Hi gang,

I have often read that Naphtha is used to thin tinted silicone so you can paint with it, or even push it through an airbrush.

I want to paint silicone with an airbrush, but Naphtha is not readily available in my area. Can I use Mineral Spirits or Acetone?

thanks,

Dawn

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I use white spirit ( english name for Mineral Spirits I believe) to thin silicone from a tube, which I tint with silcone pigments to paint on silicone. This will go through an airbrush.

Don't know if Acetone would work, but it's pretty nasty stuff so unless you've got good extraction I wouldn't go down that route.

Are you painting on condensation cure silicone?

Steve

I have mineral spirits and will give it a try. Thank you Steve. :)

Interesting, because I was using some Psycho paint a while ago, and wanted to thin it. I tried everything I could find, and none of it worked - acetone, methylated spirits, white spirit. Then I went and bought some lighter fluid, which is naptha, and it works a treat, but evaporates quite fast so you have to keep adding a bit.

I wasn't trying to push it through an airbrush, just painting.

Is lighter fluid not available where you are??

I think I can find lighter fluid. I didn't know lighter fluid was naphtha. It's definitely not carried in any hardware or paint stores around here.

BTW, I tried mineral spirits and it did not work. gooey globby mess that did not stick to the silicone puppet. I think I'm starting to ruin this puppet because of all the solvents I've tried. yipes.

Thanks for the suggestion, Simon. I will track down some lighter fluid.

I'm in the UK, and the local shop in my village in Devon had it behind the counter with the cigarette lighters!

 er.. can I just ask again...are you painting on condensation cure silicone or platinum cure silicone?

Steve

Platinum cure silicone. PlaSil Gel-10.

I tinted part B and cast the puppet. The puppet came out great, the color looks good, but I want to go in and do some airbrushing and paint some details. I mix up small batches of tinted silicone and want to thin it so I can paint with it. But I can't seem to find the right thinner. Naphtha is not available, Acetone, Mineral spirits did not work. I even tried this stuff called "Goof Off" which contains Xylene. 

Next up, lighter fluid! HA! Seriously, it shouldn't be this hard. Don't people paint silicone all the time? What am I doing wrong?

Here in Australia, I can buy Shellite at any hardware or supermarket.  It is used as lighter fluid, and also used as a solvent, and is in fact the same thing as Naptha.  (I also have a small can of lighter fluid from a discount shop which says it is naptha in small print, and smells and works the same as the Shellite.)  So I would try the lighter fluid.  

Xylene and Toluene are the other solvents for platinum silicone, and both of those are pretty horrible, I know Toluene gives me an instant headache.   Both are very difficult to buy here, probably because they are toxic.  I suspect they may be better in silicone, because sometimes I have a problem with the silicone not curing if I put too much naptha in, but usually it works.  (I also find it sometimes doesn't cure with too much pigment in it, I can just barely get an opaque black but other colours have to be pretty translucent to be sure of curing.)  

So Naptha is probably the least horrible option, and may be available under another name.

I appreciate all the suggestions. Thanks everyone.

Don't forget another - gentler - possibility, which is to use theatrical or film make-up on the silicone. This is obviously temporary, but it does work, and no nasty fumes!

ok, I haven't worked with PlasilGel 10, but when I have painted 'Smooth On' Platinum cure silicone, I have used 'Smooth-On' Psycho paint which is thinned with Toluene.  I also used Toluene to clean the platinum cure silicone before painting.

Toluene is, as mentioned above, nasty stuff and needs to be used with extraction and a respirator mask. Goggles too in case of splashes!

If I remember rightly, you should wear vinyl gloves and not latex gloves when handling platinum cure silicone. Hope this helps.

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