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Thinning Tamiya TS Spray Paint?

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  • Member since
    September 2008
  • From: East Templeton Ma
Thinning Tamiya TS Spray Paint?
Posted by streetrod on Friday, August 13, 2010 9:57 PM

Hi Guys,

I just started to use Tamiya spray can paint and I was wondering what do you thin this paint with if you decant and use it in your airbrush? All of my paint jobs are spray can based because, well frankly, I'm just to darned lazy to use an airbrush. I do spray some into a film container for touch-up and wondered what you guys use to thin it?

Thanks so much,

Barry Fadden

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    December 2009
Posted by CHRIS1983 on Saturday, August 14, 2010 1:07 AM

 I'm not so sure that you can thin it, can you?? I mean, it comes out of the rattle can pretty nice, so I can't imagine thinning it any further than that, plus it's a lacquer paint, so if you use it to do touch ups, you're likely to ruin your paint job I would guess, but seeing how I am new to this site, I could be very very wrong about that as well..

  • Member since
    May 2008
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, August 14, 2010 7:49 AM

I've been decanting rattle can paint and shooting it through airbrushes for more than 40 years now, so long that I doubt I could even use a spray can anymore.

While rattle can paints are of course very thinned out, I have been adding about 10-15% more thinner to them, in the color jar for airbrushing, and use a good quality lacquer thinner for that, regardless of whether it's lacquer, "modified lacquer" such as Tamiya or Modelmaster, or enamel.  It's always worked very well for me.


  • Member since
    October 2007
Posted by markus355 on Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:49 PM

yeah tamiya even has its own brand of lacquer thinner as well, though i buy Nason by the gallon and it works fine too.

  • Member since
    March 2007
Posted by MikeMc on Sunday, August 15, 2010 10:08 AM

I agree with more than 10 or 15% lacquer thinner works well.....I use about 5%

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

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Pasadena, CA
Posted by Ddms on Monday, August 16, 2010 12:20 AM

Just a few drops of hardware store lacquer thinner should thin it enough for you to touch up nicks and bare spots with a brush. If it's too thin, it can spread out of control. The thinner can also dissolve the paint that's already on the model.


  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: West Bloomfield, MI
Posted by steveracer on Sunday, March 29, 2020 11:43 AM

Revival from the dead due to using the "search" feature!  

today I sprayed tamiya ts from a can. The can was 1/3 full at best. The "pressure" from that can was weak and sprayed very blotchy so I decanted it into a jar.  Tried spraying with my Badger dual action and the decanted paint was too thick.  So I thinned it with some cheap a$$ lacquer thinner and sprayed correctly. I am waiting for the dry to get a good read on the results and potential shrinkage. 

however I am not sure if the cans lose pressure over time or if the thinners evaporate over time in the can and cause spraying issues that require decanting.   I have another can in the exact same condition, so I expect that there are other guys out there in the same position. 

steelies, dog dishes and poker chips


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