Thinning Acrylic Paint - Help

What can I use (that is readily available in the UK) to thin acrylic paints such as those sold by Tamiya.

If I use plain water I find the water miniscus (sp!) causes the paint to bead rather than flow.

For small areas I have had some success with adding a small amount of houshold detergent (washing up liquid) to the water. This breaks up the miniscus and works fine on small areas.

However, I have found that when attempting to cover larger areas (particularly flat ones) the finish is often ruined because the detergent cause bubbles to form in the paint.

Any suggestions welcome.



Reply to
Nigel Heather
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try using some isopropanol, which can be bought in a Pharmacy. Start off with, say 20% isopropanol and the rest water and experiment. Tom Dougherty (

Reply to

I have great success using off-the-shelf rubbing alcohol mixed about 50/50; slightly more Tam acrylic than alcohol. Also it tends to dry a bit faster than normal, so spray it at a lower pressure and closure to the surface. Good luck!


Reply to
T. Forward

The proprietary thinner from Tamiya is isopropanal (isopropyl alchohol) and is usually available in drug stores here in the US, I hope the same holds true for the UK. I usually use the 70% variety, the 95% version is hygroscopic and may cause blushing under humid conditions. hth

The Keeper (of too much crap)

Reply to

Tamiya sell a thinnier . X-20 in 250ml bottles. . It works fine for me. I have seen the post that mentions rubbing alchohol. I was told by the local pharmacy that this was available in 3 litre bottle at £65. They presumed i could buy this in smaller quantities - grin.


David Pennington

Reply to
David Pennington

I use denatured alcohol. Isopropyl is OK, but it has water in it. With denatured, you're getting straight alcohol (combined with some nasty stuff that makes it impossible to drink) and the paint dries very quickly.


Reply to

I use windshield washer fluid. Works well and it's cheap. The blue tint doesn't affect the color of the paint.

I've also used rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), which also works well, but not quite as cheap.

Reply to
Wayne C. Morris

I prefer the 70% isopropanol because it does not dry quite as fast. Therefore, it does not gum up the nozzle of my Paasche VL quite as fast, and the paint on the model still dries fast enough.

Mark Schynert

Reply to
Mark Schynert

Here in the UK, go to your local laboratory supply house and buy it by its systematic name; propan-2-ol. I bought 2.5 litres for a very reasonable price. Dilute it with distilled water, 70% water, 30% propan-2-ol. Will keep you going for ages, and save you a fortune. N

Reply to
Nigel Cheffers-Heard

Halfords blue Windscreen washer liquid is great. Tamiya do their own thinners in small jars and larger containers. Brian of Hounslow

Reply to
Brian Boot

Hi Nigel,

I've had some success with 'Co-op' spray window cleaner, its green in colour but this has no effect even when thinning white.

I see that 'Windolene' have got a clear window spray but I haven't tried it yet , the car windscreen wash trick is also good.

Happy modelling Ant 'Standing on the shoulders of giants'

Reply to
Ant Phillips

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