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Suggestions for Getting Dried Acrylic Paint Out of Your Airbrush


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#1 Stuka

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 03:29 PM

Since I used to be a "lab rat" in my other life I'm happiest when I have an experiment cooking on the workbench.

While playing around with various thinners and cleaners in my shop I struck upon the idea of setting up an assay to test how well thinners and cleaners remove dried acrylic paints. Some of the results were surprising!

 

Here's the link:

 

https://modelpaintso...rbrush-cleaners


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#2 CANicoll

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:50 PM

REALLY Useful, thanks Stuka.  I have also found that using the Model Master cleaners with the Vallejo acrylics seems to work very well.  I second the use of LifeColor but had not tried the Tamiya cleaner but will definitely look at that as well.  

 

A clean airbrush results in a happy modeler....

 

Chris


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#3 eoyguy

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 06:52 PM

What, no M.E.K ? That stuff removes EVERYTHING.


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You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here.

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#4 Stuka

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 09:19 PM

CANicoll and eoyguy: thanks for the comments!!

 

There is going to be a follow-on article where additional thinners/cleaners will be tested.

MEK will definitely be included :rolleyes: 

Thanks for the suggestion.   



#5 HobbyZoneUSA

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 01:19 PM

I second the MEK option. That stuff requires ventilation, but I use it to clean/soak airbrush parts during a thorough tear-down. I was introduced to MEK years ago while stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB, we used drums of MEK to strip the paint off of the 390th Bomb Group's B-17G that had decades of thick paint from its time as a borate bomber. It took several of us a few drums and around six months to rub that airframe down to bare metal..


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#6 Out2gtcha

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 01:35 PM

I use Acetone for really stubborn stuff. I really havnt had a clog or dried paint yet that could survive it. 


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#7 1to1scale

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 05:47 PM

That test was very informative, sort of reinforced my own observations using Vallejo and Tamiya. Their results correlate to some of my paint observations.

 

I believe Tamiya has a lot of pigment, but a weak binder, so it dissolves easily with most cleaners, thinners, or re-brushing, but will dry fast and can be masked after an hour or so. It tends to scratch easy, especially matt finish, and definitely needs a final clear of some sort. Definitely will stick to plastic without any primer, I even sometimes use it as a primer. When wet, its fairly easy to clean out of the airbrush with alcohol. 

 

Vallejo, is a very slow drying paint that ultimately dries rock hard and will not scratch or rub off easily. Definitely needs a primer, but once its dry, it hard to affect it with a solvent or scratching. I have switched to using Windex blue for cleaning my airbrush, its very effective (don't use other brands as they tend to use a blue dye that stains). 



#8 Stuka

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 06:13 PM

I couldn't agree more Hooked for life.

I have added a few drops of Future floor wax (or Pledge with Future Shine as it's now called) per paint cup  of diluted Tamiya to increase the hardiness of dried Tamiya.

Works pretty well.

 

 

 

 

That test was very informative, sort of reinforced my own observations using Vallejo and Tamiya. Their results correlate to some of my paint observations.

 

I believe Tamiya has a lot of pigment, but a weak binder, so it dissolves easily with most cleaners, thinners, or re-brushing, but will dry fast and can be masked after an hour or so. It tends to scratch easy, especially matt finish, and definitely needs a final clear of some sort. Definitely will stick to plastic without any primer, I even sometimes use it as a primer. When wet, its fairly easy to clean out of the airbrush with alcohol. 

 

Vallejo, is a very slow drying paint that ultimately dries rock hard and will not scratch or rub off easily. Definitely needs a primer, but once its dry, it hard to affect it with a solvent or scratching. I have switched to using Windex blue for cleaning my airbrush, its very effective (don't use other brands as they tend to use a blue dye that stains). 






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