Wednesday, 28 December 2016

How to make your own paint thinner

I have been meaning to post this information for quite awhile now. I picked up this trick somewhere a long time ago.  Personally I find it quite useful, which both improves my painting performance and saves me money.

When I first started painting I thinned my paint with tap water.  Unbeknownst to me this is a poor way to go about this.  Tap water contains contaminants which can negatively impact the way paint reacts.  Thinners are of course available on the market, but, there is an easier and cheaper solution out there.  I have been using this recipe for a long time now.  

I make this in batches of 70ml. 

Mix the following:
40ml of distilled water
20ml 99% alcohol (do not use anything but 99%)
3-6ml of flow improver
3ml of flow extender

This solution will thin any acrylic paint, including Tamiya, which is notorious for being a bitch to paint with.  It will also save you a bundle of money and improve your painting more than you think.

Also, for cleaning airbrushes I recommend using Windex.  Just shoot it through the brush and it will dissolve paint easily.  If your wife complains about the smell tell her you are cleaning.

Finally for stripping paint from any type of model I recommend 99% alcohol.  It will dissolve almost anything and not damage plastics.  It also takes far less time than other products.  I keep several mason jars filled with this stuff when things go wrong.  Just let them soak for several hours and then use a toothbrush to remove the paint. 

Many thanks to the long lost internet sole which turned me onto this recipie.


  1. Thanks for the recipe Db. I use water from my dehumidifier and it works quiet. Have to add alcohol to it & see what happens.Can't find Windex here , i wonder if another brand works...

    1. NP. Anything with Ammonia in it would do the job fine.

  2. Ammonia. Interesting have to scour cleaning products ingredients next time I'm at the supermarket...


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