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Pantograph Fill Over Paint

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Pantograph Fill Over Paint

Old 01-23-17, 08:21 PM
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UKFan4Sure
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Pantograph Fill Over Paint

**PLEASE SEE FOLLOW-UP COMMENT (POST 16) ON HOW I SOLVED THIS**

Let me try this again. I've asked about this before and some how it got waaay off track with postings of paint guns and paint and stuff having nothing to do with my question. And then the post just died.

I am filling the De Rosa fork crown casting on my bike. The problem I'm having is multifaceted.

First, applying and then wiping the excess off is horrible. It gets the paint underneath and around the lettering indentations creates a mess of dull, screwed up paint. It appears the thinner I'm wiping with is getting the paint to dissolve along with it. So, I've had to repaint twice now.

Secondly, the castings aren't very deep and well defined, so the slightest build-up of primer or the base coat leaves "no meat on the bone" so to speak. The result is an "E" that has no middle line and "A" that has no center triangle.

There must be a method to how this was done originally, and if there is, man I sure would like to know. Could I fill the indentations first with candle wax, wipe it off flush and paint? Then heat the wax with a dryer and allow it to run out, THEN fill with paint?

Any help is appreciated. Surely SOMEONE had dealt with this issue before?
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Old 01-23-17, 08:28 PM
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Hi there, haven't done this myself but others on this forum have used an (oil based?) sharpie pen to outline lugs. If you cut the tip to fit the crevice, that might do the trick.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Vintage Raleigh View Post
Hi there, haven't done this myself but others on this forum have used an (oil based?) sharpie pen to outline lugs. If you cut the tip to fit the crevice, that might do the trick.
I was even thinking about maybe a Crayon. I know it wouldn't be permanent, but it's unlikely this ride will see much inclement weather. It would be a once in a while rider. But that may be too translucent.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:33 PM
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Use liquid mask. Do a google search, there are several types and brands.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:35 PM
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I've done a DeRosa fork like yours. I painted the letters with a toothpick, then took a thin smooth, dry rag, like a bed sheet, pulled it tight on my finger and did a very quick swipe. Did a decent job, but like you said a few of the letters aren't very deep. I did it well enough, not perfect, but I was happy with the results.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by redscampi View Post
Use liquid mask. Do a google search, there are several types and brands.
Liquid Mask? Hmmmm... Never heard of it.

Thanks. I'll look into that.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:37 PM
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UKFan4Sure -

Could you clarify? Are you intending to fill the De Rosa letters with a contrasting paint colour? If so, typically I use Testors or Humbrol paint and a small,fine paint brush. I fill the letters with the paint and then wipe the overflow off with a paper towel wrapped around a tongue depressor or a popsicle stick. This will smear. I wipe again with a clean section of the towel which will leave a small smear as well. I allow the highlight to dry completely. A scrub with a clean cloth or 0000 steel wool removes any residual paint. Using solvent just lifts paint and the highlight never comes clean.

If you intend something else, let us know. I'm sure others have the knowledge to assist.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sloar View Post
I've done a DeRosa fork like yours. I painted the letters with a toothpick, then took a thin smooth, dry rag, like a bed sheet, pulled it tight on my finger and did a very quick swipe. Did a decent job, but like you said a few of the letters aren't very deep. I did it well enough, not perfect, but I was happy with the results.
Part of the problem may be my paint is too thick. I might try thinning it some. This just looks like crap despite my best efforts. Some of the deeper areas look pretty good. The heart "O" looks OK. But the E and the A just look horrible. I'm unfortunately thinking of leaving the fill unpainted. I've seen De Rosa's seat stays and crowns done this way before and always wondered why they hadn't filled them. I know why now. They are so shallow and unevenly stamped in places that it's just a mess to try to fill.
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Old 01-23-17, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bertinjim View Post
UKFan4Sure -

Could you clarify? Are you intending to fill the De Rosa letters with a contrasting paint colour? If so, typically I use Testors or Humbrol paint and a small,fine paint brush. I fill the letters with the paint and then wipe the overflow off with a paper towel wrapped around a tongue depressor or a popsicle stick. This will smear. I wipe again with a clean section of the towel which will leave a small smear as well. I allow the highlight to dry completely. A scrub with a clean cloth or 0000 steel wool removes any residual paint. Using solvent just lifts paint and the highlight never comes clean.

If you intend something else, let us know. I'm sure others have the knowledge to assist.
Yes, contrasting the red crown top with a white fill. When I use the white and wipe, it just creates a mess. This would be easy enough to do if I had a surrounding surface of chrome or something really hard and slick.

Your advice seems sound enough. Maybe I'll try that. Or maybe I could try applying a very, very, very thin coat of petroleum jelly to the surrounding area then fill and let dry. The jelly might keep the paint from sticking to the surrounding area for a better clean up.

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Old 01-23-17, 09:42 PM
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Paint carefully with a fine brush as described above. Let dry. Scrape excess with fingernail. Victory is assured.
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Old 01-23-17, 09:48 PM
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I always let the paint dry and the use the thinnest piece of material that I can find and wrap a single layer onto a block of stock aluminum...hardwood has worked well too. Put a light drop of thinner on the cloth and block the surface keeping the bar flat..the cloth should not be very wet, just enough to begin to remove the paint a little at a time...not enough to bleed into the painted pantograph.
Hope this helps it has always worked for me, the main thing is to let the paint dry, use a single layer of cloth and not soaking the material with thinner...almost dry to the touch.
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Old 01-23-17, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by UKFan4Sure View Post
Yes, contrasting the red crown top with a white fill. When I use the white and wipe, it just creates a mess. This would be easy enough to do if I had a surrounding surface of chrome or something really hard and slick.

Your advice seems sound enough. Maybe I'll try that. Or maybe I could try applying a very, very, very thin coat of petroleum jelly to the surrounding area then fill and let dry. The jelly might keep the paint from sticking to the surrounding area for a better clean up.
The liquid mask mentioned above is really the better way. You can find it at hobby shops that deal with miniature models, and is in part, how such a high level of complexity can be had on smaller (2-3") models. Once it's dry, and after you've painted, it simply pulls up like that slightly gummy adhesive they use to stick credit cards to paper.

Leaving the original paint to fully cure first, then filling, will help reduce the glazing from the paint. White is particularly difficult to work with, since it is so thick by nature. Humbrol is fantastic paint, but is far too thick, on top of the issue with white, to use straight from the can (bottle); for delicate piping/outlining on frames, I thin it 2-3:1 paint to thinner, and it still covers well on darker colors, sometimes requiring a second pass. Make sure you use a compatible paint for whatever your main color is! Less is more, remember, especially if you want fine detail--it's easier to go back and gently stipple more paint into the letters than it is to remove great gobs of excess.

If your main color is smooth enough, you can squeegee the white in, then clean up with a towel, but you have to move fast. Once everything is dry, as noted, hit the area with a bit of 0000 steel wool or a light rubbing compound, to remove the remaining 'ghost'.

If you really want to cheat, you can fill it with shading ink, also available at hobby shops. Drip a bit on each letter, and use a hard squeegee to get the excess off the letters, then wipe with a towel. It won't be truly whatever color you pick, but it will darken appreciably. Black on cherry red will be the color of dark smoke.
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Old 01-23-17, 09:53 PM
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First, what is going on with the top of the crown, is it supposed to be exposed chrome or have you wiped the red paint off of the crown? It looks really strange as there is red paint around steer tube that looks like it would show, that's not how an exposed chrome crown looks.

If you are using a thinner that is taking the paint off of the fork, then you are really using the wrong thinner!

But to answer your question about filling the lettering. Use enamel paint. Drip it in with a brush. Let it sit up for about 10-20 minutes depending on the temperature. Take a course paper towel, not a soft lint-y one. Fold it in a tight square, over 3-4 times.

Use mineral spirits as thinner. Put the towel edge to the top of thinner can and soak a big enough space to cover the lettering.

Pulling the towel square tight between your two hands pull it over the lettering, only once. Re fold the towel so there's only thinner, not paint on it and go over the lettering again if it needs it. One or two swipes should be all you need. Key is do not go back and forth and always use a clean part of the towel. It take some practice but it's not hard.
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Old 01-24-17, 03:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Otis View Post
First, what is going on with the top of the crown, is it supposed to be exposed chrome or have you wiped the red paint off of the crown? It looks really strange as there is red paint around steer tube that looks like it would show, that's not how an exposed chrome crown looks.

If you are using a thinner that is taking the paint off of the fork, then you are really using the wrong thinner!

But to answer your question about filling the lettering. Use enamel paint. Drip it in with a brush. Let it sit up for about 10-20 minutes depending on the temperature. Take a course paper towel, not a soft lint-y one. Fold it in a tight square, over 3-4 times.

Use mineral spirits as thinner. Put the towel edge to the top of thinner can and soak a big enough space to cover the lettering.

Pulling the towel square tight between your two hands pull it over the lettering, only once. Re fold the towel so there's only thinner, not paint on it and go over the lettering again if it needs it. One or two swipes should be all you need. Key is do not go back and forth and always use a clean part of the towel. It take some practice but it's not hard.
Thanks, I agree with everything except in red. Thanks for the advice.

From your first paragraph above, what you are seeing above is the removal of the base coat from the top of the crown due to me using paint remover to clean it back up after being unhappy with the look of my first (and second) attempts. I will refinish it again after masking. This is the second time doing this, as I said. The rest of the fork looks awesome, it's just the pantograph I can't get to look worth a dime. Once you've filled it with mucked up paint, you don't have any room left to give it another shot without cleaning out the valleys of the lettering in the casting. You get ONE shot. If it's not right, you get to start all over. Hence, my frustration.

I have several handguns I've done the fill work on before. It's so easy to do when you have a non-painted (but rather a blued, stainless, Nickel, Cerakote, or Parkerized) surface to work over as rubbing the excess off has zero effect on the surrounding surface. This, however, is a different ball game as every wipe DOES indeed affect the finished look since it's paint. The key may be using a paint who's thinner is oblivious to the base coat and won't harm it. I haven't found that combination yet.

I'll report back in the future with how I solve this dilemma; whether I used your method, the liquid mask, or whatever.
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Old 01-24-17, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
The liquid mask mentioned above is really the better way. You can find it at hobby shops that deal with miniature models, and is in part, how such a high level of complexity can be had on smaller (2-3") models. Once it's dry, and after you've painted, it simply pulls up like that slightly gummy adhesive they use to stick credit cards to paper.

Leaving the original paint to fully cure first, then filling, will help reduce the glazing from the paint. White is particularly difficult to work with, since it is so thick by nature. Humbrol is fantastic paint, but is far too thick, on top of the issue with white, to use straight from the can (bottle); for delicate piping/outlining on frames, I thin it 2-3:1 paint to thinner, and it still covers well on darker colors, sometimes requiring a second pass. Make sure you use a compatible paint for whatever your main color is! Less is more, remember, especially if you want fine detail--it's easier to go back and gently stipple more paint into the letters than it is to remove great gobs of excess.

If your main color is smooth enough, you can squeegee the white in, then clean up with a towel, but you have to move fast. Once everything is dry, as noted, hit the area with a bit of 0000 steel wool or a light rubbing compound, to remove the remaining 'ghost'.

If you really want to cheat, you can fill it with shading ink, also available at hobby shops. Drip a bit on each letter, and use a hard squeegee to get the excess off the letters, then wipe with a towel. It won't be truly whatever color you pick, but it will darken appreciably. Black on cherry red will be the color of dark smoke.
Great advice! Thanks. I have a Hobby Lobby near me. I'll check out their stock in the modeling section. I bought a pack of sandpaper there recently. Did you know there is a 12,000 grit sandpaper? Wow. I had no idea.
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Old 02-08-17, 06:43 PM
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Followup on this issue

Since so many were helpful to post, I wanted to let everyone know how I solved my problem.

The Posca Paint Pen was the answer. And basically for two reasons:

First, the paint is water-based. That gives plenty of time to use a lightly dampened, folded paper towel to wipe of the excess. Being water-based, it doesn't attack the possibly sensitive paint you are filling into and around. So, it wipes up clean and easy. Once dry though, it is tough stuff. I tried it on some test material and when dry, it is very durable.

Secondly, the pen has an amazing tip that flows evenly and covers well. It is also very fine and can fill in even the finest of lines and grooves well.

The item number I used was PC-1M in white.

I appreciate everyone's help. Thanks
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Old 02-08-17, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by UKFan4Sure View Post
Since so many were helpful to post, I wanted to let everyone know how I solved my problem.

The Posca Paint Pen was the answer. And basically for two reasons:

First, the paint is water-based until it dries. That gives plenty of time to use a lightly dampened, folded paper towel to wipe of the excess. Being water-based, it doesn't attack the possibly sensitive paint you are filling into and around. So, it wipes up clean and easy. Once dry though, it is tough stuff. I tried it on some test material and when dry, it is very durable.

Secondly, the pen has an amazing tip that flows evenly and covers well. It is also very fine and can fill in even the finest of lines and grooves well.

The item number I used was PC-1M in white.

I appreciate everyone's help. Thanks
That looks like good product and well done on the Panto job. I also found this page a little helpful on Panto Paint fill in tips. Probably needs a little more detail. I think I will attempt this some parts soon.

Paint-Fill Tips
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Old 02-08-17, 07:24 PM
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nice post and tips- that turned out really nice.
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Old 01-28-18, 04:47 PM
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I found this as a google search because I've been having the same issues. Thanks for the help!
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