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Grainy Paint Problem


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Good morning,


Last fall I bought a bunch of the Reaper paints. Now I'm finding that I can't get a smooth texture/finish when I'm painting skin (mostly). I use Floquil spray primer and start with a good, thin, smooth undercoat (even though later paints don't stick to the primer perfectly).


I thin with water on a plastic palette. I often blend more than one shade of paint to get a desired skin tone.


The finish is usually sort of thick and lumpy. With gritty bits in the mix. Generally I try to layer on three varied skin tones after using a bit of shade ink around the edges and in the eye sockets or mouth.


From a foot away it looks adequate, but when enlarged on my computer screen, or under my magnifying glass, it looks positively horrendous.


Any Ideas from out there? Have I thinned the paint too much or not enough? Is the paint old? Should I do something to mix the paint better before use (I just shake it by hand now)?


I work under fairly bright incandescent lights so things are warm. Humidity is generally low to moderate.


I just bought some new paint (master series not available in the LGS yet, so I got the regular Reaper), so I'll see if I get better results there.



- Steve from Alaska

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I've had these same problems under the following conditions:


1) Thin paints too much. Too much thinning, and the paint can break down and become grainy when trying to paint thin layers.


2) Hot lamps. Painting under hot lamps can dry the paint as you apply it, resulting in clumpy/lumpy paint.


3) Poor tap water. Tap water with a lot of minerals in it can result in a subtle grainy/lumpy paint. Use distilled water whenever possible.


4) Thinning with just plain water. Thinning with additional additives, like flow improver and/or extender can yield much more satisfying results.


Hope some of that helps! ^_^

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Today I was painting already primed bases with Master Paint Muddy Brown and while drying the surface broke into lots of small cracks so you could see the white primer underneath. I also was quite puzzled by this behaviour of the paint. Does anyone have any ideas what the reason could be? I didn't do anything special to the paint and I didn't have that problem before.


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Use distilled water, it does matter. Not spring water, but distilled or treated by reverse omossis. A gallon will cost < $1 at most grocery stores.


Use a wet pallete. You can find these at Michaels and Dick Blicks


Use a solution of 1 part future to 2-4 parts water. This will add more binder instead of diluting it. It will also make the paint flow better, and not dry in weird rings when using thin washes.

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Today I was painting already primed bases with Master Paint Muddy Brown and while drying the surface broke into lots of small cracks so you could see the white primer underneath.

I had this problem a while back. The diagnosis by other folks here was that the spray enamel primer I'd used (Krylon, IIRC), hadn't sufficiently cured, and so was reacting with the paint (Reaper Master Series enamel).


We let the other minis that had been primed at the same time sit for a few days to a week before painting; sent the can of spray primer down to live with the other general around-the-house paint, and switched to the Reaper Pro-Paint brush-on primer and Testor's spray primer (also an enamel), and haven't had a repeat occurance.

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Distilled water is also very easy to find at a local pharmacy. Don't go spending a million dollar on the overpriced Pediacare stuff in the baby aisle. There is usually inexpensive, store brand near the druggist's counter, or with the other bottled water. I've always had the best luck at CVS.


And then of course you get the "Are you sure you want distilled water?"


No, I was hoping for some Tennesee Whiskey, but this will have to do I guess.


Here's your sign. ::D:

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Yeah, distilled water. Just don't spend the money on "Nursery Water" since the only thing it has added is flouride (for those who don't have flouride added water).


I find distilled water at Walmart for around 50-60 cents per gallon.


Also, will filtered water, such as through a Britter or Pur filter, work just as well? :huh:

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I've used Brita pitcher water with no ill effects. A lot will probably be determined by the actual mineral and chemical composition of your tap/well water.


The big difference is that distilled water has ZERO impurities. And you know it, right out of the bottle. That's why it "tastes" funny. Truth is, there is no taste to it, which is why it seems wierd.


Brita filters do remove a lot of the minerals and some chemicals from your tap water, but it does not filter everything. It also becomes less effective as a filtration device the longer it has been used.

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Thanks to all of you. I'll check out the future floor wax thing. I've heard something about it before but didn't know what it could do or should do.


If it makes the ring effect of layered paint less noticeable, I'll be happy.


It never occurred to me that the water might be the issue. In the past I used less water to thin the paints I use, but lately I've been doing more and more thinning, so maybe the impurities in teh water are finally overcoming the paint's cohesive porperty.


Does REaper sell flow improver? I don't see any at my FLGS. They also don't carry Reaper primer.


Does the brush on primer come out thin and smooth enough to satisfy everyone? Do a lot of the figures I see on the web start with brush on primer???

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I broke down last night and picked up some flow improver and extender from Michaels (art/craft store). Wow, it's a whole different game.


The stuff I picked up is Liquidtex brand (the only thing they had). It was about $7.50 for a (estimating) 6-8 oz bottle.


They also had a sale on brushes and I picked up some Kalinsky sable 110 sized brushes for around $2.



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