Paint Transfer?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Fluesheet, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    I don't airbrush much, but need to on occasion and would like to get good enough at it that the thought of using it doesn't intimidate me.

    One of the simple things that holds me back is simply getting the paint from the bottle into the cup (my brush has an integral cup). How do you do this with out making a mess? And how do you ensure consistent thinning? Do you save any unused paint? How long do you keep an opened bottle of paint (both water and solvent based?)?


  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not familiar with the integral cup, but it sounds like it would be a real nuisance to use, as not all spraying is done horizontally. If you're using water-based paints, you could use an eyedropper or a plastic syringe (minus the needle) to transfer paint to the cup, or, when you're finished painting, back to the jar.
    For thinning, I mix the paint in small jars. My airbrush, a Paasche VL, came with one small spray bottle, but I found that the cap is the same size and thread type as the bottles for Floquil, PollyScale, Accupaint, and Testors. As an added bonus, the old small Polly S bottles are exactly the same as the Paasche bottle.
    Most of my airbrushing is done with Floquil and I usually try to mix enough paint to do the job, although the shelf life of the thinned paint seems to be pretty good. Right now, there are 19 small (5/8 oz.) and 2 large (1 oz.) bottles of thinned paint on the shelf in my spray shop. Some have been there for a year or so, while others have been around much longer, as common colours are continually being added to or altered.
    For thinning, I mix "by eye": paint first, then add thinner. For solvent-based paints, like Floquil, I use lacquer thinner, poured from a 1 litre can, which can be a bit messy, but it's a lot neater than pouring from the gallon can that I buy it in. :D If you're using water-based paints, use the cc graduations on the syringe to keep the paint/thinner proportions constant.
    Another bonus with using pre-thinned paints stored in bottles is that there's almost no need to clean the airbrush between colours. Exceptions to this would be light colours or clear finishes, as even a drop of a darker colour can alter these.
    Finally, when you've finished painting for the day, CLEAN YOUR AIRBRUSH THOROUGHLY!
    Don't leave it 'til later, it'll just get harder to clean. My VL can be torn down, cleaned, and re-assembled in about 60 seconds.

  3. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    I also have a paasche VL and i find it very simple to use and clean.i use epoxy paint and lacquer thinner,i know its not good for models but my bro is an automotive "artist" and use to do it so I've got it down.for pouring paints fro 1 gallon cans i use a simple spout.for thinning i use a digital scale which reds into the hundredths per parts so thinning is no prob,but a simple way is to use the instructions on the back and add more or less depending on your needs with a cup with a ruler marking on the can keep solvent paints for a long time if properly sealed and shaken annually,not sure about water based but probably the same.if you need any more help you should ask Wayne since it sounds like he knows alot more than me :)
  4. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    I have an Iwata, and one of the things I like about it is it has a tightly capped cup. As long as there's enough paint to cover the bottom of the cup, orientation is not a problem. I previously used my father's Paasche with an open cup, and you're right, it was a pain having to keep it level enough to prevent spills.

    This (storing thinned paints) is so simple, it actually makes sense! :D I've avoided the spray bottle type airbrushes for two reasons - one to avoid mixing too much (more difficult to do in the much smaller cup), and two, suspicions of inconsistent pickup from the bottom of the bottle if I did mix a small batch. Your solution solves both. Hopefully the Iwata bottle thread is standard.

    Good stuff. Thanks for the advice!

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