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Sealer, Top Coat, Gloss, Etc???

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Brad Hendrickson, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    FIrst let me say i'm sorry when I offend someone by asking this
    but, when reading and watching a couple videos I noticed a couple different terms throwing around..
    So, is the SEALER the same as say a Lacquer Gloss ( the black chair can)?
    "Hit with a gloss" "Gonna Seal those in now"
    I have found Acrylic Gloss by Krylon and Lacquer Gloss by Rustoleum
    DO I use those to seal my primer coat? and Powders etc etc?

    what about POLYACRYLIC?

    Someone said use Acrylic for final just before your Gloss for a WET LOOK.... See where my confusion is...

    I know they sell FISH SEALER.. but WHAT IS IT?
     
  2. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Your sealer is what you paint your fish with before applying you colors. This after all your finish work is done, setting eyes, building up shrinkage with Magic Sculpt, Apoxie Sculpt, Klei, or what ever product you prefer.

    The sealer seals in the fish skin and is supposed to provide a better surface for the paint to adhere to. One product is called a "fungicidal sealer," but I think that's just sales hype as fungus doen't grow on a dry surface with a sealer over it. I also believe it provides a smoother surface that ultimately provides you with a wetter wet look once the clear coat is applied.

    Sealers can be water based, lacquer based, or other. I was using a lacquer based sealer in a can from Ace but they discontinued it. I now order Zinnser Bullseye Shellac in an aerosol can from Amazon, and since the wife has an Amazon Prime account shipping is free. [​IMG]

    I do understand it's available at Walmart but I refuse to shop there.

    Your clear coat is your final clear application after your painting is done that seals in the colors you applied, protects it from UV rays, and provides a wet look if you so desire. I use a product from Ebay that I get from Ohio in one day with free shipping. It's called SpeedoKote here: [​IMG]

    All your questions can be answered with Tom Sexton's Breakthrough Fish Finishing Book available at most of the suppliers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
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  3. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    so this is considered a sealer? sealer.PNG
     
  4. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    OR am I Looking for like a WOOD Sealer ?
     
  5. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Any clear can be considered a sealer coat. You just don't want to use a type that is too thick. IMO the biggest reason to lay down a "seal coat" is so that you can see where you are at. I almost always miss a couple of areas where I need to add a scale (or whatever) that I previously missed without the sealer coat. It's a lot easier to see things and you can assure yourself of a nice, smooth finish prior to adding paint.

    IMO the fungicidal part is a load of doo-doo. Also IMO, I don't think there's any real need to have a sealer coat other than it makes things easier to see. I have painted original skins and replicas with and without sealer coats with no ill-effects. Ultimately, you end up sealing layers along the way anyway. A sealer coat is typically used on very smooth surfaces so that the paint has something to grab to. An original skin is not smooth unsealed and a replica is already primed and ready to grab paint.

    Brad, to answer your question - yes you can use a wood sealer as a sealer coat. I use a thinned wood sealer on every walleye. However, make sure it's thin enough or you can lose scale detail. Thin it with lacquer if it's lacquer based and you can brush it on with a throw away brush. After a couple of coats. Let it dry overnight and if it's a walleye or another specie that typically is a nightmare to clean (due to scales grabbing dust, etc.) you can actually lightly sand the body with 150 grit or so to knock those scale edges just enough. Sand it just enough so that you can take a paper towel and wipe it over the body tail to head w/o the paper towel grabbing. If you start seeing scales getting "fuzzy" that means you are starting to sand too far and stop sanding in that area. Perform this extra step of sanding on walleyes and your customers will truly appreciate it - especially if they have a skin mount walleye done by somebody else already on their wall. Yours will look good for decades to come and be a breeze to clean!
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
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  6. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    Thank FISHART!!!
     
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  7. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I don't believe it is.

    As as a warning, when Ace discontinued their lacquer sealer I tried to use its gloss counterpart as a sealer. Big mistake. I had issues when I applied my final automotive clear coat.
     
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  8. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    I use Krylon Matte as a sealer/base. I use Enviro-Tex as a gloss. There is a learning curve with the Enviro-Tex. After mixing and brushing on, you must flash with a torch to remove the air bubbles. It's messy, and drips, but will provive a helluva gloss. It will not react with your paint, as some glosses tend to do.
     
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  9. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    So you liked the Ace Instant Drying Lacquer Cecil? Fyi, Ace still sells it at some of the bigger Ace Hardwares in the Chicago area and you can order it online as well. However, I switched to using the Rustoleum Specialty Lacquer a long time ago due to cost. It's 1/3rd the price of the Ace stuff. I use it for my final glossing and if sprayed lightly can be used as a sealer coat as well.

    Just my experiences, but I've never had any incompatibility issues like you've described with any thoroughly dried glosses/sealers that didn't present themselves soon after spraying (whenever trying new products). Although I've heard that some of the shellacs contain wax and that can create problems with anything atop. When in doubt, I've learned to go even easier - at least 3-4 flash coats are always done just in case when I'm not certain that I may have something below that could be theoretically incompatible with my top coat. Certain glosses - such as that 2X crap, Triple Thick and some automotive glosses can be heavier and seem "toxic". They can cut through all those coats of paint easily with anything more than a thin, flash coat (as you found out!) It also seems the "stinkier" the sealer/gloss is and stays around my shop, the more toxic it seems. 2X, TT and auto glosses seem to stink up my shop for a day or two whereas the stuff that won't eat paint (or sealers) seems that their smells dissipate within a few hours and all but gone overnight. Just my observations!
     
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  10. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    NO Joey!!!! Please save the Enviro-tex for other applications! There's two reasons I hate that crap. One, it's too thick and "yes" it gives a great shine, too great imo. Better used for bar tops. But, it also obliterates scale detail. And two, you can't get the crap off! Anytime I get a restore in, I double my estimate to repaint if it's coated in that junk! With many species (when you don't have scale detail) that means you don't get to use most of the faster, commercial "tricks" for tipping scales, etc. It's like you have a flat surface now and you best be able to paint!
     
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  11. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Marty, I don’t ever plan on my fish coming back!
     
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  12. WLELTD

    WLELTD Active Member

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    agree with Fishart envirotex is junk on fish
     
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  13. Sotired

    Sotired Active Member

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    I tried Envirotex once, ONCE, for a customer that insisted on the "shiniest gloss available" Otherwise I found the Polytranspar clear gloss (water based) was quite good at that time!

    ~S
     
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  14. JHardman

    JHardman Active Member

    Mr. Hendrickson,
    I use the acrylic in your picture all the time, it works as good as anything else I have used for sealing/layering, I will use a couple quick coats to "seal" the skin on a skin mount before I prime or begin painting. Be careful when covering layers of sealed in color with this; too many layers too close together without adequate dry time in between will cause your details to become less crisp. One other thing to note, be careful with changing types of coatings as not all are compatible. It really sucks to find this out on a final gloss coat when you run out of your go to product and use something else! If I do use the acrylic pictured on a fish, I use that product throughout the entire process as it is available in gloss, semigloss and flat. If using powders this product in the flat finish provides a great surface to hold powdered pigments. I kind of rambled on a bit I guess, hope this is helpful.
     
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  15. JHardman

    JHardman Active Member

    sealer pic.PNG
    this is a skin mount sealed and finished completely with this acrylic sealer that you posted a picture of. As you can see it has a decent sheen and the scales are adequately sealed. This is not as glossy as envirotex but certainly sealed enough to be easy to maintain for years to come and glossy enough to convey a wet look without losing too much detail. I realize it is a lousy photo but i believe it does convey the message.
     
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  16. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    Marty didn't know the instant drying Ace lacquer was still available anymore. Main headquarters in Alabama said it was discontinued as did my Ace store here. Apparently there is some inventory left at the bigger stores and elsewhere? No matter as the Zinnser's Bullseye Shellac in a spray can seems to do that job just fine.

    The only problem I have now is the fin coating I use. It works great but stays slightly sticky so you don't want to do any grinding of the eye sockets or whatever water you've applied it even when it's dry!

    As far as the gloss I used from Ace, the spray can looked identical to the lacquer seal but it as a gloss. I really had some issues later when I clear coated over the fins so that was the end of that. I think I waited long enough but maybe not?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
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  17. Cecil

    Cecil Well-Known Member

    I don't use it but it sounds like it's a matter of opinion. I know a couple of taxidermist that use it and I believe one of them thins it down.

    Personally I want to apply a couple of coats of clear coat and not have to do any babysitting to watch out for runs. The automotive clear coat I use does that for me.
     
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  18. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Cecil I have used the wax free Bullsye Shellac as a brush on sealer coat that I can sand. I know there can be compatibility issues with the stuff with wax in at and I also only use it as a sealer because it can also yellow over time. Don't know about the spray stuff. I'm content with the Rustoleum Lacquer for my final gloss coats. Like the portability of a can and stink control. Never any issues and not temperamental like Triple Thick. W&W Top Gloss is another awesome, water based gloss. I glossed a big Mahi-Mahi with it thinned with water right out of my #5 tip air brush. Two coats. Done. Was able to lay down a nice final wet coat even on something that big with my air brush. 30 seconds clean-up time! Awesome shine too! I still prefer to head outside to gloss.

    I believe they are still making the Instant Drying Lacquer. I think your Ace lied to you! Probably just too lazy to order it! http://acehardwaremaldives.com/product/paint/17027/#.XGMzH7hG3IU
     
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  19. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    They sell that exact can at my local ACE
     
  20. Brad Hendrickson

    Brad Hendrickson Active Member

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    whats the difference between that one and the one with the BLACK chair on it?