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Respirator for 2k Clears (Splash Paints)


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Hey guys I'm looking to spray some kits with 2k clear and I was wondering what kind of respirator everyone uses for that? I know 2k can be particularly dangerous. I almost bought the 3M A1P2 respirator but I wasn't certain this would be enough.  I'll be spraying outside in my garage with a spray booth. No fans running on the booth however.

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Also note that if you are mixing your clear and not using the 2K products available in a spray can, vinyl or latex gloves are a good idea. The harmful chemicals can also be absorbed through the skin. I use an airbrush for most of my work and use gloves when handling and mixing paint regardless if it's a catalyzed paint or just straight enamel, lacquer or waterborne paints such a Createx AutoAir.

Edited by Phirewriter
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That 3M mask is a high quality unit but you may need different cartridges. I didn't find any links to an MSDS on the Splash Paints site but I located one for a product called "2K Aliphatic Urethane Top Coat" which may be the same product as labeled by its actual manufacturer. It recommends "combination organic vapor and particulate respirator (NIOSH approved)". Cartridges are color coded per NIOSH and the recommended ones would be magenta and black.

I believe that respirator comes with white cartridges. Those are listed by NIOSH for "Acid Gasses". If you need other cartridges they are easy to find on-line or at Grainger industrial supply stores which are located almost everywhere in the USA though most people don't know about them. I see you're in North Carolina and they appear to be in 5 cities in that state.

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1 hour ago, mr moto said:

That 3M mask is a high quality unit but you may need different cartridges. I didn't find any links to an MSDS on the Splash Paints site but I located one for a product called "2K Aliphatic Urethane Top Coat" which may be the same product as labeled by its actual manufacturer. It recommends "combination organic vapor and particulate respirator (NIOSH approved)". Cartridges are color coded per NIOSH and the recommended ones would be magenta and black.

I believe that respirator comes with white cartridges. Those are listed by NIOSH for "Acid Gasses". If you need other cartridges they are easy to find on-line or at Grainger industrial supply stores which are located almost everywhere in the USA though most people don't know about them. I see you're in North Carolina and they appear to be in 5 cities in that state.

Thanks for looking  into that for me. I actually talked to Sam at Splash Paints and he pointed me to the p100 cartridges for 3m masks. I got one with a full face shield as well on Amazon. Maybe overkill but I know that if i use goggles and respirator separately that I'll misplace one or the other often lol.

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It's really not over kill because the dangers in 2k can enter through your eyes as well.

Edit: that goes for mixing the paint and during the curing process, not just the spray process.

Edited by Dave G.
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Seems like a high-risk-to-questionable-reward ratio . If someone has to gear-up like they're entering the Chernobyl reactor , then that seems like a "stay-away-from" product .

Seriously , though : what's so fantastic about 2K clear ? 

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It did occur to me that building model cars is not quite as important as breathing.

Seriously, there are other ways to get a good finish.

Edited by mr moto
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3 hours ago, 1972coronet said:

Seems like a high-risk-to-questionable-reward ratio . If someone has to gear-up like they're entering the Chernobyl reactor , then that seems like a "stay-away-from" product .

Seriously , though : what's so fantastic about 2K clear ? 

What you say is my exact reasoning for not using the stuff. It's also why I got out of refinishing 1/1. That said, I still do use a respirator for general solvent paints too, mostly due to sinus trouble I have. I use N95 masks for acrylic but the organic vapor respirator for solvent based paints. It's no big deal to me I used them for 35 years in 1/1,use the N95 in wood working, either way I'm putting a mask on. . But when those catalyzed paints came along and pressure masks etc, I just back off 1/1 to bumper repairs, door panel repairs and such on commercial trucks then got out all together.

Honestly, I like building model classic era cars and to my eye plain old alkyd synthetic enamels still gives a very traditional finish on them if sprayed right. A custom might get clear or clear colors over silver or gold base for instance. But lacquer works fine for that or even  Tamiya acrylic. They polish up great for me. I'm not bringing 2K into my house and hobby.

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By using a little common sense you will be fine. I have some 2 part Matthew's  urethane paints I got from my last job. Use a respirator,  gloves, booth if you have one, or at least a well ventilated area, leaving the room after finishing painting,  you'll  be fine. I understand people's apprehension,  but its a great way to get a fantastic finish off the gun. I build largely factory stock and don't need a polished finish. 

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I've avoided using 2k for a long time for the concerns you all have voiced but I decided to give it another shot and and make it as safe as I can. I sprayed a 67 Corvette today and the 2k clear went on beautifully with my ps 290. I wanted to revisit 2k when I had a better airbrush because Ive grown so tired of having perfect lacquer finishes ruined by small accidents and paint chipping. It's caused me much grief and stalled many projects. 2k is an extremely hard finish that is sure to last.

This was the mask I purchased in addition to the 3m p100 cartridges.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08MW3NPZV?ref=ppx_pt2_dt_b_prod_image

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From my read of the MSDS’s for 2K two-part urethane clear coats, you need a “closed” ventilation system (essentially a breathing tube connected to outside air that is physically separated from the mixing/ spraying area). You also need to probably wear long sleeves, gloves and a face mask to prevent any skin or eye contact as well.  I don’t believe anyone is safe using a cartridge type ventilator mask with any type of available filters, even outside. I don’t care how wonderful the final finish is on a car model, it’s just not worth the health risk for me. Be safe. 

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I don't use masks or respirators. I stand upstream of the action. I've painted real automobiles.

That said, if you get a lungful of catalyzed urethane clear, you're gonna feel it. It'll harden and then you cough it up for a few days.

And if you get a snort of etching primer (with acid) you're gonna feel that too. It's painful.

And btw, i breathe nitromethane fumes in the drag strip pits.

It's not the infrequent experiences that are gonna kill you, it's regular exposure that will do it.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, papajohn97 said:

From my read of the MSDS’s for 2K two-part urethane clear coats, you need a “closed” ventilation system (essentially a breathing tube connected to outside air that is physically separated from the mixing/ spraying area). You also need to probably wear long sleeves, gloves and a face mask to prevent any skin or eye contact as well.  I don’t believe anyone is safe using a cartridge type ventilator mask with any type of available filters, even outside. I don’t care how wonderful the final finish is on a car model, it’s just not worth the health risk for me. Be safe. 

Yep, I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that earlier in the thread. The warnings are real, they aren't kidding. We got all the latest literature and work shop materials when I shot commercially in 1/1. We shot with proper gear which is a toss away paper coverall basically and a positive feed fresh air hood for you head. Nitrile gloves, the suit has elastic tension cuffs. The hood covers your head to the shoulders, the air feed is in the rear and 1-2 psi or there abouts blows out an opening in front of the eyes. Basically positive pressure and cool fresh air circulates inside  Back in my day they were a bit different than this but same idea: 3M Versaflo Hood Assembly with Inner Collar and Premium Head Suspension S-655 1 EA/Case

 

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3 hours ago, Dave G. said:

Yep, I wasn't kidding when I mentioned that earlier in the thread. The warnings are real, they aren't kidding. We got all the latest literature and work shop materials when I shot commercially in 1/1. We shot with proper gear which is a toss away paper coverall basically and a positive feed fresh air hood for you head. Nitrile gloves, the suit has elastic tension cuffs. The hood covers your head to the shoulders, the air feed is in the rear and 1-2 psi or there abouts blows out an opening in front of the eyes. Basically positive pressure and cool fresh air circulates inside  Back in my day they were a bit different than this but same idea: 3M Versaflo Hood Assembly with Inner Collar and Premium Head Suspension S-655 1 EA/Case

 

I agree completely - I attended an auto body/painting evening class at the local community college that was set-up for people painting their own car.  John Kosmosky from House of Color even came in one evening to talk about how to paint a car. Still have eight pages of notes from that evening.  The class talked about safety - including the guy the instructors knew that was working with isocyanate-based paint who had a mask but nothing for his eyes. One time and that was the path that killed him.  It's not worth ignoring the safety instructions - and I won't even touch 2K.

At somewhere over 60, I can say that I painted model cars with lacquer in the '70's and '80's without a mask - did a couple of 1/1's including bodywork and sanding - and an evening doing fiberglass inside a Corvette for six hours probably didn't do any good for my health either.  I've never smoked.  I can also say that I've had cancer.

You are doing the right thing by researching the proper safety procedures and using the right equipment.

 

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I've done possibly tons of enamels and or lacquer in my day with organic vapor masks, still do on the models. Different animal than catalyzed paints even if you add a catalyst to the enamel. In catalyzed paints they don't harden with out it and and won't not harden with it, it's a good third of the blend when you do add it. And it will harden inside or outside your lungs and can enter through your skin and eyes. And it's cumulative, you don't expire it all by hacking it up. You might get some up but it goes beyond that, It eats lung tissue and hardens there as part of it. No thanks !

What gets me is people freak over a virus or mold spores, then play with this cause it's shiny lol !

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11 hours ago, papajohn97 said:

From my read of the MSDS’s for 2K two-part urethane clear coats, you need a “closed” ventilation system (essentially a breathing tube connected to outside air that is physically separated from the mixing/ spraying area). You also need to probably wear long sleeves, gloves and a face mask to prevent any skin or eye contact as well.  I don’t believe anyone is safe using a cartridge type ventilator mask with any type of available filters, even outside. I don’t care how wonderful the final finish is on a car model, it’s just not worth the health risk for me. Be safe. 

I've read about those too and found those conclusions about a closed ventilation system. I've also seen many forum threads saying the organic filters do protect from isocyanates but 3m can't market them that way as a means to cover their ass. 

To be completely honest I'd like to see some studies on hobbyists and their exposures to paints, lacquer, enamel , 2k, and the like. I've always worn a respirator unless I was airbrushing small amounts of acrylic paint. But even still, a hardcore model car enthusiast may very well put themselves at risk for cancer  if they don't take precautions. Maybe not as much as a smoker but I could definitely see it.

I do appreciate everyone's concern and it is a nice dose of reality. Whats interesting is that a lot of the popular youtube modeler's are using 2k clear like its water. Yet there is no widespread info on using it safely. 

As long as I can use it within a reasonable amount of safety, given the amount I'm spraying, which is far smaller than a real 1:1 car I would like to continue using it. But I really do appreciate the discussion hear and am open to changing my mind on it.

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To answer the early question of "Why 2k?"

Several years back the common "go-to" lacquer clear was Tamiya TS-13. Then Tamiya had to temporarily stop importing it to comply with changing labeling requirements - ya'll will recall this when people hoarded TS-29 like it was atomized platinum. People freaked out, rumors spread that Tamiya sprays were never coming back, and so on and so forth.  People needed a clear, many experiments were done...

This also happened to coincide with the rise of color matched hobby paint, which is of course two part requiring a clear coat. Well wouldn't you know it, those paint companies had a solution...automotive 2k clear coats. People adopted it, modelers are herd animals for the most part, and it became "THE ONLY WAY" to clear coat something. Nobody cared about warnings. It was an relatively easy to use airbrushable clear...rejoice in newfound shiny. 

Years have passed now, Tamiya TS Paints clearly went no where but back in stock. But this cult of 2k now exists that insist you HAVE to use it - which of course you don't. Not even for those fancy color matched paints. They just need *A* clear, not THE clear. 2k is substantially harder than regular clear, and for the person who's not at all concerned with realism, accuracy, or anything other than how shiny the model is afterwards you can just hose on the 2k and have a super duper glossy finish. 2k being urethane won't eat decals, and doesn't care what paint you used under it. Arguably (again if you're just in it for the shiny from the gun) you might not need to wet sand/compound it like you do a traditional 1k clear to achieve the same level of super duper shiny. 

To me 2k has no place outside of a show car or Custom with a K (Kustom) build. It's way, way, WAAAAAAAY to glossy for any realistic application beyond that. Frankly (IMHO) if you don't flat sand it back and compound it out it looks like you dipped the body in donut glaze. It's shiny. But it's also puffy and looks toylike.

In the end using it, it's all about personal taste, and objective of the builder. But I find it hard to believe any finish it really worth exposing yourself (and your family) to what is basically atomized CA glue compounds. Depending on humidity and temperature it takes an hour or more to be touch dry (aka not smell anymore), and if you can smell it, that means you're still breathing in those vapors...all to maybe kinda sorta save a couple of hours of polishing the paint.

Edited by niteowl7710
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3 hours ago, niteowl7710 said:

To answer the early question of "Why 2k?"

Several years back the common "go-to" lacquer clear was Tamiya TS-13. Then Tamiya had to temporarily stop importing it to comply with changing labeling requirements - ya'll will recall this when people hoarded TS-29 like it was atomized platinum. People freaked out, rumors spread that Tamiya sprays were never coming back, and so on and so forth.  People needed a clear, many experiments were done...

This also happened to coincide with the rise of color matched hobby paint, which is of course two part requiring a clear coat. Well wouldn't you know it, those paint companies had a solution...automotive 2k clear coats. People adopted it, modelers are herd animals for the most part, and it became "THE ONLY WAY" to clear coat something. Nobody cared about warnings. It was an relatively easy to use airbrushable clear...rejoice in newfound shiny. 

Years have passed now, Tamiya TS Paints clearly went no where but back in stock. But this cult of 2k now exists that insist you HAVE to use it - which of course you don't. Not even for those fancy color matched paints. They just need *A* clear, not THE clear. 2k is substantially harder than regular clear, and for the person who's not at all concerned with realism, accuracy, or anything other than how shiny the model is afterwards you can just hose on the 2k and have a super duper glossy finish. 2k being urethane won't eat decals, and doesn't care what paint you used under it. Arguably (again if you're just in it for the shiny from the gun) you might not need to wet sand/compound it like you do a traditional 1k clear to achieve the same level of super duper shiny. 

To me 2k has no place outside of a show car or Custom with a K (Kustom) build. It's way, way, WAAAAAAAY to glossy for any realistic application beyond that. Frankly (IMHO) if you don't flat sand it back and compound it out it looks like you dipped the body in donut glaze. It's shiny. But it's also puffy and looks toylike.

In the end using it, it's all about personal taste, and objective of the builder. But I find it hard to believe any finish it really worth exposing yourself (and your family) to what is basically atomized CA glue compounds. Depending on humidity and temperature it takes an hour or more to be touch dry (aka not smell anymore), and if you can smell it, that means you're still breathing in those vapors...all to maybe kinda sorta save a couple of hours of polishing the paint.

I'm in the same boat as you.  I will use different clears, TS13, Testor Wet Look Clear (still have some left), Mr. Hobby Gloss, Scale Finishes 500 Clear and soon to experiment with Vallejo Clear.  I WILL NOT use 2K for the reasons you stated.  I have seen some 2K paint jobs that looked like the model was dipped almost like the end result of decoupage ( I like your donut glaze analogy better).  Use of the above allows me to tweak the shine to reflect the model.  Shinier for a show car, less so for a stock car.  I admit, besides polishing, watching out for decals can result in calamities at times, but airbrushing mist coats seems to alleviate that in most cases

 

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14 hours ago, George Bojaciuk said:

N95 rating. 3M has one for around $20. Other brands around. Has to be N95 rated.

N series cartridges are not organic solvent rated.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/20/2021 at 8:31 PM, Straightliner59 said:

I will stick with Krylon Crystal Clear. I mostly build racers anyway, so high gloss isn't a necessity.

Can you polish this clear out?  Is it a lacquer?

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