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Applying white paint

Q: Can you please provide some hints and tips on the application of white paint?  

I have tried enamels, acrylics, lacquers, and Krylon paint via an airbrush and spray cans, all over a nice primer, and the results are frustrating and marginal.  

The color never seems to dry completely, and the coverage, even with dusting coats, appears heavy.  

I have tried using flat white and applying a satin or gloss finish over it, but the results are not what I’m looking for. Any hints or suggestions?

Nick Dragone
via E-mail

Ken: The characteristics of colors vary in terms of opacity, pigment levels, and a few other scientific aspects that are way over our heads here in the Workshop; but technically, white paint shouldn’t act differently than any other color when it comes to application.  

Because this is such a chronic problem, try experimenting with many different types of white paint, keeping thorough notes of the brand name, thinning procedures, air pressure if you’re using your airbrush, distance to subject, and any other notes you can think of. Keep a record of the results of each experiment as well.  

It’ll take time, but by approaching the problem systematically and keeping track of the results, you just might find a solution.

Meanwhile, we’ll ask our readers to share any similar instances where white paint has gone wrong, and how they solved the problem.


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