Thining..storing paint

01-23-2012, 11:31 AM
Ok..after ive decanted ts paints into bottle...whats the shelf life???
What is the ratio of paint to thinner..all i use is tamiyas,alclad and
the occasional mm...just got my airbrushes and im eager to try it out!!
Also what do you guys use to clean you bottle after the session is over??
Whats the optimal spraying pressure?.I got a paasche single and double

01-23-2012, 12:54 PM
I've had no problems with shelf life for lacquer-based paints. For thinned oil-based paints it can vary, so I only mix what I need. For acrylic paints, it is the same, for me, as the lacquer-based paints so long as you are using water, alcohol, or an approved thinner.

To clean my bottles and my airbrush I use lacquer thinner and wear blue surgical gloves. This solvent can really dry out your hands. Once the thinner removes most of the paint from the bottles I clean them with some Ajax or Comet scouring cleansers and warm tap water. Then I let them air dry. Tamiya has some cotton swabs, like Q-tips, that are really good for cleaning the airbrush. They come in normal and small sizes and hold their shape as you clean. Otherwise you can use regular Q-tips and pipe cleaners, like the ones you'd find at a craft store.

Before you decide on an air pressure thin your paint to a consistency you feel comfortable with and write down your paint to thinner ratio (should be around the consistency of milk). Do this for each type of paint you use. After that start at 30 psi and see if the spray is to your liking. Change the pressure 5 psi up or down if you don't like your initial results. If you still don't like your results then rethink your paint to thinner ratio and repeat the pressures until you find a comfortable combination of paint, thinner, and pressure.

For alclad use lower pressure, say 20 to 25. Follow the directions for this product first and then experiment as above.

For me I spray at about 30 psi for general airbrushing and thin my paints accordingly (paint to thinner):oil-based bottle paints, 1 to 1
acrylic bottle paints, 2 to 1 for Modelmaster
acrylic bottle paints, 1 to 2 for Tamiya
lacquer automotive paint already thinned for paint gun, 1 to 3 thinned with acetone
You may have to repeat these steps for each type of airbrush tip that you use.

This may seem tedious but you will find your personal preferences very quickly. If you decide to figure this all out while you are airbrushing your model instead of before then first check you paintwork on a spare piece of plastic or somewhere on the model that won't be seen. Adjust your settings accordingly and then paint. Be sure to leave you bottles half full so that you can add paint or thinner if you have to.

Hope this helps.

01-23-2012, 06:55 PM
Just an additional tip: to clean your airbrushes use a good quality pipe cleaner, not the craft-store type. These leave minute particles of fuzz in the airbrush recesses when used with laquer thinner. You can get good quality pipe cleaners at a specialist cigar and pipe store. :smooch:

01-23-2012, 11:08 PM
That's a great tip! Sorry that I forgot to mention that.

Add your comment to this topic!