Saturday, July 16, 2016

How to Mix Vallejo Paints (the easy way)

I love how Vallejo Model Color, Game Color, Model Air, Reaper, and Army Painter paints are bottled. Keeping miniature paints in eyedropper bottles is a far superior storage solution when compared to paint pots. Paint stays fresher for longer, there isn't as much mess, measuring out an exact amount is easier, etc., etc., etc. There is only one caveat to this statement: it takes forever to shake them to mix the paint. I hate it when I shake a color for a minute, squeeze the bottle... and clear fluid comes out. Ugh!
Vallejo Model Air Model Color How to mix stainless steel BB
But that is no more! Thanks to Lester Bursley's suggestion and our friends in the cosmetics industry, there is a very simple solution: stainless steel balls (or lead fishing shot). I use the 3/16" sized ones that I found on Amazon. Cosmetologists have been using steel agitators for years in nail polish. They are only about $10 for a hundred. That's cheap.

Remove the cap and rock the dropper tip back and forth to remove it. Put one ball in the paint and replace the dropper tip. Screw the cap back on. The steel ball moves the paint in there right from the first shake. The best part is that you can tell when the paint is mixed: just listen for the agitator ball to regularly hit the sides and make a clicking noise. That says the paint is moving in the pot and mixing is happening. It's up to you when to stop.
Vallejo Game Color Mixing Paint Tutorial Secret Agitator steel BB
Having an agitator ball in there means you are only shaking for a fraction of the time that you normally would. Those little balls have saved my elbow. What are you waiting for? Try them out!


Switching Paints? GW Citadel or Reaper MSP HD?
New GW Citadel Paint Pots Design Review


  1. I found out about this several years ago. Well done for spreading the good word.

    1. Thanks Phil! It's such a simple idea that I'm embarrassed that I didn't think of it sooner. Those agitators work like a charm. When I find something of value I try to spread the news.

      I appreciate your comment. Thanks for reading! - Jeff

  2. It's ironic you know ! I bumped into your blog while having a journey through Google Images for Coat D'Arms paints ( read about them -what are they like ? ) .Just randomly looked into what you had posted . Last night I was using Citadels Ceramite White pot . It was so claggy .The mouth had a ring of dried paint . I dropped a lot of Vallejo thinner into it .Stirring it up still didnt get any creamyness out of it . Used a lot of water on the brush too as it wouldn't spread . But like you said , the Vallejo's are brilliant for storage and I have been told the ball bearing advice too . If I was a online website I would sell packets of them as an accessory

  3. RG,
    Aren't Citadel's pots just the worst? They seem to be specifically designed to dry out so that you have to purchase more. Boo! The eye-dropper bottles keep the paint fresh AND make it easy to measure out. The stainless steel balls fix the only problem that they had.
    I haven't looked back since I switched!