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Is it just me or...?

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While painting my Model T, I decided to try the airbrush I bought some time ago but never had a compressor to use it with until I got one on a long-term load.

I cut my paint (Model Master Classic Black) with lacquer thinner like I have before. I found with the lacquer thinner previously, the paint dried very quickly and I got a nice, level, glossy finish out of it.

I'm now finding that the paint doesn't dry quickly, and that it's still drying like enamel- S-L-O-W, and Testors black in particular- E-X-T-R-A--S-L-O-W. The gloss is also not present, especially after sanding between coats. I'm already planning on a polishing kit and a coat of Glosscote at the minimum to bring it up. Barring that, I may just strip and re-start, but I'd really rather not.

I suspect it's the lacquer thinner reformulated to not work properly anymore, which means I might need to grab some next time I go to New Hampshire where you can still get the good stuff, or I'll have to ante up for the PPG automotive stuff, which does most certainly still work based on recent experience of others.

The product in question is the Ace lacquer thinner.

I'm just curious if anyone else has experienced this and if a solution was found.

Charlie Larkin

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Posted · Report post

I have always used the super cheap stuff found at Walmart and so forth. Never had a problem. Wonder if the formulations have changed due to VOC's? This sounds like a question for Donn Yost.

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Posted · Report post

I've been shooting with "sunnyside" just like Donn....I wonder if its the black ?...You are using the MM enamel ?

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Posted · Report post

I've had issues with black myself, semi gloss black is no problem but I shot a body with classic black and got alot of orange peel. I've read a few posts on here saying flat colors tend to lay down smoother than the gloss ones so that may be worth a shot.

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Posted · Report post

Charlie,I thought Donn specifically said not to use the automotive grade stuff (PPG etc). Hope you find an easy way to resolve this.

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Charlie, what I use to thin paint (Testors enamel) is medium drying Enamel reducer for 1:1 autos. It dries quick like using lacquer thinner and it doesn't hurt the plastic. I've not had any problems using this type of reducer. :) Dan

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Posted · Report post

I wonder if what you bought at Ace is really " Lacquer Thinner " or is it " Paint Thinner " ? There is a big difference !

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Posted · Report post

Okay...I'm starting to think it's the paint.

To answer a few questions and comments.

1. It seems gloss black always dries slowly, and I was hoping the lacquer thinner would change that. Perhaps not.

2. As I suspected, it worked, so they might have "fixed it." It could also be the thinner itself, so changing brands isn't beyond the realm of reason, either. It does, however work well for cleaning the airbrush.

3. Yes, MM Classic Black enamel.

4. Dan, what are you using for your reducer? Worst case, I might go grab a can.

5. Donn doesn't use automotive thinner because his technique involves generally painting on bare plastic that's been very finely sanded, almost to a mirror polish. The automotive thinner will still attack the semi-sealed plastic. As I use primer under everything, it probably wouldn't be as much of a problem for me. I have a couple of friends who use the PPG automotive thinner and get very good results with it.

And yes, the can is marked lacquer thinner.

As I think about it, I used this stuff in some other paint (Model Master Light Ivory and Shell Beige) and it behaved the same way.....this just occurred to me while I was typing this, as it's been a couple of years since I painted my '32.

Thinking changing brands might be the smart way to move.

Charlie Larkin

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Charlie, I use stuff called Montana medium dry acrylic enamel reducer, premium formulated # 4900. I think that I got it at a NAPA store years ago. I haven't had any problems using this reducer and the paint dries pretty close as using Lacquer thinner and doesn't affect the plastic. I used to use Testors thinner and the paint took forever to dry. Well, I ran out of Testors one day and I had this reducer and thought that I would give it a try and boy, was I glad I did. I haven't used anything else since. I use Lacquer thinner to clean my airbrush and other stuff. I haven't got the courage to try the Lacquer thinner yet :) I hope this helps ya. Dan

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