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paint strainer

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  • Member since
    May 2018
paint strainer
Posted by Tim3737 on Friday, October 4, 2019 10:55 PM

I have gotten pretty discouraged trying to use my airbrush anymore. Does anyone know where I can find paint strainers for airbrush paints? Over the years I have searched numerous times for hours on end in forums and hobby sites and found nothing. I use primarily Model masters acrylics in a gravity feed and about 50% of the time the airbrush gets clogged. I'm talking spitting little chunks or blocking flow completely. I never have a problem with fresh paints but the bottles should not be one-time use! I always shake thoroughly then pour then wipe the rim then replace the lid immediately. I don't want to discard the little bottles after one use. 

Please help. 

Tags: Airbrush , strainer
  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, October 4, 2019 11:17 PM

Might try a medical supply house for small strainers.  Or try a small funnel and some material from nylons or pantyhose.

Auto paint stores will have strainers, but are not small enough for an ab, and might not be fine enough.  Though they might know of smaller ones suitable.  An art supply store might be an option as well.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Saturday, October 5, 2019 6:56 AM

They make little funnels for oil diffusers used in aroma theropy, perfect size for your needs. Then as mentioned cut up some panty hose. You also could get the automotive strainers and cut the mesh out of them to line the little funnel with. Mix your paint as usual and strain it off into a separate clean bottle. I have the automotive strainers here, you can also just hold one up and away from your target bottle. I had a problem with chunky craft paint and bought the strainers but in my case determined that some of the paints I had were just too old and tossed them. I think the mesh is plenty fine enough I believe 180 micron if I'm not mistaken. You may need a little stirring stick to keep the clogs moving so the paint can pass through the mesh.

We always strained paint in shooting 1/1 fwiw, always the last step going into the guns cup. But a spray gun cup is larger than an airbrush cup.

Another tip is don't pour your paints from the bottle, that invites the dried edge chunks to travel along with your paint. Instead draw your paint up from the bottle with a pipette. That alone was the biggest reason for my not getting chunks I've found. But you can strain. Pipettes also aid in mixing ratios.

  • Member since
    May 2018
Posted by Tim3737 on Sunday, October 6, 2019 3:00 PM

An art supply store might be an option as well.....

Thanks for the responses and thanks for jogging my brain.

*** Blick actually carries airbrush paint strainers, but they are very pricey. At least now I know someone actually Makes them!!

https://www.dickblick.com/products/artists-paint-strainers/

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, October 6, 2019 3:08 PM

I'm curious, with what are you thinning the MM Acrylic?

Also, I don' think shaking a bottle of MM Acryl is enough. IMO, stirring is probably better. (Sorry, 007)

Sounds like it might be dry tip.

I know your question is about straining and I hope my going off course a bit here is ok.

-Greg

  • Member since
    May 2018
Posted by Tim3737 on Sunday, October 6, 2019 3:21 PM

I use Testors Aztek Model Masters acrylic thinner as well as their cleaner. I try not to mix brands.

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, October 6, 2019 4:46 PM

Tim3737

I use Testors Aztek Model Masters acrylic thinner as well as their cleaner. I try not to mix brands.

 

That takes that variable out of the equation. Thanks for the info, and hope you get things squared away. I too stick with manufacturers own thinners whenever I can.

I can't help with your straining question, as my comments would just be repeating things I've read, never done it myself.

-Greg

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Far Northern CA
Posted by mrmike on Sunday, October 6, 2019 5:33 PM

You can buy disposable plastic pipettes on eBay for less than $10/100. As suggested, a piece of nylon panty hose or similar fastened to the end with a small rubber band makes a perfect, inexpensive strainer. I mix the paint and thinner in a bottle or tattoo cup prior to straining.

Hope this helps!

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Monday, October 7, 2019 4:46 PM

Greg

I'm curious, with what are you thinning the MM Acrylic?

Also, I don' think shaking a bottle of MM Acryl is enough. IMO, stirring is probably better. (Sorry, 007)

Sounds like it might be dry tip.

I know your question is about straining and I hope my going off course a bit here is ok.

 

I agree entirely with Greg, a thorough mixing by stirring the paint in the bottle is really the only way, to ensure complete blending of all ingredients. The amount of solids settling to the bottom during storage is significant, shaking the bottle just can't seem to get it all back into a uniform liquid state. 

The bits of unblended paint that are suspended after shaking, I think is what causes the AB to spit and clog. After I completely stir the bottle, I use the little Badger electric mixer to finish the process of blending all ingredients. Then comes the thinning process with whatever else you may add for spraying, finish with the mixer and you're ready.

I realize it adds time to the pre-spraying process, but then dealing with an un-cooperative, clogging AB takes time too. Plus you might be stuck with a less than desirable final finish, due to problems during the spraying.

Just my thoughts.

Patrick

 

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Monday, October 7, 2019 5:21 PM

I have used plain old Mr. Coffee coffee filters.  Stuff one in a funnel, and pour away.  Worked for me.

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

dlh
  • Member since
    March 2017
  • From: Chambersburg, PA
Posted by dlh on Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:23 AM

Tim3737

I have gotten pretty discouraged trying to use my airbrush anymore. Does anyone know where I can find paint strainers for airbrush paints? Over the years I have searched numerous times for hours on end in forums and hobby sites and found nothing. I use primarily Model masters acrylics in a gravity feed and about 50% of the time the airbrush gets clogged. I'm talking spitting little chunks or blocking flow completely. I never have a problem with fresh paints but the bottles should not be one-time use! I always shake thoroughly then pour then wipe the rim then replace the lid immediately. I don't want to discard the little bottles after one use. 

Please help. 

 

I use these:

https://www.amazon.com/100Pcs-Infuser-Bag-Strainer-Household/dp/B01N3C46U6

Cut diagonally, you can strain through them or put them in the cup of the airbrush and secure with a rubber band.

Dave

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:39 AM

I made my own strainer from brass screen. I just cut out a 2.5" circle and cut from the edge to the center, and curled it into a cone.

I don't need to use it often, but it works great and cleans with just a 'swish' in some lacquer thinner.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    July 2013
  • From: Chicago area
Posted by modelmaker66 on Sunday, October 20, 2019 2:16 PM

gregbale

I made my own strainer from brass screen. I just cut out a 2.5" circle and cut from the edge to the center, and curled it into a cone.

I don't need to use it often, but it works great and cleans with just a 'swish' in some lacquer thinner.

 

That is a really good idea!Big Smile

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, October 21, 2019 9:01 AM

patrick206

 

 
Greg

I'm curious, with what are you thinning the MM Acrylic?

Also, I don' think shaking a bottle of MM Acryl is enough. IMO, stirring is probably better. (Sorry, 007)

Sounds like it might be dry tip.

I know your question is about straining and I hope my going off course a bit here is ok.

 

 

 

I agree entirely with Greg, a thorough mixing by stirring the paint in the bottle is really the only way, to ensure complete blending of all ingredients. The amount of solids settling to the bottom during storage is significant, shaking the bottle just can't seem to get it all back into a uniform liquid state. 

 

The bits of unblended paint that are suspended after shaking, I think is what causes the AB to spit and clog. After I completely stir the bottle, I use the little Badger electric mixer to finish the process of blending all ingredients. Then comes the thinning process with whatever else you may add for spraying, finish with the mixer and you're ready.

I realize it adds time to the pre-spraying process, but then dealing with an un-cooperative, clogging AB takes time too. Plus you might be stuck with a less than desirable final finish, due to problems during the spraying.

Just my thoughts.

Patrick

 

 

Ditto

I have never strained model paint- either acrylic or enamel.  I do find thorough stirring is mandatory.  I have not been bothered by unstirred paint clogging my airbrush, but find if I do not stir it well I cannot get consistant thinning.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Monday, October 21, 2019 9:26 AM

I echo the others, stir stir stir. As well, I recommend investing in a battery-operated stirrer. They are pretty cheap to get, and they take the pain out of mixing. That, and they do the job really well. 

Regarding the strainer--I seldom need them but when I do--I bought house paint strainers from the hardware store. They are overkill in size, but they get the job done. 

I like the metal screen idea because they can be reused. Maybe check a tobacco shop for a pipe screen, then make some sort of housing for it.

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