper will grab the surface more. The sanding increases the surface area, and therefore increases the friction as well.

You might sand through the paint in a spot or 2. If that happens, DO NOT touch that area with the paper again. Continue on to the rest of the model, then touch up any spots where you sanded through the paint. Lay one last, wet coat on the body and set it aside for another week or 2.

Testors spray enamels are known to be notoriously slow to dry. That's the main reason I avoid them. Other than that, they aren't too bad.

This isn't mine, but it is Testors black enamel from a spray can. Chris Roldan has got to be one of the best painters I have ever seen lay Testors from a spray can! Totally awesome, as seen in the pic.

Check out more of Chris' work at

Tim D.

07-09-2003, 11:05 PM
One more thing.

I used to always have the same problem when laying down the recommended "mist coats". I tend to get a little closer and a little more coverage on the first coat than most would recommend. With Testors, that's hard to do without hiding all of the body detail!

Tim D.

07-10-2003, 09:54 AM
So, I guess I should just switch to tamiya laquers then?
I don't think I want to take a long time to master a paint that takes 2-3 weeks to set. Thanks for the input though!

07-10-2003, 12:47 PM
If you have a food dehydrator, that will work great for curing enamels in about 24 hours. I've never had much luck with Tamiya, as I can't even spray one model with a single $4.99 can. :frown:

Seems more logical to me to go get a $2.99 can of gloss enamel that is 4x as large as a Tamiya one :biggrin:

07-10-2003, 05:25 PM
Tamiya is expensive paint, but I usually get 2 or 3 cars from a can. For a quality lacquer that comes in a big can - try PlastiKote touch up paints. About $4 a can, and it lasts quite a while. It really is my primary paint. Krylon is good too, but limited in color selection.

I also use Duplicolor and PlastiKote (and Zynolite) engine enamels when I want an enamel in a rattle can. They dry well, have lots of gloss, and polish well too!

I really should use my airbrush more often, but I'm quickly running out of bottles to store the mixed paint in. I'll be the first to admit that I'm cheap! I feel funny about paying $1.60 for an empty bottle - I can buy paint for that price! Anyway, we're talking spray cans here.

A dehydrator definitely cuts the time it takes Testors to dry! Some people have excellent results with Testors - I am NOT one of them!

Another advantage to the PlastiKote paints is they are not nearly as touchy as Tamiya. Tamiya seems to be very succeptible to fisheyes! Even through primer!

Personally, I'd suggest PlastiKote lacquers, but go lightly - they will ruin the plastic if not applied properly. Duplicolor Primer Sealer helps quite a lot, great stuff!

Next in line would be Tamiya sprays. Expensive, yes, but worth it IMHO.

Duplicolor touch up paints are just okay. Nice colors, but the nozzles aren't great and the cans are small. About the same deal price-wise as Tamiya.

Again, engine enamels are my first choice for rattle can enamels. PlastiKote Odds & Ends come in next, then Krylon Short Cuts. The last 2 come in small cans also.

Hope this helps sort things out!

Tim D.

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