swimmysteve

Painting Alumilite And Featherlite?

6 posts in this topic

Hi guys, I just started molding baits and I have a few that I have painted but the paint does not adhere well. Can any of you guys recommend a good primer? Or is there any tricks to getting good paint adhesion. I use lacquer paints and auto clear but the paint chips off on impact. It chips off in flakes down to the resin so I know its not adhering to the resin. Please help

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First, I know nothing about Featherlite, so I don't know if anything I say will apply to it.

 

Alumilite Regular and Alumilite White will bond to anything except silicone while they are curing, but nothing really wants to bond to it once it is cured. So, there are a few things that can be done.

 

First, if you spray a primer coat on the material in the first couple of hours after it is poured, the paint will normally bond to the Alumilite. The quicker you paint the primer coat, the better the bond. For me, this is not an option.

 

Taking a hint from the owner of Alumilite, Mike suggested to me that I put a light coat of paint on the inside of my silicone mold before I pour. This actually transfers a bonded layer of paint to the lure, except for the pour hole and any flashing or sprue you trim off. Because my lures tend to require a larger pour hole, this is a good, but not a great option for me.

 

I checked out several "primer" materials. I checked out Krylon "fusion", because it is said to bond to all plastic. It really does not bond to the Alumilite. It makes it harder to scratch or chip the paint off the lure, but it is not a chemical bond. Less say it sticks to it, or forms a mechanical bond.

 

I talked to a taxidermy company that suggests their lacquer based primer that they use for smooth fiberglass replicas. They were out of the small quantities, so I tested instead the spray lacquers and spray acrylics out of rattle cans. I found that both improve the 'stick'.

 

Last, cleaning the surface of the Alumilite before you paint makes a huge difference. I used a green scotch pad then wiped it with alcohol first; this works very well, but again, improved stick, no bond. I also tried wiping with acetone, which also worked.

 

Finally, I found that with a good coat of ETec, it really did not need to stick or bond all that well in the first place. I make a type of lure that requires Alumilite White and microballons to make a shell, and then it is filled with a 610 foam. I and my fishing friends have a place where we fish along some rock cliffs. The rule is that if we cast 5 feet from shore, we are 4.5 feet too far from shore. Needless to say, we smash a lot of lures on the rocks. I have never ruined the paint job of my ETec coated, Createx painted, Alumilite formed lures.  Factory lures don't hold up at all.  LOL

 

In summary, if your Etec coat is good, or your D2T coat, then all you should need to do is use a green pad, followed by a wipe down, then either just paint or hit it with a rattle can clear, then paint and clear coat as desired.

 

I have not got my UV cure yet, but Bass100 says it is every bit as tough as D2T, so I expect the same results.

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Ive had the same issues with Featherlite. Sanding, cleaning and post curing the plug at 150d for an hour, then clean one last time. This will cook off some of the risiduals, and make a better substrate for laquer based paint. The Alumilte seems to be more friendly to adhesion. Featherlite is a PITA to get a good bond.

As Anglinarcher noted; the clearcoat holds everything together even if the paint bond is iffy.

Edited by markinorf

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Thank you guys. the auto clear I am using is good and strong and fast. I don't want to use epoxy. There must be a good primer or good tricks to get the paint to stick to it.

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I have been away from building for a while now, if for nothing else, my inability to find a clear that would hold up to the environment that I fish.  My baits are used to chase west coast saltwater bass and are thrown in some nasty neighborhoods.  I have used DN, Etec, D2T, and others but invariably have failures.  After reading this thread it got me thinking that the bond between the lure body, a resin from JGreer, and the paint may be part of the problem along with the fact that epoxy based products seem to be to brittle and ultimately crack and peel from the bait.

 

So I did a few internet searches and some experiments over the weekend.  Please chime in if you have tried any and can add pros, cons, or other relevent info.

 

First, I painted the molds in a color scheme I would normally work with and then cast the bait.  Surprisingly, at least to me, the resin picked up every bit of paint from the mold and looked great.  It was superior in scratch resistance to a post cure painted bait with no clear coat.  However, after dipping in water the paint was weaker and although it could not be completely removed it was dulled significantly.  This method would definately need a clear coat but showed some promise.

 

Second, since I did not have any casting powders available I tried dusting the mold with Pro-Tec powder paint to get an idea of how it might work.  Although it did not pick up the full color it did look fairly good and the "paint" was scratch resistant and did not get affected by submersion in water.

 

My first conclusion and initial thought is to give some casting powders a try like those seen at Alumilite.  Has anyone used these and have feedback.

 

Second, it would appear that a chemical bond is occuring with the resin curing in a pre-painted mold.  Has anyone tried to primer paint the inside of the mold to see if the final paint has better adhesion.

 

As for me and my fishing buddies, we all know that the right bait has more to do with action than the paint, but it is hard to sell unpainted lures to fishermen.  I have baits in my box that have no paint left that catch fish as good or better than ones straight from the paint booth. I would like to have some more confidence that a few toothy critters of a couple of casts off the boiler rocks are not going to leave my baits with cracked finishes in both the paint and clear coat. 

 

Dave B.

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"Taking a hint from the owner of Alumilite, Mike suggested to me that I put a light coat of paint on the inside of my silicone mold before I pour. This actually transfers a bonded layer of paint to the lure, except for the pour hole and any flashing or sprue you trim off. Because my lures tend to require a larger pour hole, this is a good, but not a great option for me."

 

I have and do use the Alumidust, both on hard and soft baits. Just like the paint job to the mold, the pour hole and spure spots don't have dust, so you would need to find a way to deal with this if you are making baits for sale. Still, if your mold is designed so you don't have exposed pour holds or excess to trim, the Alumidust works extremely well.

 

Steve, your point is well taken. I hope you find something that will work for you. I don't use Auto Clear, don't like the cost of D2T, and have a love-hate relation with ETec. I expect that when I am out of ETec I will be using a UV Clear.

 

I have found that some epoxys do indeed get too hard and brittle, but I have never heard or experienced ETec getting that hard. I have left a lot of left over ETec and the 20 minute Epoxy from Hobby Lobby in plastic pour cups to see what happens. Sure enough, the D2T is harder, perhaps clearer, but it can get brittle. The 20 minute Epoxy from Hobby Lobby and the ETec don't get that hard are remain flexible.

 

Oh well, each of us have to find out what works for us.

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