This is my beta version and is a bit wordy but I wanted to really make it so your average reader can grasp the how too's of painting. Let me know what improvements can be made, because I'm sure there are some.
Step One: Supplies
You should be able to find most everything you need at your local hardware store.
1) Masking tape: 3M's Scotch Blue¯ painters tape works great and is easy to remove.
2) Rubber plugs and wooden dowels: These will come in handy when you're plugging up sensitive holes or needing something to hold on to while painting.
3) Solvents: We recommend one small can of Lacquer Thinner and a small can of Paint Thinner.
5) Latex or vinyl gloves
6) Disposable Tea spoon set
7) Exacto Knife
8) Air Brush or Paint Gun. Preferable with a needle/nozzle of .5 but a 1.0 should be ok as well
9) Air compressor
Step Two: Prep
1) First, find a well-ventilated area with plenty of light and away from anything that may be damaged by overspray.
2) Disassemble your marker removing all internal components that could be damaged by the painting process.
3) Mask, plug, and stick any hole or area that may be sensitive to paint, such as threads, ends of a barrel, etc... You can use a piece of wooden dowel with the end tightly wrapped with tape to get a net fit to almost any hole. The dowel can also be used as a handle to hold on to while painting.
4) We recommend sandblasting your marker and parts. Use 80 to 120 grit aluminum oxide media at approximately 60-80 psi. Make sure all of the old paint is removed. After the blasting is complete use a blow off nozzle to spray any remaining sand off of the marker or parts. It is especially important that you keep the surface of the marker oil free after sandblasting.
5) If you do not have access to a sandblaster you can use soft grit sandpaper (6oo+ Grit) and carefully sand the surface of your marker to give the paint something to "bite"¯ into. Make sure you blow off all the parts once more prior painting.
6) Find a clean area where you can safely set or hang your parts.
7) Before proceeding make sure you have a game plan. Figure out what colors you would like as your most predominant down to the least. I recommend you start by painting the lightest color first and your most predominant color last.
Step Three: Paint
1) Start off by checking over your paint gun or airbrush and compressor. Make sure your paint gun is working and that it is regulated to the proper PSI. This depends entirely on the paint gun or airbrush you are using. Run a little lacquer thinner through it and see how it sprays. You will need to find a balance between your air pressure and the amount of paint you feed before you start painting.
2) To prepare your paint, measure hardener using a teaspoon set and mix approximately 1/4 teaspoon of hardener per 1 oz of paint. Blend the two together and load your gun. After the hardener is added to the paint, the paint then has a shelf life of only 4-6 hours and after that it is unusable.
3) Test your paint gun or air brush one more time using the mixed paint to make sure it's working properly and adjust as needed before you start painting your marker.
4) Begin spraying roughly 4-6 inches away with straight, flowing passes over the length of the gun or part.
5) After spraying the bulk of the marker or part, examine and paint any missed areas with brief sprays, allowing it to dry before hitting it again to avoid paint build up.
6) Allow plenty of time to dry. If you proceed laying the vinyl stencils too soon, the paint will not have enough time to outgas and your paint may lift up when you remove the stencils at the end of the paint job.
Step Four: Laying the Stencils
It is important to remember to keep your hands oil free during this process.
1) After the parts are completely dry, lay them on a soft surface (a stack of paper towels or soft cloth will do just fine).
2) Carefully use your razor knife to pick the digital stencils off the vinyl sheet.
3) Lay the stencils on the marker, keeping them flat to the surface and square to the gun. If you have trouble keeping the vinyl stuck to the surface (this will usually occur around bumps and curves), you can use a blow dryer to soften the vinyl to help contour around edges. If you are dealing with a sharp edge that the vinyl can't bend around, make small relief cuts using your razor knife (being careful not to cut into the paint job) and patch up any slits with small squares of vinyl or tape.
4) To help keep you on track, find an example of the digital camouflage that you are copying and place it next to your work area to reference from.
5) Start with the larger sizes of stencil and work your way down to small squares, keeping in mind how much of this color you want in your camouflage. Don't get carried away.
6) Once your finished laying the stencils, make sure all the vinyl is adhering to the marker. If so, you are ready for your next coat.
Step Five: Repeat
1) From here it is simply a matter of repeating steps 3 and 4. Always keep in mind that this takes allot of time. Don't rush your self.
2) Make sure you keep your hands clean and oil free.
3) After you have painted your last color and have given it enough time to dry, you can now begin to remove the stencils.
Step Six: Stencil removal and final coat
1) To remove the stencils simply use your fingernail to carefully pick up one edge and peal back. You can also use a thin soft piece of wood to help pick the stencil off.
2) After you think you've gotten all the stencils picked off, go over it 6 more times making sure you've got every single one (you think I'm kidding don't you?).
3) You may have noticed a sticky residue the stencils left behind. The best way to get this off is to dampen a soft rag with paint thinner (do NOT use liqueur thinner). Softly run it over the sticky areas, it should come up fairly easy.
4) Once it's wiped down and all the paint thinner is dry, blow off the marker removing any fabric or dust.
5) Look over your marker one last time to make sure you have not missed anything. This is the last time you can make any major changes. If you are happy with your camouflage, you are ready to clear coat.
6) Clear coat is the final step in camouflaging your marker and though it is not necessary, I would highly recommend it. It adds and even sheen to your camouflage along with a final protective coating. Mixing is much the same as step three but requires more care in its application. Clear coat is not as forgiving as the other paints and will give a gloss sheen if allowed to build up. To avoid this- decrease the amount of paint released by the spray gun, spray 6-9 inches away, and make fast passes allowing time for the clear coat to dry before making another pass.
7) After the clear coat is totally dry, reassemble your marker and enjoy or new camouflage.
I also want to know what YOU think a reasonably price paint kit should run for and if there is a demand for just the digitaly cut vinyl it's self for those who just want to use a spray can at home. Let me know, thank you!
This post has been edited by Big Bone: 01 February 2009 - 03:31 AM