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Dealing with Hard Water


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Hi all,

 

I moved less than a year ago. My new house has pretty hard water. In the past I could use tap water with no problems, but here whenever I make a wash or the like, it creates mineral deposits in most inopportune ways! Since then I've been using distilled water, but I suspect some of my paints were polluted when I thinned them early on; my washes still sometimes get chalky deposits.

 

Does anyone know of a method of eliminating these deposits without destroying the paint job? I really would rather not strip and restart these pieces...

 

Damon.

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Hi all,

 

I moved less than a year ago. My new house has pretty hard water. In the past I could use tap water with no problems, but here whenever I make a wash or the like, it creates mineral deposits in most inopportune ways! Since then I've been using distilled water, but I suspect some of my paints were polluted when I thinned them early on; my washes still sometimes get chalky deposits.

 

Does anyone know of a method of eliminating these deposits without destroying the paint job? I really would rather not strip and restart these pieces...

 

Damon.

hmmm, i have no experience with the deposit on my minis since i switched to bottled for my minis.

 

just maybe slight amount of vinager could disolve the deposits, CLR or acetone would likely be WAY to corrosive.

 

My water is like that too, with extra coliform and radium. <_<

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Unfortuntely outside of disposing of the paint and buying new paint and stripping the minis I do not know of an easy solution to your problem. I would definitely stick with distilled water or deionized water, whichever is easier for you to get ahold of. Once you have those minerals contaminating the paint you cannot get them out. Ance the deposits have formed on the mini they cannot readily be removed except by stripping. And when you wash your mini in soap and water before priming don't use your tap water either. If you tap water is that hard you could be leaving deposits on the bare mini that the primer is covering and this could lead to further problems down the road.

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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Have you tested the water to see what the deposits might be? They might could be removed with a mild acidic solution---perhaps vinegar. I don't believe the vinegar would cause problems with the acrylic, but it might affect the pigment. I would be sure and thoroughly rinse the model with cold water after attempting it. I've never done this, so I have no idea what it might do to the model--if you have a "sparsely" painted play piece, you might experiment first. I have a friend of mine that is a chemical engineer, tried to call him to confirm the result, no answer--I'll try him again later. Jenova might be able to give some insight in this matter, as well.

Good luck,

Kev

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Have you tested the water to see what the deposits might be? They might could be removed with a mild acidic solution---perhaps vinegar. I don't believe the vinegar would cause problems with the acrylic, but it might affect the pigment. I would be sure and thoroughly rinse the model with cold water after attempting it. I've never done this, so I have no idea what it might do to the model--if you have a "sparsely" painted play piece, you might experiment first. I have a friend of mine that is a chemical engineer, tried to call him to confirm the result, no answer--I'll try him again later. Jenova might be able to give some insight in this matter, as well.

Good luck,

Kev

Vinegar is bad! If any of his minis have lead or traces of lead in them it will eventually rot them! ::o:

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The figures in question are IWM Battletech mechs. Most are relatively unaffected, except for the Hunchback. Fortunately, the majority is concentrated around his feet, and while I lost some detail there, subsequent washes helped, and I may end up "muddying" things up a little.

 

I'm going to try the vinegar first on a test piece to see what happens (I used airbrushed Polly Scale paints, and they seem to be "harder" than commercial fantasy or craft paints).

 

I may do what Enchantra suggested and chuck the paints (or, at least not use them for washes!). I was planning on picking up some Ceramcoat paints (great for washes) but Wal-mart was closed yesterday evening(!).

 

Damon.

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Usually with the Vinegar the eatting away of the lead doesn't happen immediately. After a few months to a year or so though you may notice the paint bubbling up and this is because the remnants of the vinegar have made it their job to eat at the lead.

 

As for Walmart, they were closed because of the Holiday. Afterall their employees want to spend the Holiday with their families too. ::D:

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I would probably just give up and throw the paints out.

 

It seems to me that mixing all sorts of stuff with them will not only take a lot of time, but probably won't produce good results. I did some research for a company a few years ago. They had problems because the pigment is their paint was precipitating. Fixing it was really complicated, even though we knew exactly what was in the paint. In this situation we don't really know what's going on...

 

As for fixing the models. I think washes or maybe even multiple layers of very thin glazes sound like a good idea.

 

Good luck with it ::):

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Hmmm, well, I have a weird idea, but it might work...for aquariums (I used to have salt-water fishies), there is an additive that takes hard metals and chlorine out of tap water, so that you can add it to your aquarium practically right from the faucet instead of waiting a day to distill it with aeration. I don't remember what it's called, but if you go to a pet store and describe it to a fish person they should know right what you mean. :) It's clear, a little viscous, and may just work as a flow improver or extender...oh boy, I can just see if this works. A new trend? "Fish paints!!" Noooooooo... <runs in fear...>

 

--Anne ;)

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I have some of the chlorine remover that I use on my aquarium...called Amquel. This I have is only for chlorines and ammonias. I got it at Pet Smart. Might be worth a try to look for something similar there. I also looked into lime/mineral remover at Lowe's today. There is nothing I found that can be used on a painted surface.

As for the vinegar...as Enchantra stated...most acids will have "adverse" affects when exposed to metal (pewter, almost always has traces of lead in the composition--along with a few other metals), but it's this reaction that works to remove the deposits....a catch 22 I guess. Vinegar is usually only about a 5% solution, but if it does seep through the cracks it could potentially cause issues. An alkali will most likely damage the paint itself upon exposing it to the mini...

There aren't many options because most of the items that remove this type of thing rely heavily on the chemical reaction.

So let's call the vinegar idea a "next to last" resort.

This seems obvious, but have you tried to simply remove the surface deposits with mild soap and water? You might try toothpaste, but it has abrasives and it leaves a residue, So you might just be changing one deposit for another....

I'll keep thinking on it and see if I can find anything that might work, without any side-effects.

Kev

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