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"Rattle can primer in a tin" Topic

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TheOtherOneFromTableScape05 Sep 2020 9:19 a.m. PST

I like rattle can primer, but the spray cans always seem to get clogged up before I finish them. Where can you get the same paint (and the right solvent/thinner) in a tin? I've got an airbrush so I could then use just as much as I want any time. Anyone know?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2020 9:32 a.m. PST

Aren't you supposed to hold them upside down and spray them in order to clear the nozzle?

JimDuncanUK05 Sep 2020 9:53 a.m. PST

Yes, spray upside down when finished to clear the nozzle then keep a dressmakers pin in the hole.

Andrew Beasley05 Sep 2020 11:11 a.m. PST

Vallejo have primers that are resin based acrylic-polyurethane rather than just acrylic.

A link to the white is link

But TBH I've never had a can block for years and all I do is invert and spray for a second or two.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2020 12:19 p.m. PST

Never had a problem with primer from the hardware store (Rustoleum, Krylon, no-name brands), and always followed the routine of spraying upside down for a few seconds to clear when done.

Same with all rattle cans from the hardware store and hobby store. I avoid craft store spray paint after a few bad experiences (none involving clogging, though, rather the contrary). Art supply store spray paint seems to go on way too thick and costs a lot more.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2020 1:23 p.m. PST

If you have an airbrush, it's easier (and probably cheaper) to use a primer made for airbrushes.

Aren't you supposed to hold them upside down and spray them in order to clear the nozzle?
Some of the new can/nozzle designs don't work this way. For instance, you're not supposed to invert and spray the Rusoleum 2x Ultracover cans to clear the nozzle; you'll just keep spraying paint until the can is empty.

You can buy replacement nozzles for various spray cans. When I went looking, I discovered a whole industry supporting graffiti artists that supplies them. I've ordered several types of spray nozzles from Art Primo and I got replacement caps for the Rusoleum 2x Ultracover cans from GrafCaps. You can even buy nozzles with different spray patterns if you want.

You might also be able to clear an existing nozzle by soaking it for a long time in solvent for that type of paint, then using the airbrush to spray the solvent through the holes. This is probably more likely to make a messy chemical disaster than a working nozzle, so I don't recommend it, but I guarantee if I had an airbrush I'd try it. grin

Also keep in mind that sometimes what goes bad isn't the nozzle, but the paint inside the can. Sometimes replacing the nozzle doesn't help at all, the paint still comes out goopy or textured. Do some test spraying after replacing a nozzle on an old, used can before you spray the real subject in earnest.

- Ix

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2020 1:36 p.m. PST

PS: Slightly off topic, but worth mentioning – there are some bush-on paints that match the spray paints made by the modeling industry.

The Army Painter Colour Primers are deliberately produced to be match exactly. I have about half of these. The paints are expensive and the colors aren't perfect matches for my historical topics, but I still find them very useful.

Testors produces (er… produced?) exact matches in the FS colors and a some military colors, and Testors spray lacquer paints can be used as primers on metal and some plastics (and also on some resins used for casting miniatures, though probably by accident). If the bottle and spray paints have matching FS codes or RLM codes or other military color codes or names, they will match perfectly or near-perfectly.

Tamiya produces some paints that match in spray and bottle versions, but not deliberately, so they don't produce a list or match the names or paint codes carefully. And why would they? Their bottle paints are designed to work through airbrushes, so serious modelers don't bother with the spray paints, they just spray on the bottle paints. Since I don't have an airbrush, I've put together a spreadsheet of paints that match, feel free to email me if you want it.

- Ix

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2020 4:20 p.m. PST

With exceptions noted, hold the can upside down and spray for a second or two. When you empty the can, keep the nozzle just in case.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2020 4:54 p.m. PST

Buy white, black, or gray Rust-Oleum primer from Wal-Mart. Big can, low price, if the nozzle clogs, free exchange for a new fresh can.

Also, when your can is empty, pull off the nozzle and save it in case you have the next can nozzle get clogged. I have a little box of them in assorted colors.

The upside down clearing trick does no work with Rust-Oleum because the cans are designed to work at any angle.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog


TheOtherOneFromTableScape06 Sep 2020 3:09 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the advice about getting getting cans to work, but I'm trying to get away from using spray cans completely. I do like the solvent based paint they contain, and find you can prime just about everything with it. I've tried the Vallejo primers and they are great for some materials, but don't adhere well to others.

You used to be able to buy solvent based primers quite readily, but not today it seems. So does anyone know where I can get the paint that goes in the can?

Andrew Beasley06 Sep 2020 10:09 a.m. PST

Only other solvent based paints I know of now are the car paints – maybe your local car repair place / garage can put you in touch with an independent sprayer to source some?

If you are lucky you may be able to get touch up primer – one supplier I've seen in the U.K. sells small bottles of 25ml – no thinners though and at £10.00 GBP a set (primer and colour) it may be very expensive to source.

With current environmental concerns I would hope solvent based materials become harder and harder to source TBH.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2020 10:26 a.m. PST

I doubt what you're asking for exists. Paint color formulas are commonly regarded by paint suppliers as industry secrets; if you can't get the exact paint you want in liquid form from the supplier, you probably can't get it at all.

The solvents used in spray cans are extremely volatile, and the pressurized spray can is an integral part of the paint system. Spray can primers generally begin curing straight out of the can (which is why they are "dry to the touch" in minutes instead of hours or days). You might be able to buy the spray can of primer you want, spray it all into a sealing container, and just keep it on the shelf until you're ready to use it… but you may also just wind up with a container holding a brick of cured paint. Give it a try and let me know how that works out. grin

What you probably can get is mix-it-yourself separate primer and solvent. It might still be possible to buy this kind of thing in some auto parts stores, but autobody and heavy equipment shops mix and shoot their own paints through airbrushes, so you might be able to buy primer and solvents from their suppliers. A Google search for auto body supply turned up a lot of places like this.

- Ix

Edit: +1 Andrew Beasley. Beat me to it!

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2020 8:05 p.m. PST

Great advice about keeping the nozzle when you finish the can. I'm going to start doing that.

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