Tamiya Acrylic paints question?


New Member
Jan 23, 2023
How long does it take Tamiya acrylic paint to fully cure after airbrushing? I'm thinning it with Mr. hobby leveling thinner at a 1:1 ratio.
I use Tamiya Acrylic also and I always put what I have painted in a food dehydrator to cure. I typically put it in the dehydrator at 105 degrees for 4 to 5 hours. That may be longer than needed but it works great for me. You don't need one of the expensive dehydrators, just one like you see in the stores when deer season is approaching. Before that I'd wait a couple of days after painting to ensure it was cured. So you know, this has worked well with and without primer and with or without cleaning the plastic first. In fact I've stopped bothering with cleaning the model parts before a build all together. It's a real help to keep a paint mule or some use plastic spoons to test different things on.
I use Tamiya's acrylics, too. I have airbrushed them and then laid other colors over them after a couple of hours, with no issues. But I do prefer to let them go overnight. I typically use a 50/50 mix of color to Tamiya's acrylic thinner.
I have also airbrushed them with lacquer thinner (generic lacquer thinner from the auto supply shop), and laid other colors down over them after half an hour, with no issues.
Thanks for the info, I was told by a person at a local hobby shop to let it cure for 2 weeks or so. I thought that was a little long!!
Thanks for the info, I was told by a person at a local hobby shop to let it cure for 2 weeks or so. I thought that was a little long!!
Ha ha I bet his sales are down Mr FT:

A lot depends on the conditions you are working under. Temperature humidity etc. That includes the storage of the paint.

For me I leave until the next day to cure to be "sure". If you like to super wet & dry, for a very smooth finish, I would yield to 24 hours. On more than average I have many other things to get on with to occupy "curing" time.

I fill a new Tamiya XF, when opened for the first time, with Tamiya thinner, to just below the neck of the bottle. No more thinning in future use necessary.

Just add. I normally spray a thin coat, only just covering, then 1-2 hours or so later give a full coat.

I have heard of using Tamiya X to cut out gloss varnish for decals. The gloss has not the depth ie it has a slight transparency with out a matt under it. As house painting. Prime undercoat gloss.

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Dehydrators? Save your money on those. Never use them nor would spend for them. Acrylics I usually wait about an hour. Sometimes overnight prior to any masking sessions. Your LHS owner is full of it telling you 2 weeks to cure.
It may depend on how thick or thin you are applying it, but in general I have never needed to let it dry more than overnight before masking or painting over it. In some case I have even done it within a couple of hours when masking is something simple and the tape won't be sitting on their long

If no masking is involved, then I will even paint and weather over it as soon as it is dry to the touch. I actually find there is a "sweet spot" in the drying time where you can do chipping, or scratches/damage where it is not fully dry, but not tacky either. That is usually when I can do things like run the xacto blade over some edges to creat knicked up paint etc...

I find Vallejo takes a bit longer to dry than Tamiya, but I also tend to do thicker coats with Vallejo
I might be a little late to this discussion, but I use Tamiya X and XF paints a lot.

When thinning Tamiya X and XF paints with Mr Leveling Thinner, they cure pretty quick.

Flat XF paints are dry to the touch in 15-20 minutes, and fully cured in an hour or so. This of course depends on conditions and on how thick you applied the paint. I have worked with parts painted with XF paint as soon as 45 minutes after I painted them, but it gets pretty dry here in the winter. Humidity is very low.

Now gloss X series paints take a little longer to cure. If you thin them with Mr Leveling thinner you can handle them in maybe an hour. I would wait 12-18 hours before you apply clear or you work with the parts though. Maybe even 24 hours just to be safe.
Tamiya paints dry very fast but always safe to wait overnight if masking, or using any type of solvent wash over it.
That's why I use a dehydrator it speeds it up. I haven't had any paint pull up from masking after that. Of course I probably just jinxed myself saying that LOL.
I just adjust my workflow so giving parts 24 hours to cure is natural. I don't know if I am explaining that right.

What I mean is a prep a few things, paint them and then I take the next 24 hours to go to work, prep the next set of parts, assemble something. I just time everything so I can be productive and can't even get back to the model until the paint is cured anyways. Then the 24 hour wait is just something I would have done anyways.
I always wait a day before taping acrylics. But I use water based Vallejo, which is less "hot". I also use it over polyurethane primer, which helps. I probably don't need to wait a whole day, but I have paint peel on my early in my paint life, so I got paranoid.

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