Your Shad Spoon Information Source
How to paint a shad spoon
Step 1 - Decide what color paints you want to use and what type of paint. I prefer enamels and powder paint for my spoons. I also use others types of paint, but will usually add a coat of clear coat to give them a nice shine and protect the paint. Sometimes you can find nail polish in the colors you want. This works well though the nail polish is often more expensive. Hobby stores sometimes have nice paints that work well. I like Odds 'N Ends paints, but they are hard to locate and aren't sold in Mass. Createx has some good colors.
Step 2 - Buy painting supplies. You will need: paint, paint thinner, clear coat spray, small brushes, rags or paper towels, small containers for paint, stirers.
Step 3 - Painting:
Liquid paint - I hand paint my spoons with enamel, but you can spray paint them if you wish. Before painting the colors I usually give the spoon 2 coats of a while enamel primer. This helps the appearance of the lighter colors that you might use. I usually apply 2 coats of colored paint depending on the pattern I am painting. Dipping a small dowel or coat hanger in the paint to make spots works very well. With a little practice you will learn how much paint to apply. I usually only paint the inside of the spoon leaving the back in the gold or silver color of the willow leaf. Try to brush on the paint on the inside carefully so it does not spill over to the back of the spoon. When the paint has dried, I use an exacto knife to scrape off any spill over paint on the back of the spoon. Also a green scrubby pad will help clean up the back after painting. I apply a coat of clear coat over the paint as a last step. This produces a nice high gloss appearance if the paint you use is not a glossy paint. After a little experimentation, you will find what works for you painting your spoons. I have a picture below of some of the color patterns I use. Use your imagination. You may come up with a new pattern the shad really like. Laying the wet painted spoon flat on a table works well. If you hang the spoon to dry a drip will often fill the eye of the spoon. Remember some paints can be toxic or explosive, so always do you painting in a well ventilated area. I generally allow 24 hours drying time between coats.
Powder paint - Using powder paint is an option if you would like to paint both sides of the spoon. You could also dip the whole spoon in liquid paint, but I don't like the problems this presents with dripping and filling the eyes of the spoons. The process for using powder paint is explained on the container and can be purchased from most tackle supply stores. I heat the spoon with a heat gun or torch and dip it into the powder paint. I tap the spoon to remove any excess powder. Then I hang the spoon on a metal rack I made to put the spoons in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes for hardening. This procedure is a little difficult, but produces a nice hard coat of paint. Two colors can be done with a second dipping, but this procedure is more difficult and does not always produce good results. Cleaning powder paint out of the hole in the spoon is a pain and often requires reheating. Most powder paints produce a nice hard glossy coat. Below is are samples of a new #3 serrated spoon painted with chartreuse powder paint with an enamel green tail from Woo's Lures. Both short hook and long hook models are shown.