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Author Topic: Thinning down acrylic paint  (Read 313 times)

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Offline puuushTopic starter

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Thinning down acrylic paint
« on: August 18, 2017, 03:09:37 PM »
Guys, I feel sooo stupid. I paint for years with acrylics and I always wondered why some painted ponys get sticky and some don't. (Even Mod Podge doesn't help on that. Probably the same reason)

So I read that watering down the paint too much - and I water down a lot! - you break down the water-soluable binder in the paint. It's can't stick to the surface any more and becomes flakey, bumpy or sticky. That's why art stores sell thinner for acrylics.
(As soon as I'm off work I'm going there and demand their finest acrylic thinner)

Any ideas on that? Except, Puuush you're super stupid and everybody knows that.  :yikes:
And what do you use to thin down your paint?
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Offline Pokeyonekenobie

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2017, 03:19:06 PM »
You're not stupid!  It isn't like the little bottles have instructions on how to thin them down (at least, the brand I buy doesn't). 

I don't usually thin down my paint but since acrylic paint has a tendency to get lumps in it I will strain it using squares of cut up nylons.  I use old nylons that have runs in them and it works great.  The acrylics I use have a flip top on a screwed on lid so I just unscrew the lid, place a piece of nylon over the opening and then screw the lid back on.  Then when I pour paint out of the flip top part, it's already strained and I can paint away.  Every now and then I'll get a big lump that blocks the opening and then I unscrew the lid so I can use a toothpick to pull it out of the bottle and replace the piece of nylon. 

But I have found that any ponies that I used Mod Podge on for full body repaints have a tendency to get sticky.  It's not as much of an issue if I'm just putting it over a small area like eyes or cutie mark.  I think it's just the way Mod Podge is and not because you watered down the paint.

Offline Emberfly

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2017, 03:29:56 PM »
When I took my art classes in university I always watered down my acrylics a lot also.  They're not sticky at all.  Of course, they're on wood or canvas with gesso underneath.  Perhaps, if unsealed ponies are sticky, it may have something to do with painting on plastic.  I don't customize; do you use a primer or sealant on the pony body first?  Odd how they're sticky.  Good luck in figuring it out.
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Offline Duenia

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 03:36:00 PM »
Not sure if it's exactly a paint thinner type thing but I've been using Folk Art floating medium on vinyl and so far no problems with stickiness.

Offline BlackCurtains

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2017, 04:04:46 PM »
Puushie!  :tackleglomp:

I'm lazy and just use airbrush acrylics that are thin and watery already, haha. But I have learned over the years that Mod Podge is the most evil thing ever, making everything sticky. I stopped sealing my customs entirely and they are much better!
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Offline cookhuman

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2017, 04:33:44 PM »
I thin my Vallejo acrylics with the Vallejo Thinner Medium (bought from my local hobby shop).  Once a custom is complete I seal with the thinnest, lightest coat of Testors Dullcote.  Good luck, friend! :heart:

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Offline Galactica

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2017, 05:16:54 PM »
Mod Podge can get sticky no matter what you do- it's not the paint thinning that is the problem.

Offline Griffin

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2017, 02:25:00 PM »
Mod Podge is glue-based and watersoluble (even when dried) so that explains why it gets easily sticky.

I've never had any problems thinning my paint with water, though I prefer to do my full body repaints with thicker paint. What I have noticed are large differences between brands - I have a mixed bunch of paints and so far I like Folk Art the best, whereas some artist acrylics are slightly sticky even when "dry". They are okay once sealed (with polyurethane), but I have cats and it's very hard to avoid dust and cat hair from getting onto the ponies before I have the chance to seal them. This hasn't stopped me from using up whatever I have, although for white FBRs Folk Art with its slightly chalky quality is a must - the artist grade white I had ended up rubbery and sticky and impossible to sand, for example.

My best advice is to try out different brands and once you find one to your liking, stick to it! :art: Still, using a thinning medium may be a good idea.
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Offline pinkkittywinks

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2017, 08:49:52 PM »
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I thin my Vallejo acrylics with the Vallejo Thinner Medium (bought from my local hobby shop).  Once a custom is complete I seal with the thinnest, lightest coat of Testors Dullcote.  Good luck, friend! :heart:

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:bigups:

This is what I was going to suggest :) it does have an accelerant in it so it will speed up drying time. I wouldn't recommend it for thinning paints for your airbrush, even though it says it's for that. It'll increase tip dry and clog your brush up.

If your thinning down paints down for an airbrush, use the flow improver, it has a retarder in which slight slows the drying time, this reduces tip dry, stops "powdering" and reduces airbrush clogging :)

Love pkw xxx
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Offline puuushTopic starter

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 04:06:57 PM »
Thanks so much, everypony. :D

It's not the ModPodge (Although it sometimes got sticky... I'm nearly out of it, maybe I try a professional acrylic sealant or leave it unsealed to make BC happy in her too humid environment ;p )

I use mainly Lascaux studio acrylics, but also Schmincke Airbrush paints, Citadel paints or Vallejo. I mix colours a lot, so the longer they need to dry the better.
I'll try Golden Fluid Acrylics next because it seems to be the best quality. Also I'll start using a primer or gesso underneath and will try fluid medium or acrylic binder to thin the paints down. I'll try to keep you updated.

Sadly I had not time to go to the art store till now... *longs to go to the art store*


Small rant: (Sorry)
I'm so fed up with poor quality of material.
I don't have much time for customs, So I'm devastated when there is only a 50:50 chance it comes out okay.
Same with glue. Used the wrong superglue, now I have to re-rehair a perfect custom and have gluemarks on her neck. ARGH!
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Offline pinkkittywinks

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2017, 07:12:44 PM »
I know what you mean :hug: it is annoying, especially after you've spent time and money on a custom.

I've had a few problems with modpoge going sticky, and some folks who have bought my customs have had the turn sticky over time :( I do think humidity has an effect on it.

I suggest getting a good primer :) it provides a good base for the paint to stick too. I like the Vallejo airbrush primers :bigups: you need to throughly clean your airbrush after as it will clog it if not.

I tend not to seal customs who I've just painted symbols on, but if it's had a full body repaint I will seal it ^.^

I'm really lucky to have a fantastic model shop near by that I can get most of my supplies from.

Love pkw xxx
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Offline puuushTopic starter

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 09:54:46 AM »
Thanks PKW.
I'll see if I can find the Vallejo primer. I'll go to the art store tonight. (Thankfully I have a minor cold and can't go to the gym tonight. What a shame... lol)

I normally do full body repaints. It seems to happen more often if I do light colours with many coats. Black and dark blue usually is okay and needs fewer coats of paint. Maybe I don't let it dry enough inbetween...

Also I rarely use my airbrush and had some airbrush colours get sticky too. Maybe there is a thinner needed too. We'll see. :)

Thanks for all your input.
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Offline pinkkittywinks

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Re: Thinning down acrylic paint
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 09:12:43 PM »
I hope you had fun at the art shop ^.^ try Amazon if you can't get the Vallejo primer at the art shop.

Some colours do seem more tricky than others, yellow, green, red and white seem most troublesome in my experience. They have the most unstable pigments though.

I sometimes think that the actual pony plastic itself can cause problems as well  :huh:

I've mostly stuck to paints designed for painting miniatures (warhammer etc) as they are meant to stick on plastic :) It is hard to get "pretty" colours as they are mostly "beastly brown" or "vomit green"!!! But on saying that Scale75, Vallejo and War Painter have a lot pastels and nice metallics :)

Love pkw xxx
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