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"Note on brush-on primers" Topic

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Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2015 11:24 a.m. PST

Living in the Southern US, I've used Liquitex black gesso for years, instead of spraying, and it's been doing the job. Lately, I've picked up a couple boxes of Perry plastics, and found that while gesso works very well, the final finish seemed a bit rough--the plastics seem a lot smoother than metals to me, which is probably why I noticed.

As an experiment, I picked up a bottle of Vallejo Surface Primer and gave that a try. I globbed it on, just like gesso, and it "tightened up" in the same way.

The surface primer coat doesn't seem any thinner than the gesso, but looking at it closely with the optivisor, it's definitely not as rough. The finish is not what I would call glossy, but it's definitely not as matte as the gesso (and yes, I shake both quite a bit before applying :-) )

End result: both are good brush-on primers; both cover well (I'll give surface primer an edge on plastic); and 24 hrs later, neither rub off easily. I'll probably continue with surface primer on the plastics for now.

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normsmith Inactive Member28 Jun 2015 11:38 a.m. PST

I use the Vallejo Surface Primer on everything. It is superb, providing the brush is loaded enough, the paint seems to flow easily into all the nooks and crannies. once dry, I sometimes spot areas that have been missed, but just dabbing deals with that.

I did paint some HaT plastics using it and noted that after painting, I could scratch back to the plastic (I known you wouldn't normally scratch a figure). I tried again, though this time put PVA glue on the figure before priming and this time it resisted attempts to scratch back.

MajorB28 Jun 2015 12:40 p.m. PST

I just use Humbrol matt enamel paint as a "primer".

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2015 5:55 p.m. PST

When I have suitable "spraying weather", I use Krylon Fusion, satin white. It works great for plastics and metals. When the weather does not cooperate, or when I am priming 15mm, I use white Gesso.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP28 Jun 2015 6:24 p.m. PST

MajorB; don't you find that the matt enamel does not cover well and rubs off easily without a primer?

Also, do you thin the matt enamel for your primer coat? If so approximately how much thinner do you use?

MajorB29 Jun 2015 4:39 a.m. PST

MajorB; don't you find that the matt enamel does not cover well and rubs off easily without a primer?


Also, do you thin the matt enamel for your primer coat? If so approximately how much thinner do you use?

No. Just use it straight out of the tin. If it gets too gunky, I just sling it and buy a new one.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP29 Jun 2015 8:44 a.m. PST

Many thanks.

Henry Martini Inactive Member29 Jun 2015 4:44 p.m. PST

Enamel adheres very strongly to metal, and if flat makes for an ideal painting surface. It's all I've ever used – whether Humbrol tinlets, or in more recent years, cheap spray cans of household/car paint.

TamsinP04 Jul 2015 4:15 a.m. PST

I've found that the Vallejo surface primer does give a slightly satin/gloss finish when brushed on, but the finish is matt when airbrushed. Maybe the glossiness is a result of the extra thickness you get when manually applied?

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP04 Jul 2015 5:58 a.m. PST

TamsinP -- yes, that was my guess as well.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2015 7:25 a.m. PST

As a note for anyone reading old threads, I found that I didn't like painting on the resulting surface at all--definitely a different feel from Gesso.

My next experiment was to put as little of the Vallejo primer as possible on the figure to get coverage. This was more successful--the finish is more matte and thinner yet.

Jury is still out on bubbles. One of the things I dislike the most about Gesso is for small bubbles to form along sharp seams (e.g.: rifle and leg with Napoleonic soldier in March Attack pose). Slopping on the Vallejo had the same effect.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jul 2015 4:12 p.m. PST

Yikes--whatever you do, don't let the Vallejo primer get on Blue Tack. Turns into a sticky, gooey mess when you try to remove the blue stuff.

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