If you get nothing else out of this blog, save yourself some trouble and follow my paint advice. I read so many other builders logs and tried numerous colors, types, etc and make the following suggestion after much trial and error.
Primer – use the Rustoleum Automobile Primer Ultimate Finish (gray cap), can be found at Lowes or Home Depot. I had used some other plastic primers and settled on a clear one based off other suggestions, but I used the gray auto primer for the dome and for everything afterwards. Its a very good primer that sticks to the styrene and the resin, plus with it being gray you’ll be able to tell where you’ve applied to the white styrene, and where you’ve missed with the white paint. Price is $4/can.
White – use the Rustomelum Universal Satin White paint. The best part about this paint is the nozzle, I had ZERO runs. It comes out in such a fine mist its really hard to mess up and put on too much. It covers well, is durable and looks really good in my opinion. Price is $6/can.
Blue – Based on other recommendations I tried several combinations, but in my opinion and even Izzy likes the blue, I’d stick with the Dupli-Color Sonic Blue Pearl (BFM0378). You can find it at Autozone or Advanced Autoparts, each had about 1 or 2 cans. There is a trick when using this paint. First, shake it well then keep shaking it, and continue to shake it between passes. There is a metallic part to this paint that looks the best when constantly shaken. Also, only paint parts vertically, do not tip the can one way or the other hold it upright. If not, your parts may get a grayish color to them, trust me I had to repaint all my dome pieces because of this. But once I figured that out all the pieces look amazing. Price is $8/can.
Silver – I used rub-n-buff for the dome and recommend that, but for the other silver pieces I went with Valspar Metallic Silver (shiny silver cap), another builder recommend this. I was afraid based off the cap it wouldn’t look right. But it is not that shiny. Its actually a very good match to the rub-n-buff, plus you can give it a ‘brushed metal’ look with fine steel wool. Prices is $6/can.
Clear Coat – I didn’t use any, all my tests the clear coats yellowed the pieces/parts or gave an unacceptable finish. I tried all the ones recommend by others. All the paints above should be UV safe, and they’ve cleaned up well. I haven’t weather my R2 yet, but plan on doing that so that if it gets kids finger prints or such on it, not a big deal and you won’t hardly notice.
Paint: $48 (2 cans of each)