View Full Version : Special paints, stains, coatings, & finishes...

04-16-2003, 03:29 AM
I haven't seen a whole lot of posts regarding paints, stains, & coatings... & where to get them & application methods. Coming from a digital design background, I want to incorporate more than just flat colors.

I'm trying to find "rich color" stains, which seem uncommon at best. Most local stores only carry the typical deck stains - which aren't meant to stand out like sign lettering. Saturation levels are low & luminance is minimal. I'm thinking if I can find some rich stains, I can start experimenting with blends of the stains with pearlescent materials, metal flakes, or glitter etc. The result should have vibrance like Dorothy's slippers (well perhaps not that flashy), but still show the wood grain. I know I can use auto paints, as I've read on the forum before, but this would clobber any grain.

Additionally I'm trying to find "glow" or reflective paints that will last in the weather. I've found the typical neon green/yellow, but have yet to find the other basic colors. I'm thinking I might try blending some of this stuff too. Anyone have a good resource on the web with decent prices?

Also- I'm trying to figure out various techniques for creating gradients... not just linear or radial gradients, but the kind you'd get from running something like PhotoPaint's "The Boss" effect or Eye Candy's "The Bevel Boss" to the letters... where glows & shadows are implemented to simulate depth, light, fire... etc. I suspect I'll need to get an airbrush & master frisket cutting...

Finally- one of my favorite styles- classic fruit box / crate label art (like http://www.fruitfromwashington.com/Varieties/art/label_art.htm)... Anyone know a good book on the subject or something related? I see a few out there, but they're typically not the kind of book you can glance through at stores like BN cuz they're special order.

Any response greatly appreciated - John

04-16-2003, 12:13 PM
John any sign outlet supply house will sell sign painters paint like "one shot" or "Pantone" these are oil based and are considered haz mat so you pay a higher rate for shipping actually alot higher plus they cost about $28.00 a quart. if you go to a paint store and buy oil pase paint for houses then you get a good product that you can "doctor up". to get the same glow as the sign painters paint throw in about a teaspoon full of powdered alluminum this gives the same shine as the expensive stuff as they are lead based. Thats Right LEAD Based. To get a translusent effect you need to first under stand about the stains you are thinking about using, stains are either full bodied (covers fully even grain) or simisolid (less fullness) or transparent ( easily see grain) you can achieve the same thing with paint or full bodied stain by cutting down with thinner, usally minneral spirits, this is the basic differance with oilbased stain or paint as to the coverage, now as to the use of metal flake and the such remember as you cut down the paint or stain you have to cut down on the metal. the best way to get what you want is to try,try,try and try again. David in Wyoming

04-16-2003, 12:29 PM
John and everyone else,
I forgot to tell the other trick the sign painters paint uses: when you have house paint mixed not only use oil based paint but have them use double the amount of pigment that the formula calls for, this will give you a paint that is trully a single stroke coverage. David in Wyoming P.S. for those that use water based paint use this same trick and you will see a world of difference.

04-17-2003, 05:01 AM
Some trivia...
The Pantone System is not a paint. It is an ink color mixing system for printers inks.

There are some screen printing inks which can be mixed to simulate Pantone colors, and there are some sign vinyls which are available in Pantone colors, and there is less than a handful of sign paint colors to choose from which have Pantone color names (like reflex blue, process green, process blue, magenta, for example).

The Pantone color charts have thousands of ink colors/shades printed onto paper. Because ink is translucent (lets light pass through) and paint is opaque (light bounces off the surface) paint can never truly match the Pantone ink colors exactly.

Stains are a horse of a different color since they are made to be a transparent paint, essentially. "Solid color" stains is a term which just confuses people in my opinion. If it's solid enough to cover the grain or anything else isn't it just paint?

The OneShot Pearlescent colors are fairly translucent and might make for an interesting stain if you reduced it further with reducer rather than thinners. Thinners like mineral spirits or turps or naptha tend to break down paint, (especially if too much is added) while reducers basically add clear "solids".

The sign suppliers near me sell the pearlescent colors for $8.75 per HALF PINT.
The regular Lettering Enamels range from $16.00 to $46.00 per QUART depending on color.

Creating gradients can be accomplished several ways depending what you want to do. Practice on scrap wood or cardboard first. If you want a background gradient on a flat surface (before router cutting) you can use small 3" paint rollers, using one roller for each main color in the blend. Roll on the lightest color, feathering it into the area you visualize the next color to be. Then use the next color, start it away from the first color already laid down and gradually feather it into the first color. If you need to come back with the first color to blend it more into the second color, use the roller with a light touch. Then work your third color starting away from the second color and then blend into the second color gradually.

You can do the same thing with an airbrush or with regular paint brushes. When trying it with paint brushes, the key is to keep the paint wet long enough to make the blends. For oil based paints you can add a little linseed oil or Penetrol. For water based paints, Floetrol is supposed to be good.

Creating a 3 color shaded convex letter like you would get from "Eye Candy" would probably be handled easiest with a computer cut mask and an airbrush. Or you could digitally print it and replace it every time it fades beyond recognition.

Don't forget, it's only "cool" looking if it remains readable.

04-17-2003, 01:03 PM
Mayo, I stand corrected,The point I was trying to make is that you can get the same or almost the same with oil based house paint as with the more expensive lettering paint. and as to the reducer issue you are 100% right in the fact that they add clear solids and that a thinner breaks down paint if to much is used but first remember that oil based paint first is very thick and is designed to be cut with a thinner to the point of almost 25% thinner without any break down this allows for spraying,The reducers if you use the right ones can be very beneficial as you can use slow reducer or rapid reducer with rapid reducer you can have oilbase paint dry in about 3 or 4 hours instead of overnight etc. as to linseed oil or penetrol you have to be carefull not to use to much as it will cause the paint to lay on top and not penitrate as well due to the nature of oil in other words you can emulsify the paint to much kind of like pouring motor oil on wood and then seeing that it never truly dries. Floetrol is a good product for keeping a wet edge and stoping roller or brush overlap marks from happening in water based paint it is an emucifier made from latex. And I apologize to the makers of Pantone for calling it a paint, wasn't thinking, I use their chart alot to custom mix my own paint using a computer analyzer I bought from a paint supply house. David in Wyoming

04-17-2003, 06:00 PM
Thanks guys... Sounds like the thing to do would be to master creation of my own stains/coatings & experiment. I found a ton of links on the subject.

Here's one for Analine colorants... but I've heard they're vulnerable to UV rays... "unstable" was the term- but with the right UV protecting clearcoat maybe not...



There's a bunch on industrial metal flake, pearlescent, photoluminescent... you name it... somebody sells it direct...