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"Touching up spray paint?" Topic

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1,045 hits since 21 Apr 2017
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HappyHiker21 Apr 2017 3:37 a.m. PST

So faced with the prospect of painting 60 old guard, who are mostly dark blue, and a slight over enthusiasm, I bought a can of dark blue spray paint from Halfords, because it looked about right. I've done a test spray and though the colour looks good it's nowhere near close to any other dark blue I have.
So my question is, can I spray the can into a small pot, to build up some touch up paint? Will it just dry and give me a dark blue pot or will it allow me to bulk spray the minis and then touch them up with an exact matching paint from a still fluid pot? Has anyone tried it?

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2017 3:53 a.m. PST

My guess is once it's aerated it's shot.

Take a paint sample to a Home Depot and they'll mix you up however much you want for cheap.

John Treadaway21 Apr 2017 3:54 a.m. PST

I'd recommend buying Army Painter and the appropriate matching paint on acrylic colour if you can get one to closely match. Ultramarine blue might work, especially as if you need it darker a splosh of the appropriate shader ink will take it down with ease and give you some instant shading to boot.

I'm guessing the OP doesn't have a 'home depot' closer than several thousand miles away!

John T

HappyHiker21 Apr 2017 4:21 a.m. PST

We have an equivalent of Home Depot but they won't do acrylic paint matching just emulsion. I probably should have just gone with army painter, but you know, it was there, it looked right impulse buy. So is it a no go?

Don Manser Inactive Member21 Apr 2017 5:34 a.m. PST

Tamiya could be an option. Their spray and bottle paints usually match perfectly.

Lucius21 Apr 2017 6:25 a.m. PST

If your Home Depot equivalent matches emulsion(that's oil-based, right?), then why don't you have them match it in an emulsion? After all, that's what you get by spraying into a paint pot – an oil-based paint.

You need a lacquer thinner to clean up, either way, which really isn't a big deal for touch-ups. Unless I'm not understanding the issue, I don't see the down-side of having an oil-based touch-up.

RobSmith21 Apr 2017 8:03 a.m. PST

I have sprayed the paint into the cap of the spray can for brush touch-up. The paint is thin, but it works ok.

Try with an old figure first.

LostPict Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2017 8:42 a.m. PST

Have not done this, but seems to work:



Chris Wimbrow21 Apr 2017 9:09 a.m. PST

Use a disposable foam plate/palette. Spray a puddle and use it for a session. Add more for the day or use a new plate the next day. It isn't liquid gold needing to be saved.

Personal logo Striker Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2017 1:43 p.m. PST

You can spray a small puddle on something and use that for touch ups but it won't last a day. I've read articles where the author attached a small straw (cocktail straw size) to the nozzle and decanted spray can paint into a jar for use in an airbrush. I haven't tried it but if the can has a small lip, like a wd-40 or canned air can, you might be able to do it.

Chris Wimbrow21 Apr 2017 4:02 p.m. PST


I think you missed the part where it's not liquid gold. Normal use has half the spray falling on the ground as dust.

I've had someone object to my suggestion of using a motorized stirrer to mix paint because it was going to waste paint sticking to the propeller. Do you think the sludge on the bottom is going to come up just by shaking?

There is more paint out there. Are you still going to be holding on to a dried up bottle of virtually no paint in ten years?

Rusty Gold Inactive Member22 Apr 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

Check this Chasseur Blog Out !
His name is Mark and i recommend this Blog Entry for ideas


You might learn a trick or 2 to get over the hurdles .

Then read his latest entry this year to see how much he got done

Cambria562223 Apr 2017 8:16 a.m. PST

What we call 'emulsion' in UK is called 'latex' paint in USA (or at least in Texas, the only state in the US where I've bought paint), therefore it is entirely unsuitable for painting miniatures, even if a perfect colour match. I've only ever used emulsion/latex paint for home decor and painting tabletop scenery.

HappyHiker26 Apr 2017 5:14 a.m. PST

So I've tried spraying into a wet palette. The paint is runny for a bit ( certainly long enough) but it has the consistency of a wash rather than a paint (it is acrylic paint). I've done one figure like this and the touch up was messy but possible.(I had to retouch other colours that it ran in to) .
Any one know why the paint is so runny(thin)?

Chris Wimbrow06 May 2017 3:21 p.m. PST

So I've tried spraying into a wet palette. The paint is runny for a bit ( certainly long enough) but it has the consistency of a wash rather than a paint (it is acrylic paint). I've done one figure like this and the touch up was messy but possible.(I had to retouch other colours that it ran in to) .
Any one know why the paint is so runny(thin)?

It needs to be thin to keep from clogging the spray nozzle. The whole process involves creating a paint mist that dries just after it hits the model.

I hadn't thought that through. It's not like you can just add something like using flour or cornstarch to thicken gravy. (Although I haven't been in a craft store lately to browse the various additives for acrylics.)

Dry brushing techniques might do the trick for small touch ups. Get a minimal amount of paint on the brush and wick much of it back off on a paper towel or rag. Again with wasting paint, but it's the result that counts. Hit the same spot more than once as needed.

HappyHiker24 May 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

Just incase anyone searches for a similar question, thought I'd provide an update. After trying various methods of spry painting and then touching up I have learnt the following.

1) Dark tone ink hides a multitude of sins and makes a 90% match look like a 100% match.

2) Using non model specific spray paint even if its acrylic, is just simply not worth the hassle.

3) Base coating 24 figures in one sitting with a big brush is not really that bad, plus see point 2.

I have 2 battalions of old guard, 3/4 of the first battalion spray painted and the rest base coated by hand.Army painter primer is great, so is citadel. Halfords gray primer is tops, but trying to use their various acrylic paints to base coat is not a route I'd suggest. Stick with Army Painter or a big brush.

Still you have to try these things to find out.

Marc the plastics fan24 May 2017 11:57 p.m. PST

+1 for Army Painter coloured sprays and matching paint pots, toned down with their dip or washes. Big time saver for the block colours. I also recommend Halfords came paints – the olive drab they sell, shaded with strong tone dip, works great for WW2 Russian infantry. Very quick

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