How to prevent Humbrol & Revell enamel paint tinlets from drying out

humbrol paint drying outFollow these simple steps and your Humbrol and Revell tinlets will last for years.

I have a soft spot for the iconic little paint tins. It’s where my modelling, as for many, started.

Over the years, other brands have come along and replaced enamel paint as my first choice (Vellejo, Army Painter and Citadel acrylics for multiple reasons*) but I still have quite a few of the 14ml pots lying around and love the smell when I open them.

But as I don’t use them now that often the tins I have tend to lie around unused for long periods. If stored correctly they can last years, I’ve had some for decades (from the Authentics range) but I’ve also wasted more than a few pots over the years through simple mistakes, find them dried up when opened.

The key is to seal them properly after use.

Unlike Vellejo paints, to name just one brand who uses plastic bottles, Humbrol pots take a little more effort to close with an airtight seal.

For starters, clean around the metal rim of the lid and neck of the pot before putting the top on. Otherwise, paint can build up and prevent a good seal.

sealing Humbrol tinletsWith excess paint removed, push the top into place and then using a clamp squeeze the lid tightly shut to get an air tight seal.

Alternatively, put the put into the jaws of a vice, I use my dads old vice, and give it a good tighten.

Finally, with the lid is firmly on, store the paints by tipping them upside down to stop any air getting in.

Following this approach for sealing them and keeping them at room temperature will keep your paint fresh for years and many happy model sessions.

> A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.
  • Drying times, range, ease of cleaning.
Founder of ModelRailwayEngineer, Andy Leaning

Andy is a lifelong modeler, writer, and founder of He has been building model railways, dioramas, and miniatures for over 20 years. His passion for model making and railways began when he was a child, building his first layout at the age of seven.
Andy’s particular passion is making scenery and structures in 4mm scale, which he sells commercially. He is particularly interested in modelling the railways of South West England during the late Victorian/early Edwardian era, although he also enjoys making sci-fi and fantasy figures and dioramas. His website has won several awards, and he is a member of MERG (Model Railway Electronics Group) and the 009 Society.
When not making models, Andy lives in Surrey with his wife and teenage son. Other interests include history, science fiction, photography, and programming. Read more about Andy.

Afflliate disclosure:The links on this page may take you to carefully selected businesses, such as Hornby, Amazon, eBay and Scale Model Scenery, where you can purchase the product under affiliate programmes. This means I receive a small commission on any orders placed although the price you pay does not change. You can read my full affiliate policy here. I also sell my my own ready to use, pre-made and painted buildings and terrain features. browse the range.

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