Tuesday 5 April 2011
Auto Air paint
I painted Kristyn's frame pearl purple. Previous frames have been either solid white or solid red, and painted entirely with Imron two-part paints. As the local place where I buy paint from no longer stocks Imron, I went on a search for something new.
That search led to Auto-Air, which is made for custom car and motorcycle painting. It's about as different a paint as you can get from Imron. It's water based, which is weird, but makes cleanup so much easier.
One of the really neat things about the Auto Air paint is that it's readily available in teeny little 120ml pots. I only used around 60ml to paint kristyn's bike, so a single little pot is all I need. Plus, it comes in a huge array of colours.
The process I followed with Kristyn's bike was to first prime with epoxy primer as usual, then lay a thin coat of white Imron down. I could have used the auto-air white sealer, but I have half a litre of white Imron to hand.
After giving the white base coat a day or so to set up, I then mixed my pearl purple with medium reducer 3:1 (to suit my 0.5mm nozzle airbrush), and sprayed a really thin misting coat. I gave it ten minutes to set up, and sprayed a second, slightly heavier coat. I repeated the process half a dozen times - very thin coats building colour slowly.
The auto-air paint lets you know quite definitely if you're putting it on too thick, by taking on a mottled appearance. It's actually pretty easy to work with, and suits my methodical methods much better than Imron, which always leaves me feeling rushed.
So after leaving the frame to set for another day, I then clear coated it, first with a misting coat, then after twenty minutes putting on a full gloss coat.
The final product looks pretty good. It's still got another couple of coats of clear to go, once I get decals sorted, but in the meantime Kristyn is happily riding it and showing it off to everyone.