Createx Colors Hard-Surface Application Guide

Welcome to the Hard Surface & Automotive Guide! This guide covers the application of Createx Colors paints on hard surfaces, including automobiles. Follow the basic application process and use a test panel before all applications. Remember to supplement this guide with the product’s Technical Data Sheet available at

Dry Times for Adequate Curing are set for70⁰F / 21⁰C and 50% Relative Humidity
   • Extend drying times in colder temps. down to 60 deg. F⁰, painting under not recommended.
   • Allow paint to dry in temperatures over 60 deg. F⁰ during the initial 48 hours after application.


For best results, add 4050 UVLS Gloss Clear to paints, then thin as needed with 4011 Reducer

4050 UVLS Gloss Clear

4050 is a urethane clear that when mixed with Createx paints, creates an acrylic – urethane resin blend.
   • Airbrush: Add ~ 10% v/v to Createx paints, then thin with 4011 Reducer, ~ 10% – 30% v/v.
   • Spray-Gun: Add ~ 10% v/v (9:1) to standard & fluorescent colors,
add ~ 20% v/v (4:1) to pearl & metallic colors. Thin with 4011 Reducer ~ 10% – 20% v/v.
   • Allow mix 10+ minutes to acclimatize before spraying for best flow and leveling.
   • candy2o has 4050 mix ratios different from other Createx paints. Refer to candy2o TDS for more.
   • AutoBorne Sealer does not require mixing with 4050.

4011 Reducer

4011 is the recommended thinner for all Createx Colors paints and clears.
   • 4011 mix ratios are guidelines. Add 4011 in amounts to achieve best atomization.
   • 4011 breaks water surface-tension. Allow mix 10+ minutes before spraying for best flow and leveling.
   • Generally, 4011 is added to colors ~ 20% v/v for airbrush and 10% v/v for spray-gun. For colors mixed with
4050, ~ 10% more 4011 is added: 30% v/v for airbrush and 20% v/v spray-gun.

4030 Balancing Clear

4030 is another mixing clear. Similar to 4050, adding 4030 to paints creates an acrylic – urethane resin blend.
   • Compared to 4050, 4030 creates a softer coating, which may be beneficial for airbrushing. 4050 is generally
best for spray-gun, however, for airbrush use, both 4030 and 4050 work well.
   • 4030 is less viscous than 4050, so colors don’t have to be as thinned as much for airbrushing.
   • 4030 is not recommended for use with candy2o. Mix candy2o with 4050.

No Pot-Life

Createx paints do not have a true pot-life. Colors are generally sprayable up to 48-hours, after which sprayable
viscosity may change, to which more 4011 Reducer can be added.
   • Avoid adding 4011 Reducer or other thinners to colors intended for storage more than 48-hours.
   • Keep capped air-tight when not pouring paint. Store in paint cabinet or a box in a dry, cool closet.

Strain Colors Prior To Use

Mesh size 190 micron, candy2o 125 micron, 3-M™ PPS Cup 200 micron (solvent lid).

Compatible with any HVLP & conventional gravity-fed spray gun.
   • Tip-size: 1.2mm – 1.3mm
   • Mini Spray Gun: 0.8 – 1.2mm
   • PSI: Follow spray-gun manufacturer’s settings, often the upper psi limit of spec’d setting
   • Best used with high-flow air couplings on hose fittings.

All Createx paints can be sprayed through a 0.5mm tip-sized, larger volume airbrush.
   • For smaller tip-sized airbrushes, use transparent colors such as Wicked Colors, Illustration Colors, Createx
Transparent Airbrush Colors. Wicked Opaque Colors also work well with small tip-sizes.
   • Thin as needed to achieve a fine atomization, adding 4011 Reducer in small increments at a time.

This guide covers substrates in good condition, or otherwise ready for paint using a quality primer.
Createx paints are compatible with any primer, paint, and clear type. If applying a primer, allow it to thoroughly dry, then sand or scuff before applying paint.

320 – 800 grit may be used to prepare Createx paints.   

• 320 – 400 grit for AutoBorne Sealer & 4050 UVLS Gloss Clear when used as adhesion primer.
   • 600 – 800 grit when airbrushing direct to substrate or using transparent colors.
   • Medium & coarse scuff pad may be used with the scratch marks will be covered by AutoBorne Sealer.
   • Dry sand only. Do not wet sand Createx paints.

Cleaning prior to paint
   • Use soapy water to remove oils, then thoroughly dry the surface with a lint-free cloth.
   • Clean with a solvent-based, post-sanding (mild) degreaser r 99% isopropyl alcohol.
   • Dry surface with lint-free cloth.
   • Do not use a water-based cleaner before painting. Use solvent-based cleaner.

START with AutoBorne Sealer
Apply AutoBorne Sealer direct to prepared primer or substrate.   

• Auto-Borne Sealer is a sealer-primer and the most adhesive Createx coating.
   • Apply AutoBorne Sealer direct to substrate or primer after preparation.
   • 6013 AutoBorne Silver Sealer is the metallic base for candy2o.
   • 6000 Transparent Sealer is an adhesion promoter for plastic & more and is the most adhesive sealer.
   • Refer to AutoBorne TDS for more.
UVLS 4050 Gloss Clear may also be used as an adhesive ground-coat, replacing AutoBorne Sealer.
   • 4050 is the best adhesion promoter for glass, and a few other substrates, please see below list.
   • Only use 4050 as adhesive coating, do not use UVLS 4051 Satin, 4052 Matte or 4053 High Gloss.
   • Refer to UVLS TDS for more.Always test adhesion when painting a new substrate type before the actual paintjob.
Substrate – Best Createx Adhesive Coating   

• Plastic – 6000 AutoBorne Transparent Sealer
   • Steel, Stainless Steel – 4050 Gloss Clear can be applied directly to metal; however a catalyzed (2k)
urethane or epoxy primer is recommended for “edge-to-edge” priming as it provides best protection
against corrosion in exterior conditions. 4050 is best for spot priming small, exposed areas of metal.
   • Aluminum – AutoBorne Sealer
   • Fiberglass – AutoBorne Sealer
   • Glass – 4050 Gloss Clear
   • 3D Print Composite Material, Nylon – AutoBorne Sealer
   • Wood – AutoBorne Sealer
   • Automotive finish – AutoBorne Sealer
   • Brass – 4050 Gloss Clear
   • Chrome – 4050 Gloss Clear
   • Polished substrates not scuffed – 4050 Gloss Clear
   • Latex – 5092 Bloodline Adhesion Promoter
   • Flexible vinyl – 7040 Adhesion Promoter
   • Rubber – 7040 Adhesion PromoterAirbrushing direct to an existing finish
Createx paints have good adhesion when airbrushed direct to an existing finish.   

• For best results, apply a medium coat of AutoBorne 6000 Transparent Sealer prior to applying color to
ensure even the lightest airbrush lines adhere well to the surface.
   • Prepare first by sanding 600 – 800-grit sandpaper, then cleaning with a solvent-based degreaser or 99%
isopropyl alcohol using a lint-free cloth.

Spray-Gun Application

   • Follow the spray gun manufacture’s recommended inlet psi settings.
   • Apply paint in 50/50 overlapped pattern.
   • Coats should be medium wet with fine, wetted droplets hitting surface to create coating.
   • Surface distance is generally 6” – 8” from spray-gun.
   • Apply first coat medium wet. A light tack-coat is not recommended to avoid texture.
   • Allow each coat to dry matte before applying the next coat.
   • Re-coat times are approximately 10-minutes in a spray-booth, 20-minutes in an open-environment.
   • Use moving air running across the painted surface to assist drying. Do not use heat to force-dry paint as
this will result in a loss of adhesion.

Application of Top-Coat Clear
For exterior and automotive paintjobs, a durable clear must be applied over Createx paints.   

• Createx paints are compatible with most any clear type, both solvent-based and water-based.
   • For best results, allow Createx paint to thoroughly dry for at least 1-hour prior to clear.
   • No time windows. Createx paints may be top-coated with a clear any time after drying.
   • Sanding Createx paints prior to applying a clear is never required for adhesion of clear.

Automotive Top-Coat Clear

When using Createx paints as part of a primer / base-coat / clear-coat paintjob, (“automotive”),
top-coating with a catalyzed (2k), solvent-based, urethane clear is recommended.   

• Createx paints are universally compatible with all makes of 2k urethane clears.
   • Use a slower, higher temperature reducer for best adhesion and leveling.
   • Avoid fast-cure clears, reducers, and additives.
   • Apply the first coat of clear medium-wet. A tack or acclimation coat is not recommended.

Marine and Water Submersible Paintjobs, including Fishing Lures Createx paints can be used for marine applications provided the paint is completely encapsulated by a catalyzed
(2k) clear so paint is not directly exposed to water. 

 • A 2k epoxy clear is recommended for marine, including boats, watercraft, and fishing lures.
   • Make sure to apply clear on edges, anywhere paint is exposed to ensure pin-hole free coverage.

Drying Times and Curing 

• Dry Times for Adequate Curing are set for 70⁰F / 21⁰C and 50% Relative Humidity.
   • Createx paints may dry to the touch in 10 minutes to 1-hour. Final cure is not until 48-hours. Minimum Recommended Drying Times

• Re-coat time: ~ 10 minutes in a spray-booth, ~ 20 minutes in an open environment.
   • Time to Tape and Dry Sand: ~ 45-minutes.
   • Time to Appling Clear Coat: ~ 1-hour in a spray-booth, ~ 4-hours open environment.

No Time Windows Createx paints may be re-coated or top-coated with a clear any time after drying. If unsure or painting in cooler
or humid conditions, allow paint extended drying time will ensure best application of clear. Assist Drying with Moving Air Use air directed to run across the painted surface (not at it) to assist drying.

Cleaning & Wiping Createx Paints

Createx paints generally do not have to be cleaned prior to applying a clear.
   • Use a post-sanding (mild) solvent-based degreaser to clean colors after they’ve thoroughly dried.
   • Do not clean paint with a water-based cleaner.
   • A lint-free tack rag made for water-based / waterborne paints works best to clean with.
   • Allow tack rag to “gas out” after opening package and before using onto fresh paint,
and avoid pressing down hard onto paint. A light wipe with a damp tack rag is best.After painting, clean spray-gun or airbrush with warm & soapy water. 

• Soak metallic parts in a bath of 4008 Restorer for 15 – 30 minutes to remove dried, cured paint.


Read cautions and warnings on labels & Safety Data Sheets, available at
Always spray in a well-ventilated area. Always wear a NIOSH / MSHA approved respirator when painting.