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Painting nerf guns with hvlp spray guns, and airbrushes


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#1 481IceDragon

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

I Recently purchased an hvlp gravity fed spray gun, for painting my tractors and longboards, and an airbrush for detailing my nerf guns and longboards.
I was wondering if anybody has ever used a spray gun to paint nerf guns, and I've got some really cool automotive colors from my grandpa I'm going to try out.
My main question is what are your outcomes with spray gun/airbrush. I hopefully will be using future floor stuff for my clear, through my paint gun. It's an sc Johnson thing that's used for sealing floors.. So I figured if it can be walked on, mopped and. Such, nerf guns should fare quite well from it. I hope this is not considered an idea thread, but if. It is please remove.

Edit: I did search the forum for airbrush, and all I found were 39 different topics where airbrush came up in the discussion, so. I believe this is a valid topic. I did not search for hvlp spray gun, but I assume the results would be similar.

And if this post doesn't get locked, I'll be posting some follow up information, and tips, as this will also Be my first time using an airbrush, so my results will be applicable to many who have not used airbrushes or Paint guns before.

-_- may da Schwartz be wif ya!
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#2 BAMNerf

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:05 PM

Are the paints meant for plastic? If they are not then i wouldn't. But if they are I probably would.

Edited by BAMNerf, 25 November 2012 - 09:05 PM.

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#3 481IceDragon

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

Are the paints meant for plastic? If they are not then i wouldn't. But if they are I probably would.


I believe that's a given, regardless of medium of painting your using, be it spray paint, brush paint, or otherwise.

I was asking for people who have had experience in this element of painting. Please do not post pointless comments, because I don't want the admins shutting this down. I want this to stay open for discussion as I further my experiments with airbrushing and such.
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#4 zx532

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:57 PM

As far as using automotive paints on Nerf blasters, I have had good experiences (and they are much more durable than most normal spray paints, even some of the enamel based paints). I don't have any experience with airbrushes though, I use the pre-canned Duplicolor stuff that you can find at Advance Auto Parts.

Also, just to point out, not all paints are made for plastics, some of them don't bond very well with non-porous surfaces (like plastic)

Edited by zx532, 26 November 2012 - 01:59 PM.

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#5 Zorns Lemma

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

Airbrushing works great; I've seen a few guys swear by it as the best way to get the coats and coloring you want. Just choose your paint correctly and add thinner if needed.

Not sure about HVLP but I'd imagine it would be excessive even for doing the base coat on an entire shell.

Basically what Bob said without the verbosity, though his novel on floor polish might be worth reading.
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#6 481IceDragon

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:47 PM

Thanks Zorn, and bob.

and I do have experiance using hvlp spray guns, as I love doing body work twice as much as I do tinkering with nerf guns. I'm figuring that the airbrush will be a smaller, slightly more versatile spray gun.

I also feel I'm fairly accomplished int the realm of spray paint, although nowhere as near as Eik. I've got some cool things planned and I'll be sharing them here and the mods and pictures only forum, but the main point of this topic is to be a data base for those intersted in learning of alternative painting methods.

Im sure like many others I learn best by unintentionally F**king stuff up and going, " holy balls...lets not do that again.."
Or perhaps I'm simply insane. Only time will tell.. thanks for the feedback.

Also,does anyone know of a clear coat that is not sticky feeling when you hold it for a long time, and your hands get warm and sweaty? I also Paint xbox 360 controllers and consoles, and stickiness is a big problem.

USER WAS WARNED FOR THIS POST

1. There is an edit button: use it
2. Your last 2 posts in this thread were great. These ones look like you gave up trying to punctuate and capitalize halfway.

Edited by 481IceDragon, 28 November 2012 - 10:56 AM.

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#7 makeitgo

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:10 AM

-Relevant to topic.

There are 'non-toxic' paint alternatives for airbrushing. I use acrylic based paint because I like my brain cells. However, I do still wear a mask. The finish isn't as vibrant as the toxic stuff but you can still pull off amazing colors if you choose your palette wisely. Unfortunately, the 'candies' aren't available in the acrylic/non-toxic form. But using varying techniques, you can achieve very comparable results. Working from dark to light in multiple layers can help in that respect. For the most 'top layer' flames pictured below, I did the normal white flames first then layered on red, orange then yellow. The dark/black base coat helps treat the yellows like a candy.

Posted Image
Posted Image

I create my stencils out of translucent duo tangs I get from the Dollar Store. No need for expensive 'flame' stencils. Just the ability to draw and cut out non repeating blobs.


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This is the key stencil I use for getting the flame look. Anything similar will do the trick but feel free to copy these if you like.

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The important thing is to be patient and let each layer dry before applying the next color.


As for clear coating, I use a gloss clear coat over the main work but a matte coat on the grip. Again, being patient and applying in layers will always achieve better results. The problem you might be having with the 'tackiness' of your clear coat is you might be applying it too thick initially and not letting it cure long enough before applying the next coat. I've found that a longer cure time is needed with Nerf Blasters and X-Box controllers because they are actually being 'handled'. If you start handling them too early before the clear coat has sufficiently cured, the oils from your skin will imbed into the clear coat and make curing fully, an impossibility.


After I applied my 4 layers of clear coat, I didn't handle it for a week. I sweat a lot and I haven't had a problem with stickiness from my paint jobs.
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#8 481IceDragon

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 08:42 PM

-Relevant to topic.

There are 'non-toxic' paint alternatives for airbrushing. I use acrylic based paint because I like my brain cells. However, I do still wear a mask. The finish isn't as vibrant as the toxic stuff but you can still pull off amazing colors if you choose your palette wisely. Unfortunately, the 'candies' aren't available in the acrylic/non-toxic form. But using varying techniques, you can achieve very comparable results. Working from dark to light in multiple layers can help in that respect. For the most 'top layer' flames pictured below, I did the normal white flames first then layered on red, orange then yellow. The dark/black base coat helps treat the yellows like a candy.


As for clear coating, I use a gloss clear coat over the main work but a matte coat on the grip.

After I applied my 4 layers of clear coat, I didn't handle it for a week. I sweat a lot and I haven't had a problem with stickiness from my paint job



Wow.....That is quite stunning for being only solid color acrylics.. And I havent actually even played around with anything other then acrylic, and House of Kolor. Thanks for the post, that was really helpful actually. I had honestly never even thought of doing flames on anything except a swarmfire. I really like the swarmfire for artwork because it's such a large smooth "canvas" so to speak

Edited by Zorn's Lemma, 26 December 2012 - 01:22 AM.

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#9 481IceDragon

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 04:24 PM

So I Do not have pictures as of yet. Once I get my SD card back, If I'm still on the forum I will post them.
The blaster I used was the Barricade. Paint used was DUPLICOLOR PAINT SHOP-Candy Orange.

~The main thing I found in painting with the airbrush/hvlp gun, was viscosity is KEY.
Too low, your paint Blows everywhere and splats.
Too high, and your sprayer merely sputters globs of paint on to the surface, which Brings me to the second element, pressure.

~I was running my spray gun at 35-40psi. this was the recommended pressure for the paint. Any higher, and the paint
1)Got a nasty rough texture, called orange peel (if you dont know the term...well, look at an orange peel.)
2)If you were spraying onto wet paint at too high of a pressure, the paint would blow around,and splatter. Similair to putting water on the kitchen counter and blowing into it from an inch away.

~ Another main point is MAKE SURE YOU USE PASTIC PRIMER OR ADHESION PROMOTER OF SOME SORT.
The area I neglected using the Adhesion Promoter on, The silver base coat blistered, crackled and ran.




Questions for specific people should be sent via PM. If you have pictures of painting Nerf blasters and some talk about the process and difficulties you faced then that's fine. Just pictures is for the pictures thread.

Edited by 481IceDragon, 29 January 2013 - 10:58 PM.

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#10 481IceDragon

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 11:31 PM

Here is an example of one problem you may have whilst using pneumatic paint devices.
I don't know for certain what it is called, but it is due to something falling in your paint while still wet. I managed to pull the object out with tweezers after the paint dried, and then touch up the spot, but it still left a mark.

Posted Image
In case you cannot see it, it's right on the border of the silver and orange. It looks like little grooves.

~typically a blemish like this would be sanded down, and painted over, or filled. As some of you may know, candy paint is translucent, and thus SHOULD NOT BE SANDED. This left the above marks in the paint. It looked a lot worse, but the clear coat was wet sanded, polished and waxed.

EDIT: Yes I said I did not have pictures. This is not of a barricade, it's a model car I used the same technique on. This was in my room and I just used my ipad camera.

Edited by 481IceDragon, 29 January 2013 - 11:33 PM.

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#11 atomatron

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:37 PM

Just use thinner layers so when this happens again you can get it out without it leaving any sort of mark.


There are a ton of things that can go wrong with airbrushes.
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