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How do i thin metallic paints?

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5 replies to this topic



    'Ard Boy

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Ive been trying to thin metallic paints using water, but if i add too much it starts to separate oddly (Vallejo brass getting a purplish gray liquid on top. Ive also tried tamiya thinner which didnt really help much either.

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eddie the troll

eddie the troll

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I've had the problem myself. The difficulty for GW paints is that the metalics are actually a suspension of solids in a two part oil / water emulsion. You have to make sure that the paint is very well mixed before you try thinning it with anything. This breaks up the emulsion and distributes the oil based and water parts over the metalic paint particles, instead of allowing the oliy part of the emulsion to rise to the surface. Once that is done I've found that you can thin with water provided you don't use more than around a 1:2 water to paint mix.
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    Blue Thunda Ace

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What eddie said, regular water is just You could try some matte or even gloss medium to thin it a bit as well. The hitch is that you can't thin too much or otherwise the metallic flakes will separate out too much. Mind you, I do tend to thin metallics a bit more than I do the regular paints.
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I use water. If it is too thin I just run my brush along paper towel to take most the water away. Sometimes it just takes a couple layers of paint to build up what I am after.




  • Grotz
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Fantastic Floor wax. It smooths the paint without spreading the metal pigment too thin. I also tend to mix airbrush silver with white for stuff like mother of pearl.

Warboss Grimek

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Future or Fantastic would pretty much be like using a gloss varnish, or matte/gloss medium to thin. I've found that while thinning metallics can be a bit of a pain to get a large-ish batch, so it's probably better to just work in smaller batches of paint. Then again, I've had less problems with separation since I've started using a wet palette, although there's still a need to reintegrate the paint solution before applying to the model...