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How to Put a Clear Finish on Metal

Kevin is going to spray a clear finish on a sculpture. He's using a two-part expoxy clear coat from Sculpt Nouveau ( ) called Smart Coat 2K.

He made his own measuring cup to mix three parts of Part B with one part of Part A, which is the hardener. Kevin doesn't know how much he needs, so he is going to mix up a small batch first. He can always make more.

Kevin pours the epoxy into the reservoir for the detail paint spray gun. He got it at Harbor Freight for about $25 and uses the heck out of it. It's a detail air spray paint gun for auto body work and runs off the compressor.

Kevin had originally coated the sculpture Moonshine's copper trefoil knot with a product called Nevr-Dull that brings out the shine and adds a light finish to protect metal from tarnish. Because Moonshine's knot spins, too much touching of this kinetic sculpture was hard on that finish.

The plan? A good scrubbing and then a clear coat seal.

After Kevin puts on his respirator and safety glasses, he points the sprayer away from the sculpture and adjusts the nozzle angle and spray pattern. He coats the sculpture with short bursts from the spray gun, lightly coating its surface.

Next Kevin looks over the surface for wet, glossy areas where he's already coated - he wants to find anything that hasn't yet been sprayed.

After keeping the studio closed to reduce dust in the air, Kevin opens the studio doors to disperse the clear coat fog - don't light a match!

Looking over the finish, Kevin decides he doesn't want to add another coat at this time. The guys at Sculpt Nouveau said one coat is usually sufficient if you get good coverage. He doesn't see any runs, and everything looks shiny.

In the morning he'll look it over and maybe even wheel it out into the sun before deciding if another coat is warranted.

Kevin is ready to clean out his spray gun, but hang around for another moment to contemplate the genesis of a legend ....

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