Nail Polish Paints


Nail Polish is the newest area of painting these little cars – We will touch briefly on it here.  

Nail Polish is a Lacquer “paint” with chemical additives that react to cause super fast drying and durability.  Traditionally it is made to go on smooth, dry fast and become chip resistant by design.  As well it is available in just about any color from standard blood red to blues and purples and even Gothic Blacks.

Some paint the nail polish directly on their base coat with the bottle brush – although this is said to work, only a few samples have surfaced.  Instead the preferred method is to shoot a thinned version of the polish through a standard airbrush.  Airbrushing allows the right amount of paint and air to mix giving a smoother, more attractive finish.  

To airbrush the nail polish it must be thinned:  Two schools of thought here – the first uses Lacquer thinner, this thins that paint very well (most recommend a 50/50 thinning although it does depend upon the polish manufacturer) but depending upon your base coat and or primer it can react funny with enamels and some acrylics causing a crackling effect when drying.  Obviously this ruins your custom.  

The second school prefers acetone – again a 50/50 mixture is a good place to start – it does not produce any side effects when painting over enamels and acrylics, cleans up well and is as easy to use as Lacquer thinner.  Use this also at 100% for clean up of the airbrush as well.   

It is not recommended that Paint thinner be used as nail polish contains different properties then standard paint and this can cause clogging of your airbrush.

Drying time should be fairly quick and it is recommended that additional coats, if necessary, be sprayed within a few minutes of that drying time and before permanent hardening begins.  

As with all paints you will need to experiment with pressure, amount of air and amount of paint before reaching that perfect flow.   Again, like all materials the cheaper the nail polish the cheaper the results.   “Ya get what ya pay for”   A drug store $1.29 bottle is probably not going to yield desired results as a high-end OPI or like brand – these can run as much as $6-8 per bottle. 

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