Thought I would give you guy's starting out some pointer's on repainting a bait!!!
First- Getting materials ready.
First thing your going to need is an airbrush. I could tell you to go out and buy and iwata because their the best you can buy, but just starting out I would start with a cheaper one, just in case you decide painting isn't your thing! Here's a link to the one I started out with- it's the capital 2006gf. (http://www.airbrushcity.com/abk1/index.htm)
Next you need an air compressor. You can get small airbrush compressor from airbrush city relatively cheap. I had an old (30years old) sears compressor that I've been using for years now but anyone will work. You'll need a pressure regulator to adjust pressure on your airbrush. I let my aircompressor fill up then set my regulator to 40lbs. I also have something called a mac valve on my airbrush which allows you to adjust the pressure even further. You will do a lot of regulating depending on the size of the detail your painting! Another good item to have is a water trap. It goes in-line with your airline and traps the water that build up in the tank. I started out without one and I'll tell you its worth the 10bucks, If you spray without one you will have water splatter out of your airbrush and send your paint everwhere!
Now that you've got the main materials your next project is where to paint and what to paint your baits in. I have a custom paintbooth now, but when I first started out I just made a box out of plywood with the front open. Here's some pictures just to give you an idea of how it works.
The box is the simple part, next you need to devise a way to hold the bait. Here's a list of things I used to make my holder. A small dowel, swivels from some snap swivels, small springs with the ends bent to hook in the eyes of the lures, Small bushings glued on each side of my box with holes big enough for the dowel to go through, to keep the dowels level, and I took a shotgun cleaning kit handle and mounted it on one side so I can rotate the bait. The dowel on the right does not rotate(it's glued in place) that's what the swivels are for, I can pull the one on the left in and out to adjust the tension on my lure to keep it from spinning on my. Hopefully you can see how it works from the pic's.
I'm not getting into the need for a vacuum system. If your planning on spraying lacquer paints you will definitely need a vacuum to take the toxic fumes away from you!!! Acrylics are not very toxic but if your planning on a lot of painting you might want to invest in some kind of vacuum system... Here's a link to an excellent plan for one...I used this video to build a much smaller version of one like it.
Next a few smaller item's you will need. X-acto knife's with plenty of blades, blue or purple painters tape great for stencils (fins, lines, etc), lures eyes which can be purchased from this site http://www.upnorthoutdoors.com/stamina/lure_eyes/3-Dmolded_eyes.html (they also sell some great unpainted crankbait bodies for practice), denatured alcohol, needle nose pliers,fine sand paper, cheap craft paint brushed, condiment cups for epoxy, 2-ton devcon epoxy, ultrafine glitter to mix with epoxy for some sparkle,etching primer(walmart automotive section) Little trick I learned with experience, regular primer will come off etching primer bonds with the bait and will not come off,different size mesh for scales just looks around for some you can find different style scale everywhere, examples- body wash sponge(try taking one apart), garlic clove wraps, I get mine from the flea market, blow dryer. They sell these little umbrellas for putting over your plate of food at a picnic. Their 1dollar and I can do about 50baits with just one.
OK, not sure how many things I left out but I'm trying to get most of them!!!
I like to print out a picture of the fish I want to paint and put it in my paintbooth for a reference. Next take the bait your painting and take all the hooks and splitrings off, cut out the eyes with your x-acto knife,tape the bill up with the painters tape, scuff it real good with your fine sand paper(this will guarantee that the primer will stick) Clean off with the denatured alcohol, dry with the blowdryer, now spray completely with the etching primer (dries in about 20 min), then your ready to paint, using your springs hook the nose and tail so your bait is directly in front of you in your paint booth.
Your ready to go. I would go into the details of painting but there's so many patterns and so many details that this post would look like moby dick! Just use your imagination!
After each coat of paint hit it with your blow dryer on high for a few seconds, this will set the paint and you can move onto the next color! This is a must.
I usually let my lures dry overnight before clearcoating to make sure the paint is totally dry. I guess I better get into the details of a lure turner before you clear coat. You'll need to have a lure turner after clearcoating to keep the epoxy level. If your handy you can make one out of anything. I used an old microwave carousel motor on mine. Make sure it's a geared motor 2.5-5rpm or you will have epoxy everywhere! Here's a pic of the one I use now to give you an idea of what you need. I used a piece of wire on one side and a rubber band with a snap on the other to hold the bait.
If your only painting one or two baits you can hand them up and turn them by hand every 3 min. for about 30min or until the epoxy sets up!
Once you got your lure turner ready its time to epoxy. I use the condiment cups and the cheap hobby brushes for this. Push on the syringe until you get the desired amount of epoxy in your cup. Mix well for about 30sec. After mixing use your blow dryer to heat the bait up for about 45sec. This will let the epoxy flow over the bait and get rid of the bubbles caused by mixing. Coat the whole bait, brushing off the excess. Take the bait by the bill and hold it up to a light, make sure you got the whole bait, its real easy to miss a spot. When your sure its coated, carefully place on your turner. Let it spin over night (a must, dont mess with it). Should be dry the next day, Careful when touching it, if it's not dry the oils in your skin will discolor the epoxy. As soon as your sure its dry, let it dry another day. The longer you let it dry the better. And there you go, your own custom bait..........
WHEW.....I'm sure I left a lot out but if you need any help just ask....