Lacquer or enamel paint

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brehos110

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Hello everyone! I am wondering, what is the best type of paint for altitude, lacquer or enamel? Also, I am not concerned about spending 20+ hours polishing with either kind of paint.
 

rharshberger

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Whatever you can get a polished finish on, lacquer is easier to apply but a catalyzed poly auto paint would probably be harder and polish out better.
 

Nathan

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I don't think either lacquer or enamel is going to make any difference in altitude. I almost always use lacquer mostly because lacquer dries much faster than enamel. Lacquer is dry as soon as the solvents evaporate while enamel has to cure. Lacquer is completely dry in hours; enamel takes days or even weeks to fully cure. In my experience, enamel can be polished to a high gloss even without clearcoat but getting a high gloss finish with lacquer requires clearcoat. When painting with lacquer I always finish with 4 or 5 coats of clear lacquer, then wetsand and polish the clearcoat.

This Minie-Magg was painted with Duplicolor Engine Enamel and has no clear coat.
IMAG0492.jpg


This Upscale Onyx was painted with Duplicolor Paint Shop Lacquer and has several coats of Duplicolor clear lacquer.
29862128964x.jpg
 

jimzcatz

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" Lacquer is completely dry in hours; enamel takes days or even weeks to fully cure. "

I take issue with this statement. I use automotive enamels exclusively. I am able to wet sand and apply second coat within an hour of first coat. Able to cover in blankets for transportation without fuzzies next morning.
 

Grog6

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Catalyzed paint is an epoxy, so naturally it's harder. It lasts 20+ years on cars.
 

Nathan

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" Lacquer is completely dry in hours; enamel takes days or even weeks to fully cure. "

I take issue with this statement. I use automotive enamels exclusively. I am able to wet sand and apply second coat within an hour of first coat. Able to cover in blankets for transportation without fuzzies next morning.
I have had a waffle pattern from a blanket imprinted on a rocket more than a week after it was painted with enamel, because the paint had still not fully hardened.

You may be referring to catalyzed urethane enamel which is the only kind of paint that has been used on new cars for decades. I don't use catalyzed urethane enamel because it can only be sprayed safely with a full body suit and a fresh air system. I wear gloves and a full face mask with organic vapor cartridges, but that's not enough.
 

jimzcatz

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Nason acrylic enamels. Yes, I use a hardener but I have never had any issues with rattle can enamels? But that's me
 

brehos110

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Thank you everyone for your responses. Is duplicolor really the only good option for lacquer paint or are there other options?
 

Nathan

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Thank you everyone for your responses. Is duplicolor really the only good option for lacquer paint or are there other options?
I use either Duplicolor lacquer or Restoration Shop lacquer. Restoration Shop lacquer is sold by tcpglobal and is not available in rattlecans. The main reason that I switched from Duplicolor to Restoration Shop lacquer is that there is a very limited selection of colors from Duplicolor.
 

heada

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Find your local paint store. No, not a big box store like Lowes or HomeDepot. Look for PPG paints or Sherman Williams or a real paint store like that. They'll have higher quality paint and a much better selection. You'll pay more for it though.

If you have a HVLP setup, they can create custom lacquer colors for you.
 

John Kemker

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You can also go to NAPA and ask about their paints. They can be expensive (inventoried one line of paints at a NAPA that was over $600/gal) but some can be more affordable. They do carry Duplicolor, but remember, DC is primarily intended for touching up factory paint jobs, that's why it's called DUPLIcolor, as it DUPLIcates factory tints.

Most NAPAs carry Martin Senour as their main line of paints.

I have not tested any of their paints, so cannot comment on quality, etc.
 

Grog6

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I use a lot of krylon; there's a whole rainbow at my walmart.
They all look black at altitude anyway. :)
When you see the dot with 3 lines, and it's getting bigger, that means RUN! :)
 

Banzai88

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Thank you everyone for your responses. Is duplicolor really the only good option for lacquer paint or are there other options?
Montana Gold. Artist lacquer in dozens of colors in a high end rattle can. Single coat coverage, 1 can is enough for 2 coats on a 4 inch 6 foot rocket. Easy to apply, easy to repair, and especially nice if you use Max2K clear.


 
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brehos110

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Montana Gold. Artist lacquer in dozens of colors in a high end rattle can. Single coat coverage, 1 can is enough for 2 coats on a 4 inch 6 foot rocket. Easy to apply, easy to repair, and especially nice if you use Max2K clear.
Is there any other clear coat that you recommend for those spray paints? The Max2K clear looks pretty expendive.
 

Banzai88

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Is there any other clear coat that you recommend for those spray paints? The Max2K clear looks pretty expendive.
Since Montana Gold is lacquer, you can put any lacquer or enamel clear over it. Max2K is automotive grade poly.
 

Bill S

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I can say that the Montana Black line is not suitable for rockets, in my opinion. Goes on thick, dries with a texture. I also tried some "Lac" paint from Australia, same thing, textured paint. Ugh.
 

icyclops

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I use a lot of krylon; there's a whole rainbow at my walmart.
They all look black at altitude anyway. :)
When you see the dot with 3 lines, and it's getting bigger, that means RUN! :)
Very true :)
Krylon paints work very well especially if you apply it in many thin coats….looks like glass then. I think people get so excited to finish and lose patience and try and put enamels on too thick. Which can cause problems down the line when the applying a clearcoat. Cool paint jobs are made for short distance viewing for sure….can’t really see at altitude anyway is a very good point :)
 

Grog6

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Somewhere down the years I inherited someone's testor's paint sets; I have a half dozen paintsets in cigar boxes Some are marked 19Cents and 25 cents, lol.
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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I can say that the Montana Black line is not suitable for rockets, in my opinion. Goes on thick, dries with a texture. I also tried some "Lac" paint from Australia, same thing, textured paint. Ugh.
I bought 2 cans of one of their Reds for a “Rat Rod Rocket” made from a 4” LOC Goblin and I agree thick and texture. In the end it looks good but had to do a lot of sanding.
 

Bill S

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I'm actually going to try some Traxxas R/C car paint for polycarbonate, because they have some gorgeous florescent colors. I have not been able to find out if the paint is lacquer, enamel, or something else, so its a total crapshoot. I need to replace my Estes Vapor rocket, done up in a medium-dark purple, and frankly a florescent purple would look very nice if I can pull it off.
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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I have read (on here) that some members use fingernail paint with a airbrush - tons of great colors there and I see them on close out for pennies.
 

afadeev

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I use a lot of krylon; there's a whole rainbow at my walmart.
They all look black at altitude anyway. :)
Just saw this paint comparison review.
Results include weathering testing after a year of UV exposure, flaking from impact damage (new and after a year), scratch resistance, etc.
They did not test on rockets, but still somewhat informative:

 

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