Graphite Powder Discussion

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The Prop Lord

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I was introduced to the amazing ability that graphite powder has on a slightly tacky yet smooth and glossy surface. Near perfect chrome like finish.

I have scoured the internet to see if there are alternative materials that have the same effect. Which not much luck. I have a bunch of different "metallic" Mica Powders from Smooth-On that I tried for the heck of it. No luck. On a glossy mold, they come out decently metallic. But nothing as close as Graphite Powder's reflective properties.

It would be great to find another powder that we can just rub into place. That already comes out "metallic." Anyone know of anything?

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If you don't know. The basic idea is that you apply graphite powder to a mostly dry painted surface. Then gently buff it out while packing more powder in.
 

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ID10T

Well-Known Member
I e had good luck in the past on smaller parts with the “buffing metalizer” paints. I think they were model master brand. Air brush on and polish with a cotton ball.

What I like about them is you can make a plastic aircraft look like polished aluminum. I never tried anything really big.

And regarding the graphite powder; I know different sizes exist. I have some older stuff that is very fine which comes out shinier than newer stuff I have that is more coarse. I use it to dry- lubricate o-rings and the fine stuff makes the o-rings look like metal.
 

TazMan2000

Master Member
The trouble is the fact that the graphite rubs off easily and leaves fingerprints. I haven't found a good coating that will preserve the Lustre, and not react with the graphite. If anyone has some suggestions I would appreciate it.

TazMan2000
 

chibobber

New Member
I used Rub n Buff on a Jango helmet build. It is a wax product. Get your surface as smooth as possible and then rub it onto the surface. It will not hide imperfections. When you rub it, rub it hard. The friction heat from your hand is key to getting a good finish. It will wash off your hands with soap and water. Use it sparingly, a little goes a long way, and to much will not give you good results. Once the wax hardens, it will not come off to the touch. If your prep is good you will get a shiny reflective surface. No top coat necessary. It can be buffed up if needed to bring back the luster over time. Avoid high heat as it is a wax.
 

Chrgr440RT

New Member
Granted my stuff is on a small scale (scale models) but graphite is my go to. I paint the part in a Tamiya metallic shade like gunmetal or aluminum , then scrape some off of a stick (I don't use the powdered version in a tube), and rub it on with my finger. I know it's not good for me, but I don't lick my fingers and I wash my hands thoroughly afterwards. I've tried with a brush, q-tip, and burnishing tool and I don't get the same effects. The best I've figured out is the oils on my fingers help really work it into the surface and give it the natural used and handled look.

After I've done this I have never noticed fingerprints or the like. But, like I said my stuff is small scale so take it with a grain of salt. I don't know how well it would scale up.
 

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mrwax

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's just graphite, I'm not aware of any health risks to skin contact. I haven't researched it, but it's not lead or anything.
 

The Prop Lord

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Oh. On the note or fingerprints I haven’t had any issues using Color Max paint by Krylon

I have also WASHED the parts off under a sink in the kitchen to remove excess powder.
DO NOT wash for 1-2 days. The powder will rinse off.
The parts in my video have already been cleaned off. No residue or fingerprints. The paint cures fairly hard. So I haven’t noticed any intentions. At all.
 
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gnolivos

Sr Member
I have seen YouTube videos where they apply a 2 part clear coat named 2K and it preserves almost all the shine. This was specifically done over the powder application.
 

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gnolivos

Sr Member
I’ve heard this stuff is very good:

EDIT: site won’t let me direct link product. Search for graphite.

 

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