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Brush-Painting safety

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  • Member since
    October 2022
Brush-Painting safety
Posted by ROKAF on Sunday, January 8, 2023 7:40 PM

I don't know if this question should be here, but I'm very new to this hobby (what do you call it, modeling?) anyway. I have previously only used snap-kits with colored parts. Now I want to make models that require painting, I can't afford an airbrush, so I looked for spray cans. I'm very health cautious, so I wasn't convinced to spray the paint, due to the fumes either. So I decided to brush-paint my models, so I went to the local hobby shop and found these Vallejo model air paints that looked promising. But then I wondered about the toxic stuff, but I'm new to modeling and need some advice. Are Vallejo model air paints toxic? and could they affect my eyesight (note I'm hand-brushing) and my future health? Should I use a respirator and eye protection when brush painting? what respirator and eye protection do you use? what do you guys do? thanks for the answers and sorry for the many questions.

  • Member since
    November 2018
Posted by oldermodelguy on Monday, January 9, 2023 9:39 AM

If you want to brush Vallejo paints then you want the Model Color line. Model Air is for airbrushing thus the Air in it's name. You can use a little of their flowaid product to thin it a bit so as to not leave brush strokes.

Model Air and Model Color have nearly the same very low odor, a very low kind of sweet odor. It's not considered toxic. Craft paints work well too, also thinned a little with any number of different agents to include even plain distilled or bottled spring water. Basically 0 odor. In either case you want to prime your parts, I've had very good results brushing Stynylrez primer which is acrylic poly resin based. Basically non toxic no odor. You won't need masks or eye protection unless you intend to take a bath in the stuff. Even airbrushing these products an N95 mask is sufficient unlike spirits based or lacquer products where you need or should use an actual respirator mask suitable for solvent particulates. I've been painting models though for going on 63 or so years, we didn't even have acrylic ( I don't think non toxic was even a phrase back then) back when I started and I'm still here. I wouldn't mind going home to be with the Lord the way this world is but I'm kicking fine still ! You'll be fine,don't blame acrylic paints if you get sick, it's very very unlikely them. But at the same time if you are really chemical sensitive stay away from enamels and lacquers, especially sprayed. My wife for instance has athsma and I really have to pick my moments in time and places where I spray the toxic stuff. I've gone more and more acrylic and she uses acrylic artist paints for her art work with no issue.

Enjoy yourself !

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, January 9, 2023 9:43 AM

ROKAF

I don't know if this question should be here, but I'm very new to this hobby (what do you call it, modeling?) anyway. I have previously only used snap-kits with colored parts. Now I want to make models that require painting, I can't afford an airbrush, so I looked for spray cans. I'm very health cautious, so I wasn't convinced to spray the paint, due to the fumes either. So I decided to brush-paint my models, so I went to the local hobby shop and found these Vallejo model air paints that looked promising. But then I wondered about the toxic stuff, but I'm new to modeling and need some advice. Are Vallejo model air paints toxic? and could they affect my eyesight (note I'm hand-brushing) and my future health? Should I use a respirator and eye protection when brush painting? what respirator and eye protection do you use? what do you guys do? thanks for the answers and sorry for the many questions.

 
Hi, ROKAF, since you mention that you want to brush your paints by hand, I'll point out that Vallejo's Model Air line is formulated for airbrushing.  They can be brushed by hand, but Vallejo's Model Color paints are specifically for hand-brushing.  They are popular among figure painters, because they are easy to use, go down smooth, and can produce good results.
 
As far as Vallejo's toxicity goes, try not to ingest the paints, but that's true of any paints available to us.  They're not very volatile, they don't give off noxious fumes.  They're water-soluable, which makes using them easy.  I use a wet palette with my water-based acrylics; that is an airtight container with a sponge and a piece of permeable paper as a palette.  The sponge holds a quantity of water and keeps the paints uniformly thinned while I work.  Since the container is airtight, it keeps the paints fresh over several sessions. I recommend one, if you use water-based paints.
 
Besides Vallejo, there are many similar brands.  I also use Andrea paints, some LifeColor, and several craft-store brands: Americana, Folk Art, and Apple Barrel.  Those craft store paints are reasonably priced for the quantities, and work just as well for me as the model paint brands.  And just like Vallejo, none of them produce any noxious fumes.  Just don't drink 'em.
 
There are other brands besides those, including brands common among fantasy wargame painters.  I don't use any of those, but it's worth it to take a look at those, too.  Warhammer, Citadel, and others.
 
Those are all made specifically for painting by hand, and they're all water-based, which makes them easier to work with, in my experience.  You can use them to paint other models, like armor, aircraft, etc, and the key is thin coats.
 
I do not wear a respirator when painting by hand, nor eye protection.  I have not found them necessary.  Of course, others will have their own experience to share.
 
Hope that all helps!
 
Best regards,
Brad

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, January 9, 2023 9:47 AM

Looks like oldermodelguy finished typing first! Big Smile

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, January 9, 2023 10:30 AM

Hello!

I know health is a serious subject, but the question somehow made me think about not to put the paintbrush in your eye, that might be a health risk... How about licking the brush used to paint watch dials to get a nice, fine point... They did it in the 50's and they used radioactive paint for dials glowing in the dark... That was a health risk, too!

But the biggest health risk of all is prolonged sitting on your **** for a longer time straight - it affects your backbone, eyesight, digestive tract, and the list goes on...

I guess one has to take risks every time love (not only for model building) comes into play!

Good luck with your builds and stay healthy!

Paweł

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

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Monday, January 9, 2023 4:34 PM

Of course I have no way of knowing what will affect you and how much,none of us do,but all of the acrylics like Vallejo,Mission Model,Ak,Mig are pretty low odor,especially just brush painting.We can all offer advice,but have no wY of knowing what will affect your health.If you are sensitive or have reason to be cautious,then buy a 3M respirator from a home improvement store.

FYI Vallejo Model Color,and Panzer Aces are superb for hand brushing,I also love Missionodel for hand brushing.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 8:56 AM

Hi!

      Here's my solution to all this. I paint outside on the open porch! If I paint inside I use my booth. Spray cans mainly(I don't own a Compressor now) I use a Old scuba mask with an outside air supply which is forced in by an old C-Pap machine in the other room. Less than six ft. away. The machine has dust and environment filters that are easy to get and change.

 Brush painting has been my forte' Since back in the Pactra days. I clean my brushes in a three step oderless mineral Spirits system with the Fourth step going under warm water after a soak in straight Dawn Applied to the bristles, DO NOT allow any brush to set on its bristles while cleaning or for storage!

  Only when rinsed clean, do your oral shaping. This allows you to keep good brushes for years! I made a brush holder from a Water bottle with a top from another that does NOT touch the bristles.That way dust doesn't settle on them either!. Always fluff the brush BEFORE using to make sure all bristles are free and well shaped. NEVER dip the brush more than a quarter of the bristle length in the paint and always paint with the subject lower than the brush head. Otherwise you will get more paint build-up near the ferrule which then requires a good cleaning with Lacquer thinner and an extra fine wire brush!

     Also, and this is very important! Do NOT buy CHEAP Brushes. Buy the best you can afford. My brushes are all Red Sable. But as the old Curtis-Mathis T.V. ad said."Expensive but Damn Well Worth It!". Man made brushes I only use for weathering. Nylon and the others leave Streaks and Brushmarks, no matter how fine they are. Plus, You can't do the quarterly Lacquer Thinner clean-up on those brushes either!

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 9:00 AM

I know acrylic enamel is quite toxic.  Do not know about other chemistries.  However, I have only used it once (never again).  I started modeling when I was seven, and I am now eighty five.  I have used everything from airplane dope (both nitrate and butyrate), enamel, lacquer, and acrylic.  I have suffered from various ailments but the only respiration disease is a case of plouresy, and two cases of pneumonia during periods of overwork.  Recovered fine afterwards.  So other than the AE, don't consider model paints that toxic.

The accryic enamel job was a full scale race car.

 

  • Member since
    April 2016
  • From: N. Burbs of ChiKawgo
Posted by GlennH on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 11:17 AM

Brush painting. Now ya made me think of that fascinating book I read "Radium Girls"

A number Army Viet Nam scans from hundreds yet to be done:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestdreams/albums/72157621855914355

Have had the great fortune to be on every side of the howitzers.

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Building models on my kitchen counter top~somewhere in North Carolina
Posted by disastermaster on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 12:32 PM

Pawel

But the biggest health risk of all is prolonged sitting on your **** for a longer time straight - it affects your backbone, eyesight, digestive tract, and the list goes on...

Paweł

That's true!

Everything I build is done standing up.

On the kitchen counter somewhere in North Carolina

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 12:46 PM

disastermaster

 

 
Pawel

But the biggest health risk of all is prolonged sitting on your **** for a longer time straight - it affects your backbone, eyesight, digestive tract, and the list goes on...

Paweł

 

 

That's true!

Everything I build is done standing up.

 

Me too,I have always stood at my bench,no stool for me.

  • Member since
    April 2020
Posted by Eaglecash867 on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 2:56 PM

Tojo72

 

 
disastermaster

 

 
Pawel

But the biggest health risk of all is prolonged sitting on your **** for a longer time straight - it affects your backbone, eyesight, digestive tract, and the list goes on...

Paweł

 

 

That's true!

Everything I build is done standing up.

 

 

 

Me too,I have always stood at my bench,no stool for me.

 

I sit at my bench, but the longest time I have sat at the bench continuously is maybe 45 minutes.  Lots of other stuff always going on.

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

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