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vallejo question

Discussion in 'Acrylics' started by mikec55, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. mikec55 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I'm having a problem with some of my Vallejo paints. It squeezes out of the bottle with it's usual consistency but when I add a drop or 2 of water and start mixing, it sorta piles up and doesn't blend into the puddle of paint like normal.

    Adding more water doesn't help because I'm still just pushing around a pile of paint. Then the paint goes on very watery if there's more water than usually necessary. Normally, it takes only a drop or 2.

    I do shake the bottle for quite a while before using so it's well shaken before use. So far, if it makes any difference, I've had the problem with the colors dark red and U.S.A. uniform (green).

    My paints aren't that old, no more than 2 or 3 years. I'm using the same water I've always used, the same palette paper, everything the same.

    I've been painting with Vallejo's for around 15 years on and off, and never had this problem in the past.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. Alex A Fixture

    Hi mike
    can you take an ipad picture of your palette when trying to dilute the paint with the water
    I use a lab shaker to shake the vallejo bottles and it works perfectly
  3. zemjw New Member

    I'm not sure if it's the same as your problem, but I sometimes find I get more pigment than binder and it can take a lot of effort to make the paint usable. What I do is use an old flat brush to basically beat the crap out of it (technical painting term :rolleyes: ) to break apart the pigment and force it to mix. I do this on a wet palette, so there is an influence from that as well as anything I'm adding directly to the paint.

    I usually get enough to work with, although there can still sometimes be small lumps of paint that I need to avoid.

    Dark Red rings a bell as one of the colours that I've had this problem with.

    Another thing you could try is mixing the paints with some vallejo medium rather than water. If it is a lack of medium then adding more should be more effective than adding water, which just pushes the pigment apart.

    It shouldn't be the age of the paints, as I'm using bottles that are much older than a few years without issue.

    Not sure if that helps, but I hope you get to the bottom of it - painting's challenging enough without the paints fighting back :)
  4. Ferris A Fixture

    Not sure what exactly is the problem here....a picture might help, like Alex already mentioned.
    Anyway, a lot of problems with paint are caused by insufficoent mixing. Some Vallejos tend to clog up rather tightly when not used for a while and no manual shaking will solve that.
    What I sometimes do is open the screw lid, then pop off the top....this opens the bottle....and stire the bottle with a wooden chopstick or screwdriver. If something is wrong with the paint you will find out. Afterwards, put on the bottle tip again, screw the lid on and give it a final shake before trying again. If this doesn't solve things, the paint has gone bad.

    Hope this is helpful.

  5. Ferris A Fixture

    Another thing, just to avoid the issue next time round, is to throw a big screw or nut in with the paint. Cleaned of course. These metal bits will be rattling in the bottle and help mix the paint during shaking. It's similar to the metal ball in a spray can.
    samson likes this.
  6. samson Well-Known Member

    only thing i can add is a company called ak interactive sell little ball they call agitators . i also believe scale 75 are selling something close to that .have not tried these my self but have been told they make a big difference . plan on giving these a try soon.
  7. Alex A Fixture

    This is what I use for Vallejo bottles and actually any liquid :


    I use a rubber band to secure two or three bottles on the rubber plate and I let the machine
    Stir the bottles for me for 3 to 4 minutes while I am painting.

    They always come perfect !

    You can find used machines like this one on eBay all the time

    Be very careful with stainless steel balls because stainless steel is 'stainless' but it is not stainproof and it can corrode and ruin your paints when exposed to water.

  8. Ferris A Fixture

    That's a good point Alex, thanks.
    I'll pop open some bottles and check how the screws and bolts are that I have been using for about a year now.
    I remember my dad doing this with Humbrol tins and even after 20 years there's not a stain on them. Then again, acrylics are water-basec and that makes a big difference in this respect.

  9. Alex A Fixture

    Actually not all stainless steels are the same.. There are so many different alloys. I would not trust a noname steel from China for example.
  10. samson Well-Known Member

    i would also think there are various types i would hope a paint company that sells these must use a certain type as not to contaminate the paint.
  11. mikec55 PlanetFigure Supporter

    My thanks to all for the responses.

    Unfortunately, my job is keeping me painting, or even posting a photo of the problem, for the time being. I've never had this problem at all until now but it does seem like it could be that the paint wasn't shaken or stirred enough.

    I don't remember where I saw this but a few years back, there was a thread in which someone posted pictures showing how they used an electric drill on a slow setting to mix their Vallejo paints. The drill bit wasn't what they used to mix the paint but somehow they attached the bottle to the drill itself (maybe a Dremel?) and let the spinning motion do the mixing. The poster swore by it and everyone who posted in response agreed that it was a pretty slick idea. I wish I could remember where I saw it.

    Thanks again for your help.
  12. zemjw New Member


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