Which reefer yellow paint on wood?

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


I'm getting close the the paint stage on an Ambroid's 1 of 5000 Pennsylvania Outside Braced Reefer.

Sides are reefer yellow, roof boxcar red, and the undercarriage black.

The sides get decaled so I need to end up with a surface that will take decals OK. I don't want to over spray anything with gloss so as to avoid paint build up.

What is your recommendation for a paint for the reefer yellow on the wood sides? The other colors go on wood also, but don't need decals.

Thanks for the suggestions.



Master Mechanic
Scalecoat I or II. The paint drys with a very glossy surface ready for decals. After the decals are appllied, then just a coat of a flat clear or matte clear is all that is needed.

Tip; After the decals are applied and dry, but not sealed, take a knife and slit the decals between the wood slats, and apply another coat of decal set.


Thanks Carey. I have never used Scalecoat on wood and wasn't sure if there was need for any special treatment.


Armchair Engineer
I would also suggest a coat of sanding sealer before paint, if you haven't done so already. Makes the wood far less porous and easier to paint.


I haven't done any painting yet. What sort of sanding sealer? Would it be from some place like a Hobbytown retailer? Possibly intended for model airplanes or cars? I won't be able to do any sanding once it's on as this car has a lot of added outside bracing etc.


Well-Known Member
Everyone does their own thing their own way. As for myself, I would not bother with sanding sealer. I have used it on wooden components where I wanted to make those components look like metal, but your model is of a wood car, so let it look like wood. i've painted plenty of wooden structures and had no problem with paint coverage. Try both technicques on some scrap material, and judge for yourself.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.