Paint Mixing Tool

Most modellers are aware that best results from paint are always achieved when paint is well mixed, particularly the first time a new tin is opened.

Here is a handy little home-made tool for mixing paint:

It is made from a length of brass tube with a slot cut in one end and a 1cm square of plastic card wedged into the slot and super-glued to hold it in place.

It is then attached as a 'bit' to a Dremel and run at minimal speed:

A word of caution: removing the bit following paint mixing can result in paint on the bit being sprayed around, so a special protective shield is necessary. It consists of a 7cm x 2cm cross-section length of wood. The actual length doesn't matter, but a reasonable length is recommended to provide stability and act as a platform to place tin lids on. The important part is the hole cut through it which is a tight, wedge-fit for the paint tins being mixed (you may require more than one hole for different tin sizes, although this one is good for Humbrol and Railmatch) and the surrounding thick card barrier to catch spray:

The tight wedge fit is necessary because if you were to hand-hold it, there is a risk that the paint tin could be thrown around with obvious consequences. I saw this happen once at a club where a member had made a mixers from bent wire. The wire tangled in the tin and then threw it and the paint around.

With the tool and method described in this article, I have found that even if the bit does touch the tin, it just makes a vibrating noise, but there is no loss of control and no paint tins flying about. The key is if you are not sure, just keep the bit in the middle of the tin so it doesn't touch anything.

Instructions for Use

  • Remove lid from tin of paint to be mixed
  • Wedge fit the tin into the hole in the timber
  • Fit the bit to a Dremel and start it at minimum speed
  • Hold the bit and Dremel vertically and lower slowly into the paint
  • Mix for a couple of minutes, moving the bit around inside the tin and raising and lowering it to different depths
  • To remove the mixing bit, slowly raise it out of the paint. Generally, we have found that the rotating bit rotates fast enough that by the time the bit leaves the paint, centripetal action has already ensured that any paint has already come off. If you take it out quickly, some spray may occur. Raise the bit to just above the tin, but not higher than the surrounding protective shield, then power the Dremel off and remove completely
  • You now have a well-mixed tin of paint

Graham Plowman (2/05/2015)

Reader Comments