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Rosiejane

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm getting so frustrated with the paint finish that I'm getting. I'm using ordinary matte acrylic craft paint and then applying a brush on water based gloss varnish. I've been light sanding between coats. Getting a satisfactory paint finish is rather hard although it may be because I'm using the cheapest paint the craft shop had. After much sanding, painting, sanding, buffing, etc, I finally get a coat which I think is okay as a final coat and then put the varnish on (slightly watered down to aid with flow). As suggested in many posts, I also sand lightly between varnish coats but this seems to then leave darker and lighter spots which is just preserved by any future coats of varnish.
I've read through all the painting tip posts and have been trying to follow the suggested techniques but it doesn't seem to be working. I'm getting a really shiny smooth surface but not an even colour.
What am I doing wrong??

2016-08-29 11.59.02.jpg 

Rod T

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi Rosie

I'm probably not going to be much help here, as I haven't done a lot of painting of toys and I am always left with brush marks when I do.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things though.

Only thing that I can think of is maybe the tannins in the wood are leaching through and causing the discolouration. Might be worth painting a primer on first. 

Cheers
Rod T
Rosiejane

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Reply with quote  #3 
Possibly. Although I'm tending to think that it's more as a result of the sanding process. It's hard to explain. Whenever a painted surface is sanded, it changes it to a lighter colour. It's fine sandpaper I'm using and it's nice and smooth, but it's almost like I'm not sanding evenly or something. On the next one I'll try a primer or sealer first and see how I go. Thanks Rod.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #4 
I came back and looked at this several times and finally blew it up big enough that I think I can see what you are talking about.

The only thing that a occurs to me is that maybe your paint or varnish isn't mix as good as it should be.

What kind of varnish are you using?

Are you sure it's ok to put the varnish over the paint you are using?

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Rosiejane

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks Bob, both paint and varnish are water based so they should work ok together. The varnish is quite old though. I usually put a dollop on a tray and mix it with a few drops of water to thin it a bit. Maybe I need to mix it more thoroughly before I do this. I thought that applying the varnish might even out the finish a bit but it just preserves what is left after sanding (I do wipe it down after sanding to get rid of the dust) I'm still leaning towards it being something to do with my sanding process. When you sand, do you also get 'sanding marks'? Not deep 'scratches' from the sandpaper, but simply a difference in colour from unsanded part? It's kind of hard to explain what I mean. Possibly also a bit of overbrushing...More practice needed I guess.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #6 
When you sand. Do you work your way throught the grits from coarse to fine sanding until the scratches are smoothed out from the previous grit?

I use distilled/deionized water to thin any water based finished. You never know how the dissolved minerals or chemicals added by the water company might react with you finish.

Sanding a finished surface tends to dull the finish. If the sanding is not even you are only sanding the high spots you will see a difference that might appear to be a color change but its just that the high spots are getting sanded more and therefore have more fine scratches. To get a glossy finish you have to sand it evenly smooth.

You might try sanding with sanding sponges or a scotch brite pad. These should get into the low areas pretty well but they will not flatten the surface.

The only way I know to get a smooth glossy finish is to use paint that flows well and sand smooth between coats.

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Rosiejane

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for the tips BadBob. I've been working through the grits 120, 180, 240 then sometimes through to 320 and 400. I bought some grey and white pads (000 & 0000 SW equivalents - not scotch-brite brand though) and will experiment with those. My problems seem to come when I get to coats 3 or 4. I've been using a cheap craft paint that is quite 'gritty' and I find I am 'overbrushing' when trying to smooth it out. Sounds like I need to pay closer attention to sanding more evenly. I bought a couple of colours in a different brand this week and I'm keen to find it they apply better. I think I'll grab a bit of scrap and practice, practice, practice...won't have the mistakes happening on my finished projects then (hopefully)
ctowne

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Reply with quote  #8 
Also Rosiejane - I cannot really see, we are our worst critics, but I had a bad reaction with some craft paint and water based poly.  It was a specific color and it just looked bad and got worse as I tried to fix.  I just threw the paint out (small craft bottle).  The brand was good on all other colors but something about this one bottle was not good.  My 2 cents, it was something I could not explain or duplicate. 
Rosiejane

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks Cindy. I've had lots of problems with the white I use. It never occurred to me that it may be a bad batch/reaction...I just assumed that all of the paints of the same brand would behave the same. I'm looking forward to trying the new paints that I got this week.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #10 
You might find one of these use full for mixing paints. They work great for those small bottles that the craft paints come in. You could also try putting a nut or marble small enough to fit through the neck of the bottle so you can mix your paint better by shaking the bottle. Craft paint has large pigment particles in it that tend to settle to the bottom. Some of them can be quite difficult to get mixed after they settle.

Paint Mixer.jpg 



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Rosiejane

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks BadBob. I've been using the marble idea in some of the bottles. Certainly makes a difference.
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