Lacquer Thinner

Published on
January 22, 2017
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Tamiya - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Tamiya America - Website: Visit Site
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Tamiya has long offered a wide range of acrylic paints and acrylic thinners. Recently I experimented with Tamiya’s Lacquer Thinner, item # 87077. As a rule, I tend to use the paint thinner produced by the same company that produced the paint being used.

I found that the Tamiya lacquer thinner worked very well, indeed, although its use is different than the acrylic thinner I’m used to using. Do not let the fact that it is a Lacquer thinner dissuade you from using it with your standard Tamiya acrylics. It works just fine.

The lacquer thinner is noticeably “stronger” than the acrylic thinner, both in how it interacts with Tamiya acrylics and how it smells. And it should be said here that if you can smell the paint you are airbrushing then you should wear a mask. Also, users are strongly advised not to have an open flame nearby as lacquer is combustible.

Using the same compressor settings that I used with acrylic paints, I found that the lacquer-thinned paint laid down with a distinctly more “glossy” appearance. I found that the paint went through the airbrush a little smoother, although this could be due to the cleaning that I gave the airbrush before use. If you’ve ever used Tamiya’s rattle can Gloss Black, TS-14, then you will understand that the paint being used had a “harder feel”, once dried, than do most of the Tamiya acrylics I use.

The model being painted featured a WWII camo pattern and the paint held up well with no paint being pulled off when the tape was removed. The time between paint application and tape application was about 24 hours, and then about 48 hours before the tape was removed.

Decals went on well, and it may be my imagination but the lacquer-thinned paint didn’t need as much polishing out prior to decaling as I am accustomed to.

Checking Tamiya’s webpage which features this product, there are some claims made. I found that these claims were supported by my experience with the product.

Those claims I checked out are:

  1. The lacquer thinner can remove paint from brushes and other painting tools. I cleaned my airbrush with the same lacquer thinner that I used to thin the paint. I found that the paint did, indeed, clear out most of the paint residue without much scrubbing.
  2. The lacquer thinner can thin Tamiya putty. I do not use Tamiya putty so I could not verify that aspect of the statement. I use an acrylic auto body putty and I found that the lacquer thinner worked well, thinning the putty if the mixture of putty to thinner was monitored and controlled.
  3. The lacquer thinner will dilute lacquer based-paints. I found this to be true with the Tamiya acrylic paints I use and I also tested some non-Tamiya lacquer paints. The lacquer thinner worked on those non-Tamiya products just as it did on the Tamiya paint.
  4. I did not test the claim that the lacquer thinner would clean the paint and remove oil from the model surface.

I had no reservations about using Tamiya Lacquer Thinner. Tamiya has a long history offering useful products and I was not disappointed with the lacquer thinner. I have found that I tend to use the lacquer thinner when the paint-job is more complex, without hard lines between the colors, while I tend to use the regular Tamiya Acrylic Thinner when the color scheme is more of a single color, or with hard demarcations between colors.

Look for that distinctive yellow cap! I highly recommend this product and repeat the admonition that a mask should be worn when airbrushing paints thinned with it. Thanks to Tamiya for making this product available to IPMS for review.


Submitted by Soren (not verified) on Sun, 2018-11-11 10:44


Hi, I noticed that there is another version of this Tamiya Lacquer Thinner, called 'Retarder Type'. I wonder if beside the added retarding property, its other properties stay the same as the original Tamiya Lacquer Thinner. Any thoughts?

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