Tinning (again !)

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Stéphane Enjolras
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Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:46 am

Tinning (again !)

Post by Stéphane Enjolras » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:03 am

Hi everybody,
I'm new in this forum. My name is Stéphane (thank you Danny ;) ) I'm 47 and I'm a french graphic designer and instructor, new in the sign painting business.
I've seen many topics about how paint should be thinned but I haven't found the answer that'll help me.
So, I'll ask the question in a different way :
What should be the texture of the paint depending of the medium you are working on? Milk? Cream liquid? Thick cream? Stirred yoghurt? Soft butter?
And why ?
Thank you very much to all of you.

Doug Bernhardt
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Re: Tinning (again !)

Post by Doug Bernhardt » Thu Jun 29, 2017 3:15 pm

Welcome aboard Stephane. I'm thinking you'll want somewhere between thick cream and stirred yogurt. The reasons will become apparent immediately if you are using lettering brushes. I'm assuming you are using lettering enamels and are thinning with an appropriate solvent

Stéphane Enjolras
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:46 am

Re: Tinning (again !)

Post by Stéphane Enjolras » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:43 am

Thanks Doug !
Yes, I'm using mainly 1Shot enamel and sometime acrylic paint. I've tryed a french enamel,more expencive than 1Shot but poor covering power so... 1Shot is the king !
I have a little collection of lettering brushes, Mack, Da vinci (germany) and Manet (France). From blue squirel/synth to purred sable. ah ! and a little flat brush from AS Handover (U.K.) in many sizes.

Lee Littlewood
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Re: Tinning (again !)

Post by Lee Littlewood » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:45 pm

"Yes, I'm using mainly 1Shot enamel and sometime acrylic paint."

WARNING: do not use the same brush in both kinds of paint!

Second Warning: be careful what kind of brush you use with water-based paints, like acrylics. The squirrel hairs used in the old standard signpainter brushes will swell up in water and never work well again. Red sable hairs are okay in water, and some of the Handover brushes (English - from Wright's of Lymm) are made of sable. But in general I think for lettering with water based paint you should use a brush made for that - and if you can get it, paint made for that, not artist's acrylics.

The thing about direct sign painting is that on a smooth surface you need the paint to form an even film, so it does not wear away too quickly. With oil paints, that meant a paint with lots of pigment in it and the ability to flow out and self level before drying. And that meant that the brush had to be fairly soft (so the paint film was even) with long hair (so you could make a longer stroke). But with a long, floppy brush, it is the paint which is determining the contact with the surface, so the paint needs to be sticky enough to hold the hairs in place and slippery enough to flow out quickly and evenly. And a hot truck in the sun is very different from a cold window, so yes, you will be messing with your paint, not just using it straight from the can. Unfortunately it really is a matter of feel, and hard to describe in words. The best I would say is to take a board or glass or something that has a good smooth surface, and then do some letters with paint straight from the can. Then add some thinner, rinse your brush and make more letters, then add more thinner... until it is just too watery to make a good letter. What you want to feel is the difference between "too thick and sticky" and "too thin and runny" - somewhere in between is the good mix.
And then you can buy a different thinner and do it again - paint thinner is different from gasoline or Chromaflow. But as you get sensitive to the feel of the brush, the job will tell you what it wants.

good luck and happiness
where am i? Now, when i need me...

Stéphane Enjolras
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:46 am

Re: Tinning (again !)

Post by Stéphane Enjolras » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:15 pm

Thank you Lee for the answer. :)

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