How to thin and restore Andrea Miniatures acrylic paint

I found many of my Andrea acrylic paint bottles not flowing. It has been kept aside for a year or two I think. Is there any way to thin and restore it? I tried a bit using water and it feels a bit flaky. Takes more time and working with a brush to bring it to correct consistency for painting… Are the any flow mediums that I can use to restore? Is it worth the effort or just throw away?
I read that adding a couple of stainless steel balls helps break up the clumps while shaking. Has anyone tried that?
With all the travel restrictions, getting model supplies have become next to impossible in India. So trying my best to work with what I have now until situation becomes normal again… Any suggestions, tips and tricks would be very much helpful. Thanks in advance…

Have a Great Day
Mukund

I have many that I have not used for awhile. I had a set that I thought had gone hard, but it isn’t, it’s just thicker. I put a very small amount of additional water and gave it a lot of shaking and they are fine again, but it was a lot of shaking. I think in one bottle I had to stir it with a toothpick to loosen it up.

Here is how I use Andrea paints:

  1. store them upside down
  2. never shake them
  3. open and squeeze a tiny amount onto the palette, then thin that down with water
  4. you can thin Andrea paints way down with only water and they won’t break up or decompose. I get very nice consistency down to the filter level without anything but water.
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Thank you Phil.

Storing upside down… That’s a new one for me. Logical. Will definitely follow that tip.
I always heard good things about Andrea paints. But those Model Color bottles bought at the same time looks fine. The liquid medium has separated and the pigments settled down. A nice and healthy shake (read frantic :)) seems to bring them back… But for these Andrea paint bottles… Need to find a way… For the shaking, I need to try the steel balls and possibly a mechanical shaker…

I would be careful with adding steel balls in acrylics.
I tried to be clever doing that a few years ago in some Vallejo bottles. Everyone of them went rusty and left a deposit at the bottom. The balls were supposed to be stainless, but I got caught out with fakes. I switched to using hard plastic BB’s and they seem to work well enough. Not as good as metal, but they do the job.

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Thanks @phantom_phanatic for the heads-up… In all probability, the steel balls I ordered online, (even though mentioned as SS), might not be stainless steel …

Your reply gave me some some idea… I cleaned a couple of steel balls and soaking them in MM paint. I kept the level low so it is also exposed o air… If at all it is rusting, we will know in a week or a few months. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:


Have a Great Day
Mukund

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Happy to help,
Hopefully you’ll have better luck. In hindsight I probably should have tested it myself before I dropped them in.

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[quote=“Mukund, post:3, topic:13248”]
But for these Andrea paint bottles… Need to find a way[/quote]

I do a lot of game mini painting and 2 things I have found helped to restore dying paint and make using thicker medium paints better, and just generally make painting less tedious.

Thing 1: a fingernail polish shaker. I got one off Amazon for around $100. It has a cam wheel (I think that’s the name) and springs to keep the bottle secure. I use that to initially bust up the paint and get it going.

Thing 2: a vortex mixer. I also got this off Amazon, lab quality, for again $100. There’s youtubes on it but what it makes a mini tornado in the bottle and the rubber cup holds dropper bottles, it doesn’t work for jars like Tamiya, Testors, Gunze, etc. It has 2 settings, one of which is a “push down to activate” and 10-20 seconds does the trick. Of the 2 the vortex mixer is the one to get if you had to pick, it mixes better.

I use scale75 and army painter paints and those are pretty notorious for needing really long shakes. Using the vortex mixer each time (even for <10sec) keeps the paint from separating easily or at least makes it easier to mix later. They are “expensive” but if you cost it out over the years it’s not too bad. I also add agitators to all my paint. I have revived some Andrea paint that was starting to thicken. Didn’t add any liquid just gave it a good shake time.

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