Let’s look at the blue pieces now. A helpful technique is to use toothpicks to stand your pieces up from the cardboard if you need good coverage on all sides of a piece that won’t sit flat. The pictures don’t depict this especially well, but the buttons had a gloss finish, and after dying they maintained somewhat of a gloss (although not as much as before). The other pieces were the matte finish you’re familiar with.
vinyl dye holds up well under use, even on buttons
the old toothpick trick
remember, lots of thin coats
Here’s my red and blue pieces together. You can see I always use this product outdoors. The fumes are overpowering. One problem with working outdoors (there are many problems, but this is one) is getting bugs in your paintjob. Luckily, dye isn’t too tacky, and dries really quickly (especially with thin coats!), so kamikaze bugs are less of a problem than with paint. Check out what was going on in my yard when I did these.
my outdoor paint shop
these are hackberry psyllids, just fyi.
Yes, I got bugs all over my pieces. No, it wasn’t a problem (nuisance, maybe). Everything turned out fine. However, I knew painting outside would not be an option. I left my pieces in the sun to cure and proceeded in to the garage for my paint work. Now even with my respirator, I can’t work in a confined space with paint fumes, so I had to open my garage door. I tried to stay as far back from the opening as I could to make it harder for the bugs to find me, but that was only partially successful.
For the metal, I used Rustoleum Painter’s Choice, deep blue. It’s available at Home Depot, unlike the dye which comes from auto parts store. I liked the color, which is why I got it, but the Painter’s choice paint is a line from Rustoleum without the rust preventative properties of regular Rustoleum. I have always gotten good results with Rustoleum, so I thought I’d try this paint. I was quite pleased.
Here’s my metal housing after a single coat. The best thing I did here was to use thin coats, because the little bugs were seemingly attracted by the fumes. I don’t know why, maybe their lives are so pathetic that suicide seemed appealing.
this is one coat
life sucks if you’re a bug
So, maybe six thin coats later, applied about twenty minutes apart, I had even coverage with no obvious thin spots. At that point, I put a heavier coat on (not very heavy, but enought to look “wet") to even out the texture. I knew that I could pick off any kamikaze bugs and what was under them would at least be blue.
There were about a dozen bugs or so, which I picked off with my pocketknife blade once the paint had dried to the touch. They came off very nicely. I had given up on taking pictures of my progress with the blue paint, because the bugs were occupying my attention pretty well. I’d get them cleared off, and start spraying one side, only to see more on the other side. It was frustrating. I intended to wet sand them off if it became a problem, but luckily that wasn’t necessary.
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