View Full Version : top coat help

01-01-2004, 08:54 PM

I have a question for this forum. I don't air-brush but I thought perhaps one of you would have my answer.

Would be using gravity feed spray gun or a pneumatic detail spray gun or HVLP.

I want a great top coat that would would build up nice and thick. (non-yellowing, water resistant)

I make wooden boxes they are covered with numerous mixed media materials.

I've been using 8-10 coats of poly...........I just keep thinking there has got to be a better way and I'm not getting the build up I want or the final look.

Thought spraying this on like lacquer on cabinets would be the way to go.

When I think of beautiful top coats I think of the great air-brushing done on vehicles, bikes, high gloss thick
resin in appearance.

I appreciate any of your help on top coats and application of them.

Thanks again.

01-01-2004, 10:49 PM
I airbrush, shoot clear coat and I still use polyurethane for this. It's the thickest coat you can get without pouring resin.

Keith Russell
01-02-2004, 12:09 AM
Penny, you still have to build the thick coat by spraying numerous thinner layers, right?

You don't just spray one or two thick coats...


01-02-2004, 12:31 AM
What type of poly are you using Penny?
Spar urethane?

Have you ever heard of actually spraying an epoxy?

Keith good point..........yes I'm assuming Penny must use many coats...........just like painting on poly you'd have to spray repeatedly to build up the top coat to the thickness you want.

Thanks you guys.

01-02-2004, 07:27 AM
cdunford is looking for an easier way than poly. I do not think there is one. I have access to all the clear coat and clear coat methods and I still use poly with a brush in multiple layers. Shooting clear coat will take many more layers than brushing poly. If there is an easier way to get the same effect I do not know of it, but I would like to. I think it would be nice to try resin pouring at least on the top. Resin is both expensive and hard to work with though.

You said you use varied medium. This can cause some strange things to happen if you are not careful. Also, wood needs to be cared for and for this a wood product is best.

Brent Glair is using Future Floor covering on his models.
He is spraying it on. This might be something you wish to try.

Brand ? It's been a while and I really don't recall.

01-02-2004, 11:11 AM
Thanks Penny.

You said you use varied medium. This can cause some strange things to happen if you are not careful.

Very true on this. I don't want degradation on the pieces down the line.

If there is an easier way to get the same effect I do not know of it, but I would like to.

I'm gonna go ahead and try the the HVLP method. Actually my husband is gonna do this for me he used to work at a specialty cabinet shop and shot lacquer onto cabinet fronts using this method..........the spray pattern covers 9inches. There is a knack to the spray. And I'm glad he has done this before.

Also going to go chat with some auto body guys. I know they spray on those high gloss finish coats. I want to know what product and about it.

If you'd like I'll be glad to share how this all turns out.

Thanks again for your input. :)

01-02-2004, 02:21 PM
High gloss auto finishes are "clear coat" used in a base-coat/clear-coat system, there are many brands you may use. So long as you purchase the appropriate activator for the clear coat the actual brand is not all that important. You may acquire them at any auto body supply store. Use a gravity fed paint gun with a regulator to spray it, and a mask for protection. It sprays like water and tends to run so shoot many light layers. Layers must be shot during the "open" time (see manufacturer recommendations) The last coat is "flashed" (a very wet coat).

If you do not have the proper equipment and if you are just experimenting might I suggest taking a box to a body shop and simply asking them to clear it the next time they shoot clear. They shouldn't charge too much for doing this and you can see the effect prior to making an investment. Less than half of automotive artists do their own clear coat work. Your hubby should be able to handle this though.

I personally would be very happy if you did share your experience with us. Good, bad or indifferent it is always good to add to our knowledge base.

01-02-2004, 02:51 PM
wow Penny it sounds like you've done your research on the
auto body top coats.

Thanks soooo much for that info on the auto clear coats........and what a great Idea concerning having them shooting a clear coat..........excellent.
Why didn't I think of this.......:eek:

I can then compare that to the one that my husband shoots with
the lacquer method see what I think.

I'll let you all know how this goes.

Thanks again.