Zero Paints FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

Who are Zero Paints?
Zero Paints was setup in the United Kingdom by Steve Hemming (owner of in 2006 to enable the automotive modeller the option to paint their models with the correct shade of paint.

What type of Paints are they?
The paints supplied are called "Basecoat Paints" which are solvent based paints (Containing : Toluene, Xylene UN 1263)

The basecoat is applied after the primer coat. This coat contains the visual properties of color and effects, and is usually the one referred to as the paint. Base coat used in the automotive applications is commonly divided into three categories, solid, metallic, pearlescent colors.

The solid paints has no sparkle effects except the color. This is the easiest type of paint to apply, and the most common type of paint for heavy transportation vehicles, construction equipment and aircraft. It is also widely used on cars, trucks, and motorcycles.

The metallic paints contains aluminium flakes to create a sparkling and grainy effect, or as people generally refer as a metallic look. This paint is harder to manage than the solid paints because of the extra dimensions to consider. Metallic and pearl paints must be applied evenly to ensure a consistent looking finish without light and dark spots which are often called "mottling".

Pearlescent Paints contain special iridescent pigments commonly referred to as "pearls". Pearl pigments impart a colored sparkle to the finish which works to create depth of color. Pearlescent paints can be two stage in nature (pearl base color + clear) or 3 stage in nature (basecoat + pearl midcoat + clearcoat).[1]

What colours can you match?
We can match almost any 1:1 production Car and Motorcycle since the late 1980 (some cases back to the late 1960's). Historic race cars colours can be difficult to match, but with suitable photos and information we can do our best to help. Listed below are just a few of the mainstream automotive manufactures we can match.

How do I order paint which is not listed?
Firstly contact us to check we can mix your required colour, supplying as much information as possible. Then order 60ml Custom Mixing at the online store. Example

* Car / Motorcycle Manufacture - Honda (Required)
* Colour Name - New Imola Orange (Required)
* Mannufactures Colour Code - YR536P(Required) (Not PPG's Code)
 * Model - S2000
* Year of Manufacture - 2003

A Google Search can usually help with getting paint codes and names.

How do you get the exact match?
The colours are mixed using a PC Driven CD-ROM Formulation Database which guarantees a perfect reproduction of the original colour; this database is constantly being updated with new formulas.

Do they need thinning?
All paint supplied are pre-thinned for Airbrush use, they are thinned to a consistency which is suitable for Airbrushes with nozzle sizes of 0.3mm upwards. Additional thinners are available if further thinning is required.

It is not recommended to over thin the paint, too much thinners and increase the chance of the paint becoming to HOT and affecting/eating the plastic below the primer. If unsure test first.

Is Primer needed?
YES, As the paints are solvent based it is necessary to primer the plastic/resin before applying the basecoat colour; this seals the plastic/resin and creates a key for the paint to adhere to.

Do I need to Clearcoat?
YES, All basecoat colours dry Matt and REQUIRE Clearcoating. The following Clearcoats have also been tested without any issues
    * Zero 2k Clearcoat,
    * Zero Pre-thinned Lacquer
    * Tamiya TS13
    * Mr Hobby range (Mr Top Gloss etc)
    * Halfords Lacquer

Therefore most General Automotive Lacquers should be Ok, but if in doubt do a test first.

What should I use to clean my Airbrush?
You can use either Basecoat Thinners or Airbrush Cleaner, alternatively any thinners that contain Toluene should work, but it's best to test first.

Do you supply instructions?
Yes, Each order is supplied with printed colour instructions, which can also be found online here. each bottle is no longer supplied with it's own instructions unless they require specific instructions

How do I strip Basecoat Paints from my model?
Paints can be stripped using Brake Fluid and/or Isopropyl Alcohol.

Why are the paints supplied in HDPE (Plastic) not Glass bottles?

For a few reasons, Less weight = Less shipping costs, No chance of Breakage during shipping, Cheaper costs. Supplied Ball Bearings can break the glass.

How long does the paint keep?
As the paint is supplied Pre-thinned and thinners will evaporate over time, it should be fine for 6-9 months, if the thinners have evaporated you can add more basecoat thinners to bring the paint back to the original state. Keeping the paint in a Cool, Dry Environment will greatly length it's life.
We also suggest only purchasing small quantities of paint at one time, rather that bulk buying and storing for long periods of time

Do you Ship Paints Overseas?
YES but please read the following carefully:
It is the Purchasers responsibility to check with your local Postal Operator to confirm if any Zero Paints goods being purchased are classed as Prohibited Goods (Paints, Thinners, and Flammable Liquids etc) within your country. If you have purchased any item/s which is classed as Prohibited Goods and it is not delivered, removed from the box, we can NOT offer refunds. If the item/s is returned to for this reason, we will refund the value of the items returned minus any shipping/packing cost.

What happened to the Outer Boxes?
Due to increasing prices of all components used, We asked our customers what they wanted, and the overwhelming reply was to stop supplying the outer boxes. So that is what we have done (stop supplying the boxes and individual instructions per paint pot), thus keeping the prices down, this also means fast packing, cheaper shipping and being more environmentally friendly.

Can we buy Trade for our Shop/Store?
As from 16th June 2011 we have started accepting Trade Orders from selected specialist model shops within the European Union.
Please contact : for full Trade Terms
Sorry outside the E.U the Transportation of Paints and Hazardous Chemicals financially prohibits this

What else does Zero Paints offer?
Zero paints also offer a range of Thinners, cleaners, primers, mixing beakers, transfer pipettes, mixing sticks, tack cloths and other paint related supplies

Main Page - Visit the Gallery of Customer Painted Models - Dealer List

Copyright Zero Paints 2006-2011