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Enamel paint and lacquer thinner

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  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Chesapeake VA
Enamel paint and lacquer thinner
Posted by out04 on Monday, October 09, 2017 6:34 PM

I know some people swear that they have no problems using lacquer thinner to airbrush enamels, but when I try it the pigments separate from the liquid.  Any tips other than switch to enamel thinner/acrylics??

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Monday, October 09, 2017 7:25 PM

I used a lacquer thinner with enamels (Model Master) once...in a pinch, ran out of Testors thinner. I can not remember the brand to save my life...but it worked very well. I tried again with some generic store brand, and pretty much got the same results as you...guess they're not all created equal! 

So, I make sure not to run out of Testors enamel thinner (big red container).

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Retired In Kalifornia on Monday, October 09, 2017 7:35 PM

The Testor Model Master enamels I've used in the past required good deal of thinning to airbrush well, would reason using lacquer thinner would work OK particularly with thick pigments. Testors red enamels are nasty to airbrush on most of the time for me particulary paint that isn't fresh from the bottle, might try adding lacquer next time I use the color.

I'd recently bought several 1/2 pint tins of Testors Universal Enamel Thinner, use one tin/year on average, should last me for years.

  • Member since
    May, 2017
Posted by bugman9317 on Monday, October 09, 2017 7:36 PM

I use Sunnyside lacquer thinner with Model Masters enamel mixed 2 to 1 paint/ thinner and can say you will get a show quality finish from it. I have been doing Don Yosts method of doing nice thin coats building it up where you end up with a nice final wet coat and it comes out amazing. My local Walmart has it in stock but you can get it shipped online.

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sunnyside-Lacquer-Thinner/118499640

 

  • Member since
    September, 2016
Posted by Retired In Kalifornia on Monday, October 09, 2017 7:42 PM

bugman9317

I use Sunnyside lacquer thinner with Model Masters enamel mixed 2 to 1 paint/ thinner and can say you will get a show quality finish from it. I have been doing Don Yosts method of doing nice thin coats building it up where you end up with a nice final wet coat and it comes out amazing. My local Walmart has it in stock but you can get it shipped online.

 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Sunnyside-Lacquer-Thinner/118499640

 

 

I use Klean Strip lacquer thinner also from Walmart mostly for Testors Semi-Gloss Clear Coat spraying. 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 9:20 AM

I have also had bad results sometimes using lacquer thinner with Testors enamels.  I have stopped trying.

However, you can use good quality turpentine or mineral spirits.  There was a shortage of Testors thinner a couple of years ago and I started trying hardware store thinners.  I already had some on hand for cleaning brushes and airbrush. There is some real junk just labeled paint thinner being sold at stores.  As long as I make sure the can or bottle says either mineral spirits or turpentine I have had no problems.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 10:13 AM

I get excellent results thinning MM enamels with the Testor's red can thinner from HL. I do use LT from Home Depot to clean the AB.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 10:22 AM

Red can all the way and it lasts a long time.

Most "lacquer thinner" is not thinner at all. It's clean-up solvent. It isn't what an auto body shop would use to thin paint.

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: Chesapeake VA
Posted by out04 on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 4:30 PM

I just tried mineral spirits (Klean Strip) like mentioned above and other than the smell I can't tell a difference from the red can Testor's thinner, worked very well.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 6:32 PM

Try making a wash with the Klean Strip. It will look ok till it goes on and the paint in the wash separates like coffee grounds. That's the reason I switched to the red can.

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