Clear coat / Top coat questions

Discussion in 'Tackle Making' started by fugarwi7, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. fugarwi7

    fugarwi7 Lumberjack

    Okay, I am getting frustrated with my clear coat and seeking some advice. I have been applying Devcon 2 ton epoxy as a protective coating between finishing stages so I can back up if I err on a detail. (At the risk of sounding impatient, I seek advice). Since the drying time is so long, it seems it is taking forever to get to the end. I am concerned I will have too much epoxy built up by the time I'm finished and will need a downrigger ball tied to the lure to get it underwater! Should I be concerned about that? What is a better alternative, if any, between finishing steps so I can progress a little quicker? Where best to get these products if available? Lastly, what can I do to acheive a smoother top coat with the epoxy. I wash my brushes in advance and seal in a baggie until I am ready to use them, try to apply the epoxy in a dust free area, try not to put too much on and make sure each stroke is made with light, even pressure in one direction, then hit each coat with a hair dryer after application to try to smooth out the bubbles, etc., then place on the drying wheel for 4-6 hours. Even after that, I continually get bubbles, bumps and little imperfections in each coat. :mad: Am I missing something? I see everyone's finished baits and they look perfect....Am I expecting too much from this process? Help please!
  2. I don't know if this will help, but I quit using epoxy a long time ago for those very reasons. Whether I was working with plastic or wooden lures, the results from the epoxy was the same, YUCK! I went back to basics with my paint schemes, whether by hand or airbrush, allowed the sceme to dry, then I started using Krylon acrylic and clear enamel spray coatings. I spray three to four light coatings for each lure. Acrylic dries faster than the enamel. Both seem to dry evenly without build up (given that you're spraying light even coats) and are very durable. Hope this helps. :B

  3. I hear you on the frustration about the clear coat. Yes it can be a pain. Yes it can be a problem with the build-up of the epoxy. Smaller lures will get out of wack at time when you cross over with too many coats.

    Wolfhook has some good ideas with the clear coat. Alot depends on what type of lure you are making and the species you are targeting. Most of the musky lures will have that heavy clear coat, while the walleye ones will have a lighter coat like Wolf had mentioned.

    Solutions and possible roots of the problems

    Bubbles in the epoxy:
    - One cause that I was getting them was that my enamel paint was not COMPLETELY dry. I was dry to the touch but done fuming off. The paint is venting under the clear coat ...... Thus the bubbles a type of fizzing. I now wait 2 days to clear coat over the paint. I took a while to be patient to do this.

    - You can take a torch and lightly go over the bait while it is spinning to release the bubbles. You have to be careful not to go too much. You can overheat the epoxy and it will do very strange things. A type of krinkling thing. With some clear coat the bubbles are released not by just heat. It is the Carbon monoxide that does it. With envirotech you can blow on it and it will release the bubbles very well. The torch I will use when it is tagged on the wheel.

    - Some bubbles are hard to get out. The epoxy is too thick and they are close to the body. If you heat too much the epoxy will tumble around the bait as it spins. when it dries it may have more thickness to one side and on the back.

    - Setting times. I like devcon alot. I like its build- up qualities. but......... I have a harder time getting the bubbles out myself.
    Envirotech, I started using all the time. It has its good and bads also. It doesn't build up like the devcon and it takes around 24 hours to set. It will also take more coats to get where I want with the thickness. But........ It is a very clear - non cloudy finish. With the thinner build-up the bubbles will come out easier for me. It is a trade-off for the nice finish.

    - Bumps, With the devcon the window is tighter than envirotech. I have had devcon start to set on me if I get too picky with the finish as I am brushing it on. No turning back when that happens. It will not layout.

    - Wet sanding, I wet sand between clear coats at times to keep it really smooth. I will use like 300 to 600 grit and water.

    - Between coats, Vc showed me a neat trick with using automotive clear between coats of epoxy to seal paint details instead of the epoxy. This will give you a less heavy build-up while getting your details on the bait. You can wipe off mistakes also with this method. Naptha or mineral spirits.

    For the record, I have not ever had at least one little spec of something on a finished bait. I think it is impossible. I have been close but not all the way! LOL I think it is impossible! LOL

    I think with the walleye baits I am going to do like Wolf said with the acylic type stuff. I like the envirotech for at least one coat on them. It will be my last coat only.

    I hope this helps a little. I am sure the other guys have some ideas also.

    Good luck!
  4. You can thin the Devcon with lacquer thinner for the smaller baits. I've only done it a few times though.

    You might consider trying Krylon Clear Glaze, which comes in a spray can, if you don't want to buy the automotive clear. The automotive clear is a bit pricey, but its good stuff when you don't want a build up of epoxy.

    The Krylon might require several coats to get some build up for protection against errors. Try it on a test piece first to see how you like it and see if you satisfied with how it works when it comes to painting over it for the next paint phase.
  5. eyesman_01

    eyesman_01 getting wEYESer every day

    Ok, I've seen you guys talk about the envirotec quite a bit, including that is is more fluid, meaning thinner coats. I haven't done a search yet, but was wondering where you get it.

    I also have the acrylic spray sealer, but have only used it for my spoons because of how thin the coat is. Maybe I'll try it between coats and just use epoxy for my final coat.

    Fugarwi7, I found out on an earlier bait that the epoxy will not keep your lure afloat. No need for a cannon ball. Actually it does just the opposite and too much will make it sink. At least that's what happened to that walleye shaped bait I made.
  6. fugarwi7- Because most of my lures are small (2"-3") I have been spraying paint layers between coats with an artists pastel/charcoal "fixative". There are many brands, mine is called "Micador Fixative", and you can buy it at any artist supply, it is matt, so it gives a 'key' for the next coat of paint. Coats are clear and thin (very) and it dries in about 15 seconds, I usually give it 2 coats to make sure and I have not found a cleaning spirit (use to remove grease, body oils etc) yet that effects it, I would not try acetone or lac thinners though - experiment with this first or you may find your paint job disappears too. Costs about $6 a spray can and lasts 'forever', don't buy cheap s**t. pete
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  7. Eyesman - I picked up Envirotec at Pat Catans.
  8. eyesman_01

    eyesman_01 getting wEYESer every day

    I just did a search for Envirotec and came up with @ 69,600 results, with everything from data center cleaning to corn burners. I only went thru the first 3 pages and found nothing even close to what I was looking for.

    I don't have a Pat Catans around here, and to have it shipped would probably cost $20 hazardous materials.

    Is this made specifically for crafts, or for some other purpose? I ask so I might know of a store, or at least which department, I should try looking for it.
  9. Hey eyesman
    I can't post links but if you google EnviroTex Lite it will come up. It is also a craftstore item, around here I pick it up at Micheals. I used it a couple times a I like it. Hope this helps.
  10. fugarwi7

    fugarwi7 Lumberjack

    Thanks for the info...all good feedback and it sounds as if I'm not alone on this...what exactly is automotive clear and where do you get it?

    vc...I saw Krylon Glaze Triple coat today at Wally World but I didn't get it...wanted to read all responses before proceeding...

    I also sand between coats with wet 320/400/600 depending on how badly I did the clear coat :D This last go around I used new 320 and went right through to my paint and lost a few details...not going to clean it up wife said it added a certain character to it! I guess I'll know when the fish still attack it!!!

    It really sounds as if I should try several methods until I settle in on one I prefer or which one works on the baits I am building. I am using strictly acrylics so I don't want to get an adverse reaction by using a lacquer or enamal over my acrylics...need I worry about this or am I just being too cautious?

    Thanks again for the responses...hope others benefit from this thread as well.
  11. ive had the krylon glaze yellow over time real bad on white baits. it happened within just a year. just a word of warning.
  12. fugarwari, you can use both acrylics and enamels, but only if you clear coat between them. I clear with either devcon or automotive clear when combining the two mediums on the same bait.
  13. fugarwi7

    fugarwi7 Lumberjack

    Thanks again...I found some Krylon Clear Gloss acrylic today that I am going to use on my next couple of baits...I hope it works between coats...then I can epoxy only at the beginning and at the end. Also got my hands on some pearl powder (ultra fine glitter) to add to my final clear coat for a little extra "splash" to my walleye lures.