Spray Can Enamels Enamels (General Info.) This top photo above shows two different brands of quality airbrush enamels–Model Master & Boyd’s. Two, because Testors is a parent company for Model Master, hence they’re the same manufacturer. You may remember the two little jars from previous hobby modeling. These small Testors bottles have been around seemingly forever, they can, of course, be thinned and sprayed through the airbrush. An assortment of the enamel airbrush paints should be available at your local hobby or craft store. The lower photo above showcases various enamels in spray can form. Among them; Testors, Boyd’s, Plasti-kote, and Model Master. These too can usually be found at hobby & craft stores, but also at Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer, and some other odd locations. Technically one is not better then the other, with all seemingly equivalent quality, but care should be taken when using many of the Boyd’s pearls & all kandys. These have a tendency to run easily when applied too heavily. In general, metallics are the easiest type of paint to apply well. And finally, not pictured, would be the automotive enamels such as PPG, DuPont, and others. These paints usually come in quarts or larger, so they’re somewhat more awkward to work with than small quantities of hobby paint. But don’t let that dissuade you! Buying in larger quantities has the added benefit of being (generally) cheaper. Of course you must also consider the storage issue. Gallon cans take up a lot of room. One idea you may want to try, however, is to visit your local automotive paint supply shop and politely inquire whether they have custom-mixed quarts that went unpurchased. This isn’t as uncommon as it sounds. Most shops will have several random quarts of paint that were custom mixed for a customer who, eventually, decided that he wasn’t happy with them. Usually these pre-mixed quarts (or often gallons) can be had for a song!


 Airbrush Enamels

Thinner Enamel paints require enamel thinner (with the exception of “acrylic enamels,” which may require acrylic thinner). Enamel thinner is comprised mostly of mineral spirits, and it is sometimes referred to by that latter designation. Most all enamel thinners are compatible and pretty much any of them will work with your paint and airbrush. Enamel in spray cans is, of course, pre-thinned and ready for immediate application once shaken vigorously. Enamel thinner may usually be purchased wherever enamel paint is sold.

Leave a Reply