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Clear Coats and Airbrush Help

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What is the best way to clean an airbrush fed by a bottle? I really hate the bottle and am looking to buy a gravity fed airbrush, because cleaning takes too long. I also wondered what kind of tricks you guys have to make a better clear coat than a two part epoxy. I'll have lots more questions to come.

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Hey welcome here.  Honestly you might not get to many responses to the bottle fed airbrush, I think (myself included) the majority of lure painters use the gravity fed airbrushes.  But I'm sure you might get a few tips here.


As far as clear coat - that is a huge question.  Better clear coat than epoxy?  Epoxy is an excellent clear coat, but like all clear coats, it depends on many factors.  What kind of epoxy have you been using?  Also, what have your issues been?  What kind of lures are you clear coating?  That might help dictate what clear coats could work for you.   As I've said in previous posts on finishes, make sure you practice and master whatever method you are going to try, because they ALL have their learning period.    

Some of the other options UV clear coat like AlumaUV (i think it is called).  Another option is a type of MCU (moisture cured urethane) - like KBS diamond finish.    

Search some of the discussion on this form for clear coats.  There has been lots of great tips and discussions on all the different methods. 

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Again no help on the bottle style airbrush I use gravity fed

clear coat is a preference thing it seems and they all have good and bad

I have used Etex and KBS myself 


pros easy to find, looks nice, easy to do multiple coats, durable when using multiple layers, and doesn’t smell 

cons must use a lure turner, if your turner jams or power goes out it becomes lopsided, must clean blank of oils of it doesn’t stick well, it’s heavy impacting buoyancy, and it can soften in the heat


pros no turner needed just hang your lure, thinner coat, very durable for thickness, less impact to weight

Cons it stinks, should wear a mask, doesn’t provide the same glass look epoxy does, prone to bubbles if you put on too thick of a layer or apply next coat too early, storage after opening is more difficult, and more difficult to find (at least in Canada)

my opinion clear coats all have pros and cons. They also involve some learning application wise

I now use KBS because I lost a few big batches using Etex from power outages and lure turner malfunctions. My wife hates the smell of KBS so I had to improve my ventilation system 

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Quite a few commercial crankbait makers use siphon feed bottle brushes.  Hobby builders?  Not so many.  If you paint batches of lures with the same color scheme, a set of siphon brushes or a single brush with multiple bottles makes good sense. 

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I only use a siphon brush for clear coating, cleaning involve spraying acetone through the brush 3 times, then disassemble and drop the needle, nozzle, air cap etc into a jar of acetone to soak. The body of the brush gets cleaned out thoroughly with pipe cleaner soaked in acetone.

As far as clear coat, I spray Tamco 9500HC automotive urethane. it is a far superior finish to any epoxy I ever used in the past. Rock hard, ultra clear, doesn't yellow, is actually rated for submersion unlike many epoxies commonly used, and it can be sprayed on swimbait joints with no effect on action. It is also ultra fast, hooks and hardware can be put on 15-30 minutes after the final coat. I can line up 30 baits, spray 3 coats and be putting on hardware and packaging in 1-1 1/2 hours (cure time can vary with shop temp).

The downsides; it is highly toxic and requires both excellent ventilation and a respirator and clean up is a slight pain. Also, it doesn't spray well with a gravity brush, I use a Passche VL with a 1.08 nozzle. a .68 nozzle can be used if you reduce it.

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At one time I did use a airbrush for clear coating, unless you are properly set up with mask and air filtering set up I would not do it. It is too dangerous, dipping is the way to go plus no airbrush to clean which makes it worse. I keep a pale of hot water and with little dish soap in it and dip my brush in after every color change.



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20 hours ago, bogdan_alex said:

@RM3I admire your tenacity... I don't see myself doing that for a couple of lures, no way! The aftermath cleanup and the toxicity clearly pushes me away to even try it. I'm sure spraying gives a more accurate results but the cons are not ones to neglect.


For small quantities, hassles probably do out weigh the benefits. When I was doing 2 or 3 baits at a time I had my best results using BSI 30 minute epoxy. It yellows less than most similar products and is far less brittle than Devcon. It seemed slightly more forgiving as far as mix ratios go and as long as you applied a nice thin coat, it doesn't requiring turning. As far as cleaning a siphon brush, Paasche has a color cup that can be used in place of the bottles, this simplifies the cleaning process quite a bit. Other companies may have similar cup but reasonably sure Paasche's would work on anybodies brush.

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