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Getting an even clear coat

Q-1: I recently painted a car body with Tamiya’s gloss aluminum (TS-17) spray. After putting down two mist coats and one full, it looked perfect after 48 hours.

I then sprayed a light clear coat followed by a wet coat, and the next day noticed some unevenness in how it dried. It didn’t bubble, but there seemed to be a few new lines, especially on the roof. What steps should I take to get the clear coat to appear even once dry?

Ken-1: Rob, colors like silver and aluminum are probably the most difficult to apply because of the nature of the solids.

You can see that as you stir a jar of silver paint. When you’re stirring, little black lines will be evident during the mixing – an indication that the pigments are essentially clumping together before they thoroughly mix with the binder.

And unless you continually keep the paint moving while you paint, the solids will “fall out” of the suspension and go on unevenly.

My guess is that’s what happened here, and you didn’t notice it until the applied clear coat brought out that particular flaw.

If you’re spraying from a can, be sure to shake the can between each pass, especially when making long passes (like across a roof). It might also help if you decant the paint and use an airbrush, which will result in a finer, more even spray.

This is a perplexing problem. I invite readers to send me their tips for laying down a solid, fine coat of aluminum and/or silver paint!


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