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Four RC Painting Tips

Article by Hunter Wick

When painting your first body for an RC car, truck, buggy, or crawler, there are some things you will need to know and some rules to follow. Reading through and understanding these tips and rules will result in a well-painted body that you can be proud of!

First off, keep those buns toasty, but not too warm. Only paint a body in conditions that are between 50° and 90° degrees Fahrenheit. Below that, the paint will have trouble bonding with the cold lexan, resulting in a paint job that may deteriorate a little faster than you might like. Any warmer, and the paint may become very runny resulting in a messy, not-so-pretty paint job. If conditions aren't right, and they won't be for a good while (say a couple of months up north during the winter), then it is possible to paint in your garage or workshop. However, please exercise extreme caution when doing this! Keep in mind that the paint you are working with is flammable and emits combustible and toxic fumes when wet. You don't want fumes building up in an enclosed space. If you feel that you absolutely must get the job done, then it is possible to paint in an enclosed space, just make sure there is plenty of ventilation and an escape route for the fumes to go outside. Also, since the paint is flammable like I stated earlier, don't be lighting any heaters or anything with an open flame while paint fumes are in the air!

Secondly, use quality products. Just like soldering, the job is ten times more difficult when lower grade products are used. This means using name brand paint and masking supplies. Putting all of this onto a name brand body won't hurt anything, either. By no means am I saying to go out and purchase the most expensive paint and other supplies that are available, but I do strongly suggest staying with middle to upper grade products. Buying lower grade products can only make the job harder, and especially if it's your first time, you want it to be as easy as possible!

Next, take your time. While this may seem like third grade stuff (this is probably what Mom told you to do when doing homework), it's vital that you don't get in a rush. Take time to apply several coats of each color, applying lighter-colored paint heavier than darker-colored paint. And be sure to take time even before you pull out that paint can to do a proper masking job. This will make your new lexan body look nice and neat, with clear and straight lines. Otherwise, you could end up with a sloppy looking paint job very quickly.

Lastly, have fun! Some small errors can be easily fixed with a permanent marker or some clever decal application, so don't have a cow or freak out if you make a mistake. Remember that this is part of the RC hobby, which is supposed to be something that you enjoy. Otherwise, why would you even be involved with it, right?

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