Pro Aerosols paints are an excellent way to provide a coating which looks great and produces a protective overcoat on scale models, including everything from Airfix replica planes to Diecast model cars. We understand the pride many collectors take in their models and the attention which they put into both assembling and painting them. Therefore, in order to help you use spray paint to achieve the best possible finish on your models we have created this guide.
Health and Safety Tips:
Before starting painting, it is important to ensure that the correct health and safety measures have been observed. Our general health and safety guidelines are as follows:
- Ensure that all spraying is done in a well ventilated area.
- Take care to avoid spraying near any source of ignition, including electricity, heating and fire.
- Wet the air in which you will be spraying with a light mist of water, this will ensure all dust is settled.
- Where possible use a spray booth, even if it is just a cardboard box, this prevents any resulting overspray from hitting other surfaces.
- Ensure to avoid spraying in humid conditions, or in direct sunlight. These conditions not only affect the time which it takes for the paint to dry, they can also result in an inferior coating.
Tips for Handling Pro Aerosols Paint to Achieve the Optimum Finish:
- Before beginning ensure that the spray is released with enough pressure to create a consistent coating. The pressure of the spray can, can be increased by running it under hot water. Make sure you do not use direct heat, or water with a greater temperature than a tap to heat your spray can, as this can have adverse consequences.
- Make sure the can is sufficiently shaken before use, typically this involves shaking it for twice as long as you think it requires. Failure to adequately shake the can often results in the pigments being insufficiently mixed, therefore the resultant coating is inconsistent.
- Select the appropriate nozzle for your project. This is because the spray produced varies widely with different nozzle types, specifically designed spray paint nozzles for models can be obtained from art supply stores. Nozzles can easily be removed from spray paint cans by gently pulling them off. Alternatively they can be applied to the spray paint can’s stem.
- When it comes to applying the spray paint to your model, ensure that the paint is applied at the same distance throughout the application process. In order to apply the paint, simply move your arm, to draw lines across your model, as opposed to applying it in arcs.
- Take your time and avoid applying the paint in a back and forth motion. Spraying in a single direction provides far greater levels of control over the paint’s application.
- When applying paint make sure to always keep your spray can moving. The best way to do this is to start spraying before you reach your model and to finish spraying once you have passed it. This is because the droplet size distributed from spray paints varies at the point of commencement and when spraying is ended.
- When commencing a new stroke, ensure it overlaps the previous one by about one third. This process ensures you get an even coverage across the whole of the model’s surface.
- When coating your model, ensure that you apply a complete coating, as applying paint at different times to form a complete coating will yield a poor quality and inconsistent finish.
- Once you have completed painting your model, turn the can upside down and spray. This is to clear the nozzle from paint which can dry causing it to be compromised. To do this spray the can with just air passing through the nozzle, once upside down, this will remove any paint which remains there.
- Allow for at least ten minutes between the applying each of the coatings, as this enables the coatings to “tack up”.
Tips for Spray Paint Primer Coats:
Applying a primer coating to your model helps protect and enhance the underlying coatings from damage, such as chipping. However, as with all painting techniques, ensuring you have made the correct preparation is everything. For the best results, follow these techniques:
- If your model has a high gloss surface, then gently sand it with a fine sandpaper (for this you should use 220 grit or finer) be careful not to remove the coating. The purpose of this sanding is to roughen the surface in order for the primer to better adhere.
- After sanding, if appropriate, ensure to wash the model, use either a dish soap or mineral spirits. The selection of washing material will depend upon the material which the model is made of. In the case of wooden and metal models, use mineral spirits, only if they have been painted with enamel paints. With plastic models, and metal and wooden models painted with acrylic paints, then use dish soap. Regardless of the method ensure the model is allowed to dry before coating with primer.
- Spray the model lightly with a primer coat. It is important to ensure that the coating is not too heavy as this will dull the model’s features and detailing. When applying primer, only apply the amount required to ensure the paint adheres to the model.
- It is important to select a primer which will complement your model’s top coat or overcoat. In the majority of cases it is best to choose either a clear primer, or to choose a primer which matches the colour you intend to dry brush. The model with
- When applying the primer follow the directions above, for the application spray paint. It is important to take your time, less is more, as it is far easier to apply another coating than it is to attempt to remove a coating which is too thick.
- Once you have applied your primer coatings and are satisfied, then allow sufficient time for the coating to dry. This period should usually be at least 24 hours, unless the spray can indicates otherwise, to avoid disappointment consult the instructions on the spray paint can’s side.