How to mix tamiya paints

Written by elizabeth sobiski
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How to mix tamiya paints
Custom blended paint can give models a realistic look. (automobile model image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

The Tamiya Group is dedicated to providing model crafters with the highest quality models available. The company has been making models since 1948, and has since gained a reputation for its attention to detail and quality of products offered. Tamiya paints come in both spray cans and bottled forms. The bottled paint can be used with brushes or an air gun. While the company does offer a wide variety of bottled paint colours, hobby enthusiasts like to mix their own, for a truly custom look. The paints mix well and leftover paint can be saved for later use.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glass jar with lid, small
  • Tamiya paints
  • Craft sticks
  • Lacquer thinner
  • Brush
  • Spare model plastic

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  1. 1

    Clean glass jar and lid with hot, soapy water. This ensures that nothing left in the jar will contaminate the paint mixture. Dry the jar completely, or let air dry.

  2. 2

    Stir the paints to mix them. Use different craft sticks for each paint colour so that the colours do not combine yet.

  3. 3

    First pour a bit of the primary colour into the empty glass jar. This colour is the base of custom colour. There is usually more of this colour than the others that are added later.

  4. 4

    Add the next colour a little at a time. The easiest way to do this is with the craft stick. Drizzle some of the second colour into the base colour. Use a clean craft stick to mix the two colours together. Add more paint, or other colours, until the custom paint is the desired colour. If the mixture seems too thick, add a drop or two of lacquer thinner at a time until the consistency is correct.

  5. 5

    Brush some of the new colour onto a piece of plastic from the model kit. Use a piece that will not be used for anything else later. Cap the jar with the new colour tightly while allowing the fresh paint to dry. If the desired result is reached, the paint is ready to go. If not, continue mixing until it is.

Tips and warnings

  • Make notes of general amounts of paint used, so more can be made later if needed.
  • Always work in a well-ventilated area.

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