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How to Keep Unused Paint from Drying Out???

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  • Member since
    January 2005
How to Keep Unused Paint from Drying Out???
Posted by jcheung5150 on Sunday, February 6, 2005 11:34 PM
Does anyone have any good tips for keeping enamels from drying out in the bottles? I have spent too much money replacing paints that have dried out before I get a chance to use them!

For whatever reason my acrylics never dry out, even though I keep them in the same place.

I store them in room temperature and the enamels dry out if I don't mix them every so often.

Any help would be appreciated!

Jimmy Photobucket

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 7, 2005 3:05 AM
ok...i am new to this forum.....NOT to painting or models. i was a union painter2 for ten years and i can tell ya the problem with enamels is they are susceptible to oxygen.
for my rarely used colors, such as turn signal amber, or rubber, or rust, or mud, or whatever, i use a film of saran wrap or a wrap of teflon tape around the bottle tops.
i also drop in two to six plain brass BB's when i buy the paint....just like a rattle-can, this helps to keep the paint mixed....just shake every so often.
sometimes my paints get a "mother" on top when they try to dry out....a toothpick around the edges of the mother and a pair of tweezers can remove it, but i recommend thinning the paint with a small amount of xylene before using it. paints require several components to work right...a base, usually oil,or in modelling, alkyd resin ( a milk based product) then a pigment such as iron oxide(rust) then a carrier such as mineral spirits to thin the mixture for brushing or a modeller, all you must remember is that model paints usually thin with an oil based thinner such as mineral spirits. xylene is a faster drying agent. tolulene is even quicker. laquer thinner is faster yet. and methyl-ethyl-ketone is fastest. rubbing alcohol, and MEK are about the fastest thinners one can use......BUT......shine suffers with the quickness of thinners. thin a gloss enamel with mineral spirits and it will be shiney....but the same paint thinned with laquer thinner will be matt to dull in appearance when dry.
in short, to reduce drying out, slow the thinner and reduce the oxygen or speed it up, increase the thinners speed and open up the windows.....but lose the shine.....
get it?
this is my FIRST post by the way....
male, 37, oklahoma.....many models to my credit....and a ten year career credits my painting skills.....will answer questions from ANYONE.
  • Member since
    February 2003
Posted by Jim Barton on Monday, February 14, 2005 5:11 PM
Interestingly enough for me, it's the paints I use a lot that seem to dry out quickly in the bottle. Things like blacks, whites and grays. I've started keeping back-ups on hand because I never know when I'm going to open a bottle of white I haven't touched in a few months and ooops! There's this dried-out glob in the bottle. Very frustrating!

(I go through spells where I won't touch paint for three or four months, then I use paint nearly every modeling session.)

Paints that I seldom use, such as reds or blues, seem to last a lot longer, perhaps because they're not exposed to the air as much. But even they will sometimes dry out over time. On the other hand, I've got bottles of paint from when I made my Area 51 diorama in 1996 that are still usable! Go figure.

"Whaddya mean 'Who's flying the plane?!' Nobody's flying the plane!"

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:13 AM
A couple of thoughts from me:

1. After opening a bottle of paint, try smearing vaseline around the threads of the bottle. This will help seal out any air from getting into the bottle that could dry out your paint.

2. Never paint directly from the bottle. Painting from the bottle exposes the paint to the air for too long of a time. Instead, transfer a small amout a paint to a pallet (such as a small piece of glass) for painting.

3. Be careful of using BB's in your paint. Chemical reactions can occur resulting in a change of the paint's color.

  • Member since
    January 2005
  • From: Tehachapi, Ca.
Posted by peglegrc on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 10:36 AM
I use (2) Lead pellets(4.5mm) for my pellet gun instead of copperhead BB's to mix my paints and have never had a problem with color change...Brush painting from the bottle exposes the paint to the air and will dry it out! Add a drop or two of thinner to your paint, then before closing the bottle,put a small bit of vaseline with a Q-tip on the rim, close the bottle tight, then shake to mix.. Store the bottle's upside down (makes it easier & faster to ID the color when you don't have to pick up every bottle to see the color)......Give them all a shake once in awhile..I don't have problems sence I started doing this to my paints...."RC"
PeglegRC "The Meaning of life??? How the Heck should I know? Try Google." "Can You Expand your report about Employee Morale?..I'm Afraid 'Bite Me' doesn't Quite cover it"... "Please excuse any misspelled word's!
  • Member since
    December 2002
Posted by Delbert on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 12:14 PM
I've found that cleaning the bottle thread and the lid of the paint bottle after use helps get a tight seal and prevents drying out of paint.... when I do this i rarely have a problem with drying paint...

  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 3:34 AM
close the lid tight... works for me
  • Member since
    January 2005
Posted by jcheung5150 on Sunday, February 27, 2005 10:03 PM
thanks for the various tips! I have been thinking about storing the bottles upside down to help keep air out. (similiar to storing wine bottles sideways). seems to make sense.

Jimmy Photobucket


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