I have several pieces of model scenery that I originally painted using a spray paint for the base coat.

I want to touch up some of the paint, but I can't simply spray them again as the areas are too small and too complicated to mask off, and I don't think that I can reliably color match the paint by by mixing other colors together to apply it by brush. I'm going to try, but I'm looking for a plan B in case I can't.

Is there a way to capture some paint from the spray so that I can apply it to the scenery using a brush.

It doesn't need to be perfect, just enough to touch up some chips.

  • 1
    Just spray some in a small recepticle like a bottlecap, and work quickly because it will dry up very rapidly - would that work?
    – Joachim
    Dec 25, 2021 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


If you spray the paint into a container, nearly any container will suffice if one aspect is considered. As you force the paint out of the can, some of the propellant will also travel with it. The paint will bounce from the surface, but it will be assisted by the propellant as well.

Consider a cylindrical container and spray the paint at a downward sideways angle, similar to a spiral staircase. If you have available the application tube often found with lubricating products, you can reduce the back-spatter and achieve better results.

Additionally, using the application tube will allow you to build a cardboard shield that slides over the tube, covering the opening of the cylinder, providing additional protection.

Plastic bags of sufficient size will also work but make allowance for exhausting the propellant away from your face and other sensitive areas around you.


I've concluded that spray paint simply dries too fast to make it practical to apply it with a brush. Trying to do it is a good way to ruin your brushes.

  • 1
    Put a small amount of paint thinner in the container and spray into that. Then stir to mix well before applying it. Or mix in a little paint thinner immediately after spraying. Soaking the brushes in paint thinner or xylene (available in the store's paint section), should dissolve dried paint when you're done so you won't need to discard brushes.
    – fixer1234
    Jan 1, 2022 at 20:25

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