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So I've been doing some experimenting with paint "washes" and have not been super happy with my results. They are not bad, but I think they could be better.

What is your basic formula for a paint wash? Acrylic paint or oil and how much water do you add? Does anybody know of any companies that market paint washes that are pre-mixed?

Thanks guys!

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I use only acrylics. Sometimes I add a lot of water if I just want to "stain" something and not leave much color behind. I don't have a hard and fast rule for it, I just sort of wing it and add more water or paint until I get the results I want. What specifically isn't working for you?

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If you use oil paints don't use water to make washes of them, use turps or linseed oil to thin them. I use water-soluble paints and I begin with a puddle of water and just barely dip my brush into the color or colors I want to try and experiment on a scrap of whatever material I'm going to wash (paper, papermache, spackle, whatever). If the color's too intense I add water by drops until it's what I want; if it's too faint I add the barest amount of paint. After I stained and shingled the McKinley's roof it was too "loud" so I stirred up the water I'd used to clean my brushes whilst I was painting the interior, and added just a smidge of white, and washed the shingles with that to tone it down; it worked so well I went on to use it on the bricks, too.

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Thanks Holly! As usual, that advice is just what I needed.

Brae, I'm using it on paperclay. I want a stone color that is not too dark, maybe a little red as well for a few stones here and there,

I'm so happy you both said acrylic! I was NOT looking forward to buying new paint...but anything for my art :lol:

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There are modelers places that make acrylic washes, personally I think it's silly to pay for 5oz of water in a teeny container with 2 drops of acrylic paint :p

Add a bit of water at time and do a little test stroke or two, if it's not thin enough just add more :) Paperclay seems pretty forgiving from what I've seen. It dries fast, so worst case is you wait a tad longer between coats.

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I usually work with more than one color at a time when doing washes on brick or stone. I put out a dab of each color that I want to work with on a paper plate. That way I can use my wet brush to mix the colors right on the plate. More water for weaker wash. Less for a more potent one. You asked at just the right time. I am about to do the stonework on the bases of two tudor cottages that I am working on. I will show the process that I use on my blog either today or tomorrow. Come along for the ride, if you want.

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