Top Hobby Tip: Agitators

I'll keep this short and sweet, folks - this is something absolutely everyone should be doing.

Take a piece of metal, like a sprue from a miniature or a ball bearing - it doesn't have to be large - and drop it in your paint pot.  When you shake your paints, it helps mix them.

I've also taken to keeping a dropped with clean water on my paint station.  Every time I open a pot, I put in some drops.

Since I've started doing that, I've been amazed at the difference in my paints.  They've been running smoother,cleaner, and they aren't drying out.

Do yourself a favor - do this immediately!



Evil Homer said...

I use 60mm oval shaped Hematite beads. No corrosion.

b.smoove said...

Great tip. I can't believe I've never heard of this before but it makes perfect sense.

And where might one find 60mm oval shaped hematite beads?

Carlos said...

attached to a string with a ring on the end of it. Just kidding. That does sound like a great idea.

Evil Homer said...

My wife makes jewelry from time to time. I discovered them in the DiY jewelry aisle at Hobby Lobby though I suppose Michael's would have them too. If shopping on line you could try Fire Mountain Gems, probably get a larger assortment there.

I pull the tips off my VMC bottles and drop them in those as well. VMC has a tendency to separate. A lot. The beads help. I also drop them in my GWs as well, especially the metals.

In the VMC/VGC/dropper bottles you have to be a little careful as the bead sometimes want to make its way to the tip when you are dropping but holding the bottle at a sufficient angle generally works.

I keep a dropper bottle filled with 10:1 liquitex dry retarder:water to thin paints with rather than plain water.

Evil Homer said...

Of course I don't paint much either. I probably own more paint than most guys and rarely touch the stuff. It's a motivation issue, and a decided lack of commitment.

b.smoove said...


Chumbalaya said...

Good call, I'm gonna give it a shot.

Joe Gekko said...

I started using .177 caliber BB's (2 per pot), Liquitex retarder, and distilled water a couple of months ago. So far, so good.

This really is one of the great hobby tips.

Master Manipulator (every store needs one) said...

You have to be careful when using metal BBs they tend to rust, or at least in my case they have.

I have been using the .20gram plastic air soft BBs. Two or three in each bottle. The only real pain with them is when using dropper bottles such as Valleyo or Reaper uses. If you use an agitator you need to be sure and not turn the bottle completely upside down when you drop paint out of them, else you clog the tip.

Dverning said...

@Joe Gekko: I'd avoid using BBs as the copper coating can flake into your paint and/or tarnish. This will discolor the paint over time.

@Brent: Excellent tip!

Joe Gekko said...

Dverning- I should have specified, I use uncoated stainless steel .177's in my paint.

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