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Making an Acrylic Wash

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  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: United States
Making an Acrylic Wash
Posted by KosmoCramer on Saturday, January 11, 2020 12:55 AM

Hello all!

It's been a while since I had to make a wash.  If I am using acrylics what is the best ratio?  Also should I mix Paint and Thinner or should I not use thinner?

 

if I were to make an enamel wash would it be the same as acrylic?

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, January 11, 2020 6:17 AM

Hello!

Making an acrylic wash is anice thing to do. My take on it is to take some thinner (=water) and add just a drop or two of paint to it. I also add some "future floor polish" (actually my local counterpart of it) or in a pinch just a tiny little bit of dishwashing soap to the mix, to make it flow better. Mix it throughly and it's done. I guess washes made by modelling supply companies have a chance to have a higher pigment quantities and better flow, but probably not by much. Hope it helps - good luck with your washes and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

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  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, January 11, 2020 7:14 AM

KosmoCramer

 

if I were to make an enamel wash would it be the same as acrylic?

 

Well no it wouldn't be the same obviously. What kind of wash are trying to do to the model ( overall, grime, pin wash etc) ? What is the base paint on the model ( acrylic, enamel, lacquer) ?

I've done a couple of different methods/types of acrylic washes, one I do from craft paint and one from artist acrylic paints. I use a thinner combo I make up for the craft paint and for the artist paint I use their airbrush medium, but you could use water or compatible thinner too. It's a matter of a drop or two of paint on a painters pallete or tray and add the thinning agent till you get the flow you want. Like in car grills to blacken the depths so to speak, that is brushed on and it settles in the crevises, for overall grime it can be brushed on and kind of wicked off to the degree of wash you want. Pin washes I have not done in acrylic, but oil water clean up stains, thinned with water, or else artist oils thinned with mineral spirits.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: United States
Posted by KosmoCramer on Saturday, January 11, 2020 8:01 AM
I generally use acrylic paints, so I’ve used acrylic washes in the past - though it’s been a while since I’ve made a wash or modeled as well. One of the models I plan on building next will be using enamel paint. Can I use my acrylic wash on enamel paints or should I make an enamel wash. Such as enamel thinner with enamel black paint (will he used on Aircraft lines)
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Saturday, January 11, 2020 8:13 AM

KosmoCramer
I generally use acrylic paints, so I’ve used acrylic washes in the past - though it’s been a while since I’ve made a wash or modeled as well. One of the models I plan on building next will be using enamel paint. Can I use my acrylic wash on enamel paints or should I make an enamel wash. Such as enamel thinner with enamel black paint (will he used on Aircraft lines)
 

No,you don't want to use an enamel wash on your enamel paint,thinner will attack basecoat.However,you can use an enamel wash if you protect your basecoat with a well cured acrylic clear coat.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, January 11, 2020 8:18 AM

KosmoCramer
I generally use acrylic paints, so I’ve used acrylic washes in the past - though it’s been a while since I’ve made a wash or modeled as well. One of the models I plan on building next will be using enamel paint. Can I use my acrylic wash on enamel paints or should I make an enamel wash. Such as enamel thinner with enamel black paint (will he used on Aircraft lines)
 

Your acrylic wash should work well on enamel paint,no problem. Tojo already mentioned why not to or how to use enamel washes on enamel paint. Same for oil washes.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: United States
Posted by KosmoCramer on Monday, January 13, 2020 6:02 PM

Would I be able to use an acrylic wash over acrylic?  If I thin it with water and a little dish soap.

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, January 13, 2020 9:22 PM

I think it would attack tbe acrylic coat,i think you would need a lacquer or enamel clear coat to protect it.You wash with the opposite of your base coat.

I know the enamel wash would attack enamel base,not reall sure if water is as strong to attack cured acrylic.Try testing it.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 5:46 AM

KosmoCramer

Would I be able to use an acrylic wash over acrylic?  If I thin it with water and a little dish soap.

 

Just try it on some scrap pieces first. Give the finish 1-3 days air dry time before the wash or force dry for an hour and let air cool for a couple hours. You might be surprised. Keep alcohol thinners away from your new finish.

Glycerin is an effective flow aid too, think less is more. As mentioned a thin barrier coat of clear lacquer is insurance though and it only needs to be dusted on really. But try what you mention on something you don't care about and let us know how it goes. Honestly I conduct more experiments like that than model painting lol, especially with my couple years of experiments with acrylic paints and still on going. I should have documented it all !!

  • Member since
    November 2015
Posted by E. Halibut on Thursday, January 16, 2020 8:15 PM

KosmoCramer

Would I be able to use an acrylic wash over acrylic?

 

Usually I put Tamiya Clear or Flat Clear over the base coat first.

I make washes out of Vallejo Model Colour (I've had more luck with Vallejo Model Colour than I've had with Vallejo Washes), thinned with water and couple of drops of Vallejo Airbrush Cleaner (it kicks surface tension in the butt, without the gooey-ness of dish soap, and it can start breaking down the paint, leading to some interesting effects). Sometimes, I also add a bit of Vallejo Thinner Medium, which prolongs the drying time. 

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  • Member since
    April 2019
  • From: Alabama
Posted by Srpuln10 on Saturday, January 18, 2020 10:51 AM

Tks for that info. I've been wondering how to go about making a wash out of acrylic 

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