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Why do we thin paints?

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  • Member since
    April, 2017
Why do we thin paints?
Posted by jlee9 on Wednesday, September 06, 2017 11:36 PM

Hi All,

I'm new to the model game and am working with my son on some cars and just starting to dabble in AFVs.  Currently, we spray paint with rattle cans the large areas of most cars and AFVs, but for the smaller parts we paint directly out of the bottle (Tamiya acrylic).  I'm not exactly sure (and I got lazy, so I thought I'd just ask), but what is the purpose of thinning paints?  Does it help with the coverage or the look?  I'm wanting to get an airbrush in the future (which I believe need thinned paints), but I'd like to know the reasons behind why we do certain things.


Thanks,
Joe

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 1:08 AM

The paint needs to be thinned in order for it to flow through the airbrush correctly.

Most say about the consistancy of milk.

Any thinner & it won't cover properly & can run, any thicker & it will not flow well & will give you orange peel.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    April, 2017
Posted by jlee9 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 3:12 PM

Okay, sounds great.  How about brush painting?  Would there be a need to thin paints for brushing??

  • Member since
    May, 2015
Posted by Goofy62 on Thursday, September 07, 2017 6:46 PM

Not usually.

Most bottle paints made for brushing are already thinned appropriately.

Occasionally, they may benefit from a little thinning though.

 

Steve

  • Member since
    December, 2007
  • From: Portland Oregon: Tree Country. Most beautiful area on the West coast.
Posted by Treehugger Dave on Thursday, September 07, 2017 9:33 PM

jlee9

Hi All,

I'm new to the model game and am working with my son on some cars and just starting to dabble in AFVs.  Currently, we spray paint with rattle cans the large areas of most cars and AFVs, but for the smaller parts we paint directly out of the bottle (Tamiya acrylic).  I'm not exactly sure (and I got lazy, so I thought I'd just ask), but what is the purpose of thinning paints?  Does it help with the coverage or the look?  I'm wanting to get an airbrush in the future (which I believe need thinned paints), but I'd like to know the reasons behind why we do certain things.


Thanks,
Joe

 

Great question Thumbs Up.

Thinning paints accomplishes several things especially when your air brushing like you mentioned.

First of all you get the consistancy you need for proper coverage.

2nd of all, thinning allows the paint to flow properly for a nice smooth finish and

3rd thinning helps control the drying time of your paint whether enamel, lacquer, or urethanes.

I love Mecum Auctions and Barrett/Jackson auctions and what would I do without Ebay.

 

 

                                     

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2015
  • From: the redlands, Fl
Posted by crown r n 7 on Friday, September 08, 2017 12:46 PM

I'll drink to that Dave well said.

Niko

  • Member since
    February, 2008
Posted by justmike on Sunday, September 10, 2017 2:55 PM

You will learn too that certain paints are better for brush painting than others. I personally prefer Testors and especially Humbrol enamels for brush painting. Acrylics dry too fast for my liking.

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Mesa, AAZ
Posted by Ranchn62 on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 3:11 AM

I'll just this, about that. Paint in jars, are meant to be applied with a brush. 

otherwise, you would have all kinds of brush marks. Thinning them, as previously posted, is needed to flow through an airbrush. I run my line from my compressor, to a Dryer mounted on my bench. It basically removes the moisture in the atmosphere. 

I never use thinner. Ever. I buy the appropriate reducer for the ambient temp. Bonus.... Pint thinned with thinner, will turn into rock in about 3 months if you don't use it. Not a problem with reducer. It doesn

t "Kill" the paint in the jar. I admit, I don't know the exact science.... I just know it works. It's not hard... If it's cold, you'll want a "Fast" reducer.... And if it's hot... You use a "Slow" reducer. What this does, is it controls how long your paint will stay wet while in the air. It affects the "gloss". 

I hope this helps someone....  : )          

  • Member since
    February, 2008
Posted by justmike on Thursday, September 21, 2017 8:09 PM

  Are there reducers for Testors and Humbrol!?!

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    June, 2012
Posted by jhande on Sunday, September 24, 2017 10:00 PM

Mineral spirits.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Mesa, AAZ
Posted by Ranchn62 on Saturday, September 30, 2017 5:52 AM

Hey Mike,

Sory it took so long to get back to you.... I was in the ICU for a week, and am just now catching up.

 

The reducers tat my local auto paint store sells is by "Grow Group", and I use it on what ever brand of paint I'm using.... Testor's, Boyd's, Tamiya, etc. 

A gallon costs about $24.00

I thin laquers and enamals with it, it doesn't seem to matter what type, the reducer works so very well.

I hope this answers your question that you asked of me.

Regards,

Dennis

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