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OneEighthBit

Settled paint - salvageable or replace?

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About 3 years ago I picked up modelling again and over time started investing in Valejo Model air paints and products as I found they work best for me. Unfortunately an unplanned house move has meant they had to go into storage for about 18 months.

 

I've been able to dig my stash out I can see that they've all settled. :( I've given them a vigorous shake by hand and some seem to have re-mixed but others have the pigment sludge firmly stuck to the bottom of the bottle.

 

I was going to attempt the electric stirrer, maybe try and vibrate-mix them with something but not sure if this is worth it or a lost cause?

 

I'm unemployed at the moment so was hoping to model as a way to pass the time but it now seems I have 50 bottles of ruined paint I'll need to replace.

 

Any tips if this is at all salvageable?

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Get some stainless steel nuts or ball bearings (if you go for the ball bearings be careful when you squeeze out paint) and put them in the bottles. One or two in each should be enough. Shake them like there's no tomorrow and see if it does the trick. If you plan on airbrushing them make the mix externally and examine it before putting it in the cup. 

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You could also get longish bits of old sprue and try stirring with that before shaking the living day lights out if them. 

 

Either way way let us know how you get on.

 

James

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38 minutes ago, bmwh548 said:

Get some stainless steel nuts or ball bearings (if you go for the ball bearings be careful when you squeeze out paint) and put them in the bottles. One or two in each should be enough. Shake them like there's no tomorrow and see if it does the trick. If you plan on airbrushing them make the mix externally and examine it before putting it in the cup. 

Another vote for this.  The ball bearings are cheap and may well save the entire bottle.

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Hello. 

 

An obvious question here, but have you tried adding any acrylic thinner to the paint and then shaking it? Obviously, it will a real trick to add it to the bottles themselves (just about impossible?). All I would suggest is pour most of the paint in to another container (with an air-tight lid), cut the bottle in half and then scoop out the sludge at the bottom. 

 

I appreciate that this is a LOT of messing around, but it could be preferable to having to throw most of the paint away. This process is probably best done when you have a real need to use the paint. Just how long the paint would last after it has be re-homed is anyone's guess.

 

I'll leave that with you. 

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Chris. 

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In my experience with Vallejo paints, it is easy enough to pop the top off & get something like a slim screw driver or bamboo kebab skewer to scrape the sludge off the bottom, some stirring will help too but following the scraping, shaking with the nuts/ball bearings should get things right again.

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz

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Thanks for the tips everyone. It's mostly the little dropper bottles I have so I think a couple of M5 nuts might do the trick. I'll give the bottom a good stir first.

 

I was more worried that there might have been some sort of chemical separation and they wouldn't re-mix into paint so to say. But I'll give this a shot, do a couple of test sprays and see how it turns out and report back.

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Make sure you put stainless steel nuts or in a few months they'll rust and ruin the paint. Been there, done that in my early days with some waterbased acrylics.

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On 2/12/2019 at 1:31 PM, bmwh548 said:

Make sure you put stainless steel nuts or in a few months they'll rust and ruin the paint. Been there, done that in my early days with some waterbased acrylics.

Ah good point. I didn't have much luck finding loose ball bearings but found a box of 4.5mm zinc coated air gun BBs which seem to have done the trick. I've only added it to a few paints so far and will have to keep an eye on it.

 

Initial results seems reasonable - I gave the goop at the bottom of the bottles a good stir to loosen it and then put a couple of BBs in the bottle and shook the life out of it. The normal colours appear to have re-mixed well but some of the metallics not so much. Not sure if it's to do with the pigments they use.

 

I may just stick with a single BB in each as I guess two hitting each other when I shake it might wear off the zinc coating and allow them to rust quicker.

 

Currently thinking about making a 3D printed bottle shaker to save my poor arms 😕

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49 minutes ago, OneEighthBit said:

Currently thinking about making a 3D printed bottle shaker to save my poor arms

Having been a modeller these past 50 years, I have never lost any paint thanks to this stirrer from badger...…..https://www.amazon.co.uk/BADGER-Airbrush-Paint-Mixer-BA121/dp/B000BROV02/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1550245656&sr=8-1&keywords=badger+paint+stirrer………......all my paints have between 2-3 hexagonal stainless steel nuts in them, tried ball bearings, BUT if you don't use your paint for sometime those ball bearings settle in the gloop and will not shift not matter how you try when you come around to shaking the bottle, as mentioned earlier hexagonal nuts is the way to go.  Those nuts carry weight and mass and have 6 cutting edges to smash sediment to pieces.  All my Tamiya paints have been transferred to Vallejo bottles and nuts added...…………...nuts and bottles are all available from Ebay……..another thing I found with ball bearings in Vallejo bottles, sometimes when you tip the bottle to drop out paint, nothing comes out!!  A ball bearing having dropped into the hole in the nozzle...………….

 

There have been discussioners on this website relating to DIY stirrers, somebody made a good one from a black and decker sander, just attach to where the sandpaper goes with a special attachment to hold the bottle, I ended up fetching the bottle from the other side of the room after trying numerous times,  I now stick with the Badger mixer...……….

 

Forgot to add...……...I do have paints here that I have not used for 20 plus years, but if I should need to use them, a tip is put them on a radiator for about 30 minutes, it makes the gloop thin out and is a lot easier to stir afterwards

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