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Percentage as a Ratio

Discussion in 'Beginners Airbrush Questions!' started by SiRoxx, Nov 10, 2017.


  1. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Ok I give up :p. When someone says "reduce the paint 70%", how does that work? I thought this was simple, but phrasing it as a percentage is not helping me.
    If I have 1 drop of paint, how many drops of reducer to achieve 70% reduction?
    would it be .7?
    Is 1 part paint & 2 parts reducer 50% or 200%?
    Side note, Math has never been my strong point; words yes, numbers no. As a kid I could cuss someone out in 5 different languages, but couldn't count to 20 without taking my shoes off lol.
    As always, your help is appreciated.
  2. redcore

    redcore Gravity Guru

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    well i dont care about that anymore. just make the paint working for you. you need 2 drops, then use two drops of reducer. you need 10? use 10.
    just make the paint working.

    in 70% it would be
    10 paint : 7 reducer

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  3. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Sure. I get that, I'm getting really close to s good baseline mix that works for me. But the 70% was in the context of "the paint will need to be quite heavily reduced, something around 70%. 10:7 reducer doesn't seem like heavy reduction being that some people will work with a 1:20 ratio. I think that's what is confusing me.
    P.S - I'm not saying you're wrong at all :). Just that the concept confuses me.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  4. redcore

    redcore Gravity Guru

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    Thats just different point of view. For some people 70% is too much. For some 200% would be too much. For some 500% is still not enough. What i (always!) advice to use together with reducer is - vallejo flow improver.


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  5. Ronald art

    Ronald art Detail Decepticon! Very Likeable!

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    how much reducer a paint needs depends on the brand I use Etac paints and they recommend a maximum 25% reduction with water that would be 1 drop water to 4 drops paint as a max the reason is that if you add more the binder in the paint will get weaker up to a point it cant hold the pigments any more
    I have used a 200% reduction as in 1 drop paint 20 drops water in the past and the paint didnt really fall apart in the past 5 years I banned all water from my paint and started to use it as it is and it works for me and if I want or need a more transparent paint I only use the transparent base
  6. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Right, so it is literally taking the paint as 100% and the reducer as a percentage of that. That was what I thought too. Then I got confused when a ratio of 1 part paint to 2 parts reducer was described as 50% reduced.
  7. redcore

    redcore Gravity Guru

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    the only disadvantage of using too much of flow improver or other chemicals is that the paint might get bind to surface to the point that it will be hard to scratch off or remove some other mechanical way.
    the less chemicals the easier to scratch the paint off.

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  8. Vladimir

    Vladimir Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Are you talking about basecoat line mix (automotive urethane 1K paint)?
  9. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    OK so ratios... 1 part paint, 1 part reducer (so one drop paint, one drop reducer...) is a 50/50 reduction is a 100% reduction... so a 70% reduction is 1 part paint, 0.7 parts reducer.

    So 1 part paint and 2 parts reducer (so one drop paint 2 drops reducer) is a 200% reduction!
  10. markjthomson

    markjthomson AKA Quick Draw !! (and still very happy) Staff Member Mod

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    I can understand why that was confusing... it's a wrong description.
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  11. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Sorry, no. I meant that when I come to mix up some Wicked Black for example, I’ve found a ratio that seems to work ok for me, but may need changing by a drop or to depending on the weather. So a baseline mix ratio.


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  12. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Yeah, it wasn’t helpful haha. Fro your previous post it seems I’m not the right lines though. So thanks.


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  13. Leakyvalve

    Leakyvalve Spider Splatterer

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    Siroxx is 200% correct but reduce by 50%...o_O

    It is completely confusing and it's not understood by all the people who use that terminology making it more confusing. I think ratios (1:1) are the perfect way to explain... well paint ratios.
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  14. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Agreed. Ratios are in no way confusing and I’m glad that this forum seems to use ratios rather than percentages.


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  15. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Artist of the Month! Artist of the Month!

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    It can often mean either. Reduced ten percent often means adding ten percent of the original so that you end up with 110 percent of the original volume. Reduced 70 percent in your context is likely seventy percent reducer with 30 percent paint. So three drops paint seven reducer.
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  16. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    See, now that makes total sense too LOL. I’m back where I started!
    I’m kidding. I had reached the conclusion that it could potentially means either and that it’s not clear to anyone other than the person saying it.
    I definitely prefer ratios and fortunately anyone I’ve asked on this forum talks ratios.


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  17. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Artist of the Month! Artist of the Month!

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    Though it is still possible that they mean adding 70 percent of the original volume to it so that you end up at 170 percent. If its phrased "correctly" than when they say reduced by than they are referring to the method where you end at 100%. So reduced by 50 percent is a one to one ratio. Reduced by 100 percent would actually be a 2 to one ratio.
    Reduce with would mean adding that much of the original volume.
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  18. Robbyrockett2

    Robbyrockett2 Artist of the Month! Artist of the Month!

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    Trusting the person to say by or with is a whole other issue
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  19. Mr.Micron

    Mr.Micron Royal pain in the air hose Admin

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    With Wicked I was recommended as a starting point 1 drop paint to 3 drops reducer Then check flow . If flow is good paint on if not add 1 drop of reducer until flow is right.
    I usually start with 3 drops paint and 9 drops reducer being 1 drop does not last long when you are testing colors and reduction of them.
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  20. SiRoxx

    SiRoxx Mac-Valve Maestro!

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    Absolutely Herb. 1:3 as recommended by you has been working great for me recently with Wicked Black. If I’m going slow, I drop the pressure, but check some lines and keep on going.
    I’m definitely starting to get the hang of wicked, this Question was more of general trying to build my knowledge base situation.


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    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

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