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Nick Filippone

Enamel over lacquer and lacquer over enamel

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I know this has been discussed before, but I have forgotten the concensus opinion. Can each of these be applied over the other with impunity or no? Thanks. Nick Filippone

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Nick, the genereal rule is hottest thinners on the bottom which would mean enamals over lacquers. Having said that there are a lot of variances in this. There are some very mild lacquers and very hot enamals. I have some old school automotive enamels that would burn through Tamiya lacquers in a heart beat. I have one word for you, "Spoons"! Get a package of white plastic spoons and test all your paints on them. They are cheap and easy to use. Just spray the back side and see what happens. This is the only sure way to make sure you don't screw up a nearly finished model. Good luck!

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Over the last several decades I think I've violated every paint rule in existence and gotten away with it. Depending on the specific paint involved, the plastic you're spraying it on, the kind of primer you use, etc., ad nauseum, and your nerve, you can put practically anything over anything. For example: lacquer over enamel, enamel over lacquer, lacquer on vinyl and more. Then there's the various acrylics that range from water based acrylics to acrylic enamels, acrylic lacquers and on and on. Here you have to experiment because there are too many variables where acrylics are concerned to make any kind of definitive statement.

 

To give you an idea of just how far you can alter a given paint...and also abuse an airbrush...back when I was painting models for Bell Helicopter, Bell was providing the paint. What was it? Two part military standard urethane that was straight out of the bulk drum. Mixing ratio was something on the order of 20 parts paint to 4 parts catalyst (don't quote me, it's been forty years), but that was still too thick for an airbrush. The airbrush I was using at the time was a Paasche VL-5. Anyway, to get the stuff thin enough to spray, I changed the ratio to something like 20 or 30 parts catalyst and 5 or 6 parts paint. Even at that level it was still too thick for an even application. So I pulled the airbrush needle back, reamed out the tip of the cone and jacked the pressure up to 40 psi or so. The result was some really beautiful paint jobs, but it sure didn't do much for the airbrush!

 

What's the moral of this story and the rest of my rambling? Simply that there are no hard and fast rules where paint is concerned. The best you can do is experiment until you find something that works for you.

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I agree with the last two posts:

 

1) If you have concerns run some tests, and plastic ware is a cheap easy way to do it

 

2) With care, you can paint almost anything over anything else

 

Even if you have some questions or doubts, if you do 2 simple things, you should have success. First, apply your paint sparingly. Most of us apply our paint too heavily anyway, so this is a good practice no matter the circumstance. Second, allow time for each color paint to completely dry. Completely cured paint is more likely to withstand an assault by something that might react with it.

 

GIL :smiley16:

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With the development and marketing of many new brands of hobby paint over the last few years, there are many variables, as the above posts point out. But in my experience you can never go wrong if you consistently apply enamels over lacquers and not the other way around. Water-based paints can go over either of them.

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Thank you all for these suggestions. They will be helpful to me. I too was under the general impression that you should not apply lacquer over enamel. But I have been thinking- I have been using Testors clear and flat coats, which are lacquer based, over Testors Model Master enamel! So how am I getting away with this? Nick

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Over the last several decades I think I've violated every paint rule in existence and gotten away with it. Depending on the specific paint involved, the plastic you're spraying it on, the kind of primer you use, etc., ad nauseum, and your nerve, you can put practically anything over anything. For example: lacquer over enamel, enamel over lacquer, lacquer on vinyl and more. Then there's the various acrylics that range from water based acrylics to acrylic enamels, acrylic lacquers and on and on. Here you have to experiment because there are too many variables where acrylics are concerned to make any kind of definitive statement.

 

To give you an idea of just how far you can alter a given paint...and also abuse an airbrush...back when I was painting models for Bell Helicopter, Bell was providing the paint. What was it? Two part military standard urethane that was straight out of the bulk drum. Mixing ratio was something on the order of 20 parts paint to 4 parts catalyst (don't quote me, it's been forty years), but that was still too thick for an airbrush. The airbrush I was using at the time was a Paasche VL-5. Anyway, to get the stuff thin enough to spray, I changed the ratio to something like 20 or 30 parts catalyst and 5 or 6 parts paint. Even at that level it was still too thick for an even application. So I pulled the airbrush needle back, reamed out the tip of the cone and jacked the pressure up to 40 psi or so. The result was some really beautiful paint jobs, but it sure didn't do much for the airbrush!

 

What's the moral of this story and the rest of my rambling? Simply that there are no hard and fast rules where paint is concerned. The best you can do is experiment until you find something that works for you.

 

Recently, I have been messing with HOK clear urethane and everything I read said 3:1:1 paint:reducer:catalyst. I mixed it up that way first time and it sprayed like honey which may be fine in an auto spray booth, but for a model I got really thick orange peel. I upped the reducer per the spec sheet to 1.1 parts and got a better but not great result. Then I did 2 times the reducer and it worked great. Way out of spec but if it works, go for it! So in my opinion, manufactures specs, are a starting point and you need to try things until they work for you!

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