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Tinting windows with Tamiya acrylic paints

Tip: If you ever need to strip Tamiya acrylic paints, soak the parts in a bowl of Windex. Works great, and the stuff is relatively safe to use.

Q: I have tried to use Tamiya acrylic “smoke” to tint windows on a current project, without much success. I tried to airbrush it onto windows that had been coated with Pledge With Future Shine, but that just softened the Future and everything turned into a blotchy mess.  

So I stripped everything with Windex (see above) and tried spraying again onto the bare plastic windows. Once again, the resulting color was blotchy.  

Has anybody else had success achieving even coloration of windows using this paint?   

 – Andrew J. Brezinski
Huntsville, Alabama

Ken: Thanks for the tip (obviously developed as a direct result of your problem) and the question, Andrew.  

First, you need to make absolutely sure the surface is clean. After you remove the paint and Windex residue, wash the windows with warm, soapy water and allow them to air-dry. Be careful not to handle the surfaces to be painted.

As for the blotchy paint, I had that problem the first few times I airbrushed water-based paint. The problem was so discouraging, I didn’t try acrylic paints again for a long time.  

When I finally did try them again, I found that the best way to get a good acrylic paint job was to spray light coats (even lighter than when using solvent paints) and let the bottom coat(s) dry thoroughly before applying the next light coat.  

In my experience, even a small amount of “heavy” paint would puddle and get all fisheyed and blotchy.  

Be patient when you apply color coats, and when you reach the stage where the tint is where you want it, allow the piece to dry completely.  

This might not be the way the more- experienced paint experts among us would solve this problem, but it worked for me. I hope it works for you, too.


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