M.L. Toys
M.L. Toys
HobbyMasters M.L. Toys
Help with your Paint & Body Modifications
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By Deere Green
Hello to all. If you are like me and most of the project pages that I have read this far indicate this, you think that this stuff is kids play and do not find helpful sites like this until you have donated your first project to the trash and labeled it as a learning experience. To avoid this I thought that it would be helpful for some to gain insight through my “learning experiences.” Well To start off I understand that getting old stickers off is a common complaint. The best thing to use is a hair dryer to heat the sticker and peel off (this is a pain staking process I know). Goo Gone works well on any residue left behind with a little elbow grease mixed in there.


I cannot tell you how important the preparation of the subsurface is. You should spend more time preparing your project for paint then you do in any other step of painting. If you do not you will be sorry and all your hard work will be for nil. So crack that 3rd 4th or 5th beer and keep cleaning or sanding. You will end up starting over, as I did here, if you stop at the second beer.
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Step 1:
THROUGHLY clean the plastic.

Step 2:
Scuff the surface using wet/dry sandpaper (I generally use 320 or 400 grit if the surface is in good condition). Your project will have a light dusting of plastic and should feel smooth to the touch at this point. If not keep sanding, work your way up to 800 or 1000 grit if needed. Just a side note; if your project has a deep scratch or gouge you will need to bondo it up. The bondo will not hold on smooth plastic alone, so apply it after your first sanding (making sure to clean the dust off before you apply the bondo). When the bondo has dried, use a straight block with sandpaper to sand it smooth, this will make sure you avoid dips or valleys in final product.

At this point your project will start to look like this.
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Step 3:
Clean the plastic again. This time using a mild cleaning solution that will cut through any remaining grease (I use a Windex type product) and then let it FULLY dry.

Step 4:
Using a Krylon paint for your base coat apply a dusting (Due to all that sanding and if you needed to bondo anything the dusting allows the first full coat of paint to have a good even surface with the same base material to bond to). Allow the paint to flash (Dry) which is usually around a 20 min process. Now apply your first full coat of Krylon making sure to get even coverage.

Understanding that many of us doing these projects have little ones, remember that any paint fumes and even the fine particles of plastic dust are not good for you. Even in a well ventilated area, make sure you wear the proper respirator or mask to insure you are not breathing this stuff! You are not Superman and this crap is bad for your health.

Project will be looking like this now!
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So at this point you know if your preparation work was done correctly. If not you will get small areas where it looks like the paint is not bonding to the plastic. These areas will usually show up in clusters of little circles about the size of a felt tip pen or a little larger. If this happens lightly sand the area and clean as this problem is usually caused by an area not thoroughly cleaned or by trace amounts of grease (yes your finger prints leave oils so wear gloves). Apply multiple dustings to this area and then recoat your project.

If your project did get prepared correctly it is up to you if you feel the need to lightly sand this first coat for a perfectly smooth surface before applying the second coat (I recommend it).

More to come a little later.

User avatar
By Deere Green
Step 5:
If you did sand your project after the first coat make sure to clean again and apply a second coat. I generaly wait 24 hours after my first coat before I try sanding anything.

Extremely Important ***** After the second coat allow the project to FULLY cure ***** The can says seven (7) days. If you do not do this the paint will not have the correct bond and there is a possibility of spider veins showing up from the material below shrinking on your next coat.

Project with Second Coat
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Step 6:
You are ready for clear coat at this point if your base color was your final intended color. If you are two toning or doing something funky now is the time to tape off and start any detail work. Make sure to use a tape that will not leave a residue behind. After your big ideas are implemented apply another even coat being sure to avoid heavy areas that will result in runs (remember this, you can always apply one more coat and not only will your family enjoy the time this saves but so will your arm from the hours of sanding and prep work you just avoided).

Let your Project FULLY cure again.

Here I taped off the fenders and the seat on the Lil Wrangler Deere Project to give it a mind of its own.
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Step 7:
Well this is the point where you will be ready for clear coat if you went mad with colors and pin stripes. I always apply at least two (2) coats of clear. This is where you can make or break your final look so take time to shoot a practice piece and determine the coverage you get as well as how thick your product should be applied for the best look. After your clear coat you should let the project cure and apply any decals.

Here is the Final product of the Lil Wrangler Deere Project.
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User avatar
By Deere Green
Thought it was about time to update this post after some further learning on painting plastic. This reply will list some of the common reasons I have found for the crinkle even when using the Krylon.

First, I have learned that you need to sand the project down if you intend to use more than one coat.

Second, Any areas where you lay the paint on to thick will crinkle with the addition of another coat (this includes a clear coat). It sounds stupid but make a plan of how you are going to atack your paint job and stick to it. Do not try new things in the middle of a paint project and do not get any hair brain ideas that you think there is a way to short cut the steps listed in this link. If you do YOU WILL FAIL AND YOUR PROJECT WILL LOOK LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN THE TRASH. Sorry to be so harsh but there are no short cuts and others have most likley already tried you million dollar idea and it is not on the back of the can because it did not work!

Third, if you intend to apply multiple coats within the hour make sure you have your final look before you stop. Do not apply another coat a week later if say you did 3 coats within 2 hours when you started the paint project. I have tried to wait the full cure time and if you apply another coat a week later on top of the original 3 coats in my experience you will have some area on your project crinkle.

Fourth, using different types of paints. Use only oil base with oil base and so on.

Last one to mention is the most common and that is lack of prep. Sand it, clean it and take your time if you are looking for a good end result.

Will continue to post as I learn. Thanks for reading.

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