Ive tried all kinds of clear coats (super fish gloss, liquid crystal, plasticoat, life tone, to name a few) and am never completely satisfied. some just aint glossy enuf, or take 5 coats, some are very prone to air bubbles, or even foaming. Ive experimented with pressure, and distance from the fish. Im still not satisfied with any of the results. I dont want to get into 2 part epoxies. Can you fellas let me know what you use,or give me some advise? Thank ya kindly!
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Your sealer has to be slick and shiny and dust free! Other wise the colors and gloss only amplify the dust and dirt.
John I don't know why you always insist it's the sealer. The sealer has nothing to do with a good gloss. Yes if he seals the fish as he paints a fish that's fine but till this day I don't and have no need and there is no need to seal a fish to get a high gloss.
I use nothing but water base paints along with many other media's. When I finish my fish I use a high gloss lacquer from Rustoleum. THe gloss will give you one of the best wettest look around.
Also your fish must be cleaned and degreased properly too.
We have found a really nice gloss that we use on all our freeze dried bait fish and deer noses. It is made by Dupont. It is Nason 2 part sealer. The select clear 497-00 and the select clear 483-78 activator , It is a 3:1 mix. I hope this helps. We purchased it from Oreilly auto parts
Frank's work speaks for itself (quite loudly, I might add), but I'm thinking even his gloss is not "shiny" enough for you. If you're insistant on that sparkling diamond shine, you're going to have to go to the 2 part solution. For the 2 part poly's you're going to need a very controlled environment so that humidity doesn't cloud the gloss. The BEST bet for most shops wanting that super shine IS epoxy. I use Ultra-Clear from the Epo-Grip line. It won't yellow and one coat of it is like 20 of most glosses. Once dry, it's also impervious to most outside chemical influences.
BTW, most of the fish guru's have told me that fish don't look that way anyway. A fish underwater, which is what we usually mount a fish to be, is NOT ultra-shiny and only when it breaks water does that coat of water make it appear to be that way.
Give sealing the fish a try, then make sure there is not any dirt or dust on the fish.
Sealing; Seal lacquer or shellac coat of the fish will allow you to check for dust etc. It will also set the scales. I have had air bubbles seap out using water based paint, also if the fish is being delivered or carried in the customer car and bit of heat water based will bubble from the expanding gases under the scales, even trout will bubble.
Frank, a good finish all starts with a smooth base coat. Dried fish are not much different than wood. Porus, with millions of small open pores.
When you seal a fish or wood, you close these pores, the sealer will cover them and flow out, providing a smooth surface for the paint to bond to.
As the colors are laid up, you can shoot the clear to help with depth of color.
Now you have the sealer, remember this has closed the pores maybe an additonal coat or two so you see what the paint is going to look like.
You will now use less gloss and get a higher more glossy shine.
This is why we have the forums, I feel the best way to a super high gloss shine is to start with a great base coat.
Frank I dont know what you are using for gloss, I use Polytranspar Lacquer, sometimes a lacquer from another industry. Seldom do I have the need for a 2part ureathane gloss and the dangers that are associated with them.
Ditzler had a great single part Super high gloss lacquer one coat was all you needed since the change to PPG my dealer nolonger carries it and will not even attempt to order it.
Gentelmen, the info is greatly appreciated!
You all Have valid Points. A good sealer Is important in producing a good finished product. However That is not to say that the same results cannot be achieved without sealing. Here we have two professionals at the opposite end of the scale. As I fall in the middle, I will try to bridge the gap. Not to offend anyone, but rather to offer a middle of the road. so Beginners, and others. Can see the vastness of plausible techniques. Frank says Paint it and clear it. A good gloss has nothing to do with sealer. And I disagree with that to a degree. sealer is the foundation of the paint. Upon it is built the entire paint job. A poor sealer coat will reflect many minor flaws in the finish coat. John says Seal, paint, seal to check actual results, add refinement, and seal, then clear. An excellent way to monitor the progress of your work, as some effects do not show until the clear is added. However In my Opinion. this adds too much build up to the fish. Although adding depth to the paint. it also increases the risk of the paint crazing, or cracking at a later date. When beginning It is sometimes easier to put a coat of sealer over the paint to enable one to better see the effect of the color added, Particularly in some iridescence, or shimmers. However as one progresses in ones ability to paint, it becomes a matter of feal. In summation A good sealer base. Careful painting, and a good topcoat will produce a quality fish.
John. PPG Taking over Ditzler had nothing to do with the discontinuing of Lacquer paint. Lacquer paints produce to high a level of VOC's and cannot be made to meat the EPA standards. Yes, it is still available to taxidermist in small quantities. But like Freon as a blowing agent in forms. They will eventually get around to complete discontinuation of lacquer.
Shawn, If you want the top gloss George Is right. You will Have to go to a two part Urethane. The Nason That Joe recommended. Is a good choice for the beginner, and posibly even a seasoned pro. It is relatively inexpensive, In comparison to others. and will produce a nice gloss. However Allow me to correct the mix ratio. It is 4 to 1. If mixed 3 to 1 it will be too thick, and will not spray as well.
As for humidity. Though a factor, most problems in that area can be overcome by selecting the appropriate activator for the conditions you are working in.
John and who ever thinks that a sealer is need to get a great finish is so wrong. Those of you who seen my fish at the two major shows can you tell me to my face or on here that I have a sealer on those fish. NONE of them have a sealer at all on them..............
I don't seal any fish to get any kind of finish that you think I have to do or others to get a good shine.
If a fish is cleaned properly that's all that is needed to paint a fish. Whether you like it or not or just can't admit it to the fact that you don't need a sealer to achive your goal. How many seal there reproduction fish? I don't. No need to.
There are so many tecneques out there on how to do things so lets just say there is more than one way to skin a fish and still top quality work from it.
Yes John that may be the way you feel but the truth is and I have proved it and so have many others besides me that you don't have to seal to get a high gloss fish.
One other thing John, you were at the NTA show and said you seen the show Gary put on and the way we we're doing a fish, those fish are not sealed when they are worked on.