Painting Decoy Tips

Share tips and ask questions on all types of duck decoys. Including working, classics, collectable, and carving decoys.

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Painting Decoy Tips

Postby Wags » Sat Feb 26, 2005 6:34 pm

Over the winter I acquired 5 doz decoys through an Estate Sale. All the decoys are in excellent condition condition, they just need painted. I purchased Herter's paint and was wondering any tips on painting them?

i.e. brush type and size, what work best for you when you painted yours. I'm open for any suggestions. Thanks
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Postby DUKHTR » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:11 am

Wags.....what kind of decoys? (PLASTICS?)....it does make a difference. I would not recommend the Herter's paint, but since you already have it we can go from there. Preparation is the key to success and durability.

There are a few posts/threads already noting preparation of plastics and paints......do a search in this forum and see what you can find....otherwise, give details to make it easier to reply adequately.
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Postby Wags » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:22 pm

Plastic Decoys. I'll do a more thorough search.

Thank you.
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Postby SwampHunter » Mon Feb 28, 2005 8:56 pm

Plastic is the hardest thing in the world to get paint to adhere to. Mostly because of mold release and plastic is so slick in nature. This is why you see the oldest companies in the business still have paint that comes off from time to time. :thumbsup:
You will have to get the mold release off before you do anything. I just use soap, water and a stiff plastic brush, but some folks flame treat them or use acetone..... and then some folks use both acetone and flame treating. Sand blasting the decoy has been the absolute best, but this is difficult for most folks to do since cabinet style sandblasters can be difficult to have access to.

I have painted hundreds and hundreds of plastics with several different things and tried several different preps.
Sand blasting the decoy has been the absolute best, but this is difficult for most folks to do since cabinet style sandblasters can be difficult to have access to.
Some easy to find products that I have had good luck with:
Krylon Fusion..... found at Wal-mart in the paint section. Prep according to can and then paint with oil-based paints. I just use this for a primer. It comes in gloss or satin.
Bulldog Adhesion Promotor.... found in auto paint supply stores for bumpers. Prep according to can and then paint with oil based paints.
Jansen Arts Multi-surface Prep and Jansen Arts paints...... found at The Duck Blind.... just do a search. Prep according to instructions and paint with the Jansen Arts paints.



Note: If you get season or two out of the repaints you have done better than most folks. Don't expect alot out of any process that you use. It's basically like flipping a coin. Experiment to see what works best and always follow the instructions on the products.
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Postby DUKHTR » Tue Mar 01, 2005 7:59 am

great prep tips from Swamp....I definitely use acetone and flash....even on the 2 part foam heads I use on my own decoys........another key is keeping oils from your hands off the plastic....wear gloves....they are cheap.....he also has good suggestons on the primers....I use rustoleum's plastic primer...from there you can go a bunch of different ways either using ext flat latex (only $5 a qt at Walmart) or there are sprays such as the Krylon primer in light gray and Rustoleum primer in light gray (if doing drake mallards these are realistic back and side pocket grays)....and now that the Krylon camo colors are out they are also excellent.....use the Khaki for the base on the hen mallards and the brown is great for the back of the hen. You still will need to do some detail work on the heads and bills, and I use basic acrylics.....and I always finish with Krylon 1311 matte....misted lightly

Cure time is another necessity!!! Do not hurry between steps/coats...leave in dry warm air...do not try to 'bake' in the hot sun.


TIP......clear nail polish on the eyes provides the gloss and protects against marring!
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Postby Wags » Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:14 pm

Outstanding! Thank you for the tips. Sounds like preparation is the main key for the paint to properly adhere to the plastic.
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