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mark poulson

Down And Dirty Hobbiest Painting

18 posts in this topic

I've built and painted a lot of lures now, and the "new" has kind of worn off of painting for me.

At first, it was the only way I knew to get a finish on a lure, back when I used rattle cans.

When I started airbrushing, it was fun to learn different skills, like finding new and unique paint schemes, and scaling schemes.

Finally, it turned into a necessity.

When I built walking lures and jointed swimbaits in batches of six, for sale, I need a way of making "identical" finishes on lure quickly and repeatability. Airbrushing was the answer.

And I got into the search for the "perfect" sealer and topcoat.

Along the way I discovered that making lures for sale took away the fun for me, and that I'd rather fish than paint.

I have turned to PVC for building, eliminating the need to seal wood, to prime, and to have a bullet proof topcoat.

And I've turned to nail polish for my painting where I can.

So, on my PVC cranks and on plastic knockoffs, I've begun doing the entire paint scheme with nail polishes.

The color combinations are endless, I mix two different colors to get a color I can't buy, and they even sell a clear with glitter.

If I want a glitter that's not available, I just add soft plastic glitter to clear polish to make that color glitter.

And I use clear polish to lock on the self-adhesive 3D eyes.

The polish holds up great, and it quick. No additional top coat needed.

Paint one day, fish the next.

With the clear plastic knockoffs from Predator Bass and Bustin Bass, I am also able to get transparent finishes, and the nail polish brush allows me to add a mottled appearance that looks great from below in clear water.

Layering is just a matter of letting one coat dry, and then adding another.

The buildup of color is fast and easy. And the colors don't fade.

Again, I'm a hobbiest, not a production builder, and got into lure building only to replace a buddy's Pupfish that I broke, so my experience is from that perspective.

But cheap nail polish makes lure painting fast and easy, so I wanted to share my experiences with it here.

The fish in my avatar, 8.37lbs, came on a PVC popper I made and finished with nail polish.

The fish didn't care.

Edited by mark poulson
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a few years ago i caught a fish on my first lure, a piece of board cut into a fish shape with rounded edges, wired with galvanized steel wire. i didnt paint it i didnt even fill the sloth for the wire. i dont know where its now, mayb i lost it...

ayway, i think some fish dont care about color and others do. some just bite anything that suggests something eatable. i think the right size is more important then the color. the Asp in the water that i fish feed on the fry that are born every spring, every year. they return to the same place every year. they start feeding when the fry is about 1-2 cm, trow anything bigger at them and they wont bite. later in spring/early summer they get less selective but still dont take big lures. when they strike a lure once and miss it they never strike it again. very smart fish i think.

the pike however are less size selective, i think they want to eat or they just dont. even in the clearest water they take lures that are (in colors) ridiculous (purple, bright yellow). they also stike multiple times, the most strikes i ever had where 5 in a row, on 5 casts, on the same lure.

ow yea... this is pretty much off the subject of building lures, sorry...lol

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I've built and painted a lot of lures now, and the "new" has kind of worn off of painting for me.

At first, it was the only way I knew to get a finish on a lure, back when I used rattle cans.

When I started airbrushing, it was fun to learn different skills, like finding new and unique paint schemes, and scaling schemes.

Finally, it turned into a necessity.

When I built walking lures and jointed swimbaits in batches of six, for sale, I need a way of making "identical" finishes on lure quickly and repeatability. Airbrushing was the answer.

And I got into the search for the "perfect" sealer and topcoat.

Along the way I discovered that making lures for sale took away the fun for me, and that I'd rather fish than paint.

I have turned to PVC for building, eliminating the need to seal wood, to prime, and to have a bullet proof topcoat.

And I've turned to nail polish for my painting where I can.

So, on my PVC cranks and on plastic knockoffs, I've begun doing the entire paint scheme with nail polishes.

The color combinations are endless, I mix two different colors to get a color I can't buy, and they even sell a clear with glitter.

If I want a glitter that's not available, I just add soft plastic glitter to clear polish to make that color glitter.

And I use clear polish to lock on the self-adhesive 3D eyes.

The polish holds up great, and it quick. No additional top coat needed.

Paint one day, fish the next.

With the clear plastic knockoffs from Predator Bass and Bustin Bass, I am also able to get transparent finishes, and the nail polish brush allows me to add a mottled appearance that looks great from below in clear water.

Layering is just a matter of letting one coat dry, and then adding another.

The buildup of color is fast and easy. And the colors don't fade.

Again, I'm a hobbiest, not a production builder, and got into lure building only to replace a buddy's Pupfish that I broke, so my experience is from that perspective.

But cheap nail polish makes lure painting fast and easy, so I wanted to share my experiences with it here.

The fish in my avatar, 8.37lbs, came on a PVC popper I made and finished with nail polish.

The fish didn't care.

Mark, I know you've posted the brand of nail polish you use, but, I forgot. My daughter is fixin to throw some in the trash. Might just rummage through it and see if anything is useful.

Thanks for the info.

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If it looks good to you, grab it!

I use the cheapest brand that CVS carries, if it has the colors I want. $1 or $2 a bottle.

Right now they're carrying Wet 'n Wild, and Confetti as their cheapest brands.

Wet 'n Wild has a good clear, and some nice solid colors with glitter highlites, and Confetti has clears with glitter already in them.

Sometimes I may splurge and buy one bottle of Revlon, or Sally Hansen, if they have a weird color I like.

But the cheap stuff works great, and holds up, too.

I mix brown and green to make green pumpkin, which works great for baby bass patterns. Different greens make different shades, but they all work.

You can take a light green, mix in some dark brown, and then some black if it's not dark enough yet.

Basic white makes great bellies.

Red is great for making popper and sammie mouths, and throat markings under the lip on jerkbaits.

SoIvent based markers run if you use them under nail polish, so I make the zigzag black marks on the sides and cheeks of the baby bass with water based markers, heat set/dry with a hair dryer, and then coat over that with clear nail polish at the same time I coat over the 3D eyes.

After I'm done with all the nail polish, I use a red sharpie to mark the gills.

Shopping for nail polish give me a chance to talk to all the pretty young women who work in the cosmetics section. ;)

Edited by mark poulson

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Thats why I like Rattle cans. Its a constant search for new colors, stopping in every store and out of town home depots looking for that new fresh paint color. I have an airbrush but the spray can is what I like and choose to use. It coulda helped that when i started making baits i had 80 cans on hand from other endevours :whistle::halo:

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Hey Mark-

I'd love to see what you've achieved with nail polish. Sounds like a neat way to get semi-transparent layering. Have you posted anything in the gallery? I'm not sure how to look up pictures that are just from you, so sorry if this is easy to do and I'm unaware.

-Sam

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Mark

I found your pics in the pic section. Looks pretty good as you seem to have the nack for that type of finish. I especially like the translucent finishes. I cant get finishes that good with any media. I think it is more about weather the lure maker knows how to use what it is he is using rather than what it is specifically he is using. You should post pics more often......

Sonny

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Sam,

I posted some in the Hard Baits gallery.

Sonny,

Thanks.

I posted about nail polish because it is a quick and easy system, not because it's better than air brushing. I put one of my air brushed baby bass lures next to the nail polished lure, and the nail polish looks crude by comparison.

I find that blending is a bit harder with nail polish, and I'm usually too impatient to take a lot of time doing it, since I know it doesn't make too much difference to the fish.

But the nail polish is more translucent.

I get translucent paint jobs with Createx by thinning it, and spraying light coats. I think of it as more of a fog coat.

I have a work light on my bench, and I hold the lures up to it to check them as I paint, so I don't overpaint, when I want translucent.

But I've found that, to get truly translucent lures I do better using a clear nail polish with glitter. I just put several coats on the back, so it's "darker" than the bottom. From below, the back shows through, but has a 3D look as the bait is rotated, since the clear body separates the back and the belly.

Nail polish won't replace air brushing for me. It's just another method that saves me time when I'm in a hurry.

Edited by mark poulson

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Hey Mark-

Thanks for posting those - really neat. I agree with you that it's not "better" than airbrushing, but it's certainly something to think about. Like you said - the fish don't care.

-SB

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Well Mark's nail polish lures have gotten me to experiment. Goint to a Muskie lake tommorrow that also has rainbow trout. Wanted to test some new plastic minnow baits I bought so I did up a trout. Results are in the gallery and yes I have a ways to go before I come close to Mark's results.

 

Overall body is gold/green transparent glitter polish from the dollar store. Rest is waterproof markers. Side stripe is red muted down with alchohol wipes.

 

bill

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The last 2 words to the title of your post "Hobbiest Painting", and subsequent sentences in the rest of your post reminded me of why I took up this hobby. And it is a "hobby'!

We Americans are so fortunate in so many ways. Sometimes, when I go to Home Depot to get some supplies i.e. rattle cans, primer, sand paper etc. etc. etc.......  I see these day laborers scattered about the parking lot, hoping someone would hire them so that they in turn can get some money to send back to their loved ones back home. Wherever home may be. 

And then, it puts the whole "plug building" hobby back into perspective. It's a piece of wood with hooks for crying out loud.                                    Some people can get so full of themselves and try to approximate lure building as this type of great hardship and that no one else understands the suffering they have endured to make this lure. Get a handle on your selves people. It's a hobby! 

Edited by cereal killer
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The last 2 words to the title of your post "Hobbiest Painting", and subsequent sentences in the rest of your post reminded me of why I took up this hobby. And it is a "hobby'!

We Americans are so fortunate in so many ways. Sometimes, when I go to Home Depot to get some supplies i.e. rattle cans, primer, sand paper etc. etc. etc.......  I see these day laborers scattered about the parking lot, hoping someone would hire them so that they in turn can get some money to send back to their loved ones back home. Wherever home may be. 

And then, it puts the whole "plug building" hobby back into perspective. It's a piece of wood with hooks for crying out loud.                                    Some people can get so full of themselves and try to approximate lure building as this type of great hardship and that no one else understands the suffering they have endured to make this lure. Get a handle on your selves people. It's a hobby! 

Amen!!!

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