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Is there a good substitute for Testor's enamel thinner?

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  • Member since
    January 2010
Is there a good substitute for Testor's enamel thinner?
Posted by dreamsinplastic on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 4:58 PM

Hey everybody!

Is there a comparable(...and CHEAPER!!) substitute for Testor's enamel thinner(The $8.00 Red can!)? I use it to thin enamels when BRUSH painting.I've used Donny Yost's formula for airbrushing enamels(Using cheap,store bought lacquer thinner) ,with Good results.I haven't tried lacquer thinner for brush painting

Thanks for your input and recommendations!!! JohnZ

I'm in the middle of a BIG move....From Corpus Christi TX to Tucson AZ.

NO building for awhile,til I set up my shop again !!

                   

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    February 2004
Posted by 70mach1 on Saturday, November 15, 2014 5:08 PM

Plain old garden variety mineral spirits work very well for enamel paints.  Brush painting with lacquer thinner will make a fast drying mess !

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: West Seneca, NY (Buffalo)
Posted by Snork56 on Saturday, November 15, 2014 5:18 PM

Why isn't there enough money to do something right the first time, but always enough to buy it again the second time to straighten out a big mess!;  Better to spend the monery once and not have to redo a screw up!

To get back up when you are down, fight when you are struggling, give the extra effort when you are in pain, come back when no one expects you to and stand up tall when people try to pull you down.    That is what makes up a true champion!!   Snork56 (S56) Henry D.  

  • Member since
    July 2005
Posted by Snake45 on Saturday, November 15, 2014 5:50 PM

I've added small quantities of lac thinner to Testor enamel and brushed it, but then I'm not usually brushing anything I'm trying to get a super-smooth finish on (like a car body). Usually I'm brushing details, and the LT-thinned paint is fine for that. I've even used paint that I've thinned down with LT for airbrushing for small touch-up jobs with no problem.

Recovering aircraft modeler. "I can see me bound and gagged

Dragged behind the clownmobile...."

--Warren Zevon, "Hostage-O," Life'll Kill Ya, Artemis Record 2000

  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by dreamsinplastic on Sunday, November 16, 2014 8:46 PM

Hey Snork56,Where are you going with this? I've purchased the Testor's thinner before.....Great stuff!

I DO use LT for airbrushing enamels.....Works Great! I was just looking for a GOOD alternative to the Testor's red can.....But to keep EVERYONE happy,maybe I'll spring for another can of Testor's with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby......In my former working life/careers,I've also dealt with people NOT wanting to spend a little more(either money OR time) the 1st time around. I'm open to trying different products or techniques, on similar scrap material,but NOT during a current build project. I appreciate the input.....

I'm in the middle of a BIG move....From Corpus Christi TX to Tucson AZ.

NO building for awhile,til I set up my shop again !!

                   

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2014
  • From: Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia
Posted by Aussie Mick on Sunday, November 16, 2014 9:38 PM

Try 3M multi-purpose thinner. It works with anything. And for the amount you get, it isn't expensive.

  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by my_ol55 on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 3:46 PM

I use Klean-Strip Lacquer Thinner for all enamel and lacquer paints.

Enamels - 3-to-1 or  2-to-1 ratios (paint to thinner) - experiment for your specific situation.

Lacquer paints - start with a few drops of LT to the lacquer paint. Then increase the LT amount to paint for additional paint and clear coats.

These formulas are used when using an airbrush at 14 to 18 psi pressure. 

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Cape Coral Florida
Posted by BigTallDad on Thursday, December 4, 2014 11:31 AM

dreamsinplastic

Hey everybody!

Is there a comparable(...and CHEAPER!!) substitute for Testor's enamel thinner(The $8.00 Red can!)? I use it to thin enamels when BRUSH painting.I've used Donny Yost's formula for airbrushing enamels(Using cheap,store bought lacquer thinner) ,with Good results.I haven't tried lacquer thinner for brush painting

Thanks for your input and recommendations!!! JohnZ

Since you already have the lacquer thinner and enamel paint, why not try it on a piece of sprue and see what kind of results you get? Also, share the results with us.

"In order to teach a dog, you must first be smarter than the dog" P.R. Ferguson

  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by dreamsinplastic on Saturday, December 6, 2014 8:06 AM

I've used lacquer thinner to brush paint some metallic finishers (steel,silver,aluminum,cast iron,etc.) if you want a slight texture,rougher finish. Thanks for your input...JohnZMan

I'm in the middle of a BIG move....From Corpus Christi TX to Tucson AZ.

NO building for awhile,til I set up my shop again !!

                   

 

 

 

 

P.j
  • Member since
    December 2014
  • From: South Central Pa
Posted by P.j on Wednesday, January 7, 2015 8:58 AM

I just buy mineral spirits from Walmart. It comes in a fairly large bottle for about 5 bucks.

  • Member since
    May 2020
Posted by Spitbull on Sunday, May 3, 2020 9:28 PM

Hello

I used to use plain old mineral spirits also, and to good results. But I just tried to use it from a gallon jug and the Testors enamel paint coagulated. 
Im in California and wonder if thier epa hand is to blame.

Has anyone else experienced this and know of a fix.

thx 

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 10:29 AM

I've heard of variations in formulas for some solvents in California, so perhaps that's the issue. Try a can of cheap hardware store lacquer thinner. Again, Cali may have variations in formula, but it's worth a try. Lacquer thinner works great with hobby enamels.

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    June 2012
Posted by jhande on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 5:51 PM

For thinning or cleanup for enamel paint, just use plain old mineral spirits. I buy the oderless kind.

Do not mix enamel and lacquer together, 2 different animals. Also don't paint lacquer over enamel it will ruin a paint job.

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