Fellowship of the DIY vallejo thinner... or chemistry hell

Hello, I was looking for homemade vallejo thinner and found this discussion. Replacement Model Master Acrylic Thinner?

but after a moment i thought maybe better to open a new discussion

SO key point is… have you heard about Butyl Cellosolve?

according to this article, some of acrylic thinners are actually not acrylic but polyurethane and uses Butyl Cellosolve. and korean vallejo official agreed with it.and that was why IPA doesnt work for vallejo, AK, MIG.

and he said it wasnt toxic… but … not like IPA, i wasnt able to buy it In south korea. They said only company or lab can buy it and no individual can access to the butyl cellosolve… and all the cleaners with warning only contains 1% of butyl cellosolve, so i started to worry about toxicty of vallejo;i was using vallejo not japenese acrylics because ipa thinner was toxic then vallejo water base thinners…

and the interesting and also concerning part is… the alternative that people have used was not Butyl cellosolve(also called as 2-Butoxyethanol, Monobutyl glycol ether,Butyl oxitol, ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, Butyl glycol)

I even saw someone uses Butylene glycol( 1,3-Butanediol) for alternative, because korean google automatically translate butyl glycol into butylene glycol. that guy believed the vallejo thinner is edible.

and also windex no longer have butyl cellosolve,(it was 1%butyl cellosolve and 4%IPA) but they changed it into hexyl cellosolve years ago.

i wonder if those peoples thinner actually worked, or they are just believing, used wrong thinner with tap water

and Im also curious, if those alternatives worked… if Butyl oxitol can be altered with Diethylene glycol monobutyl ether (=2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)ethanol = Butyl carbitol)

it seems less toxic and also used for dry cleanings, paint and inks…

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Yes, have heard of it.

I know very little about the chemical other than basic internet information like it’s used in some stain removers & some pesticides. Like many chemicals it can cause liver damage in concentration etc.

As to safe? No idea.

Probably worth doing some due diligence level research to make an informed decision about ventilation, gloves & respirator use when airbrushing etc.


If it is a problem of availability, most large online shops carry it so it is a matter of stocking a couple of bottles when you order models or other stuff.

If it is because of the cost, I may use about 50 cents of thinner per model, considering the amount of time spent building it, I am not risking the work for saving 40 cents.

All are personal decisions that I respect, but can not see the reason to experiment with such products when there is one specifically designed by the manufacturer.


It all sounds do complex,I just spray Vallejo thinner and Flow Improver for Vallejo Model Color and Panzer Aces,10-2-2 it even worked for Mig-Ammo,my experience with Model Air is limited,but a few times I used it and it worked spraying that also.

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I agree, I do the same.

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Like the others mentioned rather than “home brew” thinner, my preference is to use the manufacturer’s shelf thinner most of time. That’s especially true for the variety of wizard mixed, black magic, voodoo acrylic paint alchemy formulated in acrylic paints on the market.

Enamel paints are a different simplier story as naptha, lighter fluid, mineral spirits, xylol, MEK, various lacquer thinners and manufacturer shelf thinners all work pretty well. Rule of thumb is pretty simple for Enamel paint with mineral spirit in it.