Paint Compatibility

When it comes to painting models, there are several different types of paint to choose from. Three of the most popular types of paint are lacquer, enamel, and acrylic. Each type of paint has its own unique properties, and it’s important to understand the differences between them to ensure that you achieve the desired results. Below is a quick overview of each and compatibility.

Lacquer Paints

Lacquer paints are known for their high-gloss finish and quick drying time. They’re also highly resistant to scratches, making them a popular choice for automotive models. However, lacquer paints can be difficult to work with, as they require special thinners and should only be used in a well-ventilated area due to their high level of toxicity.

One of the biggest advantages of lacquer paints is their durability. Once dry, they’re incredibly resistant to chipping and peeling. 

Enamel Paints

Enamel paints are another popular choice for model builders, as they produce a smooth, glossy finish that’s highly resistant to wear and tear. They also have a longer drying time than lacquer paints, which makes them easier to work with. Enamel paints can be thinned with a variety of solvents, including mineral spirits and turpentine, which makes them highly versatile.

Enamel paints can be prone to yellowing over time, which can affect the appearance of the model.

Acrylic Paints

Acrylic paints are becoming increasingly popular among model builders due to their ease-of-use and versatility. They dry quickly and are water-soluble, which makes them easy to clean up and work with. They also produce a matte finish that’s perfect for military models, as well as a range of other finishes.

Acrylic paints can be prone to chipping and peeling, which can affect the durability of the finished model.

Compatibility Differences

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a paint for your model is its compatibility with other types of paint. Lacquer, enamel, and acrylic paints all have different properties, which can affect their compatibility with one another. Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Lacquer paints should not be used over enamel paints, as the solvents in the lacquer can cause the enamel to soften and peel.
  • Enamel paints can be used over lacquer paints, but only after the lacquer has completely cured. Enamel paints should not be used over acrylic paints, as they can cause the acrylic to soften and peel.
  • Acrylic paints can be used over enamel paints, but only after the enamel has completely cured. Acrylic paints can also be used over lacquer paints, but only if a primer is used first.

It’s important to note that these guidelines are general, and there may be exceptions depending on the specific brands of paint and the surface being painted. Always consult the manufacturer’s recommendations before using a new type of paint on your model.