Humbrol Paint Question

Is it best to use the Humbrol Thinner when using Humbrol Paint ?

I’m thinking about giving Humbrol Paint a try on a couple Aircraft builds , have been using Acrylic paint and getting frustrated with it .

However, Humbrol can also be thinned with balsam turpentine but the paint doesn’t like every quality/brand of turpentine.
One way to test this is to place a very small drop of paint on a saucer or piece of glass with white paper underneath. Add the thinner/turps to be tested, stir it around and verify that clots do not form after a while. Many white spirits, naftas et.c. will dilute Humbrol but they will not thin it reliably.
It shall be possible to add thinner until the paint is thinned to a faint haze.
Easiest to test with a dark colour.
The crucial criteria is that the thinner shall not cause clotting of the diluted paint.
Balsam turpentine is made from wood, the smell reminds of fresh cut pine wood.

i use regular B & Q turpentine and haven’t had any issues for the last 30+ years.

I have used generic paint thinner and lacquer thinner from the local hardware stores to thin Humbrol enamels with zero problems. Testors Universal Enamel Airbrush thinner worked great with it for airbrushing, but unfortunately that stuff was discontinued.

I’ve used hardware store brand lacquer thinner with Humbrol in the past without issues.

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I have always used good old hardware store paint thinner or mineral spirits and never had an issue.
Some of my Humbrol tins are over 40 years old. If they thicken a bit, I just add some thinner and start painting or airbrushing with them. Best shelf life of any paints next to Testors enamels.


I use ordinary turps, as we say 'up North, and have never had a problem with it. Now, Humbrol paint can vary in the thickness, so how much you thin it is basically trial and error. A lot of people swear by acrylics, but for me it has always been Humbrol enamels over any medium-large area, with acrylics relegated to small areas, and even then it depends on what I’m painting. Just make sure to clean out your brushes fully in turps, again, I use an old cleaned out coffee jar, which once the paint had affected it can be left for several days until the paint sinks to the base of the jar, then carefully decant the turpentine from one jar to a second, leaving the paint sludge behind. It is better for the environment and your wallet to dispose of as little turps as possible.

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I’m still using my remaining supply of Floquil Dio Sol which I think is also lacquer thinner.

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Old Floquil Dio-Sol Formula?

Per link someone claimed, “Dio-sol analysed by a chemist friend. He told me the Dio-sol was 94% Xylol and 6% Sinthetic Reduce.”

I’ve also heard it was a mix of xylene and toluene etc.

My long standing “home brew pet” thinners are Zippo Lighter fluid (naptha) or Xylene .

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If that analysis is correct then Dio-Sol can also be used to “weld” styrene
Xylol/Xylene and toluol/toluene are excellent styrene solvents.
Unhealthy but glues styrene perfectly.

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According to a paint professional that I quizzed at a local paint store, Toluene and Xylene(Xylol) are basically similar in their thinning abilities but Toluene is the hotter of the two (dries faster). I have an old can of Dio-sol and yes it smells exactly like Xylene so the connection their is probably true. I have purchased Xylene in the past in gallon cans and used it as a thinner/cleaner for years (probably why I have a 3rd eye in my forehead…LOL). Not being able to get Floquill paints anymore, I use plain old hardware store lacquer thinner more these days for thinning paints and use Xylene for cleaning soaking parts with dried on paint or cleaning brushes.

One thing I add to my hardware store lacquer thinner is a very small amount of Penetrol(retarder) to slow drying. Only had a couple of paints that didn’t like this brew.


Mr Color Leveling Thinner works better for spraying Floquil in my experience than Dio-Sol, Floquil Military Thinner, Xylene, Naptha, Lacquer Thinner or Mineral Spirits. I was pretty surprised Mr Color bested Floquil Military Thinner which had been the overall best in my experience. Still have an unopened can of FMT plus a couple of oz’s of Dio-Sol.

FWIW - From what I gather there’s an evaporation rating for chemicals. The higher rated the faster it evaporates.
Water is rated at .3, acetone (5.6), hexane (8.3), or methyl ethyl ketone or MEK (3.8).

Toulene (1.9) for thinning paints medium
Xylene (0.6) for thinning paints slow ie less hot.

I keep a can of Xylene around it’s amazing how many bottles of paint that looked like they were “dead” that stuff has resurrected after a seal went bad. Needs filtered of course afterwards before use.