Airbrushing with Pledge is a topic I get quite a few questions about. When I’d first released my Scale Modeling How-To: Straight Talk About Pledge / Future / Klear video, I immediately realized that a follow-on was needed. Many people contacted me with the basic question of “Can you go into more detail about spraying and airbrushing Pledge?”
Happily, I’ve now had time to make this video, and hopefully answer those questions.
Airbrushing with Pledge
Airbrushing with Pledge is actually very simple. Spray it straight from the bottle, with no thinning, and apply it in wet coats. A .5 airbrush nozzle at 18-20 psi is my preferred equipment.
Pledge is more than half water, so it is essentially “pre-thinned”. No thinning is needed – especially using alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners.
Clean up is easy enough also. Some water rinses and sprays, followed by an alcohol spray, will generally do quite nicely.
I recommend avoiding “mist coats”, as these tend to produce orange peel. Instead, I suggest a wet coat approach. It should be wet enough to self-level, but not so wet that is is runny. Then you can allow just a few minutes drying time. A second and third coat can go on quite soon afterwards.
Once applied, there’s not a lot of drying time needed. Overnight is good, but I’ve given as little as 10-15 minutes before proceeding. As with any product, the more you practice, the better you” see how it behaves. Then you can apply this information in future builds.
It is important to keep in mind that Pledge is used best as a utility gloss coat. It is smooth and glossy enough for washes, decals, and a general “shiny” look. For a deep gloss though, such as a car finish, I suggest a proper modeling gloss coat.
Of course, Pledge is generally cheap enough that both can be kept on hand.
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