Everyone still naptha and caulking on silicone?

edited May 2020 in Painting
Ok, so I know there's quite a few posts on the above, but don't flame...

Most of them are quite old now, and as we are well into 2020, I was wondering if there's been any advancement in painting silicone with "regular" airbrush paints (Tim Gore's bloodlines and other water based (I've got Casey Love's set too, I am now all powerful)

I've absorbed both the realistic flesh tone lessons by Tim and Jamie Grove, and they both use caulking and naptha as a base slurry.

Is this still the best way to go and, I've never thought to ask before, will it work on plat silicones?

We don't have silicone 1 or 2 over here, but if it's 100% silicone, I'm guessing it's the marine safe ones as they have no additives (anti-fungal etc), naptha is still available and you can get cabosil everywhere (sometimes literally).

I thought for a minute that you could just mix your paints with a psycho paint slurry (all hail Smooth-on, I should buy a t-shirt) but the more I read about it the less likely I think that is.

@Chris Ellerby has posted a few times to lightly paint with your standards and seal with a clear coat of silicone. Sounds good, but Chris, can you elaborate on the clear coat at the end? Or is it just the colourless slurry that you would make with naptha, cab and caulking?
Post edited by Steve Cairney on


  • Hi Steve,

    silicone and naptha is still a common base for custom silicone paints, though sometimes other solvents like Smooth-On's NOVOCs is substituted.  I've seen people mix up paints using A/B platinum silicones as well, but I don't recall how they thinned them.  Though if I recall correctly they may have only been hand brushing with them.

    As long as your source is 100% silicone it should work.  And it never hurts to do a small test with new material, you never know how it might turn out.

    You can use airbrush paints like Tim Gore's awesome Blood Line with silicone, but there's a bit of a trick to it.  You have to paint in very thin layers and encapsulate them by airbrushing on more thinned silicone.    Tim Gore actually discussed this technique briefly in one of his lessons, sadly I don't recall the lesson and chapter.  I believe in his example the sealing layer was also caulking and naptha.

  • Thanks Chris, I'll hit TG up about that, he's always very helpful.

    It's crazy that no-one has come up with a readymix base, though considering how much NOVOC's costs, it probably would cost a fortune.

    I can feel the naptha hangover already. Open windows!
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