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airbrushing nail polish


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#1 wayneman

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:13 PM

The constant effort to improve my projects is once more causing me some frustration! I'm working on a Firebird and wanted a good custom paint job that would "pop". I sprayed Testers primer, let it dry for several days and sprayed fingernail polish on the side panels. My intent was to then mask those areas and spray red. I hoped that when I removed the masking the Orange would look Sharp and I would then paint the roof, hood, and trunk a metallic navy blue that would I would let fade in.
That's really more details than my question requires but I am hoping for a lot of help. Is there some sort of hardener or accelerator in nail polish? I thinned it like other enamals and it kept acting like it needed more.
Can I spray the stuff without primer? I have not had good luck with this Testers primer at all. It pitted and created a surface that would have made this trip to the purple pond necessary no matter how good the polish went on. I thought I had inspected it well but the flaws were not obvious until the paint on.
Any help is appreciated. I thought this was going to be great (using polish) because I don't have a local hobby shop and hate to pay shipping when I need a little paint.

#2 outlaw035

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 04:52 PM

i use dupli-color primer when i shoot nail polish...also if u want the nail polish to be bright use white primer...gray or red will make the color darker...the nail polish needs to be thinned for the most part 50/50...i dont think u can spray it without primer...i also find that it dries really fast so not sure why u would need a hardener or accelerator...thats my 2 cents im sure u will get more info form others here who are much more knowledgeable then me.... B)

#3 Pete J.

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:00 PM

I see you thinned it with enamal thinner. That may create a real problem. Most nail polishes are lacquers. If you treat them like lacquers, then you should have no problem.

#4 Longbox55

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:06 PM

First step would be to change primers. Most on here will attest to the Testors enamel primeras being the last one you would want to use. I will agree with that, as there's much better out there, and in most cases, much lower cost, too. Many swear by Tamiya primer, which is somewhat hard to get due to labelling issues. I've used, and like it myself. But it's pretty much a hobby shop/mail order item, so that doesn't really help in your case. I would suggest you try your Freindly Local Auto Parts Store (flaps) and get some Duplicolor or Plastikote primer. It runs around $6 a can at O'Reillys, will last you a long time and will not hurt the plastic. While you're there, check out the Duplicolor Perfect Match paints. These are laquer base, come in most modern car colors, and work very well on styrene plastic if prepped correctly. This might be a good alternate source of colors for you.
As far as spraying fingernail polish, i really can't help you there, as the one time I tried it, the results were not good. I wanted to do a Corvette in pearl white. At the time, the only pearl white available was nail polish. I thinned it using nail polish thinner, and proceeded to shoot t on my primed and white basecoated Corvette, which was originally molded in red. When it dried, i ended up with a horrible orangey color. That was caused by the solvents leaching the red from the plastic into the polish. Ended up giving the rest of the polish to my sister. Haven't tried it since.
Something I will suggest (this is what I do, as I too have no local hobby shop)is when you get a chance to go to a hobby shop, pe prepared to stock up. I usually go to Indy every other month or so for 1:1 car sows and swap meets, when I'm done there, I hit the local shops and stock up on anything I need, especially custom paint colors, but also resin casting and detail items. That way, i don't end up stuck should I need a certain color. Also, keep a watch for clearance paints. The local Wal-Mart cleared out their touch up paints (mostly Import colors) got a whole batch of it cheap, under a dollar a bottle.

#5 mcandela

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 07:05 AM

Wayneman, use duplicolor primer sealer as a preparation coat. Thin the nailpolish one to one with thinner from the hardware store. Shoot it with anywhere 35 to 45 pounds on the airbrush. It will not come out with a shine, You will need to clear coat it after a couple of hours. models that are molded in any other color than white, tan or grey, (red being the worst color to paint on) will need to be sealed with a coat of Future.

#6 wayneman

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 08:27 AM

Thanks. This is just the info I was hoping for. I am planning on giving it another go as soon as I have this mess off the plastic. I appreciate the help!

#7 outlaw035

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 10:05 AM

wayne one thing i 4got to mention is that when u spray nail polish u need to be close to the target not like with regular paint...prob around 6 inches...if not i find u et orange peal...

#8 wayneman

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 12:10 PM

Thanks again. One good thing about the Testers primer was that it came off really fast! I just sprayed with Duplicolor and it is great. What a great way to start.
I was careful to get enamals in the polish, so I will try thinning by 50% and see what I get.
I suppose I can still sand and wax like other enamels? There does appear to be a very slight metal flake in them.