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How long does the 1/2oz Reaper Paints last you?

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I'm sure this is a question that many people (including myself) have asked themselves when getting into this craft (with Reaper paints at least).

Part of this topic (and this post) is a question geared toward each and every painter (that uses Reaper paints) out there, as this question cannot truly be answered in terms of time, as each person paints a different way.


The other part of this topic is actually an answer, in one way an answer to the question posted. TO SCIENCE!


I recently received an order from Reaper in which I bought their pack of 3 empty bottles to use for custom paint mixes, and water-down mixes. The other reason I bought them was to test just how much you can get out of them. I saw posts and tutorials saying "Use x drops of this paint and Y drops of enough", and sometimes those where 3-5 drops. My first fear was that I'd be going through paints like water! After using them a bit I realize thats not the case, but wondered;


Just how many drops are in a 1/2oz bottle? (approximately)


So I decided to break out the science! And by that I mean a small measuring spoon.


Lets get some constants going here:
Being in Canada, the measurements I'm using are in milileters, or ml.


1/2 or 0.5oz = 14.7868ml


The primary measuring instrument I am using is 2.5ml, which is approximately half a teaspoon (so others can replicate these tests).


Now lets get started, to test this I filled one of the droppers with regular (Canadian) Tap water. I then proceeded to drop individual drops one by one into the cup until it was at the top, counting as I went.


I repeated this several times and each time I got a nice round number of about 80 Drops per 2.5ml. This evens out to about 32 Drops per 1ml.


If there are 32 Drops in a single ml, and 14.7868ml in a dropper that means you get about 473 Drops Per Bottle!

Keep in mind for a number of reasons this is a rough estimate:

-Not every bottle will have exactly 1/2oz, some may have a little more, or a little less

-These are drops of water. Drops of paint are going to be different sizes, and thus more or less than 473

-You dont always have to use a full huge drop of paint if you only need a small amount (mixing)


Still its a neat thing to know that you'll get at LEAST 400 drops on average, so if something calls for 4 drops, don't worry, you can do that over 100 times!


One last thing on the drop subject, if we get about 473 drops per bottle, and each bottle costs about $3.29, that means you are paying about $0.007 per drop! Not a bad value if you ask me!


Now we return to the first part of the topic, how long it takes painters to go through a bottle. That is where I turn to you, the community, the experts. How long does a bottle of paint (preferably Reaper, but can list others as long as you mention the brand) last you? What colors do you go through the most? Is there a specific color you find yourself constantly running low on? What color or colors do you find yourself using the least, not because you dont like them, but because you can never find a use for them?

Also do you have any tips to keep your paint in good condition, to to make it last longer. Such as using painting mediums to increase volume?


Dont forget to like this post, or others like it if you found them fun or useful!

Edited by jaryth000
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Most of my bottles of paint last years. Certain shades a few years less, certain shades a few years more, but I paint a LOT of figures (47 last year) and like any painter I have tendencies so certain shades will go faster.

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You made me think of something else Adrift, that I will add to the main topic, do you have any suggestions to make your paint last longer? Like using mediums or such to thin the paint without loosing quality?


Acrylics need to be shaken every so often. Place your paints on your washer and dryer during laundry day a few times a year and you shouldn't really have any issues.

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I've had MSPs since shortly after they came out, I have bottles with labels taped on and they are still good. 5 years? 7 years? I keep them at room temperature. I don't add anything to my paint, but I will sometimes thin the drop on my palette before I use it. I bought a replacement black 2-3 years ago and it will probably be another couple years before I use it up. For your scientific record I paint 100-120 minis a year. I don't see myself running out of paint anytime in my lifetime.

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Based on your math & figures here's what I'm paying for my paint (no I am not using Reaper's, sorry) :



4 × (2 oz bottles)
1,892 = (drops per bottle)
.79 (how much I paid per bottle)
1,892 ÷
0.00041754756871 = (cents per drop)
I usually thin my paints 50/50 with flow medium.
Depending on the color it lasts me about 3-6 months depending on what I'm painting, and how much of it. I paint things other than just minis with my paint.
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$0.79 for 2oz bottles? What kind of paint? Thats not too bad.


(as I cower beneath my desk to answer the question I whisper)

"I use craft acrylics. A few months ago I got a full set of them (about 220 different colors) when they were buy one get one free, plus I had a 20% off the entire purchase coupon so it came out to .79 cents a bottle, maybe, probably, less. I also purchased some flow medium, dry retarder, and 8 brushes, plus 1 tube of each color of Basics paints that I don't use on minis. Grand total I spent about $80. "

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Thats not too bad all in all. No one said "Tho shalt not ever use craft acrylics", because to each their own. If you can get a good quality result out of a product, than honestly thats all that matters. I think the huge argument in that topic last week was specifically about people suggesting Craft supplies as products for new users. Its not that they cannot provide a good result, but they may not be the best for people who only paint mini's and are new to the hobby. You said it yourself, you also paint other things. If it works for you, keep with it! :D


Plus thats a good price, so that helps too!


Really, the only reason I kept mentioning Reaper in the main post was so everyone was on the same page, and the answers could apply to a lot of people. Getting answers about other paints are good too!

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And again, I point you towards Buglips craft paint showdown. I am really very happy with the Bathalian I did in all craft paints. So come out from under that desk, stand up proud, and tell the world 'I use craft paints, and I like it"

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