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I am restoring some old Microscopes and the existing coatings are in poor shape. I would like to strip the castings and refinish them to look as original as possible. Unfortunately, I am unable to determine what coating or process was used to achieve the fine water mist texture as shown:

B&L Microscope Misty Paint Texture

Is there a paint or process available to achieve something at least close to it?

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    That is definitely a special paint; it might need some special tools / methods to apply it. I cannot help you with details, unfortunately. The same, or similar, paint is used to paint cars, by some enthusiasts. – virolino Apr 14 at 6:18
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If the material is metal, one can use a wrinkle finish powdercoat to accomplish this result. It's not quite exactly the same texture, but wrinkle finish powdercoat may qualify in that it's random and irregular.

Using search terms "texture powder coat" provides a number of similar finishes, including hammertone and silver vein, the latter shown below:

silver vein finish powder coat

If there is a powder coating service in your area, they can advise of the available finishes. You can also purchase a home powder coating system which can be used with an inexpensive (yard sale) toaster oven for small parts.

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The best way i could think of getting this would be to hold the spray paint far back from the object. This will usually result in some sort of bumpy texture like the one pictured. The only real way to do this would be a special powder coat, but im assuming you dont want to pay for that. You could also try stippling with a brush and thick paint. My last idea would be getting a grip spray paint/anti slip paint. These are the only ways using spray paint I can think of to get that texture.

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  • I am not against the idea of powder coating. I just couldn't find a close enough match. – ATL_DEV May 20 at 21:52
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The true way to do it is as fred_dot_u (upvoted your answer!) suggested - a powder coat. However if you did want to hack it, you could spread a very thin layer of elmer's glue or a spray adhesive and roll the surface in a light layer of sand and let dry for a couple of hours. Once fully dry, spray paint it over. That should give you a similar sort of texture. My husband uses this method when he paints mini figurines and mini landscapes, and it works well.

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  • You wouldn't happen to have photos? Thanks. – ATL_DEV Jun 30 at 17:57

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