Learn More → Things You'll Need. I personally use a mixture of denatured alcohol, water … Tweet . Acrylic (water based) paints are easy to use, fast drying, low odor, permanent, some are non-toxic and they can be used with a brush or an airbrush. As far as thinning goes when you are using an airbrush, you have to find what works for you best. For me, given it’s hardly noticeable, that’s not a problem at all. How to Thin Acrylic Paint for Pouring. Floquil Polly Scale paints … This leads to the misconception that water is the carrier of the paint particles. By keeping everything totally consistent, except for the thinning agent, you’ll be able to get the very best comparison on exactly how well it performs. The amount of water you add depends on the desired effect and the surface. You need to be sure the enamel paint you use with your airbrush is correctly thinned. Thinning reduces both the amount of acrylic and pigment in the mixture. And if I had to say anything at all about the difference in finish it would be that the spoons painted with Tamiya X20-A thinned paint dried just a fraction darker and the water thinned paint a fraction lighter. Water will only work for thinning water-based Enamel Paint and not for oil-based Enamel Paints. Just as the other posters listed it must be thinned out to about a 1:1 ratio with water. Let us now consider the various ways you can thin acrylic paint. Through thinning the enamel paint, you will avoid any clogging of your airbrush and will have a consistent spray. Or put another way, when you swirl the stick around you can’t see the swirls lying on the paint. Acrylic paint is water-based and thus water-soluble when wet, so water can be used to thin it. To get the correct consistency, you need to take a few things into account. W… As mentioned above the anecdotal evidence from modelers is that distilled water will, if not quite ideal, will be acceptable. When the test piece looks touch dry (I don’t test it, just look at it) I’ll examine the piece under strong lighting or sunlight if possible to see if I’ve got perfect coverage, and if I need anymore I’ll do another wet coat. Having acrylic paint that’s designed for airbrushing would be the easiest and fastest method Thin the acrylic paint mixture by adding water at 50% water and 50% paint Pour the paint into the tight-lidded container, then add the equivalent amount of water Tightly close the lid of the container and shake it until the paint and water are well mixed Can you use water to thin acrylic paint for airbrushing? Cleaning Acrylic Paint . While the Tamiya brand of purpose made acrylic thinner is the best choice for thinning Tamiya acrylic paints, many modelers have said that they can also thin and airbrush Tamiya acrylics with isopropyl alcohol and also distilled water. Mixing the right consistency is vital for the airbrush and paint to work together. Acrylic paint is water-based and thus water-soluble when wet, so water can be used to thin it. Paint stored under a lid will last for up to 24 hours before drying out. Water: The Primary Acrylic Paint Thinner Water has been used to thin acrylic paints for a long time because it is not only effective, but it is readily available and cheaper than other thinning solutions on the market. A good place to read about it is Swanny'sModels. By: Maxfield Carroll Updated September 15, 2017. paint image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com. Most paints designed for airbrushes do not need to be thinned, and are ready to be sprayed right out of the bottle. One alternative to water is Golden Airbrush Medium. Once you have figured out how to thin acrylic paint correctly, the application process becomes extremely easy. By 1955, commercially produced, water-based acrylic paints were readily available and became the go-to medium for contemporary artists. I’ll be mixing the paint and thinners directly in the gravity feed airbrush cup because I’m impatient (yeah I’m gunna do it dammit! You can use your paints straight from the tube, or you can thin acrylic paint to obtain another effect. In the instructions it says to thin acrylic paints (which Tamiya are) with water or an acrylic thinner. It is an acrylic coating that dries hard and has the nice feature that it can be re-desolved by a solution of ammonia. Do a test spray on a piece of scrap (not your primed part) to make sure everything is good to go, I always use the lids of general purpose spray paint because they’re conveniently located on my work bench. Remember to wash your plastic models in water with a little dish soap and dry thoroughly before painting. link to How To Drain Water Out Of An Airbrush Compressor Water Trap (Steps), link to How To Use A Single Action Airbrush (Step by Step Guide), check out my article on airbrush compressor features, for details on how to clean the outside of your airbrush so it sparkles check out this article. . The larger the nozzle, the thicker the paint flows, so experiment to discover which combination works for your project. These were the most common types of automobile paints in use until the introduction of the two-stage (color coat, clear coat) catalyzed paint systems. ) and will set my compressor to 18 psi of working pressure. I usually use isopropyl alcohol, however this causes a couple of side affects that you should be aware of: It causes acrylics to dry just a little bit quicker. Airbrush acrylic medium can work great for thinning your airbrush paint. I have been using Flow Improver for thinning more often lately. It also says that acrylics are pre-thinned for airbrushing. I don’t bother going so far as removing the nozzle however, I’ve always found it to be overkill and only remove the nozzle for a deep airbrush clean once in a while. I'm pretty sure that it's because you're getting a better distribution of pigment particles. This is due to Tamiya acrylics being water based, so it would make sense that they can be thinned with water… If this experiment doesn’t work right off the bat I’ll start playing around with other variables, but for now I’m keeping it as simple as possible. Acrylic binders are used in all forms of paints so that you see acrylic lacquers and acrylic enamels (petroleum based). Most problems with airbrushes are due to paint clogging the inside. This is a straight comparison of Tamiya acrylic paint thinned with Tamiya thinners and dodgy tap water, every variable is going to be the same including how and where it’s thinned. You can see its ingredients here. It atomises and sprays smoothly from the airbrush and lays down with a good quality finish for a mist coat. For water based paints like createx you can use plain ole water from the tap. From makeup and manicure artists to custom cars, clothing, suntan booths and even bakeries, the airbrush has become a staple for many artists. Print . Acrylic Paints. Be sure that the nozzle is spotless, and the body of the airbrush should be cleaned to its original shine. The Mr Color thinner is technically for their lacquer paints, although due to the alcohol base works great for their aqueous paints (and Tamiya) too. Okay, so your first inclination when you think about how do you dilute acrylic paint for pouring very well might be, “Well, I’ll just add water to it!” And this makes sense when you think about what we do for cooking and things like that, but unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite like that for acrylic paint. Paint thinner is the first go-to for cleaning followed by flushing with water. Thinning your acrylic paint with any of several polymer mediums allows the pigment to bond with the surface as the medium dries forming a very solid structure to hold the pigment. Essentially just use whatever standard procedure you’ve always used to get the best coat of paint down on your test piece. Water can be used to thin acrylic paints but its best if you use distilled water, and you use it sparingly. That being, “keep the pigment in place after dry time”. Mixing water into your paint can help to achieve a smooth and consistent finish in both the texture and the color. Acrylic is a very forgiving paint (at least the water based Tamiya version is) and will work well as a … In general, water is what you use to thin out acrylic paint as it is water-based. In short, yes you can but only if the Enamel Paint, that you want to dilute, is water-based. The paint was rather thick and it kept clogging the airbrush tip. Acrylic paints work well in an airbrush because they are water-based, and mistakes can be immediately corrected. Since there are so many different pouring mediums, paints and styles out there, it’s very hard to cover all of them. If I hadn’t written on the spoon handles there’s no way at all anyone would tell them apart. I add 50% water and 50%Floetrol. Acrylic medium minimizes the need for the addition of water and allows the paint to sit on top of the surface, maintaining a rich, glossy appearance. So, thin the paint right and set up the gun correctly. These acrylic paints used special solvents to reduce the acrylic binders. Yes, simply mix a 1:1 ratio of water and acrylic paint. I've been using distilled water to thin Polly Scale acrylic paints for several years, and I'm very happy with the results. We discuss the process of thinning acrylic paint in this article. Post . Apply a small amount of paint to your palette. Oil – This type of paint is a little bit more challenging to use in airbrushing especially since it has a longer drying time. A paint that’s too thick or thin needs thinning. For this experiment it’s important that you thin the acrylic paint using water in exactly the same way that you thinned it with the purpose made Tamiya thinner. Again I’m surprised by how well the paint is going down, the quality of the spray work and finish is perhaps 90%+ of the control test using the Tamiya X20-A thinners. Acrylic paint can be thinned for airbrushing by adding distilled water to the paint until it has the same consistency as milk. , Once your airbrush is all back together get yourself ready for the next stage…, Steel yourself however you need to for the upcoming tap water airbrushing experiment…. Once this is touch dry I very gently rubbed my finger over it to remove the pebbling and bring it back to being quite smooth. The only difference I see is that with the water there is perhaps additional pebbling that wasn’t present with the acrylic thinner thinned paint, but it’s extremely minor. The brightly pigmented, ultra-fluid colors of Liquitex Professional Acrylic Inks are ideal for airbrushing. By: Maxfield Carroll Updated September 15, 2017. . You need the thin viscosity of the paint to pass through the tiny holes of the airbrush. Another fact about acrylics is that they are water-soluble, but once dry, they are waterproof and durable in most environmental conditions. Writing her food blog (www.ifyoucanreadyoucancookblog.com), editing volume two of her cookbook and entertaining and cooking with visiting chefs from around the world round out Jann's world as she loudly voices her theme: "Cooking: It Ain't Rocket Science!". Don't use tap water, as its minerals and impurities can result in poor paint coverage and clogging issues. Most acrylic paint can be thinned with water. What Do You Thin Tamiya Acrylic With For Airbrushing. After checking the consistency of the paint, you can now add water to thin out the paint. Too much water (more than 25 percent) renders the acrylic paint unstable. It’s true that using water may require a different thinning ratio and/or air pressure, but right now my care factor for the extra complexity is totally nil. Put it to the side for now with all of your other airbrushing equipment, we’ll be coming back to this in Step 7 after we’ve done our ‘control’ test. I have tried to thin model master acrylic paints with alcohol and water, however, the results were not suitable for airbrushing. Herein lies the contrast between acrylic and the more oil-based paints. How will the finished product come out when it’s fully dried…? Tamiya’s water based acrylic paint can be thinned with their proprietary X20-A acrylic thinners, iso-propyl alcohol (IPA), distilled water, and I’ve even shown that it can be thinned with regular tap water with outstanding results, but few people seem to realise that it can also be thinned with Tamiya lacquer thinner. This doesn’t seem to have had any negative affect on the finish. They also dry quickly, have no fumes and are easy to clean from the airbrush. The airbrush works excellent for most airbrushing applications and also with most types of paint spray media. Typically I’d thin Tamiya acrylics with the purpose made Tamiya acrylic thinner X20-A to a ratio of around one part paint to one part thinner (1:1), and airbrush the paint at around 18 psi. Paint stored under a lid will last for up to 24 hours before drying out. Related. 2. Unlike an aerosol can that automatically sprays with the push of a button, an airbrush needs an external source of pressurized air fed by a compressor or air tank. Water will dilute your paint’s acrylic characteristics – the reason you probably choose to use it in the first place. One of the easiest ways to thin out acrylic paint is by adding water to it. I then sanded the pieces reasonably smooth with 800 grit sand paper. Water actually breaks down the binders in acrylic paint, thinning the paint to resemble that of watercolors, allowing it to sink into the surface of the support and dry with a matte finish. However, acrylic medium will … The same wet-coat process as before, see how you go with one and do a second coat if the coverage wasn’t quite spot on the first time. The makeup studio discovered that airbrushing the actors to look like Romans got the job done more efficiently, and the tans looked more realistic than by applying the darkening lotion by hand. On a side note, for details on how to clean the outside of your airbrush so it sparkles check out this article I wrote a few weeks back. You can get floetrol at any paint dept. I have tried to thin model master acrylic paints with alcohol and water, however, the results were not suitable for airbrushing. Use three ounces of water for each gallon of paint. The reason for using Acrylics over solvent based paint is the odour and health issue of the solvent based paint. You can also place the mixture in a measuring jug and mix with a mini whisk. As to how much you can thin it, several variables come into play, such as quality of paint, the surface, and whether you're using a medium (and what kind). You can use water or alcohol or other thinners, but I actually have a much easier time with the medium. Share It. If gone by a simpler definition, it can be said that acrylic by its very nature is a water-soluble paint medium. Use an acrylic medium, which is paint without the color, to thin acrylic paint and then experiment with the airbrush to get the right air pressure poundage. Yes, I have used the craft acrylic paints in my airbrush with great success too! Share . The water to paint ratio is 50/50. It's a matter of "try and try again" when finding the right consistency of acrylic paint for your airbrush. You should test your paint first on a sample material before you start working on your project. Interestingly you can thin these with water too, but it's not as effective as the thinner. I have been using Flow Improver for thinning more often lately. But it could get lumpy and clog nozzles up..... don't recommend it. Can you thin acrylic paint with water? Can You Thin Enamel Paint With Water? Using rubbing alcohol is far more better. Thin Acrylics With Caution Too much water (more than 25 percent) renders the acrylic paint unstable. There’s only one thing for it… it’s testing time!! It's easy to airbrush acrylic paint as long as you get the right consistency and use it in a very clean airbrush. Acrylic paints are made of three components: pigment that gives the paint its color, water that holds it together and the binder that holds the paint to the surface when the water evaporates. Let us have a look at what acrylic paint is before we move on to discussing the different ways of how to thin out acrylic paint. If you want to see me experiment with any other brands or types of paints, thinners, thinning ratios, airbrushing effects, anything, get in contact with me and let me know! This is a flat colour being in the ‘XF’ range and so I never usually make my wet coats quite as ‘wet’ as when I’m using a gloss colour. How to thin acrylic paint for spraying Thin the paint with water and Floetrol to the point where, when you lift the stir stick, the paint dissipates into itself immediately. It is not that it needed more thinner, the paint just turned into a rather gummy and lumpy mix. Cleaning your airbrush is probably the most important task after using it. If you did that with plain water, there is a chance of watering down the adhesion properties of the paint. These steps will work perfectly if you want to know how to thin acrylic paint for airbrushing models. If you are talking about thinning down acrylic craft paints, the best thing I have found is Wagner Paint Easy. 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