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  • Topic: Thinning Latex Paints

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    • March 8, 2018 6:09 PM EST
      • Hendersonville, North Carolina
         
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      Thinning Latex Paints

      I'm sure there are some of you out there who have purchased color matched paints from your local paint or hardware store.  My question is: When thinning latex enamel paints for use in an air brush, what percentage of water do you use to thin the paint?

       

      Doc Watson

    • March 8, 2018 6:47 PM EST
      • Southern Oregon
         
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      The percentage that allows the paint to be pushed through the air brush is always best.

      Not much help I know but that is the answer.  The viscosity of the paint will usually vary depending on the quality of the paint.

      The better the quality, more solids, the harder it is to push through an air brush. Also flat, satin, or gloss will make a difference.

      It can be done, I have used it on a few models, just have to start with a mix and see where your at and adjust accordingly. Thin, light coats is always better.

       

      But Doc, you probably already know all this and were just hoping for a magic number to pop up, like 25/75 or something.

       

      Always start on scrap.

      Good luck

      Rick

    • March 8, 2018 7:59 PM EST
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      OMGram .....Where is my can opener

    • March 8, 2018 11:52 PM EST
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      I would say start in the 10% paint range and see how it sprays. Household paint pigments are ground a lot bigger than hobby grinds. I've thought about buying a quart of a custom color blend just to try, buy have never actually found the need too. Hobby paints might be a bit pricy, but I don't want to save a few dollars and ruin a model.

    • March 9, 2018 1:08 PM EST
      • Phippsburg, Maine
         
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      Of course there is nothing wrong with brushing the stuff on.  A good brush and reasonable viscosity paint.

    • March 9, 2018 1:56 PM EST
      • Hendersonville, North Carolina
         
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      Thanks for the help. I'm going to play with the paint I got. I realize the pigments a larger than hobby paints and might cover some details but I have to give it a try since it's a perfect match for the Accucraft coach I'm converting to a RPO. As a backup I've ordered some Model Master Pullman Green. 

       

      Doc Watson

    • March 9, 2018 5:04 PM EST
      • East Brunswick, N J RRR#22
         
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      Many moons ago I would thin water soluble model paints with alcohol. WHAT?

      Thinning with water gives you a thinner paint (Duh), but alcohol, well shaken, puts the paint into suspension. It seems to make a much finer spray, and the alcohol evaporates (dries) quickly. Can't give a percentage either because it varies with the original thickness.

       

      Now everyone thinks I'm crazy (some just more sure), but don't knock it till you try it.

    • March 9, 2018 5:26 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Lou, I use to do that with craft paints, then all of a sudden it wasn't working anymore. So I think it depends on the specific chemistry of the latex paint, if alcohol will work or not. For craft paints, now I use a few drops of brush cleaner with the water when I thin the paint.

       

      Also, when I airbrush the craft paint, I have to use a larger nozzle and more air pressure to get the thicker paint to apply properly and not just splatter on the model. I haven't tried house paint, but I would think it would behave similarly.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 9, 2018 5:52 PM EST
      • Missouri
         
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      Something useful; https://liquitex.com/flowaid/ and https://liquitex.com/airbrushmedium/ It works for using craft acrylics or regular artist acrylics instead of specific modeling paints.

      Flow Aid

      Additive that improves acrylic paint flow

      Texture: Fluid
      Sheen: Satin
      Relative Opacity: Transparent

       

      • Use in conjunction with any acrylic medium or acrylic color when increased flow and absorption and decreased film tension and friction are important. 
      • A flow enhancer that improves the flow, absorption and blending of any water-soluble paint (i.e. acrylic paint), medium, ink or dye. 
      • Minimizes brush marks by reducing friction of paint application. 
      • Does not contain binder. Over thinning of acrylic paint with Liquitex Flow-AidTM and applying to a non-absorbent surface (i.e. gessoed canvas) may result in poor adhesion. Always make a test piece for your particular application and surface. 
      • On non-absorbent surfaces, will increase the fluidity and open (drying) time of the paint. 
      • On absorbent surfaces, will act as a stain, dye or watercolor. 

      Directions

      • Liquitex Flow-AidTM is a concentrate. Dilute with water before mixing into paint. Distilled water is best, since quality of tap water varies. 
      • Minimum dilution: 1 part Liquitex Flow-Aid to 10 parts distilled water to achieve Flow-Aid Water. 
      • Normal dilution: 1 part Liquitex Flow-Aid to 20 parts distilled water to achieve Flow-Aid Water.

       

       

      Airbrush Medium

      Extremely fluid ideal for thinning paints

       

      Effects Painting Medium
      Texture: Fluid
      Sheen: Satin
      Relative Opacity: Transparent

       

       

       

      Liquitex Airbrush Medium is specifically formulated to thin acrylic colors for airbrush application. Mixing colors with Airbrush Medium will ensure that the colors do not lose their flexibility, durability and adhesion.

       

      Attributes

       

      • Low viscosity 
      • Ready to use pre-filtered and pre-reduced to the required consistency for airbrush techniques, add as much or as little as desired. 
      • Formulated for thinning acrylic colors for airbrush application. 
      • Ensures colors do not lose flexibility, durability and adhesion. 
      • Easily thins acrylic color or any water-soluble paints to a sprayable consistency. 
      • Allows thinned acrylic paint to be sprayed efficiently and retain paint film integrity. 
      • Liquitex Airbrush Medium mixes easily with all Liquitex Soft Body Artist Colors to produce airbrush paint with the proper viscosity for airbrushing. 
      • Can also be mixed with Liquitex Heavy Body Artist Colors. 
      • Can be mixed with all Liquitex paint, mediums and gesso. 

       

      Application

       

      • Mix Liquitex Airbrush Medium into Soft Body Artist Color there is no need to strain. 
      • Mix Liquitex Airbrush Medium into Heavy Body Artist Color and strain to remove any undissolved color. 
      • Start by mixing 50% Liquitex Airbrush Medium to color and mix thoroughly. Add further Airbrush Medium as necessary to facilitate flow through the airbrush. Each color may require a different percentage of Airbrush Medium to color, due to variation in color pigment size and concentration of pigment. 
      • Airbrush nozzle size and spraying pressure (PSI) will determine the ratio of Airbrush Medium to paint mixture. Larger nozzles allow for greater amounts of paint in the mixture. 
      • Keep airbrush wet during use, do not allow paint to dry in airbrush. 
      • Clean airbrush with water, water/ammonia mixture, Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink Pen Cleaner, airbrush cleaner or alcohol.

       

    • March 10, 2018 5:03 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      https://www.google.com/search?q=Polly+S+airbrush+thinner&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4gajFv-HZAhVOw1kKHchGClMQsxgIKg&biw=1008&bih=556#spd=10801931973310179856

      https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=airbrush+thinner&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=174294664024&hvpos=1t1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2773747096368653887&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9007356&hvtargid=kwd-792534879&ref=pd_sl_4empz4a5b6_b

      This post was edited by Ken Brunt at March 10, 2018 6:41 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • March 10, 2018 5:08 AM EST
      • West Grove, Pennsylvania
         
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      I have a bottle of PollyS airbrush thinner that I use to thin acrylic craft paints. Smells a lot like alcohol. 

      ____________________________________

      "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --Martin Luther King Jr

    • March 10, 2018 10:24 AM EST
      • Port Orchard, Washington
         
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      My thinner I use is a homemade recipe based on the MRH acrylic painting guide. Its cheap to make. I make the high performance thinner by the gallon. I actually need to make 2 gallons next time as I use it as my go to airbrush cleaner as well. 

      http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/30953

      "

      PLAY-IT-SAFE THINNER FORMULA (makes 32oz/950 ml)

      • 53% distilled water (500 ml) 
      • 21% vendor’s airbrush thinner (200 ml)
      • 21% acrylic flow enhancer (200 ml)
      • 5% acrylic retarder (50 ml)

      Total cost is about $30 for one quart (950 ml) of thinner, or about 3.1 cents per milliliter. For flow enhancer, I like Vallejo’s airbrush flow improver [4-3]. It’s on Amazon here: amzn.com/B00QD780G0. For retarder, I use Golden’s retarder [4-4], amzn.com/B0009HAB58.
       

      HIGH-PERFORMANCE THINNER FORMULA (makes 33.8oz/1000 ml)

      • 55% distilled water (550 ml) 
      • 20% butyl cellosolve (200 ml)
      • 20% Armor All Auto Glass Cleaner (200 ml)
      • 5% acrylic retarder (50 ml)

      Total cost is about $18 for just over one quart (1000 ml) of thinner, or about 1.8 cents per milliliter. I get butyl cellosolve from Amazon in 8oz (237ml) bottles for about $15: amzn.com/B017Q3PM0Q. The butyl cellosolve helps the paint go on smooth and level well, and helps it adhere to plastic and metal. This is thinner works very well as an airbrush thinner for the paints in this booklet. It’s similar to Createx High Performance reducer/thinner.
       

      SUPER-ECONOMICAL THINNER FORMULA (makes 32oz/950 ml)

      • 74% 80-proof (40% ABV) vodka (700 ml) 
      • 21% Armor All Auto Glass Cleaner (200 ml)
      • 5% acrylic retarder (50 ml)

      Total cost is about $13 for one quart (950 ml) of thinner, or about 1.3 cents per milliliter. This thinner formula is the most economical  – it’s made from cheap vodka, chemically known as ethanol. As a thinner, this mixture is quite funtional, but not quite as superb as the butyl cellosolve formula above. This formula is especially ideal as a thinner for brush painting. Do be aware this thinner formula is the most flammable of the three home-brew formulas given, making it more risky to use with an airbrush (but still much less risky than lacquer thinner)."

       

       

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