Kafka brushes and paint flow

Posted: December 1, 2006 By: Edgar

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    I’ve watched Steve Kafka’s video and have learned a lot from it; however, I have a couple questions.

    I’m using the Kafka pinstriping brushes, and they work great when I’m painting straight lines or large curves, but when I try to do circles or tight turns, the hairs on the brush spread out and I wind up with a smear instead of a nice curved line. I know with sword stripers you’re supposed to turn the brush when going around a corner, but I believe Steve Kafka said not to do that with his brushes since they have a round ferrule. When going around a corner I’m holding the brush straighter vertically and just using the tip which is how I saw him do it in the video, but his brush never spreads apart.

    I’m using one-shot paint and am painting on mylar sheets for practice.

    That brings me to the second question and this may be part of my problem. When I look at Steve’s brushes in the video after he’s palleted them, they look nice and shiny and have a smooth flow of paint off of them. Mine don’t flow nearly as well. Usually my brush starts skipping which would indicate the paint is too thick, so I tried reducing it with Mineral Spirits but I can’t seem to get the nice flow like Steve does in his video. I’ve also tried using Turpentine, Smoothie, and One-Shot Hardener. I’ve ordered some One-Shot reducer so maybe I’ll have more luck with that.

    So what does Steve use to thin his paint? I heard him say he pre-mixes it with Smoothie. Does he use anything else like Mineral Spirits? The One-Shot web site says not to use Mineral Spirits, but doesn’t explain why. Also, how much Smoothie does he put in? I do all my painting in my garage where it’s pretty cold, so is there a good reducer for cold weather work?

    Sorry for the long note, but I’ve been practicing for a while, and although I’ve gotten better, I still can’t get the scroll work and curly-q’s down.

    I customize guitars in my spare time and sell them on the Internet, so my plan is to do custom paint and pinstriping on them along with the hardware and electronics modifications I make.


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