Thursday, April 25, 2013

Airbrush 103: Making Paints into Airbrush Paints

This post has been done a couple of times now.  Wanted to make a post specifically about the process as I'm developing it.  Still refining the process of how to make paints into airbrush paints.  This is not the last post on the subject.  Hope there never is.  Refreshers are always helpful.

JJ typing, What you'll need for this project:

Windex Glass Cleaner (thanks Aleman for clarification)
Desired water based paint you want to make into airbrush paint.
2oz Boston bottle, purchased from Blick.

Our subjects.  Reaper Master Series Surf Aqua, thanks, Acye00, Alaitoc Blue and Caledor Sky.

Quick pic of receipts.  For the discerning consumers amongst us.

Reaper and Army Painter paints have a nozzle.  You can take the nozzle off.  This is easier for pouring instead of squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.

Since I've never made a reaper paint into airbrush version decided to mark the bottle.  17mm for paint. 34 mm where I need to fill for 1:1 ratio.  When making airbrush paints you want at least 1:1 ratio of paint to thinner.  You should always thin your paints.  With airbrush paints this is essential.

Filled bottle with windex to pull remaining paint from bottle.  Waste not want not.

Before adding windex.

Windex up to inner edge.

Here's how clean the bottle looks after windex.

Guessed how much windex when putting in the pot.  Was off a little bit.  Need to fill to line for correct ratio.

Damn clean paint pot.

If you don't trust your pouring skills you can use a funnel.  LT found this little funnel at ax-man for 25 cents.

You'll notice at the 11 o'clock position there is paint on the bottom of the pot.  Need to shake the pot more to pull as much paint from it as possible.

After windex.

Make sure to label your bottles.  Don't want to guess what colour is what.

Packing tape so marker doesn't rub off.

Please notice top of the "F" it is outside of the packing tape.

Purposely rubbed off to stress the point of using packing tape.  Or any type of tape.

What do you do with the containers?  Choice is yours.  You could continue your hoarding nature and put them somewhere and you'll never do anything with them ever again, toss them in the trash like most people or clean them and hang onto them for future paints or when buddies ask if you have any empty paint pots they can have.

In this case we are going to give them a bath.  Couple of my modelling buddies ask me for empty paint pots regularly.

Previous paint pots that received a bath.

After you've made your airbrush paint.  Give the bottle quite a shake.  Have to mix the windex and paint together.  You'll notice bubbles on the bottom of the bottle.  This means paint isn't sticking there.


The bottle is a one time purchase.  You'll just add to the bottle when paint gets low.  Just like buying paint pots.  Slowly you'll make your own stable of airbrush paints.  All my pretty girls lined up.

Exactly like paints in pots.  Some paints are more likely to separate and need an appropriate amount of shaking to return it to the proper colour.

Tada!   Bleached Bone, Ushabti Bone is like normal.

slainte mhath


  1. are those brand new, fresh-opened citadel paint pots that you fill to the inner rim line with windex?

    1. Yes, anon 4:14. You can take the stickler off and put it on the new bottle.

  2. I've heard that Windex can mess up the gaskets in an airbrush. Are you not concerned with that or is it BS? I'm too scared to try on such an expensive bit of equipment.

    1. Can't say for sure, also haven't looked that up. My experience does support the worry. Ever since I started thinning with water haven't had nearly the same amount of issues whe airbrushing.


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