When it comes to hobby painting, nothing beats the classic Testors enamel paints. For a scale modeling company existing since the early 90s, this company already knows what its products are made for. One of them is the Testors Enamel Paint.
When people hear about Testors Enamel Paint, they think of the hobby of paint that has been around for ages. They knew Testors as the versatile enamel paint that wears its distinctive ¼ oz glass bottle with metal caps. These bottles are familiar sights at craft stores and hobby shops.
If you are new to the hobby community, this is your chance to get to know Testors enamel paint better.
What is Testors Enamel Paint?
Testors Enamel Paint is an all-purpose oil-based enamel paint widely used for model and hobby painting. You can use this paint on paper, glass, plastics, or metal. Hobbyists and crafters know this enamel paint for its high-quality pigment & resins, vibrant color, smooth flow, and coverage. The enamel paint comes in a wide range of vibrant colors.
The enamel paint features finely ground pigments that make up the paint’s color and opacity. The enamel paint also composes of oil-based binders, solvents, and additives. Its unique composition provides long-lasting durability, wear resistance, and reliable rich paint color.
Key Features of Testors Enamel Paint
1) High-quality Pigments
Pigments are essential to hobby or model painting because they provide the visual effects of enamel paint. What makes Testors unique from other hobby enamel paints is its rich concentration of pigments that gives off vibrant color in different shades.
Testors’s formulation creates an excellent color density that helps users control the paint better with precision.
With little-to-no brush marks, Testors Enamel Paints dons the professional-looking finish. Thanks to its high-quality pigments. Aside from the rich color, the paint can resist fading and other degradation forms.
2) Smooth and Even finish
Because of the high-quality pigment and ingredients, the paint leaves off a professional-looking smooth and even finish.
Aside from that, the enamel paint has excellent flow properties, which means the small bottle contains balanced fluidity and viscosity.
For someone who has been doing crafts, it takes some expertise to pull off that stroke-free finish. If you want to achieve that Testors smooth and even consistency, you can do well with the right brush and thinning technique.
3) Durability and Resistance to wear and tear
With an oil-based formulation, the enamel paint is inherently strong. Together with premium quality resin, Testors Enamel Paint creates a durable protective layer that is resistant to wear and tear. This formulation is less likely to chip or peel from its surface.
4) Strong Adhesion
With its composition and being oil-based, Testors Enamel Paint bonds to the surface strongly. Given that you have prepared the surface well, utilized the right brush, and given it enough time to cure, Testors Enamel Paint will hold to the surface for long years.
Although the enamel dries slowly, the curing time is crucial to Testors’s adhesion. Also, proper thinning helps the paint to penetrate small openings or crevices and improve the paint adhesion.
5) Weathering and Aging Effects
If you’re the type who loves to make realistic models, Testors enamel paint is right for you. You can achieve weathering and aging effects, including rust, discoloration, fading, or peeling effects with Testors Enamel Paint. Because the paint dries slowly, you can paint your desired visuals before it dries.
Utilizing petroleum-based solvents can help you thin the enamel and take advantage of its transparency without compromising the paint’s vibrant color.
Although advertised as quick-drying, Testors enamels are still considered slow-drying compared to other water-based model paints. Being oil-based, Testors enamels take longer to evaporate than water-based paints.
Also, the high concentration of pigments leaves fewer solvents for the paint to dry. These pigments also absorb solvents. Although it can be a disadvantage to some, the slow-drying time can benefit others because they can have more time to retouch the paint effects while still wet. Also, the slow-drying period gives the artist more time to correct imperfections such as brush marks.
7) Glossy Finish
To some artists, they describe Testors enamels as glossy. Some take them as thick. We can attribute these descriptions to its concentrated pigments and the resin called alkyd. Alkyd forms a hard, durable glossy coat when it dries.
However, not all crafters would like to work on a glossy finish. There are various techniques you can apply to handle this property.
You can start with correct surface preparation. Clean the surface thoroughly by sanding, filing, and cleaning. Utilize a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol to remove the grime and dirt and ensure it is dry. Prepare the paint by stirring it on the bottom, dropping one or two BBs, and shaking the bottle to keep a consistent fluidity.
Use fine natural bristles. Paint with thin layers first. Remember that when working with enamel paints, you must be patient. Avoid rushing. Also, if you want to accentuate your piece, you can finish it with a clear coat or varnish.
Either way, having a glossy finish is distinct to Testors enamels.
8) Strong Odor
Oil-based paints naturally have strong odors or fumes that can be toxic. Additionally, you will be dealing with solvents when working with Testors enamel paints. The drying time depends on the thickness of the enamel paint applied, the ventilation, and the surface condition when applied. But in general, it can take twelve hours or even a day. When working, protect yourself with a mask.
9) Needs No Primer
You can use Testors Enamel Paint directly, even without primer. The paint contains high levels of binders and pigments that make its formulation self-priming. This strong adhesion bonds to numerous surfaces such as metal, wood, or plastics.
However, using a primer is still advisable. If you are looking to create a smoother and even finish, priming can help strengthen the coat and resist peeling, chipping, or cracking in the long run.
Testors Enamel Paint Drying Time
Testors recommends 48 to 72 hours to fully cure. They also recommend recoating within three or forty-eight hours. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes before the paint becomes dry to touch. Compared to Testors acrylics, acrylics fully cure within 24 hours and only ten minutes to become dry to the touch.
1) Factors that Affect Drying Time
It is also worth noting that the drying time is affected by several factors.
Humidity plays a crucial role in drying the paint of your models. If your room is humid, the coat will take longer to dry.
A lower temperature tends to slow the drying process than a higher temperature. If this is the case, you may control the temperature of your room by increasing its temperature. Or you can also use a drying rack to improve the air circulation in your workpiece. Some hobbyists also use a hair dryer. But take note that you should place it above six inches to avoid overheating or producing bubbles.
- Paint layer thickness
Thinner layers take a shorter time to dry than thicker coats.
Ventilation helps moisture escape the room. With increased ventilation, the paint dries faster.
You need a clean, dry, and smooth surface to help the paint adhere and dry faster.
2) Tips to Dry Testors enamel paint quickly
If you want to speed up drying time when your shop is humid, here’s what you can do:
- Increase ventilation.Use a fan to increase circulation around the room. Although you can open the windows, direct sunlight may crack the painted finish. Keep it away from direct sunlight, and be mindful of dust and debris that may enter the window.
- Use a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier will help remove the moisture inside a room. Although it will not necessarily speed up drying, it will help reduce the humidity that slows the drying process.
- Increase the temperature. Since we don’t recommend placing the painted object under direct sunlight, increase the temperature by turning on your heater. Remember that excessive heat may aid in releasing harmful fumes, so control the temperature well.
- Use a hair dryer. A hairdryer can help dry your painted finish faster. However, do not put the piece under direct blown air. Instead, place the blower at least six inches away from the object.
- Apply thinner coats. With thinner coats, you have less paint to dry. Also, a thinner coat helps achieve a more even finish.
You can also use a drying accelerator. However, it may affect your enamel’s quality if used improperly.
Tips for Using Testors Enamel Paint
- Make sure your surface is clean and dry.
- If the surface is glossy or smooth, run a sander or file a few times to create teeth for the paint to adhere to.
- Utilize primer to improve adhesion and consistent base color.
- Dry the surface completely before applying another coat.
- Shake the bottle first before using the paint.
- Consider applying a clear coat to enhance and protect the finish.
- Store the paint in a cool and dry place, away from heat and direct sunlight.
- Keep the bottle caps closed to avoid drying out unused paint.
- Do not touch your painted finish.
- Also, do not touch the sanded surface for painting. You may leave the oil of your hands on the surface.
- Use a separate brush for different enamel colors.
- A few drops of thinner will help loosen up dried paint and restore consistency.
Testors Enamel Paint may be challenging to work with, but it gives off premium quality results. When used properly, the enamels enhance the details and effects you want to achieve.
A lot of hobby artists today do not appreciate the long wait and patience required to yield satisfying results with Testors Enamel Paint. With 72 maximum hours needed for curing time, it challenges an artist’s patience and desire to achieve a perfect model.
In reality, it only takes proper techniques and patience to enjoy the features and reap the benefits of Testors Enamel Paint.
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