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Clear Coating Tips


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#1 Hinckley

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:15 PM

I'm having trouble putting clear coat on my custom torsos. I like to use a brush so I can make sure the sides of the decal are curving around the contours of the torso. But either I need a new brush or new clear coat, because the coat is starting to gunk up. I think it's the brush, it may just be getting old. But I've had the clear coat for a while as well and it's getting a little thicker than it was before. Has anyone else ever had this problem? Can I use water to thin out the clear coat?

How is anyone's experience using spray for a clear coat? My only concern would be, does it have enough weight to mold the torso around the edges? I am seriously considering switching to spray as I am tired of cleaning the brushes all the time and don't want to be buying new ones constantly if that is the cause of the problem I'm currently having with the liquid clear coat...

Thanks in advance for your advice! :-)

#2 Lamanda2

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:29 PM

I don't use brush-on clear coat, so I can't give you advice on that, but I can say that spray works very well, it's all I use to seal any of my custom decals or pieces. No quite sure what you mean about getting the decals to mold around the edges, are the decals too big or something, why do hey go around the edges?

There are some nice advanteges so using spray; no brush marks, thin coats, ect. You might want to give it a try.

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#3 Hinckley

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 09:43 PM

View PostLamanda2, on Feb 24 2008, 03:29 PM, said:

I don't use brush-on clear coat, so I can't give you advice on that, but I can say that spray works very well, it's all I use to seal any of my custom decals or pieces. No quite sure what you mean about getting the decals to mold around the edges, are the decals too big or something, why do hey go around the edges?

There are some nice advanteges so using spray; no brush marks, thin coats, ect. You might want to give it a try.

~Amanda
Thanks! The decals don't go "around" the edges, but the corners have a curve to them and I like to make sure the edges of the decal adhere to that. Maybe I should just make my decals a couple of pixels thinner. :-$

What brand of clear coat do you use and where do you get it? Thanks for the tips and recommendations! *sweet*

#4 Starwars4J

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 10:26 PM

View PostHinckley, on Feb 24 2008, 03:43 PM, said:

Thanks! The decals don't go "around" the edges, but the corners have a curve to them and I like to make sure the edges of the decal adhere to that. Maybe I should just make my decals a couple of pixels thinner. :-$

What brand of clear coat do you use and where do you get it? Thanks for the tips and recommendations! *sweet*
Krylon Crystal Clear Coat works well in my experience

#5 Lamanda2

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:30 AM

"Krylon Crystal Clear Coat works well in my experience"

That's just what I use as well, make sure you buy the glossy kind, not flat. I almost made the mistake of using some of the flat kind once.. You can get it just about anywhere, I picked up my last can at Target, but I've seen it at Wallmart and just about all craft stores and hardware stores. One can should  run you about $3-$5.

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#6 Hinckley

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 07:10 AM

Thanks for the advice fellow customizers! X-D

#7 PeteCorp

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:55 PM

Why no flat coat?  I would think a more glossy coating makes it look more like a sticker.

#8 Mraz Skintas

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 01:36 AM

Why is your first post in a topic that seems to have been resolved an is over a year old?

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#9 Rayman

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 04:45 PM

Well it might be handy to bump up this thread for those who haven't seen it before ie: me  :blush: Anyway....

I have encountered the exact same problems with my clear coats. All of my earlier figures have had their clear coats hand brushed on. I have found that a good sable hair brush (Windsor and Newton is the brand I use) will get you very smooth results. But make sure that you designate this brush as your "clear coat brush", I have ruined so many nice decal jobs by using a tainted brush because I was too lazy to switch. Coloured paint is notrious for staining clear coats even if the brush has been throughly cleaned beforehand.

Also you're right, the clear coat does tend to thicken and gunk up after a period of time, I have tried remedying this by thinning the clear coat out with water but have had pretty mixed results. Try using a commercial paint thinner if you want to revitalise old paints. Just make sure that it is the right type; acrylic or enamel. One or two drops in a 20ml bottle will do wonders with paint consistency at the onset of thickening.

And yup, as Lamanda2 says STAY AWAY FROM FLAT CLOAT! Semi-gloss is okay but I find that it doesn't beat clear gloss. Sprays tend to give very even coverage on a flat surface, but can be harder to control. The main thing that you should watch out for when spraying, is to be wary of incorporating airborne particles like dust into your coat during the clear coating process. It can be very frustrating when you find a strand of dust on your pristinely coated LEGO piece!  :angry:
I tend to spray in a cardboard box to avoid this as much as possible.

Hand brushing in my opinion is much easier and if done correctly can give a pretty close result to the spraying. :wink:

Edited by Rayman, 13 May 2009 - 04:47 PM.


#10 Stash2Sixx

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 05:25 PM

The 'gunking' is due to the clear coat and it's interaction with the air...sorry, I don't have the scientific term!

And yes, Gloss coat or Semi Gloss is your best bet!  Flat may sound good, but it is more of a Dull Coat, which some manufacturers call it.  It literally kills any shine to the item.  So if you want minimal shine, go with Semi Gloss.

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#11 Plokman

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 07:57 PM

Hmm gonna have to watch out for the air coat fuzz thing. I want my figures to look nearly as good as a real Lego Minifigure. Wish I knew what type of paint/sealent they use in the factory cause it ca last for ever if you don't scratch at it too much.

I've already heard of how to keep the shine with gloss clear coat as I aslo am into Model Railroading as a hobby. But this is the first time I've heard of the Clear coat fog. Any advice for the best quality air to keep it clear?
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