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How do you keep paint from thickening?

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I usually buy the Testors bottles of paint but find that the paint begins to thicken soon after I use it a couple of times.  The paint sometimes completely dries up, even though the caps are on the bottles.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how they keep their bottles of paint useful for a decent amount of time?





Current Builds: Heller HMS Victory, MS Mayflower


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Hi Don.

I assume that the paint is enamel type..

I was always told that when finished with the pot give it a good shaking (with the lid ON) :)

The thinners produces a vapor that stops it from forming a skin and drying out.

If you notice one that's thickening up just add 1 drop of thinners (the recommended type of course)


Some of my old paints are some 15+ years old.


Regards Antony.

Best advice ever given to me."If you don't know ..Just ask.

Completed Mayflower

Completed Fun build Tail boat Tailboat

Completed Build Chinese Junk Chinese Pirate Junk

Completed scratch built Korean Turtle ship 1/32 Turtle ship

Completed Santa Lucia Sicilian Cargo Boat 1/30 scale Santa Lucia

On hold. Bounty Occre 1/45

Completed HMS Victory by DeAgostini modelspace. DeAgostini Victory Cross Section

Completed H.M.S. Victory X section by Coral. HMS Victory cross section

Completed The Black Pearl fun build Black Queen

Completed A large scale Victory cross section 1/36 Victory Cross Section

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Don, I usually smear a little Vaseline / petroleum jelly around the threads of the bottle before recapping it.  this makes a positively airtight seal.  it also makes the bottle much easier to open and close next time.



Currently building: Model Expo AMERICA, A/L KING OF THE MISSISSIPPI


Completed: Mamoli Victory cross-section, Revell LSM (Plastic, in memory of Dad), A/L SANSON tug, MS Longboat (awesome model Chuck!), Dumas 1949 Chris-Craft 19' Racing runabout, A/L SWIFT, MS ELSIE, Constructo ELIDIR (now LOUISE), Midwest Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack, Amati 1:80 Yacht ENDEAVOUR, Mamoli CONSTITUTION cross section, Revell VIIc U-boat (1:72 plastic), lotsa other plastic ships 


Next up: who knows - there are too many to choose from!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Antony, Justsayrow, and Druxey,


Thanks for the advice on keeping the paint thin and usable.  I'm trying the vaseline on the bottle threads and will see how that works out.  Sometimes paint gets on the threads and then hardens.  Vaseline should take care of that problem too..



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I think that the air in the bottle reacts with the paint. So, at least with larger cans (quart etc), I add some clean rocks to the can and minimize the amount of air that gets trapped inside. With small bottles you can do the same using beads or other small, inert stuff.



Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10120-cross-section-forward-area-of-the-uss-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/103-uss-constitution-by-modeler12/


'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .

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