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How to fix old paint?


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#1 silver1spider

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 11:04 AM

Hello everyone:

I am new to the board.  I have inherited a lot of paints from my brother.  He was big into scale model cars. I am into mecha models.

A lot of paints had dried up and some have gum up.

I find that I can add a little thinner to break down the dried up pigment.

But the gum up pigments does not respond to this treatment.  I find a lot of clear color - like red would dry up to be like a very thick syrup.  No matter how much I thin or shake it.  The paint becomes unsusable.  I try spraying but my gun will sometime splatter little goops.  This is especially frustrating as I am doing a
layer effect.

Are these old paint useless?

ths
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#2 tetsujin

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 11:08 AM

View Postsilver1spider, on Sep 19 2007, 03:04 PM, said:

Hello everyone:

I am new to the board.  I have inherited a lot of paints from my brother.  He was big into scale model cars. I am into mecha models.

A lot of paints had dried up and some have gum up.

I find that I can add a little thinner to break down the dried up pigment.

But the gum up pigments does not respond to this treatment.  I find a lot of clear color - like red would dry up to be like a very thick syrup.  No matter how much I thin or shake it.  The paint becomes unsusable.  I try spraying but my gun will sometime splatter little goops.  This is especially frustrating as I am doing a
layer effect.

Are these old paint useless?

Probably.  Lacquer paints like Mr. Color can be re-activated with paint thinner after they dry up - but other kinds of paints, like enamels and acrylics, don't just "dry up" but actually go through a chemical reaction where the paint cures to a solid - this reaction can't be reversed by adding thinner.
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#3 GameraBaenre

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 11:08 AM

First of all, what is the paint type for these paints?  Acrylics, Enamels, and/or Lacquers?  Most of the time, Lacquers and Enamels are most easily revived with their respective thinners.  Acrylics not so much.  Additionally, simply shaking these paints will not do.  You need to get in there with a stirring rod, preferably something that is stainless steel, and stir the paint manually.  The gummed up pigments are sitting on the bottom and shaking the paint only  moves the thinner between the pigment layer and the bottle cap, you need to help facilitate the thinner in breaking down the pigment layers.

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#4 RoboSmurf

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 04:05 PM

An if you do get the paint back to normal, it would be a good idea to strain it though a piece of pantyhose or something really fine like that. Some little particles will be stubborn and could block your airbrush.
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#5 paintfumes

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 07:27 PM

View PostGameraBaenre, on Sep 19 2007, 12:08 PM, said:

First of all, what is the paint type for these paints?  Acrylics, Enamels, and/or Lacquers?  Most of the time, Lacquers and Enamels are most easily revived with their respective thinners.  Acrylics not so much.  Additionally, simply shaking these paints will not do.  You need to get in there with a stirring rod, preferably something that is stainless steel, and stir the paint manually.  The gummed up pigments are sitting on the bottom and shaking the paint only  moves the thinner between the pigment layer and the bottle cap, you need to help facilitate the thinner in breaking down the pigment layers.

I've been avoiding buying the airbrush enamels(humbrol, modelmasters etc..) because from my experience with those cheap $1 bottles of testors enamels, they dry up fast and can't be revived.  Do the jars of airbrushing enamels last longer and revivable?

#6 GameraBaenre

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 12:26 AM

View Postpaintfumes, on Sep 19 2007, 08:27 PM, said:

I've been avoiding buying the airbrush enamels(humbrol, modelmasters etc..) because from my experience with those cheap $1 bottles of testors enamels, they dry up fast and can't be revived.  Do the jars of airbrushing enamels last longer and revivable?

All paints of any paint type eventually dry up if not taken care of.  I spend a day once a year to crack open all my paints and add the needed thinner.  This keeps them alive indefinitely.  Of all my paints, only alclad II is airbrush ready - and I have yet to get to a point where those dry out, since they are already thinned and airbrush ready.

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