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Decoy painting questions.

Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by tradewaterbandit, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

    Dec 31, 2001
    Elk Grove, CA
    The quality will depend on how much you prep your surface to achieve adhesion of paint to the surface. I run a permanent spread of about 350 decoys of which 200 are pintails. I power wash my decoys annually after the season. I touch up the whites and black of my decoys annually using Fusion. My blind is about 1/4 from the road. When I look down, the white catches my eye. Plenty of ducks died over the herters block painted decoys. Yes you can airbrush and they look great, but really only for you. It takes me about a day to prep, freshen up with paint and be done with my spread using rattle cans and don't think my results would go up if I used an Airbrush. I use the paints Mean Gene references when I paint my flocked full body specs and they look great.
    DucterJim likes this.
  2. WHUP ! Hen

    WHUP ! Hen Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Missouri
    FYI, I get Flat Marine Enamel from an outfit in Michigan, for the life of me I think it might be Duck Boats. The used to sell E Allen decoys and patterns for duck boats. I have only used Sugar Pine for the past 30 years and tan Cork for 20. The Ronan paint I have I think I bought directly from Ronan years ago. I really didn’t like it because it dries so fast I couldn’t blend and I don’t have an airbrush. I have also used artist oils with almost everything.
  3. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    Klondike, Louisiana
    Thanks, Gene. I'm new to non-rattle-can decoy painting and have been airbrushing with Flat Marine Enamel from Lock, Stock and Barrel. Find it easy enough to work with and flat as can be, but burnishing seems an issue with some of it. Don't know whether it's the particular color or my poor technique on the one test speck I've used it on. Doesn't seem an issue with other colors on other decoys. Suppose clear flat clear coating makes good sense in that regard, anyway.

    To the OP, in my limited experience, the key to durability is what's under your paint, not what's on it. I've scrubbed, primered, painted and clear-coated decoys that didn't hold their paint through a season. Then power-washed and sandblasted them before using the same primer and paint without clear-coating and had them hold up like I hoped they would.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  4. Mean Gene

    Mean Gene Moderator Moderator

    Oct 26, 2000
    Nothing Permanent Yet
    ^^^This^^^ The details are for the hunter, not the ducks. Don't overthink the paint. Simple will kill just as many ducks as detailed.
  5. mpkowal

    mpkowal Elite Refuge Member

    Oct 20, 2015
    The key is to get started,let your own creativity help you.Start with easy stuff,divers are easy,drake mallards,rasy.Just get some photos You like and have at it.There is no right way.I have been painting 40 years and my birds still kill ducks.Time will tell you how far you want to take it.Good luck it' addicting.
    WHUP ! Hen likes this.
  6. BenH

    BenH New Member

    Mar 27, 2017
    Killerv couldnt call it any better.. been doing it for 40 years and plastic is just a sad project to take on. good luck..

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