Walmart Cheapie Paints??

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Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2003
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Has anyone tried the cheap crafts acrylic paints on a rocket??

I've always seen them average 44cents up to about a buck.

I know this is a lil off subject but I just hand brushed a small foam RC aiplane and it looks great. I took believe it or not Windex and used it to thin the paint. Add about 25% Windex to your paint, then I took a small roller type brush and just roll it out. Its great, no roll or brush marks or nothing.

Have to try it on a rocket soon!! Tons of colors too.

I never thought of using that type of paint. Keep us up to date on how it works.

I had the idea of using some acrylic paint on rockets too but haven't tried anything yet.

I think it would work very well for the small details on rockets (words, symbols, etc.)

Like crashinj said, acrylic paints are very cheap. I got a 9 color Testors acrylic paint set for 7 dollars from Walmart. You could probably get them even cheaper from a different (generic) brand. I'm sure they're in just about every Walmart (if not crafts store) around the model cars & planes.

Wikipedia says some pretty nice things about acrylic paints:

"Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry"
"Acrylics do have the ability to bond to many diverse surfaces."

I haven't tried the Windex idea yet, but do let us know how it works on your rockets!
Actually its going to be awhile before I build another rocket. I'm hot and heavy into the RC airplane flyin season right now. I keep up with rockets cause its my other interest.

I know those paints work really good on the lil foamie planes (blue cor house insulation) I'm playing with. No reason it should not work on a rocket.

Originally posted by vsergeev

"Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry"

I haven't tried the Windex idea yet, but do let us know how it works on your rockets!

As your WikiPedia quote says, acrylic paints can be thinned with water. They're water-based... there's no useful reason to thin them with anything else.
My daughter uses the acrylic craft paints for painting her wooden craft projects and the paint she uses drys with a flat finish.

Did the paint you used on your airplane dry flat or glossy?
I'm a *huge* fan of these cheapie craft paints for rockets. I shoot them through an airbrush, usually thinned with windshield wiper fluid (which is mostly water, but the little bit of alcohol in there helps the paint to flow a little better than plain water.)

The variety of colors is amazing, and they just plain work great. I've used a few different brands - Apple Barrel Plaid, Delta Ceramcoat, etc... and have had no problems with any of them.

I like mixing paints to get custom colors and these are perfect for experimentation - at $0.44 per bottle, you don't really need to worry about getting a mix incorrect and wasting a bunch of expensive paint. Though I don't like neon paints by themselves, it's cool to see how bright neons can be used in a mix to really add "pop" to normal colors. I'm currently painting a green crayon rocket that is really bright green, but not so bright as to qualify as "neon" green.

Using an airbrush, there's a lot more usable paint in one of these little bottles than you'd get in a can of Krylon. Again - 44 cents!!!!!!

I always prime with a good primer (house paint primer, no less!), and adhesion is extremely good. I also typically top-coat with Future.
I use these acrylics all the time. I like them a lot for models but large projects being less detailed get sprayed.

I always start by sanding the body tubes with 220 grade paper and spraying on a good sandable primer.

Some tips I have are;

1. Apply several coats to get good coverage. Keep each coat thin and even. The first coat always looks bad especially for colors like red that have more organics. (Even worse as a spray paint anyway) Typically it takes me 2 or 3 coats with touch-ups latter.

Final coats can be thinned slightly with a drop of water. Use good brushes. 3 sizes of brushes, fine to 1/2" wide, is a good start. Wet sand out any mistakes or bumps after drying.

2. Wet sand with 350 to 600 grade waterproof paper. Just lightly to remove the thickest patches or bumps in the paint. It also removes fingerprints and brush marks.

Just wet the paper with a few drops of water then rub the paper over a small area. (1 fin) the paint lifts easily. Keep the paper wet by adding a few drops of water and/or rinsing the paper. Dry the area with paper towel rinse the paper and start a new area.

After wet sanding any glossiness from the paint will be gone but a smooth surface with good paint coverage is what we want here.

Add touch-up paint if you sand thought the color coat and primer is visable. Re wet sand carefully on touch-ups.

3. Add decals at this stage if they are compatable with the spray-on gloss coat. Because the finish is not gloss the decals will appear more defined and the lines and fingerprints will be hidden.

Spray 2 to 3 light coats of finish coat. I've used satin finish instead of gloss and high gloss when I'm doing for example a Camoflage design and when I did the Enterprise. It just serves to seal and protect the color coat.

I would be done after the satin finish goes on but if I were to be going for a gloss finish I would then wet sand the gloss spray to even out that surface and then hang the rocket upside down and give 3 coats of liquid floor wax with a foam brush. Then, it will be glossy and finished.