Cheap acrylic paints?
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Cheap acrylic paints?

Posted in Custom Workstation

I'm in a little bit of a dilemma as far as paint. I know Testors model paint is widely accepted for customs, but the only Testors paints I can find are the dreaded enamels. So what about the craft-store acrylics? I've heard they tend to flake off and leave somewhat of a chalky finish, but I've also heard they can work very well if used right. So if I use the craft store acrylics, what should I do to get the best possible paint job?

Posted by harveytwoface999
on Saturday, April 4, 2009
User Comments
somebody1 -
Saturday, April 4, 2009
you probably will get a chalky feeling and look on them. I use them when I want a very pastel style look to something and we use them on our crafts all the time. the problem is streaking and needing a lot of layers. I am going to experiment on a scrap using a testors flat matte finish as I hate gloss. I use spray paint and testors (for details) and it usually goes okay.
Wonder***Woman -
Saturday, April 4, 2009
When I'm in this fix I water the paint down until its nearly a milk consistancy and do lots of coats or the paint will dry VERY uneven. After a few mily coats you can make it less watery, keep using less water with every other coat or so so by the time you finish its almost just paint. If done right you get a very nice smooth finish, almost as good as the high quality. Make sure to seal it with a nice matte finish (or gloss if you prefer super glossy because these craft paints seem to seal a little more glossier than the other model paints) and I'd seal it at least 2 times if not more and even after that I might go over any spots that look a bit inconsistent and then seal it again.
Patraw -
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Putting some acrylic sealer on top of your paint job might help if flaking becomes a problem. I use those cheap acrylics all the time with almost no problems, but very little, if any, of the material I use for my figures is plastic, so you might get different results. On very rare occasions I occasionally see some cracking in the paint, but, I think that has more to do with the environment/temperature than the paint itself, as it's not a consistant thing.

The finish does tend to be somewhat chalky on the flat Apple Barrel colors--the gloss ones have a much nicer finish, but it's usually not a good idea to paint a figure entirely in gloss. I've noticed if you handle the gloss paint enough it tends to "tarnish" it (probably the oil in your hands), making it flat.

I'd say apply at least two coats, as the coverage can be poor with some of the colors, particularly silver and yellow. Applying a wash with a gloss color, which gives a smoother finish, might counteract the chalkiness of the flat colors a bit. You might also try mixing some of the cheaper paint with a better one, that might alleviate, or at least lessen, any negative aspects of the cheaper paint. I've had some good results with mixing the gloss and flat ones to get a semi-gloss hybrid.
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