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Old 10-23-10, 08:31 PM   #1
nejidoreb
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help: airbrushing design on bike

I'm thinking about airbrushing letters on my bike frame instead of vinyl because the vinyl letters are too thick, especially after a clear coat on top. Is the airbrush paint waterproof? If I airbrush the letters, do I need to spray them with clear coat? Would the airbrush paint adhere to the frame?
Thanks!
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Old 10-23-10, 08:33 PM   #2
nivekdodge
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Frame would have to be scuffed slightly then Brushed and then cleared
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Old 10-23-10, 08:48 PM   #3
nejidoreb
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Do you mean sanding by scuffing? The bike is new and I think it has some kind of coat, do I still need to scuff the frame? I only need to paint a part of the frame, do I clear coat the whole frame or just the part where I painted? Thanks!
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Old 10-23-10, 08:59 PM   #4
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There is tons of info out there about airbrushing if you want to look for it. I'm sure there are how to do it sites and discussion forums just like this one dedicated to the topic. Except through luck this is not the place to find out the final answer to your questions.

And if you actually plan on doing anything fancy involving shading or more than one colour then you had better realise that like many skills handling an airbrush well isn't something you do the first time you pick it up. Much practice with different techniques and settings for different paint media are required.

The one thing I do know from my small airbrushing efforts is that nothing that gets laid on by an airbrush is all that durably bonded to the sub coatings. A clear top coat will always be a good idea. Airbrushes just apply too small an amount of material for it to land wet enough to flow out smoothly like you get with larger spray guns. Even the often seen "touch up" spray gun is massively crude compared to an actual air brush.

Unless you have one know buying and setting up a good airbrush system isn't cheap either.

And frankly from the sounds of your questions it is apparent that you have never worked with equipment of this sort. I'd suggest that this is not the place to start.
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Old 10-23-10, 09:51 PM   #5
Greyryder
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Airbrushing isn't something you can just pick up, and do a good job with minimal practice. If you just want simple lettering, you'll need stencils, and could probably get about as good a job using rattle cans and a little patience. Whether airbrushed paint will need a protective coat, will depend on what paint you use. Most kinds of paint can be airbrushed, but some will need to be thinned.

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Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
The one thing I do know from my small airbrushing efforts is that nothing that gets laid on by an airbrush is all that durably bonded to the sub coatings. A clear top coat will always be a good idea. Airbrushes just apply too small an amount of material for it to land wet enough to flow out smoothly like you get with larger spray guns.
Sounds like either your paint's too thick, or you're too far away from your work. In all the model and miniature work I've painted with airbrushes, I've never had an adhesion problem caused by airbrushing.
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Old 10-24-10, 08:53 AM   #6
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The edges of vinyl lettering can be made to completely disappear by sanding between coats of clear. That's what Cyclart calls their Cat 1 finish. It's labor intensive and expensive. http://www.cyclart.com/custompaint.html

Another painter achieved the same thing on my PX10:

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Old 10-24-10, 12:43 PM   #7
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Wonder if the Op has the template made already, at least to me, came up with the lettering template is pretty hard to do, the painting is easy at that level. U have to scuff a little bit, paint then clear the area again.

Airbrush paint is water based so it should not be a problem, if you are going to use lacquer I advice you to do not do it until you get airbrush paint or something like tamiya paint that will work also (u can thin this one with alcohol or water). The clear will be a problem because u need something that will stand UV rays, or the clear will get yellow in that area. Poly-u clear works awesome (car paint, not poly-u for wood, that one gets yellow.) U-pol #1 clear coat will work fine with your project.

Good luck
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