Tips for Testor Paint Thinner

By Timothy Burns
Testors brand model paint, the model enthusiast
Hemera Technologies/ Images

Testor brand model paints are the recognized standard for hobby model enthusiasts. These paints are available in high gloss or matte finishes. Testor paints are a heavy bodied enamels, lacquers and acrylics, and come in a full spectrum of colors. Because these products are solvent based, brushes must be cleaned with the appropriate petroleum-based solvent.

Testors Brand Thinners

Testors brand thinners and cleaners are the best option for those just learning how to build and paint models. The Testors thinners thoroughly clean the model builders paintbrushes, leaving them ready for future use. The Testors brand thinner is fairly expensive when purchased in small quantities. However, using the right product, and learning to use the correct thinner for a specific paint will improve the quality of the completed project.

Thinning the Paints

The Testors paint products are a heavy body enamels and lacquers. These paints are designed to create a brightly colored, fade resistant realistic look on plastic, wood and metal model kits. In most cases, these products do not require any thinning before application. Diluting the paints with thinner will decrease the color intensity, and lower the paints adhesive properties. The diluted paint will not stick to the model as well as the full strength products, so paints are normally not diluted before using. However, if experienced modelers want to create a distressed look in their project, the paints could be thinned before application. The resulting paint could be made to look worn, like an old car that sat in the sun for years.

Pre-cleaning Paint Brushes

When working with bright colored model paints, and cleaning paint brushes in relatively small containers, the paint thinner and cleaner becomes contaminated quickly. As the amount of paint residue in the thinner increases, the thinner's ability to completely clean the brush diminishes. When working with Testor model paints, try having a 'pre-cleaning' bottle of thinner and a 'final rinse' bottle of thinner. Use the pre-cleaning bottle to rinse most of the paint from the brush. Use the final rinse bottle to clean the brush thoroughly when changing colors, or when putting your tools away at the end of the day.

Money Saving Options

For active hobbyists, purchasing a commercial paint thinner in half gallon or gallon containers is a much more economical option than buying the name brand Testors paint thinners in small, 1 to 4 oz. containers. Model builders who wish to find an economical alternative can take the Testors paint thinner bottle to a local retail paint store. Knowledgeable sales help in a paint store will direct the model enthusiast to an equivalent product.