Thembonez

Blades

7 posts in this topic

I know this has been a topic beat to death 'round here. But I'm just starting to paint (airbrush) my own blades and theirs two questions I have. One- what are you guys using (and how) for a seal coat. Then, heat setting in between colors ext. how long do you do this for. What do you use?

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"Seal coat" may be a misnomer if you're talking spinnerbait blades. The real issue is getting a finish that adheres well to metal. What works for me: sand the metal with 400 grit paper to give it some tooth, shoot a coat of white acrylic paint as a color basecoat (only if needed), then the colors. The biggest step to success was using a moisture cured urethane topcoat (Dick Nite S81) that penetrates the dry acrylic paint and bonds with the underlying metal. You can simply dip the blade in the urethane and hang it up to dry, making the whole process pretty simple. And the urethane forms a thin, tough coating that is very durable (more durable than many of the pre-painted blades I've tried).

When I first tried painting blades, I tried shooting an aerosol primer on the metal, then painting it with acrylic paints and topcoating with epoxy. Acrylic paints really don't adhere very well to solvent based auto primers. Also, epoxy thins out over sharp edges so it and the underlying paint chipped off very quickly during use. Epoxy also made the blade much heavier than I wanted and it tended to yellow eventually.

You need a FINISH SYSTEM that will work together to adhere. If you randomly mix and match coatings, you usually find something won't adhere to something else and the finish quickly chips and wears off. The acrylic paint + Dick Nite happens to work. If I were doing lots of blades, I'd try solvent based Dick Nite lacquer colors instead of water based acrylics, for a possibly even better result. After all, that's what Dick Nite uses to finish the spoons that are the mainstay of his business. I just don't want to start airbrushing solvent based products.

Heat setting acrylic paint: it's formulated to set when heated with an iron on a T-shirt. Basically, I think that means a hot iron melts the acrylic plastic into the cloth. I've never heated paint that hot; I just speed dry the paint with a hair dryer. That has always worked fine for me. Thinking about it, I'd be concerned that melting the paint into a coherent film like on a T-shirt might in fact stop the urethane from leaching through the paint and adhering to the metal. But that's just conjecture on my part.

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Wow!, that's a lot to digest! I guess I could have given a little more detail as what i was doing. By blades I ment crawler harness blades( not much difference). As for paints I was gonna

Go with Createx. I've seen where people say to heat set the paint between coats and different colors? Then top coats it seems everyone has their preferred brand and or methods. Id rather just not waste my time or money by going the trial and error route!

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I did a bunch of blades this summer using createx and a few rattle cans. I tried lacquer and etex as a top coats, in the end I liked etex due to the heavier blades. The laquer I used to top coat typically results in chips that take off the paint, for the spinners I was using I didn't care if this occurred... I used lacquer on the backs of them vs Etex.

Prepping

I recall using a rattle can for the base coat. some of them I didn't I just shot the createx over the metal to get a reflective colour.. I remember not wanted to sand one of them because I didn't want to scuff it up. I just shot multiple light coats and heat set with the transparent createx and it worked without a primer.. But I liked the primer ones better as the colours were crisper and it was easier to work with.

Holding

I used crazy glue on the ends of broken wooden skewers to hold them... works alright but I suspect a hot glue gun would work better. With the crazy glue you have to hold the skewer for a little while for it to bond and if leaves a bit of a white scuff which is no big deal as its on the back.

Note if you're doing small ones and not too many consider nail polish... I used a nail polish brush for disbursing the lacquer (found a clear nail polish, then just topped it up with my large can of lacquer when it runs out – very convenient). Most nail polished are lacquer based, unless your looking at a shallac.

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I paint a lot of blades for salmon spinners.

Here's how I do it.

1. Remove lacquer from blades if necessary.

2. Lightly scuff the surface to be painted.

3. Spray 2-3 light coats of white Createx (if needed).

4. Spray additional Createx colors to get desired effect. I try and spray when it's a bit warmer since I spray in the garage. I hit the blades with a heat gun on low for a few seconds between coats.

5. After the blade is painted I bake them in the oven at 175 for an hour or so.

6. Apply top coat. I'm using D2T thinned out with denatured alcohol. I looked long and hard for a top coat. It boiled down between a auto clear coat or the Devcon. The auto clear coat would spray fine through a airbrush but it's a toxic substance. It's also quite expensive.BTW, I built racks to hold the blades while I paint them. Here's a picture of the racks and some of the blades I've painted.

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Edited by LimpNoodle

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The rack is simply hardware cloth on a frame. I then cut vertical wires and bent them out into a small hook. Works awesome. On a lot of my blades I'm painting both front and back. Always paint the back first or the rack with scratch the paint on the front of the blade.

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