Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Order of multiple paint coats

I'm trying to get the smoothest finish possible - not necessarily the glossiest. In other words, I HATE orangepeel! After I apply a color coat, I'm not about the correct sequence of (a) clearcoat, (b) sand (c) colorcoat. IOW, once I cover the model with color, should I use any additional color coats? Or just multiple clearcoats with sanding in between? And if I use more color coats, should I sand EVERY coat? Or just the clears? Or just the colors? Many thanks for the trouble you take to answer our question! Tom


The best (smoothest) finish should be obtained by applying a good color coat first. After that has dried well you can Polish out any irregularities with fine grit sand paper (2000, 3200, something of that order.). If additional coats are needed you can apply them lightly afterwards. I would wait for clear coat until the finish is blemish free. If you are using gloss paint for the color coats make sure that the coats are thoroughly dry between coats. Sometimes that might take a day or two. A trick that a friend uses for his funny car models is to use finger nail polish as it dries very smooth.

I have managed to get fairly smooth finishes by polishing the surface prior to my first coat and building up the paint in light layers. I also sometimes use flat paints and a final gloss coat. That usually results in a smooth finish. There really is not a science to good paint finish, it is more of an art that each person develops on their own.