It can be tricky to find the best way to stir Vallejo paints together. Since they are in a bottle and not a can, it can be harder to make sure all of the pigments and other ingredients mix together properly. If they don’t, you can be left with different shades of paint from the same bottle and ruin your painting.
Vallejo chooses to store their paints in dropper bottles because it keeps the paint fresher and prevents it from drying out. While this type of paint storage is superior, it is much harder to tell when the paint is properly stirred. This can be frustrating, especially if you use the paint and it isn’t properly mixed.
The easiest way to stir Vallejo paint is by adding an agitator ball to the bottle. It is a little steel ball that moves the paint ingredients quicker than just shaking. Agitator balls also make it easier to tell when the paint is completely mixed because it will start to make a clicking sound against the side of the bottle.
How Do You Shake Vallejo Paint?
Vallejo paints can either be shaken or rolled. This is mostly based on personal preference, but we will go over both methods and you can use whichever one you prefer.
Rolling the Paint Bottles
When it comes to shaking Vallejo paint, there are a couple ways you can do it. The Vallejo website actually recommends that you don’t shake the paint bottle but roll it between your hands instead. As you roll, you should slightly squeeze it. They also recommend testing the paint when you are finished to make sure it is properly stirred.
The problem with rolling the bottle between your hands is that over time, the labels will start to rub off. This can make it difficult to know what the name is of the paint you are using. If you prefer this method, you might want to label your paints on the bottom so you can still see what they are if the label rubs off.
Shaking Paint Bottles
It might be easier to shake the bottle of paint than it is to roll the bottle of paint, especially if you add an agitator ball. However, there is the risk of air bubbles and pressure building up in the bottle and making a mess when you open it.
Luckily, there is an easy way to avoid this. Before shaking or opening the bottle, you will want to tap the bottom of the paint bottle. You can tap it with your hand or on a surface like a table. This will help any air or pressure move towards the top of the bottle. You will then want to open the lid very slowly to release this air.
Close the lid tightly and start shaking your paint bottle. If you have an agitator ball, you will be able to tell when the paint is properly mixed. If you do not, you can shake the paint as much or as little as you want and test the paint before using it for your project. Shaking the Vallejo paint will efficiently mix together all of the ingredients and prepare it for use.
After you are finished shaking the bottle, you will want to tap on the bottom again. This will help move any potential air bubbles that were created during the shaking process to the top. Again, slowly open the lid to release this air. You can then open your paint and use it like normal.
Before closing your bottle after shaking and using it, you will want to clean the nozzle and the lid to prevent any clogging or sticking. This will keep your paint usable for longer and make it so no cracks appear in the nozzle from dried paint.
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How Many Paint Mixing Balls Do I Need?
Mixing balls are a great way to mix your paint at a faster rate with a higher efficiency. The best mixing balls will usually be made of steel or metal. You can use as little as one mixing ball for paint that is generally thinner, and up to three for paints that are thicker.
It is important to make sure you don’t add too many mixing balls to the paint, as it can occasionally cause the nozzle to clog. It is best to start with one mixing ball and see how that does before adding any additional mixing balls to the paint.
The material of the mixing balls is very important. Since they will be sitting in the liquid paint, you need to make sure that they will not rust over time. If the mixing ball rusts, it will contaminate the paint and negatively impact the quality and consistency of the paint.
Can You Mix Vallejo Colors?
If you want to mix two Vallejo paint colors together, you absolutely can. All of the Vallejo acrylic paint colors can be mixed together with ease. The best way to do this is pour out some of each color onto a palette and mix them together until you reach your desired color.
If you want to mix the colors in another bottle for use at a later time, this is also possible. You will just want to pour the colors into the bottle and mix them until you have the right color. This might take a little longer, but you will be able to use and store the new color easily. To make the mixing process easier, you can add an agitator ball or two to this new concoction.
Are Vallejo Paints Pre-Thinned?
There are certain types of Vallejo paints that are going to be pre-thinned. For example, Vallejo Model Air and Premium are both meant to be used with airbrush, so they will be pre-thinned. However, it might still be beneficial to thin the paint more depending on the thickness of the airbrush nozzle you are using.
Other paints by Vallejo, such as Model Color, will not be pre-thinned. These paints are going to have the consistency of regular acrylic paints and you can thin them as you see fit. If you want to use them for airbrushing, the consistency will need to be that of skim milk, thin and almost transparent, but still pigmented.
How to Dilute or Thin Vallejo Paints
There are a few different ways you can dilute Vallejo paint to make it thinner. First, you can use a Vallejo thinner, such as their airbrush thinner. You can use as much product as necessary to reach the proper consistency. If you are diluting to use in an airbrush, you will want to make it similar to the consistency of skim milk.
Vallejo paints are commonly used in an airbrush. This means that they need to be incredibly thin to prevent any clogging when you are using the airbrush. If the paint isn’t the right consistency, it can cause problems with your airbrush and might even break it. The perfect consistency is around that of skim milk.
Can You Thin Vallejo Paint With Water?
If your Vallejo paints are too thick, you might need to thin them down. There are a few different ways that you can thin Vallejo paint, including using water. While you can use tap water to thin Vallejo paint, it is recommended that you use distilled water. Tap water has minerals mixed in that can cause a negative reaction from the paint such as poor coverage.
Airbrush Paint Thinner
In addition to using water to thin Vallejo paints, the company also makes an airbrush thinner. This is meant to be added to their paints to thin them for use with an airbrush but can also help thin your paints to use them with a brush. They also make a product that is a flow improver, also meant to thin paints for airbrushing, but can also thin the paint in general.
Windex or Rubbing Alcohol
If you don’t have distilled water or an airbrush thinner to dilute your Vallejo paints, you can also use Windex or rubbing alcohol. When using rubbing alcohol, you will need to be careful because it will let off fumes that can be bothersome. Work in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask if possible
If you don’t have access to any of these products, but you do have an airbrush cleaning solution, it is also possible to dilute Vallejo paint with this. It should only be used in situations where you don’t have anything else and shouldn’t be a frequent solution. While it will work, it can impact the durability of your paint and it can peel or crack easier in the future.
We recommend using Vallejo Paint Thinning Medium if you are planning on thinning your paints.
Since Vallejo paints are in a dropper bottle, it can be hard to know when the paint is properly stirred and ready for use. You can test the paint before applying it to your project, but there is an easier way. You can add an agitator ball to the paint bottle, and it will mix the paint easier and let you know when the paint is properly mixed.
You can stir the paint by shaking the bottle or by rubbing it between your hands. Many people prefer shaking the bottle because it mixes the paint more efficiently. You will just need to be sure that you are aware of any potential air bubbles and take proper precautions.
If you notice that your paint is too thick, you can thin it with some water, airbrush thinner, or even rubbing alcohol. Thinning the paint will make it run through an airbrush easier but will also give you a runnier consistency to achieve a certain type of look for your painting.