Airbrushing with Pledge (Future) – A Simple Guide

Airbrushing with Pledge is a topic I get quite a few questions about. When I’d first released my Scale Modeling How-To: Straight Talk About Pledge / Future / Klear video, I immediately realized that a follow-on was needed. Many people contacted me with the basic question of “Can you go into more detail about spraying and airbrushing Pledge?”

Happily, I’ve now had time to make this video, and hopefully answer those questions.

Airbrushing with Pledge

Airbrushing with Pledge is actually very simple. Spray it straight from the bottle, with no thinning, and apply it in wet coats. A .5 airbrush nozzle at 18-20 psi is my preferred equipment.

Pledge is more than half water, so it is essentially “pre-thinned”. No thinning is needed – especially using alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners.

Clean up is easy enough also. Some water rinses and sprays, followed by an alcohol spray, will generally do quite nicely.

I recommend avoiding “mist coats”, as these tend to produce orange peel. Instead, I suggest a wet coat approach. It should be wet enough to self-level, but not so wet that is is runny. Then you can allow just a few minutes drying time. A second and third coat can go on quite soon afterwards.

Once applied, there’s not a lot of drying time needed. Overnight is good, but I’ve given as little as 10-15 minutes before proceeding. As with any product, the more you practice, the better you” see how it behaves. Then you can apply this information in future builds.

It is important to keep in mind that Pledge is used best as a utility gloss coat. It is smooth and glossy enough for washes, decals, and a general “shiny” look. For a deep gloss though, such as a car finish, I suggest a proper modeling gloss coat.

Of course, Pledge is generally cheap enough that both can be kept on hand.

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13 responses to “Airbrushing with Pledge (Future) – A Simple Guide”

  1. “KLEARLY” so! Great video with good presentation.


    1. Thanks so much! 😀


  2. Good information, Thanks!

    Curious,.. Does anyone know if you can handle your models after using pledge without it marring? I guess I’m asking whether or not it’s ‘durable’? If not, is there something else that’s not terribly expensive that would be better suited to a model or pieces that get picked up more often?


    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment!

      While excessive handling of a model can damage the finish with any top coat, Pledge is extremely durable. Remember – it’s meant to be walked on! 😊

      So it’s definitely tough.


  3. I was wondering if you dedicate an airbrush for just using the pledge. If you do,could you recommend a cheap airbrush for this?
    Like you I am revisiting building models. Having been born in 1953 it’s been a while since the 60’s when I was very “in” to model building. Videos like yours are very entertaining and enjoyable.


    1. I use the same airbrush for Pledge as I do everything else. As with any media you put through it, just make sure to give it a thorough cleaning and you’ll be good to go.

      Thanks for your kind words – I am glad you enjoy the videos!


  4. What do you recommend I use to polish it as a final gloss coat?


    1. I don’t recommend using it as a final gloss coat if you’re wanting a really high-shine finish. I’ve not found it to be “buffing friendly”.


  5. If you are in Australia with no access to Future/Klear, you can use “Pascoe’s” Long Life Self Shining Floor Polish. It works exactly the same, ie dip canopies, clear coat, decals etc.


  6. Hi Jon,
    Many thanks for your superb video’s – over here in England I went over to ‘Revive-It’ as a final gloss coat on my models after watching your video.
    This morning (5th July 22) I have been given news that J & J have discontinued ‘Revive-It’ as of January 2022 and in the UK it has already gone out of stock on Amazon.
    I think I have found an alternative made by a company called ‘Holloway House’ – do you know anything about this as its description does seem very like the J & J product?
    Thanks Again Jon,
    All the very best


    1. I’ve not heard of that! Hopefully it works well.

      I still have 3 unopened bottles, so I’m set for years! 😀


  7. how do you clean your airbrush after using it?


    1. I blast a few color cups of water through it, then one or two of alcohol. If you feel any remaining stickiness, some lacquer thinner (Mr. Color Thinner, etc.) should take care of it.


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