Thinning Airbrush Paint with Windex

Thinning airbrush paint with windex is one of the old pirate tricks of miniature painting.  Is this only a myth or does it really work?

Can you use Windex to thin airbrush paint?  Short answer:  yes.  Long answer:  also, yes.

Should you use Windex to thin airbrush paint.  Well, that’s up to you.  But, probably yes.  Here’s why.

Thinning Airbrush Paint with Windex

There are a lot of ways to thin down airbrush paint, from commercial thinners to homemade versions.   In fact, finding what’s right for you is a little bit of guess work.

But whenever people start airbrushing, I recommend they use Windex, or any generic glass cleaner, for multiple reasons.


The great thing about thinning airbrush paint with Windex is the low cost.  Between cleaning and thinning you end up using a lot of your product(s) of choice.  So having one that is affordable, specially if you’re still figuring things out, is great.

The other main advantage of glass cleaner is that it is also great at cleaning your airbrush.  In most cases, thinner and cleaner are different products.

The third and often unsung part of using glass cleaner is that it’s readily available.

I am very much of a right here right now type of person. Having to wait for my local game store to restock their thinner, or even for amazon to deliver a cleaning solution does not do it for me.

However, with any generic glass cleaner, a trip to the grocery store, drug store, Walmart, Costco…  you get the idea.


Thinning airbrush paint with Windex does come with a few drawbacks.

The general purpose aspect of glass cleaner, while it offers some pros is also a limitation.  One size fits all also means it’s not perfect.  Simple Green does a better job at cleaning, and a DIY airbrush thinner might be more suited for what you want.

While you should always wear a mask when using your airbrush, you need to use one when thinning airbrush paint with Windex, and not just a cheap one.  Vaporizing paint is not part of a balanced diet, let alone adding chemicals to the paint.

Yay or Nay

Overall, glass cleaner is my favorite way of thinning paint and cleaning my airbrush.  The pros heavily outweighs the cons, because simplicity trumps a lot of factors when it comes to my hobbies.

As a final note, when buying Windex or a generic glass cleaner, always get the ‘regular’ kind, not a scented or ‘extra XYZ’ version of it.

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