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Pinewood Derby Paint, Decals, etc. Q&A

What kind of paint should I use for my pinewood derby car?
Spray paint will generally provide a nicer finish. I like to use Duplicolor brand primer, paint, and clear coat. Duplicolor is available at most auto parts stores. Note that Duplicolor offers several formulations. I recommend the acylic laquer formulations. This can be identified by the label "Perfect Match" or "Premium Lacquer".

However, if you want to have your child paint the car it is best to use Acrylic brush paints. Acrylic paints are water based for quick drying and easy clean up, and can be found at hobby and craft stores.

Which decals are better: dry transfer or sticker decals?
Sticker decals generally leave a slight "sheen" around the perimeter of the decal, so Dry Transfer decals generally look nicer.

How do I apply dry transfer decals?
Application instructions for Dry Transfer decals can be found Here.

What are "Body Skins"?
Body Skins are full body decals that can substitute for paint. They can be applied directly to the wood body, over primer, or over paint. Body Skins can cover all or portions of the body. Due to the complex patterns on the skin, pieces of the skin can be overlapped to cover complicated areas of the car.

How are Body Skins applied?
Application instructions for Body Skins can be found Here.

Can I apply a clear coat over decals and Body Skins?
Although there may be exceptions, most clear coats can be applied over dry transfer decals, sticker decals, Body Skins, and pinstriping.

How are stripes put on a car?
The easiest way is with pinstriping. This product comes in various widths and has an adhesive backing. It will attach to any paint. Instructions can be found Here (scroll down past the photos).

What kind of glue should I use?
For attaching wood to wood use white glue, yellow carpenter's glue, or a tacky glue such as "Formula Glue" by PineCar. For attaching metal (weights or decorative items) to wood use Epoxy. Epoxy is a two-part glue that fills gaps, dries quickly, and adheres to most surfaces. I don't recommend using "Super Glue" type glues except for emergency repairs.

What grit of sandpaper is needed for sanding the car body?
I recommend the sequence: 60, 120, 240, and 400 grit. Then use 600 or 800 grit paper between coats of primer or paint.

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