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woodspud1

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone,
i am fairly new to toy making & wood painting in general,should i, or do i need to "prime" my wood project before doing finish coat.
any tips welcome,
Thanks.
Wombat

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hello and welcome woodspud1.

The question you ask is akin to "how long is a piece of string".
May I respectfully suggest that you have a good long read of the posts in the category "Painting tips and Techniques"
There is a wealth of good information in there.

If you use craft style acrylic paints, these can go onto wood as is, without the need for a primer/undercoat. it may take a few coats to achieve a good solid look.
 If what you meant by primer is what is called undercoat, then sometimes, an appropriate undercoat , suitably sanded back, can ensure that you get a much better finish in your product, with fewer coats.

Primer + Undercoat+ topcoat is generally reserved for painting houses
Painting Toys is not the same type of job as house painting, so you will not need the ubiquitous "Pink Primer"

BadBob

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Reply with quote  #3 

It depends on what you are going to use for a finish.

Some paint doesn't need any primer.

If you need to seal knots or some pitchy wood, yes, you need a primer-sealer.

I always seal MDF with shellac.

I have had wood that specific finishes would not cure properly on. They need a primer-sealer.

Shellac doesn't need a primer.

Polyurethane does not need primer, but you may need to seal the wood.

Craft acrylics may not need primer or sealer depending on the paint you are using and the color. For example, if you want a bright yellow, you need a white primer.

If you want a finish smooth or glossy, you should prime sand and prime again until it feels smooth to the touch.

Are you confused yet?


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woodspud1

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks Wombat,Yes it was undercoat i was thinking of,think i will try both ways "with & without" on some scraps.Thanks again for your time.woodspud1.
woodspud1

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks BadBob,will try a few test pieces with & without primer,undercoat & shellac.Thanks for your time.woodspud1.
Martin L

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Reply with quote  #6 
A lot of undercoats on the market today have a sealer in them already.  One I often use is a sealer/undercoat I was put onto it by my local hardware store and is a first class on all timbers as well as M.D.F. 

PaPa Jack

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Reply with quote  #7 
Martin what is the mane of the product you are using for sealer/undercoat/  also what is a undercoat - a primer?  are you using the sealer BEFORE you paint ?  As you can see I am new at this.
Wombat

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Reply with quote  #8 
Papa Jack.
The purpose of a Sealer is to seal ( or block off) the open pores of the timber, so that there is no difference in the way end-grain behaves compared to the side of the timber.  
 Normally, softwoods have very porous end-grains which soak up paint like a sponge, needing many coats to match the result on the other surfaces.  A sealer can reduce this effect.  Often as not, the sealer looks like watered down PVA glue, and dries clear.

The term "Primer" and "undercoat" seem to mean different things depending on which country you live in.  In Australia, the term primer usually means the first coat of paint on raw timber  ( Prime=number1 or first) to seal and prepare the wood surface to accept an Undercoat.  Primer is often grey/pink/white and can block stains, sap or oiliness, discolouration due to knots etc.
The Undercoat builds film thickness  by generally being a thicker bodied paint that dries to a matt finish and is then sanded back a bit to achieve a smooth even surface ready to accept the top-coat ( colour/color).
A normal undercoat applied directly over unsealed wood will soak into end grain as described above.

The paint Martin described has a blend of both primer and undercoat together in one tin, saving one painting step.

A Sealer is not to be confused with  the layer of clear coat that we toymakers often apply over the top of the colour coat/s, to give added shine and lustre.

My brother, who has been a professional Painter all his working life, once told me that it takes the same amount of coloured paint to produce a bad finish as it does to produce a great finish, the difference is in how well prepared the surface is upon which it is applied.

Look at the finish on the toys made by people who offer you advice, accept it only if you like what you see.
Have a good look at the perfect finish BadBob achieves on his toys, and heed his words of wisdom on surface prep.


Martin L

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Papa Jack,

Wombat has stolen my thunder as this is what I advise anyone in painting any object.  I usually get my paints from Trade Paints in Laverton North (I am in Melbourne Australia).  If I was you I would go to my local paint shop and talk to them and explain to them what you are doing, as different countries have different brands of paint and varying quality of paints as well as price.  I hope that this helps, Martin
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #10 
I add some people (customers in my case) like the toys to look hand made. I know this because I have had them ask for it. I can take a piece of construction lumber and make it as slick and shiny as my F150, but at that point, it looks like plastic.

It just depends on the look you want.

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BadBob

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wombat

Look at the finish on the toys made by people who offer you advice, accept it only if you like what you see.
Have a good look at the perfect finish BadBob achieves on his toys, and heed his words of wisdom on surface prep.

My finishes are far from perfect. My 24-megapixel camera tells me this. [rolleyes]

If you want a smooth finish surface prep is the name of the game and sandpaper is your friend.

Thanks for the compliment.


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PaPa Jack

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks so much to everyone!!  I was determined to paint a toy circus train with everything painted including the animals.  It turned out to be a mess.  I had to paint each piece three times to get a shinny finish, taping, etc. and I really don't have a proper painting station.  Then I realized my spray cans were probably not child safe so I really had a mess.  Then is read the "air brushing" article and my interest was stirred again -  Just not sure.  They do look light bought toys painted says my wife!  I now know why my friend in Calif (that passed away last year or so) charged $25 for the antique Ford car toy and I sell it for $8 in shows.  Not criticizing anyone, I really applaud you painting guys but I am still having problems justifying the expense and time in painting the toys.  The customers I have every year at craft fairs and festivals will not pay the kind of prices to sell what I make.  Has really been a dilemma for me.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #13 
Painting toys is very time-consuming. For example, a Play Pal pickup truck takes me three to four times as long to paint as it does to make not counting the waiting time between coats.

Painting is a skill you have to learn and practice to get an excellent finish. It would be best if you also had an eye for what colors are attractive and go together well.

Kids like colors and parents like wood. I find that a good compromise is only to use colors as accents. For instance, I round over and paint the ends of the axels on my Play Pals.

I don't sell at any craft shows. All of my selling is done online to worldwide customers. Online is an entirely different venue than craft shows.

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Martin L

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Reply with quote  #14 
So very true Bad Bob I have found that the painting is the longest part of the making of a toy.  So I try to have several toys to the same stage before I start painting.
BadBob

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Reply with quote  #15 
I recently made some samples so a customer could choose the color she wanted. I learned that I don't want to paint multiple toys in different colors. I had six toys on my bench, and each color required me to clean up before proceeding to the next color. It seemed like I spent more time cleaning than painting.

I took four days to finish them. I was mostly waiting for paint to dry so I could sand and apply the next coat. Shellac would have been done in two hours.

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