My homemade washes

Here’s the video from Les Burley I came across showing how to make the washes I use

And here’s the instructions in print (also available on Les’s website,

Liquitex Flow Aid
Matte Medium
Distilled Water
FW Acrylic Inks: sepia, black

First mix 450ml of distilled water with 50ml of Flow Aid (10:1 ratio)

In 1 ounce bottles:
fill halfway with Matte Medium
fill rest with premix

lightly shake ink bottle

Softbody Black – add 20 drops of black per ounce (35 per 50ml)
Heavy Body Black – 40 drops of black per ounce (50 per 50ml)
Dark Sepia – add 40 drops of sepia per ounce (50 per 50ml)

More recipes:

Parchment: 40 Drops Flesh Tint
Flesh Wash: 40 Drops Burnt Umber
Blue: 40 Drops Rowney Blue
Green: 40 Drops Dark Green
Purple: 40 Drops Purple Lake

.5oz Bottle measurements for Les’ DIRTY WASHES (1:1 premixed matte medium and h2o-flow aid mix is added after the ink is counted out)

STONE – 60 Raw Sienna : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
RUBY – 60 Flame Red : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
ARMOR WASH – 60 Sepia : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
SAPPHIRE – 60 Rowney Blue : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
BABY POOP – 60 Flame Orange : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
ALGAE – 60 Dark Green : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
SEWER WATER – 60 Burnt Umber : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
AMETHYST – 60 Purple Lake : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
CONCRETE – 60 Flesh Tint : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)
STORM CLOUD – 60 Turquoise : 20 Black (120, 40 for 1 ounce)

Here’s a Google Docs link with pictures to show what the washes look like over white primer:…Ao-9Zn5To8/edit


Here’s approximately what I’ve spent on the various materials to make washes:
Liquitex Flow Aid 118ml £7
Liquitex Matte Medium 237ml £7.27
Distilled Water (I just use tap water)
FW Acrylic Inks £4 each
50 50ml squeeze bottles £5.50 so 55p each (you can get just 5, 10, 20, etc. bottles)
(I’ve ignored shipping costs, assuming you have an arts supply store you can get to)

A bottle of Matte Medium will do almost 10 50ml bottles because you’re filling the bottle halfway with it, and to use up all the Matte Medium you’d use about half of the bottle of Flow Aid. The inks have hundreds and hundreds of drops in them but let’s call it £2 or 1/2 bottle to use make up the ‘hard body’ or Nuln Oil equivalent.

So that’s roughly:
Liquitex Flow Aid – using half £3.50
Liquitex Matte Medium – using all of it £7.27
FW Acrylic Inks – couple hundred drops £2

So £12 or about $17 for half a liter of a dark wash. Put it in a re-used jar if you want, or spend another £11 to get 100 50ml dropper bottles (keep in mind that’s about 3 times the size of a Vallejo paint bottle). £23 for 500ml, or £12 if you go the jar route, which also allows dipping.

You get 12ml of Nuln Oil in a pot/jar for £2.30, so that’s about £96 or $152 if you wanted to get the same amount (not that you would, this is just a pricing example).

I think 12ml of the homemade recipe comes to 29p, or 55p if you add in and spread out the cost of the squeeze bottles.

Someone please check my math! 

Of course, who actually needs half a liter of miniature paint wash? Anyone painting terrain, for one, or large buildings, lots of vehicles, etc.

The advantage is that you can get a couple different colors of inks to make mixes and whatnot, and if you do this over time, like any artist you’ll have a bunch of different inks you can call upon when you need to make a new mix.

Originally posted on the Hammertime 40K site


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