@#$%&! Paint Boogers

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Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2004
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Seems no matter how much care I take when I spray paint, inevitably the bird get a few little gobs of paint. I can pick them off when dry, but that leaves a spot that needs re-covered, and that's likely to result in more.

What causes these little paint boogers and how do I make it stop?
A couple of things might help:

1) Make sure the can is shaken soundly for 2 to 3 minutes. That can help ensure most globbing will be avoided.

One tip for paint can users, when you buy a new can at the store - make sure you shake it to ensure that little agitation ball is in there BEFORE you buy it. Some clear coat flat paints do not have the agitation ball, but most every other paint does to help stir up the can.

If that ball isn't in there, get a different can.

2) Invert the can when you get done to clean the nozzle for about 10 seconds. This helps on the next use to prevent globbing right away.

3) Almost to the letter, every cans directions says " Shake for 10 seconds for every minute of use " - Do this without fail when covering larger areas. It helps keep the contents shaken, and again can help prevent splatter.

4) Ensure that both the model, and the can of paint are at the same temperature prior to spraying. I know this has little to do with helping prevent splatters, but it does help.

5) Finally, ensure that you don't shake the dickens out of the can and start spraying right away at full blast, remember a can is like a car's engine, it needs time to warm up, so spray away from the intended target for 3 to 10 seconds to help clear her throat..so to speak.

Hope that helps,
setting the can in warm water for a while before shaking also helps produce a finer mist

kilz primer is real good at sputtering,I guess with the high solid content it takes alot of aggitating as silverleaf noted..I know it aggitates me quite often
One thing I found that seems to help is to spray for about 10 seconds, invert the can to clean out the jet, wipe the nozzle off and start over.

For me, next up is an airbrush.

KILZ? Spray-splat-curse-sand-repeat ;)
An airbrush is tricky and takes a while to get used to . Note , If you wanted to paint a rocket that is more than 1 colour , after each time you use the airbrush it has to be cleaned throughly. Airbrushing will take ALOT of time until you get the hang of it , best thing to do is spray White matt primer on before you airbrush ANY colour!! This will give the best effect & will take less time. Remember you carn't just spray a rocket once and it's done , you have to put serveral coats on before it's anywere near done!!

Erm make sure you paint inside a shed or garage with the door(s) open , when painting outside insects get attracted by the colour/smell , and once they touch it they carnt get off , sorta like leaving footprints all over your nice artwork ;)
Hope this helps!
Silverleaf's recommendations are excellent & I would like to contribute one item to his list:

Get one of those clip-on spray handles. They're only $1.50-$2.00 & grab onto the top of the can giving you a nice handle to hold on to the can & giving you a nice trigger to squeeze. The quality of my paint jobs increased noticably after using one because it gives me the feel of using an airbrush. It's a more natural hand position & I have greater control of the spray--not to mention there's no chance of my finger getting in the way! Also, I have found there are 2 handles: one that grabs onto the outer lip & one that grabs the inner lip of the can. Get the one that grabs the inner lip! I maintains a tighter grip (you can even shake the can by the handle) & adjusts itself better to different brands of paint. (FWIW, I have found that the outer lip kind often doesn't have a strong enough grasp of the can.)

Smartest buck-fifty I ever spent...
that I just want to add one as well. Most spray can directions will tell you to hold the can 10 to 12 inches from the surface. That is allmost garunteed to give you overspray and orange peel. Some of the paint will allready be dry before it hits the surface making for a rough looking dull surface. Although it takes practice holding the can 6 to 8 inches from the surface and using a rapid sweeping motion will yield better results. Start the sweep before the beginning of the part and end the sweep after the end of the part. Try to get the "wet look" on the last coat that is on the verge of running and then drop the can.
I'm sure you are doing this before you paint, but, use a tack cloth to wipe down the surface before painting. One other thing I do is use a small amount of acetone on a cloth to wipe off the surface before tacking. This removes any "fisheye" producing contaminants.
I airbrush...and it probably the best thing i have ever done. True there is a bit of a learning curve to it but if you get a nice one with some options on it then it will make life a lot easier...not to mention the awesome flames and ghost effects and fades...etc. you can make with an airbrush. ;)
What do airbrush's do you guy's use ? Do you use the ones where you attach a Air Compressor or a gas canistor?
Most people whom use airbrushes will get away from the canisters as quickly as possible. They tend to be expensive, are quick to run out, and after using a compressor the first time, you'll be glad you had one.

Check online at Ebay if interested, you can get a complete system with compressor through AirBrush City. Great warranty, and super service. An example is provided below:


Others here can certainly direct you to other online sources, but the bottom line is, even though the initial cost for the compressor is more, you'll be glad you made the investment.

As to what type of brushes, Badger is a popular brand, along with Pasche and Iwata. If you look online at Ebay, you'll see some brushes going for mega bucks. Some of the older Iwata's are worth a mint, and in my humble opinion are the best ever made.

The deal is, pay as much as you can afford, and not a penny less, a better airbrush up front means less trouble and once you learn how to use a better brush, you'll never look back.

Say you buy one of the Testors Aztec 29 buck kits (ones on ebay for 10 bucks right now) - its ok for small things, but you'll constantly be troubled by problems and in the end if will be wasted money.

Check this link for a comparison of basics in airbrushes..


Hope that helps,
I use a Paasche it works great.
There are different types of brushes also Single Action and Double Action.
The double is of course better for most things but a little more tricky to use.
I own the VL-Double Action74 model. it was around $70 at my local Crafts 2000.

But as far a compressors go. We borrow ours from my grandpa its of the larger size the size you would use for power washing or nailing, but it still works b/c we can adjust the tank pressure to the recommended psi for the airbrush.

Another point is that if you are going to purchase a compressor you might look at one with a filter. This just helps make sure that your paint is crystal clear everytime and that dirt isn't clogging your brush, this isn't absolutely nessecary but its nice to have.

All in all I completely agree with Silverleaf once you own an airbrush and learn how to get the most out of it you won't ever look back. Not to mention what a great paint job will do for the overall aesthetics of your rocket.

Here a link to the Paasche web site.