1st Build Spray painting crisp lines

AnAgileKoala

New Member
If anybody has any tips on getting spray paint to have crisp line I would greatly appreciate it. I have been 3D printing a suit of armor from Halo:Reach and I cant get clean lines when using painters tape and the spray paint. I have tried Scotch Blue with Edge Guard and Frog tape but I couldn't get smooth lines with either. I only chose spray paint over hand painting due to the ability to not have brush strokes on the large faces of the armor and paint matching the spray to an acrylic may be a challenge to do any touch up. Again any tips would be greatly appreciated.
 

FalseShepherd

Well-Known Member
I have always had good luck with frog tape. Press it down tight and apply spray paint in light layers until you reach your desired opacity. Maybe the tape is having trouble adhering to the print material? Can you throw up a few pics of the pieces?
 

AnAgileKoala

New Member
I have always had good luck with frog tape. Press it down tight and apply spray paint in light layers until you reach your desired opacity. Maybe the tape is having trouble adhering to the print material? Can you throw up a few pics of the pieces? this is the piece I used frog tape on. I`ve done spray paint projects before and I`ve never had it leak this much. The yellow went on top of the purple, so could it just be the tape didn't adhere well to the paint under it? Also the purple paint had dried for over 48 hours before I taped up and painted the yellow.
This is the piece that I used frog tape on. I`ve done spray painting projects before and I`ve never had it leak this bad. It was painted with primer first then a full base of purple, and lastly the yellow. The purple was given more than 48 hours to dry as the can instructs before it was taped up and painted yellow. Could it just possible the tape didn't adhere well to the paint?
 

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FalseShepherd

Well-Known Member
Huh.. that's ridiculous. I have never had issues like that. Some of it looks like you maybe had a crease or something in the tape (on the curves). Curves are really hard to tape up.

Only other thing I can think of is spray lighter layers. It could be that the tape didn't want to stick to the paint. It looks kinda glossy... The other thing is that some of the small stuff is easy to hide with weathering depending on how heavily you are gonna weather.
 

Electraknite

Active Member
So one trick that actually is common in painting walls, put your tape and stencils down then use the base color paint or clear varnish to seal the tape. If it bleeds under the tape you won’t see it. Then paint your new color on top.
 

AnAgileKoala

New Member
So one trick that actually is common in painting walls, put your tape and stencils down then use the base color paint or clear varnish to seal the tape. If it bleeds under the tape you won’t see it. Then paint your new color on top.
That`s a good idea I`ll try that on my next piece. Thanks!
 

AnAgileKoala

New Member
Huh.. that's ridiculous. I have never had issues like that. Some of it looks like you maybe had a crease or something in the tape (on the curves). Curves are really hard to tape up.

Only other thing I can think of is spray lighter layers. It could be that the tape didn't want to stick to the paint. It looks kinda glossy... The other thing is that some of the small stuff is easy to hide with weathering depending on how heavily you are gonna weather.
I was trying to light coats with the yellow as it was a thinner spray paint more runny than most I`ve used, it just was a yellow I liked. I want to do some weathering on it but I`m not very familiar with the techniques so I didn't want to do to much till I got some practice in and this would probably take a good bit to cover up all of the leaks.
 

SgtSaint

Jr Member
Yeah its 8 bucks a roll, but damn it makes nice lines. Its not paper. Its some kind of mylar-ish material. So it doesn't wick the paint in.
I use it in combination with my Scan&Cut machine (like a cricket) to make spray paint masks for props. The chevrons on the slide of this pistol were done with it.
MarineHeavy.jpg

I'll also point out the parts you're paint are rough. You can't expect the tape to follow all those ridges: That's just not going to happen. (FDM print?) If you're not going to sand it smooth then you might need to consider some sort of liquid mask, then tape over that.
Maybe also consider 100 short straight lines instead of trying to curve a wide piece of tape.
Or, get thinner tape for the curved part then mask to that. Auto body pin striping is vinyl. It will stretch and bend a bit nicer. Electric tape will do that too.
 

AnAgileKoala

New Member
SgtSaint makes a good point. If your prints aren't smoothed/sanded enough the tape won't stick in between the grooves.
Yea it definitely wasn't my finest prepping for paint. It was my first piece and probably should have sanded more and done another coat of the primer filler. My newer pieces are smoother I just wanted to check with more knowledgeable people to make sure that didn't happen again.
 

Callianis

Member
Yea it definitely wasn't my finest prepping for paint. It was my first piece and probably should have sanded more and done another coat of the primer filler. My newer pieces are smoother I just wanted to check with more knowledgeable people to make sure that didn't happen again.
I also was going to suggest the print lines would create little "bridges" that the paint would seep under, and that perhaps you're also using extremely runny paint. The 2 joined forces as they wanted to be Captain Planet.

Once I've done higher grit sanding, I hit my prints with automotive filler primer or spray putty. It fills in those fine lines and you can get a silky smooth surface (clogs sand paper fast though).

Enamels can take up to a week to fully cure. This would allow you to make certain the tape has a good seal (ie rub it down firmly and smoothly), while avoiding pulling up paint when you wanted to remove the tape.

Edit: Just saw this is a month old, despite recently getting a "here's what you missed" email recently.
 

AnAgileKoala

New Member
I also was going to suggest the print lines would create little "bridges" that the paint would seep under, and that perhaps you're also using extremely runny paint. The 2 joined forces as they wanted to be Captain Planet.

Once I've done higher grit sanding, I hit my prints with automotive filler primer or spray putty. It fills in those fine lines and you can get a silky smooth surface (clogs sand paper fast though).

Enamels can take up to a week to fully cure. This would allow you to make certain the tape has a good seal (ie rub it down firmly and smoothly), while avoiding pulling up paint when you wanted to remove the tape.

Edit: Just saw this is a month old, despite recently getting a "here's what you missed" email recently.
I think I use the same primer/filler. It says its for automotive and now I sand low grit to high with 3 different grits before I prime and after just to try to get it as smooth as possible. I only let my paint dry for three days usually before I tape up for the next layer, just cause imp trying to get it all done before September. Also the paint is one of the more runny paints I've used it just such a nice color and I cant find it by another brand.
 

Callianis

Member
I think I use the same primer/filler. It says its for automotive and now I sand low grit to high with 3 different grits before I prime and after just to try to get it as smooth as possible. I only let my paint dry for three days usually before I tape up for the next layer, just cause imp trying to get it all done before September. Also the paint is one of the more runny paints I've used it just such a nice color and I cant find it by another brand.
Once you do get a smooth surface and nicely smoothed down tape, follow the earlier advice of light coats, but make it VERY light coats for the first few coats. The first would be a "mist" (often recommended on the can's instructions) and the next few so light you'll need a few coats before you can't see the colour underneath. This might help stop bleed. Drying time can be faster too. Subsequent coats you could probably go heavier.

And now I'm out of ideas ;)
 

GrmblBACHx

Jr Member
If anybody has any tips on getting spray paint to have crisp line I would greatly appreciate it. I have been 3D printing a suit of armor from Halo:Reach and I cant get clean lines when using painters tape and the spray paint. I have tried Scotch Blue with Edge Guard and Frog tape but I couldn't get smooth lines with either. I only chose spray paint over hand painting due to the ability to not have brush strokes on the large faces of the armor and paint matching the spray to an acrylic may be a challenge to do any touch up. Again any tips would be greatly appreciated.
Try a different type of painters tape and make sure to push down the edges again before painting. If you don't like the edges, sand and repaint.
 

PerniciousDuke

RCO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S128
I'd also recommend short pieces of tape. Like if I'm doing a curved edge I'll likely have like ten 1/2" pieces following the curve as close as possible.
 

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