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Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

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Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

Old 11-22-2007, 08:04 PM
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grotto2
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Default Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

That’s what I was sayin’! Along with a few more words that can’t be printed here. After several enjoyable sessions of putting a rainbow of PPG (Radio South) colors on my fiberglass fuselage, I prepped and sprayed the clear.

And it never quite kicked.

I think I know some of the reasons in retrospect. The wrong combination of temperature, catalyst, maybe even type of catalyst and reducer. But at any rate I screwed up. Horribly. Some modelers may even trash a plane in conditions like this.

It really didn’t seem that bad at first. The surface was touchable, even grabbable to some extent. I tried simply waxing it with a good automotive product and it would look and feel pretty good. But if you had any solvent like alcohol on your hands, it would be like grabbing old chewing gum and stay sticky where you had touched it. And yet even lacquer thinner wouldn’t remove it.

A friend of mine suggested simply exposing it to sunlight and/or giving it a few weeks to cure on out. That sounded reasonable, so I worked around the problem, continuing the setup of the plane and even flying test flights. But it never cured.

Some research on the internet yielded some interesting facts. For one thing, I wasn’t alone. Professional paint & body men occasionally have disasters , too. Can you imagine painting the boss’s beamer over the weekend and having something like this happen? Of course they have ovens, and that can help. But for the most part the solution is to wet sand it off and re-clear. That sounds nasty.

Remember when I said it was like grabbing chewing gum? A couple of years ago my wife picked up some gum on her shoe and tracked it into the carpet of our new car. We drove over to the local Auto Zoom for help and a young lad there quickly sold us a brass brush and a cleaner called De-Solv-It which enabled us to clean up the mess.

You can see where I’m going here.

De-Solv-It is a citrus-based solvent that comes in a spray bottle. There are some similar products available (I think Goo-Gone is one) but I can report only on this one in particular. It smells like oranges and it’s pretty much safe to use on anything. I suppose you could drink it without hurting yourself. I haven’t tried that though, and don’t recommend it.

At any rate, I’m happy to report that I successfully removed the bunged-up clearcoat with this and re-cleared the plane. Hooray!

Here’s how it works. Spray the solvent on the finish in question and start rubbing it with your fingertips. Your fingertips will be the only tool you will need in this operation. It takes about 20 seconds for the solvent to begin to work it’s magic, but at this point you will be able to sense a change in the texture of the paint. Keep rubbing and the paint will begin to roll up into little boogers. (I don’t mean to offend anyone with that term, it’s just the closest thing I know of to describe the phenomena. These boogers are sort of like the remnants you get after using a gum eraser on vellum.) Once you’ve got a pile of wet boogers you will need to get them off before they dry in place. You can do this with a paper towel soaked with plain isopropyl alcohol.

Be patient and repeat until satisfied. In some places I did do a minimal amount of wet sanding with 1000 before prepping and spraying with Dupont Nason clear. I think the way I did this was far less stressful than an out-and-out sandpaper attack.

And I hope my experience gets someone else out of trouble!

Old 11-22-2007, 08:39 PM
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combatpigg
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Default RE: Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

Thanks for sharing your experience. I was going to say that building a box out of styrofoam and installing a 100 watt bulb will bring a 24x24x48" box up to about 150 degrees, which can put the final blow on a unkicked layer......but your solution sounds too good to even go into that .
Old 11-22-2007, 10:04 PM
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Default RE: Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

Hey man, its Thanksgiving ! Not Holloween ! Thats one scarey story.
Old 11-23-2007, 12:16 PM
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Default RE: Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

I have to add that I'm really thrilled with the results of the Nason 496-00 clear in finishing up this mess. There was some learning involved on my part as the material is quite thin and you have to put on a wet coat or two rather than a fuzz followed by a wet.

And the cost was low. A quart plus catalyst plus a can of fisheye ran me about $41 at the local auto paint shop.
Old 11-24-2007, 11:04 AM
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Allie33
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Default RE: Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

Hey Ron,

What comments in your discussions did you get on misting catalyst
on the semi-cured clear? I have often wondered about that.

Al in Buffalo
Old 11-24-2007, 12:54 PM
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grotto2
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Default RE: Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

I've never heard of that, Al.

But on the reverse side, I did read about some car guys that have had the surface of the clear kick and seal off the wet clear underneath so that it could not. Sanding the surface was necessary to get it to breathe.
Old 12-18-2007, 03:24 PM
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Default RE: Oh No! The clearcoat didn’t kick!

If the surface you painted was fiberglass, just use acetone. It wipes the paint right off, right down to the fiberglass, and won't hurt the glass either.

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