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Regular paint, washes and glazes... Oh my (paint to water ratios for thinning)


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Clearly there are some variations in what people work with. For Reaper paints, I generally use a ratio somewhere between 3-6 drops of dilutant (water, or a mix of half water, matte medium) to 1 drop of paint to mix a wash. There are a few strongly pigmented paints I might dilute a little more. Glazes are probably more, and I generally use plain paints for glazes. (I really do use that test I listed for glazes in particular, so I'm not really keeping track of the drops.) Seems a less than what dsmiles listed!

I'll be the first one to admit that it takes me upwards of 15 coats of a glaze to tone colors. But I'd rather be careful than screw it up with my (extremely) limited ability with paints.
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I do generally say to err on the side of too thin for glazes, since you can always add more coats, but you can't take one away once it starts to dry. You may be the exception to some of my rules, however. ;->

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I do generally say to err on the side of too thin for glazes, since you can always add more coats, but you can't take one away once it starts to dry. You may be the exception to some of my rules, however. ;->

 

Dave is the exception to many rules...  ::P:  :lol:

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Like most everyone else, getting paint to the perfect consistency for what I'm doing is an on-going struggle for me.  I've seen people suggesting using the Reaper Brush-on Sealer as a diluting agents a couple of times now.  Doesn't this "dry up" fairly quickly and start to make the paint/sealer mixture sticky?  What kind of working time are we looking at?  In addition, I tend to use a wet pallet.  Is that still feasible while using the sealer as a dilutant?

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Reaper Brush-On Sealer is basically acrylic gloss medium, so using it to thin paint is like using gloss medium as a thinner.  It would only make the mixture sticky if the sealer itself is sticky (Not familiar with its properties, just saying).

 

A wet palette shouldn't be a problem, since the only difference between medium and paint is the presence of pigment.

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A large component of brush-on sealer is medium. Medium is the non-pigment part of paint. It's clear, but less watery than water. So if you use it in part to thin down glazes or washes, you'll end up with paint that is much more transparent, but less runny. It also makes it more likely for pigment to stay in suspension than with just water. This is particularly handy with metallic paints, where the heavy metal flakes want to sink when you mix them with water.

 

Basically think of it as a sort of transparent paint, which can be used when you want to add transparency to a mix, but not change the consistency, or not change it as much.

 

(There are different kinds of mediums if you start looking at art store product lines, some of which can be much thicker, just as tube paints are thicker, so if you decide to delve into true mediums instead of just using the brush on sealer as the easy button of mediums suited to mini painting needs, which is what most of us are doing, you might want to do a little more research before picking a product to buy.)

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I personally like the Vallejo Glaze Medium because, well A) I can buy it off the shelf locally instead of ordering it, but B) it's basically their matte medium with a little retarder in it to extend the drying time.  You can use their matte medium instead if you want to avoid the shiny without extending the drying time (like washes).

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So is medium the same as flow release?

No, it isn't.

 

Medium is the acrylic emulsion which is mixed with pigments to make acrylic paint. It's one of the two components of the paint itself.

 

Flow release (or flow improver) is a surfactant which is used sparingly in minute amounts to reduce the surface tension of acrylic paint and make it flow better and bead up less. It's an additive.

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In my experience, Vallejo Matte Medium, Liquitex Fluid Matte Medium, and Reaper's brush-on sealer all work about the same when used to make paint more transparent.  I usually dilute them down about 1:1 or 2:1 water to medium before adding them to paint. 

 

I haven't noticed that they make paint more sticky, just thicker than when I use only water.  I sometimes add medium to paint, or use just medium, because the paint on a figure has gotten rough due to poor technique or surface texture I didn't fix properly before painting.  The medium helps smooth it out.  Other times I add it to paint because water alone doesn't keep the pigment in proper suspension during layering or glazing.

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