glossy paints?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2004
Reaction score
Hey. I've seen so many rockets with these very high gloss finishes. What's the secret? Are you all using standard gloss spray paint with clear coat? I saw a couple rockets at the last DARS meeting with unbelieveable glossy nose cones and body tubes! I've never been able to do such a thing of that caliber!

If I am painting a rocket with glossy paint, which is rare since I prefer flat military Missiles, I use Krylon Glossy Paints. Once they have dried for a couple days, I use Turtle Wax Paste wax to really make them shine and act as a clearcoat/waterproofer.

Can you wax over vinyl as well? I would imagine you could. Thanks for the tips!
krylon gloss! lots of prep though. spray it till it loks like water, but don't let it drip. takes a while to get the hang of it.
It also helps to only use Krylon when the humidity is low (less than 50%), it is warm (70+ degrees), & that you follow the directions on the can explicitly (!) otherwise you can experience "blushing" or cloudiness causing a dull finish. That situation can be restored with some "elbow grease" & a couple different compounds though.

Do a search on 'blushing' for more info.

The best gloss can be had from clear coats over "paint". However- there are lots of evil compatability issues. I wouldn't spray Krylon clear over an "oil" based rattle can paint because something bad will probably happen.

The automotive world has the best array of possibilities and potential for serious pocketbook wipeout. Get a big compressor, a couple spray guns, and.... yeah. :)

I use Createx paints (water based) with an airbrush (used just as a spray gun) and then some version of krylon clear.

Note that *all* surface imperfections will show up in the paint. Fill, sand, fill, sand, prime, wet sand, prime, wet sand, paint, clear, wet sand, clear, wax, launch, pray.... :)

To get a glossy wet look, clear coat model rockets with Future FLoor Wax (FFW). I apply it full strength after the decals are dry using a foam brush. There are no compatibility issues with this coating over enamel paints. If you want a dull coat I put some Talcum powder into the FFW. FFW is easily removed with household ammonia. Do a search for Future Floor wax for more details.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
I use solarfilm as used by aeromodelers. It goes on easy, doesn't weigh much and comes in a good range of colours, inc checker pattern.

Am I wrong? Why haven't I seen any posts here about using this?