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Testors Thinner Substitute

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  • Member since
    October 2014
Testors Thinner Substitute
Posted by TomZ on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 7:30 PM

I do not have an airbrush and do all of my model painting with rattle cans and brush. I happen to have quite a large stash of Model Master enamel bottles that I would love to continue using. I am well practiced in using MM enamels thinned with Testors thinner.

Normally I keep my thinner bottle filled from the Testors 8 oz. can, but it appears that Testors now only offers the dinky 1/4 oz. bottles of thinner. Does anyone know of a good substitute for Testors that comes in a larger container?

Thanks for any suggestions.

TomZ

 

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 7:38 PM

You can use pretty much anything labeled as "Paint Thinner" or "Mineral Spirits" from a hardware store to thin Testors enamels.  The only thing to be cautious with is using anything other than Testors thinner for paint that you plan on storing after adding the thinner.  There may be issues with a chemical reaction, but I have no personal experience with that actually happening...that has just been hearsay that I have gone along with because it seemed logical.  I have seen posts from others here, however, who have not had any issues with doing that.  In any case, you're covered when you run out of the last of your Testors thinner in the can.

"You can have my illegal fireworks when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers...which are...over there somewhere."

  • Member since
    January 2010
Posted by rob44 on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 8:00 PM

I use "Lacquer thinner" that I get from Home Depot.

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Klean-Strip-1-qt-Lacquer-Thinner-South-Coast-Formula-QML170SC/202966163

 

It works well, inexpensive and I have had no problems with it.

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: Roanoke Virginia
Posted by Strongeagle on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 9:35 AM

Dear TomZ,

I have the same problem.  Testors has always been my choice and I've always bought it in the 8oz can.  I just now looked at Amazon and an 8oz can is going for $28.  One Ebay seller has it at $22.

I've used lacquer thinner and mineral spirits before and they are both satisfactory and it appears to be what I'll be using when the last of my 8oz can goes dry.

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 11:35 AM

I haven't used Testors thinner in about 40 years now if not longer. For brush paint any of the products listed already works well. A combo perhaps closest to the Testor is a mix of hardware store paint thinner and mineral spirits, then cut the paint as you always have from that blend. But any of them will be fine.

If you ever take up airbrushing I'd go with the lacquer thinner for sure. LT for thinning enamels with intent to airbrush has worked well for me. And I'm not alone,not my idea lol !

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, August 4, 2022 7:43 AM

Promise not to laugh??

        Since the first bottles of Hobby Paint I ever used were TESTORS I still use the original thinner I started with. Ronson Lighter Fluid or to you Technicians out there, Naptha. Because it was and is Ronson Brand there's never been a question of it's Quality or Workability! Those who think I am nuts, I never needed to go to Pactra. I just did because they were bigger bottles("Leaves No Brushmarks, Guaranteed").

       Now, Yes, Naptha doesn't have to be used, but it has been my experience that it allows TESTORS little Bottle Paint to act the same as Pactra, Consistantly! Now that is Sixty five or more years of experience talking. Believe it!

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, August 4, 2022 8:54 AM

Tanker-Builder

Promise not to laugh??

        Since the first bottles of Hobby Paint I ever used were TESTORS I still use the original thinner I started with. Ronson Lighter Fluid or to you Technicians out there, Naptha. Because it was and is Ronson Brand there's never been a question of it's Quality or Workability! Those who think I am nuts, I never needed to go to Pactra. I just did because they were bigger bottles("Leaves No Brushmarks, Guaranteed").

       Now, Yes, Naptha doesn't have to be used, but it has been my experience that it allows TESTORS little Bottle Paint to act the same as Pactra, Consistantly! Now that is Sixty five or more years of experience talking. Believe it!

 

I had heard somewhere along the way of Naptha for thinner but you're the first to confirm actual use of it in daily practice. No laughing here !

  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: Roanoke Virginia
Posted by Strongeagle on Thursday, August 4, 2022 9:32 AM

When I was a kid, about 8 years old, and that was 66 years ago, my best pal's dad built model airplanes.  Well, dad painted with the paint available 66 years ago and he used Ronson Lighter Fluid as a thinner.

I've also used hardware store naphta as a thinner without any issues. 

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, August 4, 2022 10:01 AM

I have used hardware store thinner for thinning and cleaning.  I have done this for decades.  However, be careful to use mineral spirits or turpentine thinner.  They sell a synthetic thinner now that does not work.  It is not clear, it looks like skim milk.  However, now adays the stores sell thinner in metal or opaque plastic cans.  Only way to be sure is if it is labeled mineral spirits or turpentine.

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, August 4, 2022 11:26 AM

Yeah, I use generic mineral spirits for enamels.  I do keep it in an old Testor's brush cleaner fluid jar, though.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Thursday, August 4, 2022 1:48 PM

The hardware store thinners I buy are KeenStrip branded. The synthetic stuff from the same brand has a green label and the real thing blue. Basically everyone says the green stuff is junk, I've never tried it myself. Just fwiw.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, August 5, 2022 9:08 AM

Hi Oldermodelguy!

          The truth is very clear. Some of the "So Called" Environmentally Friendly products, Including Paint Thinner are just plain Crap! Someone didn't do their homework or they just didn't give a D#$%!. It's easy to jump on that particular Bandwagon. Not so easy to stay on when you didn't think it through and folks don't like the product because it is weaker or just plain don't work! I have seen that more often than Not!

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