Hairspray experiment (not on hair)

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Hairspray experiment (not on hair)

Post  Chuck Doan on Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:34 am

I have recently made a couple of tries at using the hairspray method for chipping paint for my ½” scale garage diorama. In short, the method involves painting a base coat, spraying the hairspray and then following up with a top coat. Then “chip” the paint with water and a stiff brush or other tool. Since the hairspray is water soluble, it is preferred to airbrush the top coat on. Since I am airbrush illiterate, I have a problem if I want to hand-brush an acrylic top coat, since it will cut the water based hairspray. So I tried the following:

Testors Flat Black spray can base coat-dry overnite.
Fairly heavy aerosol Treseme hairspray-dry 10 min.
Light seal coat of Testors Flat Black spray-dry 10 min.
Several water-thinned, brushed on coats of Floquil Polly Scale acrylic paint. Dry 10 min.
Start removing paint with small water wet stiff paintbrush. Patience required here! The paint will chip pretty easily, but you don’t want to go too far.
Fade with white gouache applied with a cosmetic sponge, and then seal with Dullcoat from a spray can.
Add rust gouache (Burnt Sienna), and rust colored pigment powders to chipped areas using sharp brush, sponge and artists stump. Seal with Dullcoat.
Streaks added with rust gouache with sharp brush and spit.

The crackle finish occurred after I applied the coats of Polly Scale and used a hair dryer to speed dry. I am still experimenting to see if I can do this consistently.

A vent pipe for an underground storage tank made from .06 diameter Plastruct styrene:







An old wheel used as a hose reel. For reference, it is .68 in. diameter, about the same size as a U.S. dime.




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Re: Hairspray experiment (not on hair)

Post  tomwes on Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:57 am

I think you got it Chuck!! Looks awesome, I'm gonna have to try that, thanks.


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Re: Hairspray experiment (not on hair)

Post  Jenny Ryan on Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:21 am

Amazing work Chuck , when you remove the paint with the stiff brush I imagine you need to do this in a linear way , following the grain ?

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Re: Hairspray experiment (not on hair)

Post  brokeneagle on Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:01 am

yep, i reckon it worked! Cool

Chuck, So the grey wood effect under the color comes from sarting with black and fading to grey with white gouache ?

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Re: Hairspray experiment (not on hair)

Post  Chuck Doan on Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:45 pm

Sorry for some confusion..I have been doing the hairspray on the metal (plastic) parts. The wood is actual wood (basswood) and near as I can tell, the hairspray method only works on non-porous surfaces.
I can write up the wood peeling technique for those who use real wood. But now you got me thinking…I have seen some convincing wood done with styrene…maybe the hairspray would work for that. Hmm….

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Re: Hairspray experiment (not on hair)

Post  Bob Letterman on Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:00 pm

That is really realistic Chuck, both the wood and the vent pipe! I have sent you a PM asking if you would be interested in doing an SBS in the masterclass forum. I know it would be a great crowd pleaser.

Beautiful work!

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