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Spray/Brush Painting Lego - How?


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#1 Joey Lock

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:45 PM

I've looked through the supposed "Tutorial" thread, but it does not seem to actually state how, It just seems to be a thread of conversation with people unsure on the actual products needed for a good finish. Can anyone elaborate on this please? I want to paint a large area of bricks like a house but the actual project is confidential  :wink:

Thanks!  :laugh:

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#2 Lego_Hero

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 12:03 AM

 Joey Lock, on 22 November 2010 - 08:45 PM, said:

I've looked through the supposed "Tutorial" thread, but it does not seem to actually state how, It just seems to be a thread of conversation with people unsure on the actual products needed for a good finish. Can anyone elaborate on this please? I want to paint a large area of bricks like a house but the actual project is confidential  :wink:

Thanks!  :laugh:

I only paint minifigs, but I may have an idea...

If you are building a brick house, what if you use grey bricks? Use a bit of painter's tape along the edges so that when you spray or brush them red, the tape keeps the edges grey, making it look like mortar! Not only is it a good effect, you don't have to worry about paint on the joints and connection points. If you paint a whole wall after you put it together, taking the bricks apart will result in tears in the paint.

When I finish a paintjob (I only spray paint), I let it dry and then cover it with a clear coat. You can get the clear coat right next to the spray paint in any store that sells spray paint.

Edited by Lego_Hero, 23 November 2010 - 12:06 AM.

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#3 KielDaMan

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 02:26 AM

I have done quite a fair share of my time spray painting Lego pieces when customizing my Lego sets, so I though of sharing what I've learned in spray painting when I'm doing my MOCs/MODs. I'm not really trained on this, I just experimented until I got the right technique using spray paint on Lego.

Tips & Techniques:
1) First, buy the spray paint color(s) that you want. I usually buy the canned ones, but if you have enough budget, you might want to try the more advanced hand-held spray paints with nozzles. Also, when buying a particular color, I usually bring a lego piece of the similar color of interest for reference purposes.
2) Before beginning, make sure that the lego piece(s) your painting are clean, dust-free, and dry.
3) Safety First! Since spray paints are highly volatile and contains VOC (volatile organic content), it's a must that you wear a protective mask when you're spray painting. Try to work in an open area with proper air ventilation. And keep away from sources of ignition or fire/flame.
This practice is not recommended for kids, they should seek their parents' permission/supervision/assistance before doing this activity.
4) To have optimum result, avoid painting in extreme humidity, and paint when the temperature ranges between 50 - 90° F. If there is windy and dusty air, avoid painting as the dust may settle on the wet paint.
5) Cover the floor/table/or surface where you'll be painting your piece(s) with newspaper. When painting multiple pieces, I usually detach them from each other and lay them out on the newspaper.
6) Aim the nozzle on the pieces, holding the spray at a distance of 10 - 14 inches away from the surface/piece.
7) Start spray painting on a side-to-side direction, sweeping the parts from left to right, then right to left until the surface of the lego piece has been painted.
8) The most important point to be kept in mind while spray painting is to spray thin coats of paint and keep the spray nozzle moving. Don't stop your hand, else the paint will accumulate at one spot.
9) Let the paint dry (usually 5-10 mins. depending on the type of spray paint that you used and the coat thickness that you applied). After drying, turn the pieces on the other side and do the same steps to paint the unpainted surface.
10) After completely spraypainting the piece(s) and it has thouroughly dried, you may apply a clear coat for protection (optional).
11) In special cases that you only want to spray only part of a certain piece, you could use the masking tape technique where you cover the parts that you don't want to paint with masking tape before spray painting the piece.
12) Once you are done with the painting, hold the can upside down and press the nozzle until no paint comes out. This will clear the paint from the nozzle so that it can be used in future.
13) Clean before you go! Posted Image

Well, I hope that helps!

EDIT: Though this is a general question, this can also be applied on customizing minifigs, so it's quite acceptable for this topic to be here on MCW.

Edited by KielDaMan, 23 November 2010 - 02:37 AM.

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#4 woody64

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 01:34 AM

 KielDaMan, on 23 November 2010 - 02:26 AM, said:

I have done quite a fair share of my time spray painting Lego pieces when customizing my Lego sets, so I though of sharing what I've learned in spray painting when I'm doing my

Thanks for sharing this. Can you provide some reference pictures where you have done some spray paintings to see what results can be achieved.
Thanks
Woody64
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#5 KielDaMan

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 04:48 PM

 woody64, on 24 November 2010 - 01:34 AM, said:

Thanks for sharing this. Can you provide some reference pictures where you have done some spray paintings to see what results can be achieved.
Thanks
Woody64
I did some spray painting on these MOCs: (on selected parts which are not available in standard Lego colors).

ARC Gunship & Razor Squadron ARC-170 Starfighter

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Jedi Shuttle Bus (this one is a bit badly-done since I wasn't able to find the perfect color match to Leg's tan.)
Posted Image

I'm actually thinking of putting up a tutorial regarding this topic (with more detailed explanation and sample photos) but only when I find the time. But if you have more questions, feel free to ask. :classic:

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#6 Lloyd the Master

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 09:38 PM

I would like to use KielDaMan's tutorial, but I have a few questions. Sorry if I seem like I'm asking too many questions, but I'm just stubborn...  :sceptic:

Ok questions:
- Does spray paint look good after it's on the lego bricks?
- Would it work on a minifigure head/ helmet/ hair?
- Does it alter the shape of the brick, will it be oversized after you paint it?

Thanks!
~~Lloyd

Edited by Lloyd the Master, 04 December 2010 - 09:38 PM.


#7 KielDaMan

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 04:04 AM

 Lloyd the Master, on 04 December 2010 - 09:38 PM, said:

I would like to use KielDaMan's tutorial, but I have a few questions. Sorry if I seem like I'm asking too many questions, but I'm just stubborn... :sceptic:

Ok questions:
- Does spray paint look good after it's on the lego bricks? If applied correctly, the finish looks really good and has the same luster/shine as a new lego piece.
- Would it work on a minifigure head/ helmet/ hair? Yes, it can be used on those minifig parts.
- Does it alter the shape of the brick, will it be oversized after you paint it? This is the tricky part, spray painting has the tendency to make parts 'larger' if the coats applied are thick. That's why one really has to apply thin coats evenly, with as little spray paint as possible just enough to cover the part. It takes a bit of practice to master this as one might not get the proper coat thickness the first time around.

Thanks!
~~Lloyd
Sure you could always do what I said. :classic: My answers above in blue.

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#8 Isaac5

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 03:37 PM

I would rather get it of bricklink than paint a lego piece, and I hate bricklink! I'm not usually a big purist, but this is where I cross the line. I'm fine with custom printing and custom stickers, but i don't like turning pieces into other colors.


KeilDaMan, excellent work on the ARC MOCs!
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#9 Marckeyh

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 03:47 PM

Don't you use a plastic primer first before spraying on the colour?

Your MOCs looks really good BTW.

#10 Joey Lock

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Posted 05 December 2010 - 09:55 PM

 KielDaMan, on 05 December 2010 - 04:04 AM, said:

Sure you could always do what I said. :classic: My answers above in blue.
Does it matter what colour brick you use? If I am to paint my MOC I was going to buy all grey bricks and basically design around that but I already have many of the pieces theyre just it different colours such as black slopes, green tiles e.t.c?  :laugh:

Posted Image

God save the gracious King,
Long live the noble King,
God save the King:
Send him victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the King.

Posted Image


#11 KielDaMan

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:59 AM

 Isaac5, on 05 December 2010 - 03:37 PM, said:

I would rather get it of bricklink than paint a lego piece, and I hate bricklink! I'm not usually a big purist, but this is where I cross the line. I'm fine with custom printing and custom stickers, but i don't like turning pieces into other colors.


KeilDaMan, excellent work on the ARC MOCs!
Just a simple reminder, I only do spray painting to lego as a last resort, especially when the part I need is not available in a certain lego color. Rule of thumb is, if you can get the parts from BL (and have the patience to wait for it), then I recommend getting the parts first before resorting to spray painting.

Anyway, thanks for the kind comment Isaac!

 Marckeyh, on 05 December 2010 - 03:47 PM, said:

Don't you use a plastic primer first before spraying on the colour?

Your MOCs looks really good BTW.
No I don't use a primer. Just clean and dry the lego piece before spray painting.

Thanks for the comment Marceyh!

 Joey Lock, on 05 December 2010 - 09:55 PM, said:

Does it matter what colour brick you use? If I am to paint my MOC I was going to buy all grey bricks and basically design around that but I already have many of the pieces theyre just it different colours such as black slopes, green tiles e.t.c?  Posted Image
Like what I've said before if you can buy the pieces you want, I recommend building using a purist approach. But if you want to somehow make use of your 'excess' other-colored pieces, then you might give spray painting a chance. The only tricky part is getting the right color shade of a spray paint that will match your existing grey pieces.

Regarding if the color of the parts matter, it doesn't really matter what color it is as long as you apply the right amount of coating to fully cover the piece. Obviously, applying a thin coat will produce a distinct difference between a spray-painted black piece with a white piece. So the trick is spraying the right amount of paint just enough to fully cover the piece and not too much to 'enlarge' its thickness.

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#12 Lloyd the Master

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 10:53 PM

Quote

Sure you could always do what I said.  My answers above in blue.

Thanks! Omigosh, I'm just so stoked on this now, lol! I will attempt at your theories KielDaMan, they do seem to work very well without problems. We'll see what happens, and I'll be sure to post my customized stuff right here on Eurobricks.

P.S: Great customs and MOCs!
Well, bye then!
~~Lloyd

#13 SilentMode

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 06:13 PM

FWIW, I've recently painted a couple of black hair pieces, using something called Decorlack. It's a lacquer/acrylic paint that's hard to get hold of (I bought some in a closing down sale, but I could only get more of it online), but I've had very good results.
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