Clear Coat Problemscrankbaits airbrush
63 replies to this topic
Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:16 PM
Until today I have been using a 20 minute epoxy for sealing my crankbaits, but this has become expensive, and the 20 minute epoxy is difficult to find. I have heard of others using an automotive clear coat, so I thought I would give that a try. Long story short, I painted six lures using Rustolium Primer and Createx Airbrush Paints. After drying them with a hair dryer, I clear coated them using a Urethane Automotive clear coat. The problem I experienced is on half of the baits, the paints immediately crinkled in a couple of spots.
Does any one know what caused some of the paint to crinkle, and does anyone know the solution?
What did I do wrong?
Thanks in advance!
Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:33 PM
Have you tried Devcon 2 Ton Epoxy? It's one of the most common clears you'll find here, inexpensive compared to auto clears, and you can find it at most ACE Hardware stores.
Posted 29 January 2012 - 09:40 PM
Sounds like the paint was not cured or dry enough to put the clear on. I usually wait 24 hrs to let the paint dry before applying clear. Your paint crinkling on some and not others could be the result of applying the paint in heavier coats than the others requiring more time to dry. I'm no expert, but those are some of my mistakes i've already performed. Still trying to workout my own clearcoat issues.
Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:41 PM
I had experienced the same thing before. I used createx paints and used a hair dryer to speed up the drying time. Not long after I sprayed the clear on them. I found my problem to be the temperature of the bait was too warm when I sprayed. Now if I used heat to cure the paint, I give it about an hour to cool back to room temperature before I spray. My guess was the cool clear coat was warming up after hitting the bait. Then as it cooled down it would wrinkle up. After After I gave it time to cool the clear didn't wrinkle up anymore and stayed smooth.
Edited by Fishsticks, 29 January 2012 - 10:47 PM.
Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:53 PM
//Arkie// Have you tried Devcon 2 Ton Epoxy? It's one of the most common clears you'll find here, inexpensive compared to auto clears, and you can find it at most ACE Hardware stores.
I have used Devcon 2T, but it is nearly impossible to find in my area. So far I like the urethane clear coat I tried, mainly because it seems like it will coat significantly more baits for my dollar, however I do not know how durable it is yet, and I have to solve the crinkle problem. I fI could find a good inexpensive like on Devcon, I would probably stick with it.
Thanks for your inputs,
Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:57 PM
That is an interesting idea, and you may be correct. The baits that wrinkled where the ones that I spent extra time trying to dry the painted eyes, while the ones with stick-on 3d eyes came out fine. Maybe next time I will throw them all in the fridge for a couple of minutes to see if that makes a difference.
Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:23 PM
I use Createx and Auto Air paints on all my lures and I also use an auto clear to clear coat them. I have yet to have any of the problems your describing. I heat set with a heat gun (much hotter than a hair dryer) after each coat of paint. I even use the heat gun to "set" the clear coat as I spray a fairly heavy coating. I'm not trying to dry it or cure it, but just flash off enough of the solvents that it becomes tacky enough that I can spray a couple more coats of clear on the bait without any runs or sags.
I've never used any of the Rustoleum Primer before, but if it is solvent based then the solvents in it and the solvents in the auto clear are probaly having a reaction with each other.
Some people confuse a "primer" with a "base coat". A "primer" is usually used to help following colors bind to the surface better. A "base coat" is a color (usually white are black) that makes the following colors stand out better (white) or make them more subdued. (black) Are you sealing wood baits or are you using the Rustoleum as a base coat on plastic baits? If your using it as a base to spray your other colors on top of then try using some Createx white, or whatever color you prefer, as a base coat then paint and clear coat the bait as you have been doing. If the paint doesn't wrinkle then you have probably found the "weak link" in your painting process.
Edited by RayburnGuy, 29 January 2012 - 11:24 PM.
Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:37 AM
What Ben said; get rid of the rattle can paint. Dip your baits to cut the time in base coating rather than using a rattle can otherwise mixing the two will cause you nothing but problems. Even with an epoxy top coat I suspect once the hook rash gets deep enough the baits will peel like an orange.
Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:15 PM
Thank you Ben! Yes I am using the Rusolium Primer on plastic baits as the base coat. I do have Createx White, so i will give that a shot instead. Another question or two. Are you spraying your Auto Clear coat with your air brush, and if so, what kind of solution do you use to clean your airbrush? I have been painting on the Auto clear coat only because I was under the impression that it could not be thinned. Can Urethane Auto Coat be thinned?
Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:37 PM
Thanks Gunnie and Ben. Sounds like you guys got this figured out. I have only been doing this since the beginning of the month, so I am still well behind the power curve. With that, I have attached a couple of pictures of my most recent baits. THey are somewhere in the Bait number 20-25 range. Any comments of suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Lastly, this is most likely a dumb question, but you are not Gunnie the bass fisherman from the Central Virginia (Quantico) area are you?
Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:49 PM
Yes, I am using an El'Cheapo airbrush from Harbor Freight bought specifically for spraying the clear. It was somewhere around $15 and I figured if there was a major castrophe it wouldn't be a major loss. I only build a few baits at a time so I don't really need an HVLP gun. The airbrush works just fine.
I use acetone to clean the brush after spraying. The particular auto clear I'm using (Dupont SelectClear 498-00 with their mid-temp activator 483-78) has acetone as one of it's components and cleaning the brush with clean acetone has been working very well.
The Dupont clear I'm using is a two part urethane and does not need to be thinned at all. It's almost the consistency of water. Are you using a one or two part auto urethane? That could be the difference, but I would just be guessing as there are a number of different auto clears on the market. I bought mine at O'Reillys Auto parts and it cost around $36 for a quart. But they had auto clears that were well over $100 for a quart. The higher priced clears may well be worth the money, but they were well out of my price range.
I'm no expert when it comes to auto clear, but I do have some friends in the business. If you'll tell me what your using maybe I can get more detailed info on it. Or if you know anyone who who works in an auto body repair shop you might get some priceless information for the price of a cold beer or two. Or whatever would be approapriate.
hope some of this helps,
Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:57 PM
Ben, I am using a product called Xtreme Classic Klear Kote 5155 with Xtreme Universal Urethane Activator 5162 (Fast). It came in a 1 quart can, and has a working time of a couple of hours. The stuff seems pretty good, and the shop owner felt it would be ideal for fishing lures based on hardness etc. I also have an El Cheapo from Harbor Freight that I am going to try with the clear coat. I was very scared to put the stuff in my Iwata CR.
I am going to pain a few once I get back from a business trip, and when I do, I'll let you know the outcome.
Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:04 AM
Thanks for this post Max, I've been having many of the same questions lately myself.
I've been using Devcon 2T and the Bob Smith 20 min epoxy for my top coats ever since I started painting baits a couple years ago. However lately I've been wanting to try to find a topcoat that would be a tad thinner, something more like the factory finishes on storebought baits. I believe I saw in another post Bob P mention that Dick Nites is a bit thinner than what I've been using, but I'm like a lot of others and not ready to deal with the storage issues there. So I'm wondering if Auto clear is the way I want to go?
Ben, do you believe the hardness of the auto clear you use from O'Reilly's is equivalent to DN or D2T/BSI epoxy? Do you have to rotate your lures after you spray them, or just hang them?
Lastly, my shop is in my basement and I am aware of the fumes associated with auto clear. If I purchased a booth like this...
and extended the exhaust tube to vent outside, would this be good enough in your opinion to use auto clear in the house?
This site is fantastic, thanks to all who post and share here!
Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:34 PM
Max - I agree the wrinkling is cause either by a reaction with the primer (most likely) or by the clear coat pooling on the surface of the lure, which lets it remain in a liquid state too long. Spraying several lighter coats should remedy the latter problem.
Jeff - to me, auto clears seem as hard as epoxy and have better clarity. Two part Auto clears with "high solids" are more durable and more expensive. In planning a spray booth, you have to account for two things with auto clears: they are toxic and their vapors are flammable. As far as relative costs go, I think all the options are pretty comparable. You "waste" epoxy when you mix up more than what goes on the bait. You "waste" auto clear when you add activator to more than you spray on the bait. You "waste" DN when you dip it and the excess finish drips off the lure. Some excess is always going to happen. Better too much than too little! JMHO, choose the topcoat you think gives the best end product and stick with it until you learn how to get reliable results. They all have their "ins and outs", advantages and disadvantages.
Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:40 PM
Wish I could give you more definite answers, but everything I know about auto clear is limited to what I've learned since I started using it a few months ago. As far as hardness I would think the epoxies you named may be as hard, if not harder. Even to the point of being brittle. I know that a lot of the muskie guys use Etex for that very reason. Etex is an epoxy, but it doesn't get as hard as D2T or the Bob Smith products. Mix an epoxy that dries to a hard finish with cold water and big, sharp teeth and the top coat just doesn't last. There is no "magic" top coat that will protect a lure from everything short of a nuclear blast, is clear as glass, cures in minutes, and will not set up no matter how long we leave the container open. None that I've found anyway. I've also tried some of the water bourne top coats and they didn't hold up nearly as well as the urethane clear coats. I really like the finish that DN gives, but hated the hassle of storing it. The best way to store and use DN that I've found is a method described to me by Capt. Sully that has come to be known as "tapping the can." If you'll do a search you can read about storing it this way. If you can't find it holler back and I will explain it to you. At the time I wasn't sure you could spray DN and didn't like brushing it on only for the reason that I sucked at brushing on top coats at the time. I have since learned that you can spray DN and by using the "tap the can" method storage isn't a hassle. If you decide to spray DN then you should follow the same safety guidelines as you would with auto clear. If I had known you could spray DN I might never have gone to auto clear.
All I can say is that the baits I've sprayed with auto clear are holding up well so far. I still get a little hook rash, but if you keep your hooks sharp, and don't bother to "T" them this will eventually happen to pretty much any top coat that dries to a "hard" finish. There are several things I truly like about the auto clear. When it dries it is as clear as water, the solvents flash off fairly quickly, it's designed to be sprayed, it has a fairly long "pot life" and can be found locally so there are no shipping charges. DN is actually about the same price as the auto clear I'm using, but by the time you add on hazardous shipping charges to Texas it raises the price another $15 or so.
Since I only build a few lures at a time I use a cheap Harbor Freight airbrush bought just for spraying the auto clear. It only cost about $15 so if I screw up and don't get the brush cleaned properly it's no great loss. If I were building baits for sale and was lucky enough to be selling a lot of them I would go to an HVLP (high volume low pressure) paint gun. When spraying the auto clear I use a pair of hemostats clamped to the line tie and slowly turn it while spraying. I usually make 3 or 4 revolutions of the bait spraying the whole time. How much clear is being sprayed will be determined by the size of the nozzle and the pressure at which you spray. I believe the Harbor Freight brush has a .3mm or .35mm nozzle and I spray the clear at 20 to 30 psi. If it's sunny and warm I can hang the baits and have only had one of them to run a small bit, but hanging them by the line tie lets any excess run to the back hook hanger where it can easily be cleaned up. This winter I tried something a little different. Instead of hanging the baits after the initial spraying I hit them with a heat gun set on low just like you were heat setting paint. Not trying to "dry" or "cure" the clear, but trying to warm them up just enough that some of the solvents flash off so the clear becomes tacky quicker. I then spray another coat as described above. Slowly turning the bait 3 revolutions while spraying. Then they are hit with the heat gun for another short time before putting them on my lure turner. They might be OK to hang, but I have a lure turner and see no reason to take chances. This process is OK when only building a few at a time, but would take too much time if you were clear coating a bunch of lures for sale. Then I would hang them up and go down the line spraying a good, wet coat. If you were spraying 15 or 20 lures by the time you sprayed the last one you could come back and start at the front of the line again.
As far as the exhaust booth I really don't feel like I could make any suggestions as to whether it will or will not work. A lot would depend on exactly how much air it processes. I would hate to make a recommendation and then have you end up with some type of respiratory disease or even cancer. Auto clear is definitely one thing you don't want to have floating around in the air your breathing. A while back I was wanting to clear a bait, but it was raining outside. So I figured I could get away with clearing just one without hurting anything. The windows were open and a fan was running and I was using the appropriate breathing protection. I cleared the bait and came to the front of the house to work on the computer while the auto clear was supposedly venting. To make a long story short I stayed up front for a couple hours on the computer before going back to where the lures were sprayed. It didn't take long and I had the MOAH. (mother of all headaches) My head throbbed for hours. Auto clear is some nasty stuff when not handled properly. If you can find out the amount of air the spray booth moves and then post it as a seperate question (sometimes newer topics get more attention) I'm pretty sure somebody here at TU could answer that. There are some truly talented folks here at TU who have a lot more experience with these things than I do.
Good luck with your decision and if I can be of help just holler.
Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:58 PM
"T" them? Please explain.
Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:29 PM
If you're painting plastic lures, there's no need to prime them.
Give them a quick dip in clean acetone, without getting on the bill, and Createx will stick fine.
Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:51 PM
Get your parts guy to order you some reducer. (see product chart bottom of this link below )
You csn play around with the reducer and activator to get a flash time that your happy with.You can also hang your clear coated baits in an oven at 100 to 110 degress and they will flash quicker. I hang all the baits that I clear with Urethane and use a medium activator and they flash or "tack up" withen 5 minutes but still take 12 hours to cure. The clear never runs.
If you really want a good finish then spray your clear on light coat first then allow them to flash then do another coat.
Remember that when using Urethane Clear .... the slower it cures the harder -- more durable-- and glossier the finish will be.
Vertually all Urethane Clears have a reducer that will thin them and some use a universal reducer.
Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:52 PM
"T"ing the hooks is installing them on the bait so that two of the hooks are running alongside the body of the bait when the shank of the hook is pulled back against the body. This helps to keep the point of the hook from scratching the lure. If done right there will be one side of the treble along each side of the bait and one hook facing down when held against the body. If you don't understand just holler and I will post a picture of what I'm talking about.