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Craft Acrylic Reducing


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Hey All, I’ve started trying out using some of the craft acrylics for my cars and was trying usings 91% alcohol or windshield washer fluid but I’ve noticed that it seems like oil and water like they don’t want to mix. Has anyone else had issues like that? Is there something I’m missing?

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I've been thinning Folk Art craft acrylics with 91% alcohol (in very small quantities) for a while now with good results, Drying time is vastly reduced. But so far I've only used the stuff for small touchup brushwork and such, nothing big. 

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24 minutes ago, Snake45 said:

I've been thinning Folk Art craft acrylics with 91% alcohol (in very small quantities) for a while now with good results, Drying time is vastly reduced. But so far I've only used the stuff for small touchup brushwork and such, nothing big. 

Folk Art is one of the ones I”m working with, I’m trying to reduce it about 50% to spray. I did do one reducing with water and it worked well I just let it cure 24hrs before clearing. That why I want to use the alcohol or washer fluid to reduce that dry time...

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Big problem with "water-based" paints is that there are many formulas, so there is no universal thinner.  That's one of the reasons I stay away from those paints. Some can be thinned with alcohol, other will curdle.  Some can be thinned with water. Actually water is probably one of the safest thinners for all those paints, but not guaranteed to be totally universal.  Safest is to use the thinner that is part of the line of paints being thinned. But with cheap craft paints, there usually is no specific thinner available. Some of those craft paints will mention on their label what could be used to thin the painit, others will not.  It is a luck of a draw.

For me it is still "stinky" paint all the way.

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I've never had any issues with plain old windshield washer fluid for craft acrylics.  I use a small blow dryer after I lay each coat down and slowly build coats, only giving the last one or two a moderately wet coat.  It dries nice and fast with the blow dryer.

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I had one like peteski said "curdle" when I added the alcohol. I really like the color base you get with them and they are cheap. I'm getting the feeling I'm going to have to test each paint I get to see what I should use to reduce it rather than having a universal reducer.

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1 hour ago, SCRWDRVR said:

I had one like peteski said "curdle" when I added the alcohol. I really like the color base you get with them and they are cheap. I'm getting the feeling I'm going to have to test each paint I get to see what I should use to reduce it rather than having a universal reducer.

DecoArt will curdle or even gel up depending on the alcohol type and quantity. Straight alcohol isn't the answer with craft paints anyway though.

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Hobby Lobby sells Deco Art, Folk Art, Anita's craft paints. I wonder really what the difference is. Is one better the other?? I guess the best test would be to try all three if one was so inclined.

And after trying different thinner concoctions I wonder if the KISS method is best. Heck, plain water, maybe distilled would work. Seems like the washer fluid is used a lot, maybe most. I don't know how if lacquer thinner reacts.  

I guess break out the spoons and mix and shoot away!!

 

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2 hours ago, TransAmMike said:

Hobby Lobby sells Deco Art, Folk Art, Anita's craft paints. I wonder really what the difference is. Is one better the other?? I guess the best test would be to try all three if one was so inclined.

And after trying different thinner concoctions I wonder if the KISS method is best. Heck, plain water, maybe distilled would work. Seems like the washer fluid is used a lot, maybe most. I don't know how if lacquer thinner reacts.  

I guess break out the spoons and mix and shoot away!!

 

Mike, I tried to PM you don't know if you got it. Hope so, it's about 5 paragraphs long lol !

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5 hours ago, Dave G. said:

DecoArt will curdle or even gel up depending on the alcohol type and quantity. Straight alcohol isn't the answer with craft paints anyway though.

Good to know I'll keep that in mind

4 hours ago, rust-n-dust said:

I use Pledge as a thinner and windex to clean up, it's been working good so far

Never thought of using the pledge, that throws another wrench in the works LOL, I'll have to try that too

 

I am definitely going to have to do some trials to see what works the best, and I guess everyone's opinion of best is different.

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12 hours ago, TransAmMike said:

Tried a few combinations distilled water, washer fluid and laquer thinner but not alchohol.  To be brief best result I had was windshield washer fluid.

Washer fluid is about 40% methyl alcohol ( or methanol ), water and a touch of detergent. Some craft acrylics like that alcohol, others ipa, others no alcohol. What washer fluid doesn't have is retarder in it and that greatly aids in fighting tip dry. Just sayin

Edited by Dave G.
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13 hours ago, peteski said:

Washer fluid is water mixed with alcohol and some detergents or cleaning agents.  Modelers use it simply because it is very cheap. :)

Not in my case anyway 😉.   Even though washer fluid is cheap, it works better than the others (various % alcohols, Wicked reducers, Tamiya x-20, Testors Universal, etc)  I've tried with craft acrylics and I'd gladly pay more because it really does work better for me.   Seeing as how I'm on SS, I'm not complaining that is is cheap though 😁

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