Thursday, 14 January 2010

Glass beads

I always seem to have problems with my paint thickening in the pot. So, when I came across this excellent blog on extending the life of your paints by Tinweasel, I just had to give it ago.

Unlike Tinweasel, I had no problems finding cheap glass beads thanks to ebay, I got 120 for £4 with postage. My beads arrived this morning and I immediately gave them a go. They work like a treat, a couple of drops of water and a glass bead, a good shake and they're like new.

I'd highly recommend reading Tinweasel's blog and giving it a go for yourself.


Sholto said...

I had read that blog post, found glass beads on Ebay and then forgot to buy them! I will now - thanks for the reminder :)

Anonymous said...

I use pennies--though I'm not sure they help... have you actually tried the glass beads yet?

Siph_Horridus said...

Don't waste your money - add small chopped pieces of metal from the miniatures excess tabs and whotnot. Doesn't cost anything

Col. Corbane said...

@W39 - yeah, they work really well.

@Siph - I've kept away from metal and flash bits as Tinweasels article says they can taint the paint as they corrode.

SC Mike said...

For another tutorial on paintmaintenance go here:

we did this in feb of last year.

Santa Cruz Warhammer

Tinweasel said...

I just found this post, thanks for the link - glad to hear that using glass beads are working out for you!

I went through a variety of agitators before settling on glass beads: tab clippings, bits of sprue, zinc-plated BB's; they all work to greater or lesser degrees, but have their own problems.

White metal, esp. w/ a higher pewter content, generally starts to "degrade" in reaction w/ the deionized water in most acrylic paints - it's not the white metal so much as the other elements in it: copper, tin, antimony/bismuth, etc. I've seen "lead bloom" in action and decided I didn't want impurities sloughing off into my paints.

Plastic sprue clippings were inert, but too light to shift paint and didn't do much other than float and take up pot space.

I thought zinc-plated BB's were "it" (non-reactive & weighty!) 'til I noticed the outer plating cracked through use, exposing an unstable core - got a number of old pots now w/ rusting BB's stuck to the interior.

I finally went w/ glass beads - fairly cheap, as inert as it gets, weighty, and don't occupy much space in the pot. Been using 'em for well over a year now and haven't looked back. I also bulked up my supply in another craft store necklace sale!

Col. Corbane said...

No worries on the link mate, it's an excellent idea and it's working wonders for me.

Have a look at ebay for alternative source of beads. I don't know woh this compares to your necklaces, but I thought it was a great deal.