How to thicken, not thin, paint, and other enamel questions...

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How to thicken, not thin, paint, and other enamel questions...

  •  I wonder if anyone else has had a problem with certain colours of Humbrol enamel paints where they've stirred the tin of paint in the normal way only to find the paint remains, or quickly becomes, very watery and thin.

    It seems to affect the metallic colours especially the silver/aluminium and gold/bronze colours.
    I've often found that the thicker paint left on the stirrer or dripped onto the rim of the tin is fine and covers well, but as soon as I dip the brush into the paint in the tin it's as if the paint hasn't been stirred. It seems to seperate into component form.

    I've stirred for several minutes in a warm atmosphere and had the same result.

    And this has affected these colours on and off for the last ten years in my experience, so it's not just one bad batch.

    So what can anyone recommend to thicken paint without losing the glossy finish? I'm told talcolm powder will thicken paint but will also turn it matt.

    Would pouring in some clear lacquer make any difference?

    I'm interested to know if anyone else has this problem and what they've done to try and solve it.

     

    and while I have your attention, does anyone else find certain silver-coloured enamel paints get very stringy out of the tin, leaving spider webs of thin thread everywhere like a cheap bottle glue?

    I can't be the only one, can I ?
    Mike

    Mike "Good hands, bad taste in cars." Yes I'm a grown up 'playing' with toys but a lot of adults my age drink beer or play computer games - and I've got something to show for the time and money I've spent...
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  • Been a while since I used Humbrols (back in the '70s I used them almost exclusively on airplanes) but I remember them as being a bit different from normal paints.

    Humbrols will separate out if left to sit for any time. Shaking does little, stirring does little more, but try BOTH. Stir up the guck as best you can, then close up the tin and shake it a while, then stir it some more, shake it some more, etc. Eventually, in most cases, you'll get some paint you can use.

    The only gloss Humbrol paint I ever used was their dark navy blue for '50s USN aircraft. This was lovely, lovely stuff that would cover perfectly in one coat and leave NO brushmarks at all.

    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

  •  Thanks, that's good advice Snake but I've already been doing that too.

    Even tried the ancient tip of walking around for the day with a tin of paint in my pocket - idea being it gets shaken up and at the same time throughly warmed by body heat, didn't make much difference either.

    Any other thoughts?
    Mike

    Mike "Good hands, bad taste in cars." Yes I'm a grown up 'playing' with toys but a lot of adults my age drink beer or play computer games - and I've got something to show for the time and money I've spent...
  • While this won't address your immediate problem, it may help avoid it in the future; this also applies to non-Humbrol paints.

    I keep all my paints in hot-wheels cases; every week or so I turn the case upside down. This discourages the thicker part from accumulating and being a pain.

    Regarding your current problem: take a T-shaped pin and put it in a low speed drill. Immerse the head of the pin in the tin and turn the drill on slow speed (high speed might lead to a disaster, as you might well imagine). This should help break up the sludge that has been created.

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

  •  Thanks BTD, that's gotta to be worth a try too

    yes you can get some interesting effects hurling paint around with an electric stirrer, amazing just how far it will travel...
    MIke

    Mike "Good hands, bad taste in cars." Yes I'm a grown up 'playing' with toys but a lot of adults my age drink beer or play computer games - and I've got something to show for the time and money I've spent...
  • logic might make me think why? Because some of the carrier has evaporated and adding a DROP or two of thinner and then stiring  it in will make it bind better

    HANG UP AND DRIVE........ Mike

  • If it is too thin, leave it open to evaporate for awhile. Just be sure to check on it, and be sure no ignition sources are nearby, flames will ruin your day.