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Spraying enamel on top of acrylics


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I've always used acrylics but wish to have a go at masks to spray national markings. Only problem is the most accurate colours for roundels etc are in enamels. What's the safest way of spraying enamels on my acrylic top coats ?

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Whenever I have a similar query I try Google (no, I'm not going to lecture you on using Google :))


The thing is every question like this appears to get answers from yes, no problem to no it'll destroy your model and everything between. I think the safest answer is to test what you are planning to do on scrap plastic or an old model.


My cautious answer would be that if the acrylic is fully cured (that may take days) and the enamel is applied in light coats, it should be fine. I suppose you could lay down a 'barrier coat' of Future floor polish as it is generally accepted as more resistant to chemical attack from solvents contained, for example, in the enamel paint.


It may be easier (in the long term) and safer to start experimenting with mixing the colours you need from acrylics - just a thought...



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I've applied:


  • enamel over acrylic
  • acrylic over enamel
  • cellulose based paint over acrylic
  • cellulose based paint over enamel
  • enamel over cellulose based paint
  • acrylic over cellulose based paint
  • enamel over lacquer
  • lacquer over acrylic
  • lacquer over cellulose based paint


......and on, and on, and on and on...all with no issues. If you apply your paint over a fully cured paint below, and in thin coats, I can't see you having any issues. I know this depends on paint brand/formulation, but here is what I use.



Gunze (Cellulose and Aqueous)


Model Master enamel

Humbrol enamel


White Ensign enamels


I also thin all Gunze paints with Mr Levelling Thinner.


The only issue I have EVER had has been applying Humbrol Clear over ANY Gunze paints, even after leaving to cure. It causes the paint to crackle and break up.

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