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Problems With Black and Brown Water Based Paint

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Trapper2016, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Hello everyone,

    As someone who is relatively new to airbrushing, i am hoping someone with more experience can give me some advice when it comes to black and brown water based paints. I have 2 airbrushes, a paasche VL, and an iwata hp-b, and with both airbrushes i can achieve great detail with a smooth and steady paint flow, except when dealing with brown and black. Alot of replicas i paint require use of these paints, often a mix of dark brown and black, and many jobs require a very smooth consistent paint flow. However, when i use brown or black, or a mix of the 2, i continually experience inconsistent paint flow. The paint will flow, and then stop and then flow and stop, skipping around eratically. Its also quite common to get some splatter of paint particles as well, that i dont seem to get with other colors. To date i have only had this happen with brown and black.

    I have done some research and have tried a few easy fixes such as diluting the paint (water based), making sure i am using a correct amount of retarder, a good airpressure, etc. None however have really provided me a good answer to the problem. If i turn up my pressure, i can get consistent paint flow, but for detail work, i really need the pressure down as low as i can get it. And that works fine for every other paint i use, save brown and black. Should i dilute the mixture even more? (i am currently using about a 50/50 mix of paint and water). I suppose that maybe the darker colors require more pigment, and maybe the molecules are just larger coming through the needle which are adding to the sputtering/skipping issue. But i really am not sure.

    If anyone else has experienced this and might know of a solution, i would really appreciate any advice. Thanks for your time

  2. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    I think the paints break down after awhile. My hydro mist black started clogging up the air brush. Paint got the skunk smell also as some of these do, got a new bottle and sprays much better.

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have a few bottles Hydro mist that I bought in the early 90's. Other than the skunk smell, some still works fine. A couple started having the same problems you had. New bottles worked great. I bought some Polytranspar water based paint two years ago and it progressively got worse. I needed to purchase smaller bottles I guess.
  4. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    Thanks for the responses guys. It certainly would all make sense, but unfortunately the paint i am using is new. I originally had some polytranspar black and some wildlifer colors brown. I started noticing the problem then, that these 2 colors had a more sputtery spray pattern, and were more inconsistent with there streams. These 2 paints were maybe 3 months old at most. So i decided to try another brand and went to Lifetone because i had always had great success with it. And i'll be dag gummed if i didn't have the exact same problems. With any other lifetone color, zero problems. But with dark brown and black, same old story, sputtery paint flow with more splatter. The lifetone paint (both brown and black) are about a month old. I certainly hope that they didn't go bad, but maybe. I make sure to shake very well before using them, and i also make sure to put the lids on tight between use. I am sure that there is a reasonable explanation, i just can't think of one at the moment. Its one reason i purchased a new airbrush about a week ago.

    When using the passche vl, and began experiencing this problem i thought i may have screwed up a needle or something, so i purchased and put in a new needle, and still had the same problem. The Iwata hp-b is a week old and it is experiencing the same problems, so i don't think its any type of a needle damage issue. The only thing that i can figure, and i don't even know if this is reasonable, is that the pigments are larger in these 2 colors, which may be requiring more air pressure to get a consistent paint flow. The problem is, that if this is the case, the amount of air pressure i must use to get good flow, is too much for detail work. And if this was the case (as far as pigment size), i would think everyone would have this problem, and thats not the case. So i am still searching for a solution.

    But i really appreicate you guys taking the time to respond. Can't thank you enough
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I have noticed that different color paints behave different in my gun. White gums up the tip and sputters no matter how much I thin it. It also beads up easier. Dark brown flows nice, however, it will throw splatter once in awhile when I start the flow. I have learned to anticipate these quirks and avoid problems. There are DVDs out there that are for airbrushes and for some reason I have never taken my most offered advise and purchased one. I think that's next on the list.
  6. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Let's start from the first: Air brushes aren't really designed for acrylic/latex/water based paint. (I can hear the screaming already). The fact is that even spray guns have a difficult time with them simply because the paint is "heavier" than inks or lacquer based paint. When you thin the paint enough to easily shoot through the brush, the pigment separates from the carrier and you end up with sunbursts and washed out painting.

    IMO Hydromist is the worst choice. Their blacks, browns, and reds will clog up a brush very quickly. It only gets worse as the paint ages, the pigment naturally separates from the carrier and the carrier evaporates.

    Double doom for water based paints is the double action brush. "One size fits all" doesn't work with acrylic paints. Increasing and decreasing your spray pattern on the fly just invites clogging. The old H series, single action Paasche had less issues that any airbrush ever designed and MOST of us who are "full service" have one stashed back for the heavier paint jobs.

    That doesn't exclude lacquer paints either. Those heavier pigment paints (black, brown, red, metal flake) will do the same thing in the double action brushes. Adding retarder again is a double edged option in that you can wash out your pigment.
  7. boarhunter67

    boarhunter67 Well-Known Member

    I tried switching to water based paints when Woods and Water came out with some that everyone raved about. They mostly worked okay, but the white clogged no matter what I did and the red wouldn't cover and would just blow out like there wasn't enough pigment left. I bought some more and the white did better, but the red was the same. They company said they had trouble with it and fixed it and that if I paid to ship my bottle back they would replace it. It would cost the same to ship it back so I just gave up and went back to lacquer. No more problems.
  8. Trapper2016

    Trapper2016 Thanks for this awesome forum!

    I appreciate all your comments guys. I have a good bit of water based paint to use up, but when i do, i will probably switch to lacquer. On a better note, i was able to find a different brand of paint that provided steady good flow with black and brown. It is paint that came from the package deal that i got my Passche with. The brand is called US Airbrush Supply, and my airbrush kit came with about a dozen or so colors of water based paint. After trying polytranspar and hydromist, for the heck of it, i dug through things and found this paint that i had forgotten about. It actually works great and i had zero problems with black or brown. So problem fixed for now.

    Thanks again for the responses.
  9. Steve.J

    Steve.J Member

    Acrylic doesn't necessarily describe water based only. The term "Acrylic" refers to the bonding chemistry of the paint pigment to the surface it is intended to cover. Both Lacquer-based and water-based paints used in the taxidermy industry are a type of acrylic paint. The main difference is the vehicle used to deliver the acrylic.
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Steve, that might all be well and true chemically, but in the common vernacular. There are three types of paint: water based,oil, and lacquer. Most people correlate acrylic and "latex" as the same thing. Paints are defined by their carrier, not the pigment.
  11. George, yes some airbrushes are designed for water based paints. I have been studying on air brushes a good bit.

    Next we have the problem of the Hydromist and Polytranspar paints are old technology . There is a whole new world of water borne paints available that will work perfectly.

    I dont know about wildlife brand colors.