H'Islander

Createx - Something has changed

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I realize there are threads on mitigating E-tex lite-over-Createx issues posted by Linesider666 and Wire for Fire as recently as January 2019.  But 15 years ago it was a very (very, very) rare instance when Createx paint and E-tex lite were incompatible.  I have recently found myself back in my basement for my retirement years and back at plug building.  I had about 50 1/2 used bottles of Createx (and a few off-brands) remaining but opted to toss them, even if the liquid was still rattling inside.  I bought (3) 6-piece sets of assorted Createx paints in opaque, fluorescent, and pearlized variations from Amazon.  To my dismay, all had negative reactions with the E-tex epoxy.  I'm getting that rippled, mottled finish that looks like the cellulite on my ex's butt. The quick fix is a shot of rattle can clear enamel on the plug before epoxy but that's another 24 hour step.  It really slows things up.  (rant complete).  Which all brings me to my (once again) seeking alternative suggestions from the fine builders here who have been working through whatever change(s) have occurred in the products that we have come to trust.  There are other brands of bar-top epoxies available.  If you are finding another that does not require the added clear enamel step I would like to hear your thoughts.  For the record - I'm turning AYC, sanding, sealing with a 50/50 cocktail of Varithane and paint thinner (per Varithane directions), curing that sealer for 72 hours min next to the wood stove, Priming (2 light coats 24 hours apart) with BIN shellac-based rattle can primer, Createx @ 24 hours min drying time, (and now) one light barrier coat of rattle can clear enamel and finally the e-tex lite, for which I set my timer for 2 minutes and stir, stir, stir. I use disposable medicine cups with the imprinted graduations and stir with a popsicle stick blunted and beveled to a sharp edge to scrape the bottom and sides well during mixing.  These were all tried & true steps until Createx changed something in their recipe.  Some before and after pics because we like pics.  And one last pic showing why I don't want to lose these to rippled epoxy (there's a lot of work invested in these...)

plug3.jpg.4a3dcdcd415d171ee2d13690b9b56d9f.jpgplug2.jpg.54a7f746538d2f05150016156b91650b.jpgplugs1.jpg.3d633b2c9386e7f29669633a75d09579.jpg

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Another helpful hint regarding epoxies.  I have read about folks using droppers, syringes, etc to dispense the 2 part epoxies equally.  I swapped out the bottle caps with condiment squirt bottle tops.  Gives you much control and no need for cleaning other dispensers (or the expense of throw-away items).

 

etex2.jpg.00b883b4f7b1200dfc491426bde78372.jpg

etex1.jpg

Edited by H'Islander

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Finishing off the plug with a coat of Matte finish clear, before E-tex application solved that problem for me, although I do let it dry 24 hours before putting on the epoxy. 

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I let mine cure for 5 days.....big difference from cure and dry.  also using some 4012 might be helpful , temp is also important, especially winter time. 

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I gotta say this is an interesting topic and glad you brought it up.  My last 2 builds I have not changed any of my processes.  (Islander - I think my steps are almost identical to yours except for the sealing part). And I have noticed a few plugs not etex coat properly.  And I am extremely careful during this process as it makes a huge difference on the overall plug.  Really don’t want to add a step as suggested.  
 

what is 4012 by the way?    

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2 hours ago, norcalkat said:

I let mine cure for 5 days.....big difference from cure and dry.  also using some 4012 might be helpful , temp is also important, especially winter time. 

Agreed, cured vs dry are a world apart.  That's why I give my sealer 72 hours min depending on temp. Winter heating season makes the time shorter as I heat with a wood stove, and that stove (that heats the whole cape) is in the middle of the basement with the shop, its always dry bahamas. 

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I'm going to bring up temp again, because that has been a factor in my ripply epoxy problems, as well as old etex, I don't make as many plugs anymore, so my bottles of etex last longer....I usually use the older stuff to seal with and the freshest stuff I have to topcoat. It really, really pisses me off when a plug looks great before clearcoat, and shiznit afterwards. I like to give plugs away too, and don't want to hand someone a wrinkly turd. /End rant.

 

It used to be that only the silver pearl metallic would cause those issues for me, now it just randomly happens no matter the color.

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I keep my sealer and epoxy  inside my house (laundry room drawer) to keep them at room temp once the seal is broken as well.  I feel the fluctuation of temps in a garage are too drastic for consistency.  I will tell you one thing though, I follow all manufacturers instructions to the T on each product I use.  Sometimes i feel people skip past that and want to make there own assumptions or take someone else’s opinion as gold.  Who better than the company that makes the product?  I would love to have shortcuts but there is a reason my plugs take 2-3 weeks to complete from start to finish on avg.  

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Sparky recommended rustolium clear matte over my paint before etex and had made such a huge difference it’s night and day . Honestly before I would brush epoxy on plugs that been sitting 5-7 days or more , mini heat gun to pop bubbles and evenly distribute and they would look great , come back To spinner hour later and they looked like golf balls . Brush flat , heat again and come back little while later and terrible again . And brush out again .. frustrating to say the least and very disappointing after all that work ..  If waited till the epoxy set up just enough and recoated i could save them most times ..but they were far from perfect ... now with the matte first they come out dam near perfect every time , no nonsense ... it’s really made epoxy fun and rewarding again and just inspires one to keep on keeping on .. for reals spend the 4$ and try it . 

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1 hour ago, norcalkat said:

I keep my sealer and epoxy  inside my house (laundry room drawer) to keep them at room temp once the seal is broken as well.  I feel the fluctuation of temps in a garage are too drastic for consistency.  I will tell you one thing though, I follow all manufacturers instructions to the T on each product I use.  Sometimes i feel people skip past that and want to make there own assumptions or take someone else’s opinion as gold.  Who better than the company that makes the product?  I would love to have shortcuts but there is a reason my plugs take 2-3 weeks to complete from start to finish on avg.  

yup epoxy stays in the house and all finish work done in the house in a heated box spinner . Cold and epoxy no bueno

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13 hours ago, Wire For Fire said:

Sparky recommended rustolium clear matte over my paint before etex and had made such a huge difference it’s night and day . Honestly before I would brush epoxy on plugs that been sitting 5-7 days or more , mini heat gun to pop bubbles and evenly distribute and they would look great , come back To spinner hour later and they looked like golf balls . Brush flat , heat again and come back little while later and terrible again . And brush out again .. frustrating to say the least and very disappointing after all that work ..  If waited till the epoxy set up just enough and recoated i could save them most times ..but they were far from perfect ... now with the matte first they come out dam near perfect every time , no nonsense ... it’s really made epoxy fun and rewarding again and just inspires one to keep on keeping on .. for reals spend the 4$ and try it . 

That's exactly what I have done to mitigate the issue.  It's a trick we all learn at one point or another in our plug building past.  Createx is relatively expensive paint. The sole reason that I went back to Createx was because of the (past) reliable compatibility with epoxies.  I recall being a bit smug about folks who were cutting corners and using artist's paints in their airbrushes and having all sorts of problems with spattering, clogging and then epoxy ripples. The clear coat expense is negligible, It's the added delay that has my concern.  One more day isn't a deal breaker but it's another round of spraying VOC's and another 24 hours drying/out-gassing time.  Thanks for your input and thank you for the 2019 thread - both are quite helpful.  

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