shakyhead

Acrylic Craft Paint In Airbrush

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Has anyone tried acrylic craft paint in their airbrush? I tried some water based and thinned it with water, didn't work well. Ive seen some videos that show thinning with windex, but I know the amonia isn't good for my airbrush. I like all the color options, and of course the dirt cheap price. What I also found is that what little paint I did get to lay on didn't dry well. Was thinking about thinning with just straight isopropyl alcohol.

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Paints that are designed for airbrushes have their pigments ground to a smaller particle size than other paints. Grinding the pigment to a smaller particle size is one of the reasons dedicated airbrush paints cost more. You may find that some craft paints will work in airbrushes. Especially if your using a bigger nozzle size, but just thinning is not going to change the size of the pigment particles allowing them to be used in airbrushes with small nozzles.

 

Ben

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I started out with craft acrylics and a large tip airbrush.  Yes, it was cheap.  But you have to be careful when thinning it to get them right.  And some paints - you won't know which before you try them - have paint particles that are too large and will clog just about any airbrush.  If I were still doing just an occasional lure, maybe the hassles would not drive me crazy.  But I paint easier, paint faster, and get a better paint job with airbrush paint.  And airbrush paint is only a tiny fraction of the cost of building a crankbait.  The stuff lasts a long time even if you're doing a hundred lures every year. 

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Thanks for the input. I have been using createx, and it works great. but the color options from where I get it are limited, i will have to order some. I have been buying a pack of primary colors, and for lures I want to have real vibrant colors, they have been great, but I have'nt had much success with mixing more realistic colors from the primary set.

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Mixing paint to come up with different colors is an art unto itself. A color wheel will help get you started. One thing that will help you "sneak up" on the color you want is to always mix your "weaker" colors into your "stronger" colors. Colors like black and blue are considered strong colors. In other words it will take much more yellow to make a blue turn to green than it will to add blue to yellow. Another example would be in mixing white and black to get grey. It will take more white to turn black to grey than it will black added to white.

 

Another thing to remember when mixing paints is that they won't look the same in the mixing container as they will sprayed onto a lure. I still struggle with this when trying to match the paint job on an existing lure. I use a white base coat most of the time and when mixing paints a quick wipe on a paper towel of the color that's being mixed will usually get it fairly close to what you will see when sprayed. If you'll learn which colors are stronger than others, and mix in small amounts, it will be easier to get the color your looking for.

 

Ben

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Here's a site that sells lots of different brands of air brush paint.

It's only an example.  There are lots more:

 

http://www.coastairbrush.com/categories.asp?cat=11

 

Here's another with life-like paints:

 

http://www.mckenziesp.com/Wildlife-Colors-C2020.aspx

 

Google air brush paints and you'll find lots of choices.

The paints I've had the most success with are Createx, Wildlife Colors, Apple Barrel, and Folk Art.

Both Apple Barrel and Folk Art need to be thinned (I use Auto Aire 4011 Reducer), and their pigments are larger, so sometimes I have to back the needle off a little in my .035 gun to get them to spray well, but they have color others don't, especially the Folk Art metalics.

Edited by mark poulson

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I use Createx when possible because it is the most consistent in airbrush paints.  But like you, I think their color palette is limited, plus I don't want to have to mix colors when I can avoid it.  I get many colors from suppliers of taxidermy paint, who formulate acrylic colors that are designed for fish.  My favorite is Smith Wildlife but I'll try any brand as long as it's a color I want to try.  Taxidermy.net is a gateway site that has links to many taxidermy paint suppliers.

 

btw - an excellent base white airbrush paint is Polytranspar Superhide White.  It covers quickly and dries fast to a hard gloss

Edited by BobP

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I use Createx when possible because it is the most consistent in airbrush paints.  But like you, I think their color palette is limited, plus I don't want to have to mix colors when I can avoid it.  I get many colors from suppliers of taxidermy paint, who formulate acrylic colors that are designed for fish.  My favorite is Smith Wildlife but I'll try any brand as long as it's a color I want to try.  Taxidermy.net is a gateway site that has links to many taxidermy paint suppliers.

 

btw - an excellent base white airbrush paint is Polytranspar Superhide White.  It covers quickly and dries fast to a hard gloss

Thats great info, thanks a lot.

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I think all the Dick Nite colors are lacquers?  I use water based acrylics for safety reasons and because that's what I learned to airbrush with and I don't want to start from scratch again.  The lacquers do offer more vibrant colors If that's what you're looking for.  I tend to favor more muted, naturalistic patterns.

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I use acrylics all the time and love them. I am going through a divorce and paying through the nose to keep my kids in same school district etc so paint has to be cheap for me to use it!

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Also check out Taxidermy supply sources. This art/craft also uses airbrushes and may have colors you seek.

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I use the "cheap acrylics" on my baits. I thin with water about 50/50. It works okay especially for smaller accent colors. The paint will run because it is very thin. Due to the thinned pigment it sometimes takes two coats.

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And when you have done all that Shaky, have a look here-- http://painting.about.com/library/blpaint/blcolormixingpalette1.htm

The more you click, the more colour you get, (just like @ home) also check out the 'watercolour mix' section, sometimes it's a more realistic choice.

Pete

 

Thanks for posting that link Pete. :worship:  It was one of the MANY I lost during the computer crash a few months ago. :mad:

 

Ben

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Thanks for posting that link Pete. :worship:  It was one of the MANY I lost during the computer crash a few months ago. :mad:

 

Ben

 

Ben,

I told you washing your computer wouldn't clean out the bad stuff!  :nuhuh:

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I use cheap craft acrylic myself and thin it applying several coats. A clog every now and then doesn't bother me. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. You get what you pay for...

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Ben,

I told you washing your computer wouldn't clean out the bad stuff!  :nuhuh:

 

But I didn't wash it Mark. I sent it out to be dry cleaned. :lol::P:lol:

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I was thinking about using the Michaels craft acrylic paint (easily accessable, good choice of colors)I was planning on using a DIY reducing mix approx 1:1(paint/reducer mix). Now my to my question, is it recommended that I to strain the cheaper craft paint with pantyhose or a paint strainer from HD? Some guy recommended it on YouTube. What do you all think?

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But I didn't wash it Mark. I sent it out to be dry cleaned. :lol::P:lol:

 

Dry cleaned?  You must be flush!!!  Hahaha

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I was thinking about using the Michaels craft acrylic paint (easily accessable, good choice of colors)I was planning on using a DIY reducing mix approx 1:1(paint/reducer mix). Now my to my question, is it recommended that I to strain the cheaper craft paint with pantyhose or a paint strainer from HD? Some guy recommended it on YouTube. What do you all think?

 

I use Apple Barrel and Folk Art paints, which aren't specifically designed for air brushes.  From what I've learned here, that means there may be larger pigment particles, which clog the small passages in an air brush.

Because I'm lazy, and only paint for myself and friends, I thin those paints with Auto Aire 4011 reducer until they are like skim milk before I use them.

When I do get a clog, I usually just backflush the paint back into the cup a little to clear it.  If that doesn't work, I pull the needle back a little to make more room for the paint to pass.  It's not scientific, but it works most of the time.

If I were going to screen the paint, I would thin it first, because it comes out of the plastic bottle way too thick to use anyway.

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JMHO, by the time you work up a good thinning solution, strain the paint through panty hose, work around the inevitable clogs - you could have painted lots more, easier, and faster - and maybe just as cheaply - with airbrush paint.  Just sayin..

 

When I want to save on paint, I buy it in 4 or 8 or 16 oz bottles.

Edited by BobP
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I cut up pantyhose into 1" squares and then drape them over the neck of the paint bottle before threading the cap back on. It's much easier than trying to strain a whole bottle of paint through a filter into a separate container and then pouring it back into the bottle. Just remember to get your wife, or girlfriend, to remove the pantyhose before you start cutting them up into 1" squares.

 

Ben

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