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rhallman

Hard bait paint blistering

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Need a little help. I have been making hard swimbaits for a couple of years and I have certainly gone through the school of hard knocks on trial and error like everyone else. The one area in which I still struggle is painting, specifically paint eventually separating from the lure body after usually extended use. I use Alumlite resin but have tried others as well. All the same. I airbrush mostly with Wicked and Wicked Detail but have tried Createx and Spike It paints. I have used base coats of spar, acrylic latex, topcoats from these airbrush companies and sometimes no true base coat. I finish my lures with Etex, usually 3 coats. Results always look impressive, but give it time and eventually I will see spots of separation between the body and the paint under the Etex. These are not lures exposed to excessive heat. I have seen that cause blistering firsthand.  I thoughly was the lures with dawn before painting. Anyone have any tip? Much appreciated.

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its gas-off issue..try a lacquer primer after wash and 7 day curing. we stopped using envirotex on urethane baits.

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Rhallman, I hate to say it, but we would almost, actually definitely would, need to actually see your steps from start to finish. 

I have been using Alumilite White for about 10 years now and I have never had the paint separate after it was top coated.  I have topcoats of Etec, D2T, Solares, and Alumilite UV.  No issues with any of them.  Even more, I don't seem to be doing near as much as you are.

I suspect there is something little, but terrible, something you are doing that you aren't even noticing. 

1) I never wait for "off-gassing".  Resin cures, not dries, so it is not necessary after the 24 hour cure.  Cure it for another day if it is in a cool room.  I do wait if I am making the lure from Alumifoam, it does off-gas due to the foam expansion, but only a 2nd day.

2) I never wash with Dawn.  Sometimes I hit it with a damp acetone cloth if I have dirty hands.  It sure won't hurt though.  Make sure you rinse well.

3) Priming makes the other coats go on better,  but if I don't it does not cause separation.  I have primed with Createx, with Krylon rattle cans, with Taxidermy paints, with Wicked, and probably others that I don't remember.

4) I have never ever used more then a single Etec coat, nor more then two D2T coats.

You asked for a suggestion, and the best suggestion I have is to film your process from the mold preparation to the pour to the painting to the clear coat.  Then either put it on YouTube and give us the link, or store it on the cloud and again, provide the link.  I am quite sure that a lot of us looking at it will discover the subtle, little, simple thing that is making all the difference.  You seem to be doing it all correctly, but your results are quite opposite of mine.  This is the only thing I can think of to tell you.

Good luck.  But, if worse comes to worse, assuming you are using a silicone mold, paint the inside of your mold with Cretex or any of your other primers.  Pour with resin, such as Alumilite White.  The resin will bond with the primer, chemically and mechanically, and it will never separate.  Unless the paint separates from the primer.  Ouch.

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5 hours ago, mark poulson said:

Could an improperly mixed resin cause this?

No, at least not with Alumilite White, Tan, or Black that I have used, or the Smooth-On I tried.  If it is not mixed at the proper ratios or not mixed well enough it will not cure. 

I have had uncured spots that I cleaned off (shabby mixing) with a little sanding, painted over, cleared, and went fishing with.  Sure, not pretty, but the fish did not care.  LOL

The problem is that there might be a lot of things that can cause it, but ...... if he is doing what he claims, it should work, no matter if it is Alumilite or Smooth-on.

It could be that he is using a mold release and not getting it cleaned off.  But, I never use mold release when pour resins in silicone molds.

It could be he is using a dish soap but not rinsing it off well enough, but, I doubt it because I use a little Dawn in my home brew airbrush paint thinner and it causes no issues.

It could be he is leaving oily finger prints on the blanks, but it would take a lot of oil or dirt to cause a problem like that.  I never worry about it, I just wash my hands while working on them, and use nitrile gloves when painting, but mostly to keep the overspray off my hands.

It all falls down to he is doing something sooooo subtle that he is not even thinking about it.  But, if several us watched a video of birth to death of his lure, it might just allow us to pick it up.

It really sounds to me like he is doing everything at least 95% correct, but that last 5% is getting him.  You know what they say in Engineering, "The Devil is in the Details".

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Thanks guys for the time and feedback. I did not used to clean with dawn. However, after a couple of separations, I figured it needed to be super clean. I have tried cleaning with acetone as well in the past.  Lately I've been using Alumilite RC3 just because it's easy to get at Hobby Lobby  and made a lure, that after about 5 days of casting, I noticed the blister in a spot.  I have never only used one coat of Etex and I have never thought of putting the base coat in the mold. I might have to give these a shot. I need to try the lacquer primer as well. I never use mold release and do thoroughly rinse after washing.  Just a pic of the latest creation.  I'm sure this one will eventually blister as well if I don't lose it first. Thanks again.

20170502_004224.jpg

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Looks good so far, give us a pic if/when it bubbles/peels/separates. 

It has got to be something little.  I will admit, I have never used the RC3 but I doubt it is all that different. 

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