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  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Gastonia, NC
Posted by DRay1656 on Friday, June 8, 2018 10:51 AM

Can someone help me? I read a lot in my scale auto megezine about decanting paint. Can someone tell me what it means and how you do it?

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Friday, June 8, 2018 2:20 PM

Decanting is removing paint from a spray can so it can be sprayed from an airbrush.

Very basically, shake the spray can well, then fasten a straw to the nozzel of the spray can and spray paint through it into your airbrush bottle. I have decanted Tamiya paint a few times, and by luck I bought some drinking straws that fit snugly to the nozzle of the Tamiya cans. If your straw doesn't fit this way, use silly putty, modelling clay, or poster tack to attach and seal the straw to the paint can nozzle. It may be best to cut the straw to about 3-4 inches long. Once the straw is attached, just point the free end into your paint bottle and press the nozzle to spray the paint into it.

I recommend you try this outdoors or somewhere that it is ok to make a mess. This usually works with good control an no mess, but once...

Also, wear eye protection and rubber gloves in case things go wrong. Spray into the bottle until the bottle is no more than 3/4 full. Decanted spray paint will sometimes bubble up and overflow the bottle. This can happen up to hours after decanting. Stirring or even moving the bottle can cause this to happen. The pressurised propellant gasses are still present in the paint, so the paint must be left to gass out for a couple of hours or more before spraying. If the paint is capped after decanting, the paint can't gas out, and the paint could bubble up and over flow the bottle the next time it is opened.

Decanted paint is pre-thinned and ready to spray.

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

- Steamboat Gariepy


  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Gastonia, NC
Posted by DRay1656 on Friday, June 8, 2018 8:09 PM

Thank you so much for the info!!!!!!!

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Canberra, Australia
Posted by aussiemuscle308 on Saturday, June 9, 2018 7:16 AM
i'm surprised no one's come up with a tool to decant spray cans. if you do try this yourself, beware of 'blow back', where the outgassing from the can hits your container and bounces back into your face (don't ask me how i know) i've tried several straw sizes and lengths, and it always seemed a real mess and found it was quicker, easier and cleaner to just spray onto the side of a chinese-food type container and let the paint run down into it. They are small enough to collect the paint but large enough to let the propellant release away.

My Flickr:

  • Member since
    January 2018
  • From: Gastonia, NC
Posted by DRay1656 on Saturday, June 9, 2018 7:38 AM

I certainly won't ask how you know but I think I can see how it could happen!!!! Thanks my friend for the tip, that will be VERY useful!!!!!!

  • Member since
    March 2010
  • From: Midwest
Posted by High octane on Saturday, June 9, 2018 10:07 AM

I always decant my spray cans by spraying directly on the model bodies and parts and it works great for me as I just "shake and spray."

High octane


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