Car Paint Discusion (moved from Phill's Workbench)

Discussion in 'Talk' started by CME & Bottlewasher, 14 March 2014.

  1. Hi All,

    As a point of note, for anyone interested, Halfords now seem to be able to mix up car colours in rattle cans and touch-in's;)

  2. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I'm sure I heard that somewhere else and after several years of experience using car body colour sprays must say that I prefer Halfords above all the others. Do you know if they will mix to a car colour, eg Land Rover Bronze Green, or do they need the spec from the VIN plate? Also, will they take such orders on line for delivery to the local store?

    I'm truly not asking out of laziness (well, not much;)) but living out in the country have a ten mile drive to the nearest Halfords so it has to be very much worth my while.

    I bought a can of a discontinued car colour last year via a car body paint supplier/mixer on line and everything was fine except for the spray being rather course when compared with the fine spray from a Halfords can. Getting it mixed and supplied by Halfords would be worth a premium.

    Best regards.

    CME & Bottlewasher likes this.
  3. Hi Brian,:)

    I have had great results with their primers - mixed results with the top coat finishes though.

    I think that you are right Halford's cans have a better spray pattern/pressure, even better are some of the older Games Workshop rattle cans:thumbs:

    Halfords work/match from a paint-code, dad just had some made up for my nephews banger new motor.:D

    Not sure about the on-line thing (suck it and see:D ), but dad ordered it in store and went off for a coffee and 20 mins later it was ready.:thumbs:

    I am glad that they are offering this service too - the downside is knowing the paint-codes (for our model-making purposes) yet I am sure this aspect is not insurmountable;)

    Thanks Phill:)

    Kind regards,

  4. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I'm not sure that'd work with car paint; wouldn't the thinners dissolve the plastic spray cap? What thinners would you need for automotive paint?
    CME & Bottlewasher likes this.
  5. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Thanks Phil.

    Yes, I've used their primers too and again with great success. I've found their top coat finishes excellent too, though, but as I dislike high gloss on my locos I apply the transfers or hand line on the top coat finish and then use Halfords spray semi matt (might be called silk) finish over the top to seal everything in. See two photos below to see how well it can work. (Still not as good as the professionals with an air brush but one can only get better by trying). I don't know why the buffer beam has gone that strange orange colour - something to do with the colour receptors in the camera array, I guess.

    But of more concern is how we can get the paint code for the colours we use. Does anyone know of a paint code matching web site?

    It's just struck me that I'm railroading (see what I did there?) your thread Phil. Sorry! :oops: If this develops further I'll start a new one.

    Best regards.

  6. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Thanks for the suggestion, Mick. I tried this last year and still have the paint marks all over the shed floor from where the thing exploded. (Well, not actually exploded , more started to gush paint in an unstoppable stream).

    However, as you've had this work OK I'll give it another try when the opportunity arises. If it doesn't I'll send you the dry cleaning bill.:p

  7. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    I do exactly what Mick suggests but I use some "thinners" that I have left over from my boating days, that I used for thinning/cleaning fibreglass gelcoat.

    I have no idea what it is but it stinks! I originally got the idea of working but being safe on the nozzle from it being stored in a plastic one gallon ex fish shop vinegar bottle (that's what it came to me in). So I poured some into a glass jam jar and when I have used a rattle can I take off the nozzle drop it in and give it a shake around.

    It had the added benefit of allowing you to get more out of your can because you are not wasting propellant cleaning the nozzle each time.

    I do realise that most of this is not much use to anyone since I don't know what's in the bottle..... but thought I would share it anyway:D
    Jordan likes this.
  8. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    That's probably acetone.
    And the thinners for modern automotive paint seems to be toluene; how does that react with the plastic used to make spray buttons?
    Rob Pulham likes this.
  9. Phill Dyson

    Phill Dyson Western Thunderer

    I don't think I have had a car paint can nozzle block up, I have had plenty of Railmatch nozzles do this though:headbang:

    I used to let the nozzles soak in white spirit, but like Mick, I'm not sure if it achieved anything?......I have also been known to resort to sticking a pin down blocked nozzles to free them off, but with mixed results:eek::D

  10. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    I've never had a nozzle block,then again I've never used an aerosol :)

    On a serious note, I can't believe the wonderful models you guys build only to smother them in Halfords or Railmatch paint.
    Surely with your skills something simple like an airbrush would give far superior finishes without the risk of disasters all so common with rattle cans. Surely the paint finish ( along with smooth running) is the most important aspect of the finished model,
  11. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    Just to add to the above, beware of Halfords Land Rover Bronze green. It's far to grey looking. If you want the correct shade go for BS 381 C 228, give Autopaints Doncaster a phone on 01302 822822, they will do a rattle can or straight tin of celly in HMG cellulose.
    It's fantastic stuff and I now use it exclusively. I do have a list of other codes that are very close if not identical to railway colours, if you need one let me know

    This is the swatch I use with all the codes


  12. Railwaymaniac

    Railwaymaniac Western Thunderer

    CME & Bottlewasher likes this.
  13. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Hi Warren

    You're right, Warren, it is. But there is more than a hint of nervousness about using cellulose paints (let alone getting hold of them) if you're not used to it.

    So, can I ask you some specific questions.

    1) Will Autopaints Doncaster send through the post or courier tins?

    2) What's the usual small/minimum quantity supplied?

    3) Assuming you use Autopaints Doncaster cellulose, do you use it straight from the tin?

    4) If you thin it, how much cellulose thinners to paint?

    5) How long between successive coats of the same colour?

    6) How long before you can mask and spray a further colour?

    7) How close to the model are you when you spray 'basic' coats (eg coach sides)?

    8) What regime do you use to clean the airbrush?


    CME & Bottlewasher and Dog Star like this.
  14. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Yes, Ian, In fact I have used the Bradford MRC listing which I suspect is similar. You need to proceed with caution, though, as the last can I bought as BR (SR) coaching stock green was nearer Maunsell green - in fact it would have been a pretty perfect match.

    I too am delighted that Halfords will make up the colours we require. However, the issue is that I believe they will need the paint code from the car VIN plate in order to mix it - I suspect that just asking for a colour is insufficient.
    Having said which I don't actually know that this is the case until I go to Halfords next, which is a ten mile drive each way so not something I'll do without needing an item or items I know they normally stock. I know I could phone, but I've usually found this pretty ineffective and often been given incorrect information. It's almost as though they just want to get rid of you and find you an irritation for breaking in to their day. Can't imagine why........

    In which case it would be very halpful to have a paint code next to the colour on the conversion chart. I don't know whether this is possible although I'd guess this info is available if one knows where to look.

  15. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    Hello Richard,
    I understand people's nervousness in using celly, but this is a lack of understanding of how to use them. In reality they are far easier to use than enamel paint, I can't comment on acrylics as I have never used them.
    Obtaining them shouldn't be an issue as most car finishing shops sell them as they are still used in the restoration of classic cars. Colours are fairly easy, all mine are matched from RAL or BS, and as they mix well the together you can experiment with shades ( my southern olive is basically deep bronze green with a spot of brown added)
    A couple of hours practice spraying coke tins and then maybe the inside of some angle will soon have you obtaining that wonderful 'pro' finish.

    To answer your questions,
    1 They do mail order, not sure of costs

    2 I think spray cans are 500 ml, tins of celly can be bought as small as 500ml also. The problem with smaller amounts is that they cannot guarantee an exact match due to small quantities of tint. Half a litre is about a tenner, not sure about spray cans.

    3 It's used straight from the tin, celly doesn't go off although it may thicken over time, just add a bit of thinner to the tin.

    4. I generally go 2 or 3 parts thinner to paint, but it can be sprayed as thin as you like it just takes longer. I know Beeson used to thin his celly about 6:1 and gave his models about 20 coats!!

    5 celly can be recoated immediately, but if you need to rub any dust out I would let it go off for about half an hour. Then I would spray over with neat thinner to smooth out rubbing down marks then add more coats if needed.

    6. About 2 hours as a rule although some colours (reds) I leave overnight.

    7 that depends on the pressure to wetness of mix and what I am trying to do. This is where the practice and experience comes in.
    Generally tho with a 2:1 paint mix and about 15psi I would be about 2 or 3inches away, I would also advise a nozzle size of about .5mm to get plenty of paint down.

    8. I just blow a bit of standard celly thinner through and give it a wipe with a bit of kitchen roll, that's enough. I will strip my airbrush down a couple of times a year and replace the seals, this is for me using it daily.

    The most common fault when spraying celly is to be too careful, this encourages low paint to high air spraying resulting in a gritty finish as the paint is dry when it lands.
    Give it plenty of paint and you will get a totally flat high gloss finish which is a joy to line onto, this is then matted down to your preferred finish with a lacquer coat but that's another story :)

    Ian Rathbones book goes into spraying celly in more detail, we'll worth a read if you haven't already, also I shall be doing the painting and lining demo at Cleckheaton so if you are going come and have a chat.

    oldravendale likes this.
  16. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Gerald Wingrove covers spraying with cellulose in his car modeller books - again multiple layers to get the depth of the finish - but he doesn't weather them afterwards!!
  17. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    Thank you Warren for your comprehensive reply.

    As part of my workshop revamp, I will have space for my spray booth which is extracted outside. I must admit I am in two minds as to whether to continue to paint my models myself, or get a pro to do it.

  18. TheSnapper

    TheSnapper Western Thunderer

    Hi Richard

    I sprayed my '37 with cellulose (RAL6007), and followed Ian Rathbone's recommendations - I don't have the book on me, but I seem to remember using a mix of 8:1 High Gloss Thinners to paint! Went round the detail first, then really laid it on!

    I got my supplies from Jawel in Bromsgrove, which may be convenient for you:

    I agree with Warren (who obviously has so much more experience than I do). It is far easier than spraying with enamels, where you are battling against runs & drying times, paint hardening etc . Plus you get a smooth gloss finish, which is ideal for applying transfers.

    Warren, I would be interested in seeing your list of BS or RAL numbers for Railway colours, if possible.


  19. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I'd be very happy to see that too.....

  20. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    I think you have it in one there, Warren. Although I have an airbrush (not a particularly good one - a Badger but I can't remember the number), compressor and a spray booth I use it only rarely (in fact I've never yet used the spray booth), and if I'm honest only when I can't get a near colour car body spray can. I've used mail order specially made up cans quite succesfully apart for the tendency of the spray nozzle to be quite course although I can't remember the name of the supplier - it might be the one you mention in Doncaster. Having read Ian Rathbone's book and spoken to him several times, and now with you additional comments, I guess I need to take the plunge and start practising.

    There is another consideration though, and that is that I'd use the air brush only very occasionally, maybe three or four times a year and the stripping and cleaning is an absolute pain. I think it's this perceived loss of time which irks the most, although I'd like to be better at this final, painting part of the process. (I took the plunge with hand lining last year and was frankly amazed at the results I achieved - no more expensive Fox lining transfers for me!) For cleaning, if a straight spray through the airbrush with neat cellulose will do the trick, though, that doesn't sound so bad. I guess I ought to strip it now and replace the seals so that I'm not frustrated by a failing piece of equipment when I start to practice. I've used the commercially available air brush cleaners up to now with very mixed results although I suspect I've actually only ever sprayed enamels and water based paints.

    Do you spray etch primers in the same way as the top coat, or could these be sprayed from a can and the airbrushed cellulose on top without compromising the final finish?

    As the weather improves I may yet decide to give it a go. Having started to think about it now there is plenty of time for the thought to mature before it's too cold again........

    Best regards, and thanks for your very interesting and helpful comments.