Help support TMP

"Revive paint that is drying out?" Topic

16 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Painting Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Ruleset

Current Poll

584 hits since 10 Aug 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

AegonTheUnready Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2019 3:01 p.m. PST

What should I add? Water? Acrylic medium? Just throw away? it is sort of sludgy now, not completely dried out.

John Armatys11 Aug 2019 3:05 p.m. PST

Try adding water, giving it a good stir, and see how it goes….

StoneMtnMinis11 Aug 2019 4:21 p.m. PST

50% Rubbing Alcohol. That will loosen the paint particles bonds and hopefully break it up.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian11 Aug 2019 4:35 p.m. PST

Just throw it out. I never have any luck reviving paint…

von Schwartz11 Aug 2019 4:53 p.m. PST

What is this "acrylic medium" that I keep hearing about? Is it that much better than thinning with plain water?

dragon611 Aug 2019 5:42 p.m. PST

Acrylic medium is the liquid that the paint pigments colour.
Lots of different kinds, gloss, flat or matte. It's a colourless liquid, effectively a colorless paint before the pigments are added.

YouTube link

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 6:20 a.m. PST

I've had mixed results restoring acrylic paints. I used an eye dropper or dripped clean water one drop at a time from a clean brush. Then thoroughly shook it to mix it up. It took some time; can be a slow process adding one or two drops at a time but I have had success.

Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP12 Aug 2019 6:23 a.m. PST

Yes to the medium.

Water rarely works well; I tried yesterday, really worked at it, and could never get it back to the proper consistency.

MajorB12 Aug 2019 11:54 a.m. PST

Entirely depends on the type of paint:
Water based acrylics water
Enamels white spirit

But note that you can never revive paint that has dried out completely.

DyeHard12 Aug 2019 12:35 p.m. PST

If it has gone too far, it is gone.

The binding agent in a paint can not be driven backwards.

But if we are taking about water based paint, the binding agent is most likely acrylic. If you are lucky, and catch it, you can dilute the paint again, and again. But adding just water will drive it to a point were the binder is so dilute it will never bind. Now, I have been at this game for a very long time and I have paints from 1976 (Poly-S) that still work. My trick was adding Future Floor Finish (which is not a wax, but acrylic media with a very good flow agent.) See: link

Using this as an additive, maintains the binder needed to allow the paint to set and cure properly. And it has the advantage of being very low cost! If you need to maintain a heavier body (greater viscosity) then you will want to mix in a more expensive media.

dragon612 Aug 2019 4:39 p.m. PST

DyeHard but what is Future Floor Wax today?
They keep changing the name

manyslayer12 Aug 2019 6:43 p.m. PST

I've had good luck with several just with water. A few wouldn't revive.

CeruLucifus12 Aug 2019 7:04 p.m. PST

I use artist paints which are thick to start. I thin with my pre-mixed "Acrylic Thinner" which is 1:1 wet water and acrylic Matte Media.

Pure thinner would use acrylic Gloss Media; that is actually straight acrylic media, whereas matte medium also has an additive to dull the shine. But I nearly always want the matte finish.

(Wet water is filtered or distilled water with 2-4 drops dishwasher rinse aid. You can also buy an art store surface tension reducer such as Liquitex Flow Aid to mix up manufacturer-approved wet water.)

If you don't want to mix your own acrylic thinner, acrylic airbrush thinner is basically the same and is pre-mixed.

For thickening hobby paint, as others say above, if the paint has started to cure then it can't be rescued. But if it is just thick from evaporation, water will thin it out but if there isn't enough binder you create a wash. Acrylic thinner is better since it adds acrylic media also; it ensures more paint-like results.

Also, with thick paint, stir to mix it thoroughly. This will also find strings or skins of cured paint if they are there, which you can pull out and throw away.

Dagwood13 Aug 2019 7:46 a.m. PST

I usually just add water, but this doesn't work on some makes (Revell ? Tamiya ?) which presumably need the proper thinner because they are not simply water based.

DyeHard13 Aug 2019 11:46 a.m. PST

In the USA, the name of the day for Future is:
SC Johnson, Pledge Floor Care Multi-Surface Finish

The test is the label viewed through the body and contents of the bottle:
SC Johnson, Pledge Floor Care Multi-Surface Finish


Front like:


The word "Finish" is another key, not a cleaner, but a new Finish for your floors or your miniatures.
A thousand and one modeling uses, yet one $9 USD bottle will last years.

von Schwartz13 Aug 2019 6:13 p.m. PST

Very informative, thank you.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.