Mixing Things Up

Folks occasionally ask about mixing different Turbo Dork paints together as well as with other acrylic paints. The party line from Turbo Dork is that one should not mix two turboshifts. This recommendation is not based on actual practice but rather the theory that blending them when wet would screw up the balance required for the color change. Therefore, this post is devoted to trying out different mixes and documenting the results for you all to see  --- turboshift + turboshift, turboshift + metallic, metallic + metallic, and metallic + other acrylic materials.


The first thing I look at was mixing two different turboshifts in a 1:1 ratio. In general, I picked paints to test to try to see if I could enhance a shared color. On the whole, this experiment was mostly a failure. As predicted, instead of enhancing each other, the two turboshifts tended to cancel each other out resulting in an unappealing looking paint. 

The most successful combinations that I tried are shown below:

3D Glasses X Shell Shocked mix

Afterburner X Electrum mix

Crystal Cavern X Sugar Rush mix

Molten Mantle X Shifting Sands mix



Next, I tried a turboshift and a metallic, hoping this might give better results. Early testing with a 1:1 mix showed that, in general, the color of the metallic would overpower that of the turboshift, damping the actual shift. So I shifted to a lower percentage of the metallic but still got disappointing results. 

Examples of a turboshift plus a metallic at a ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 are depicted below:

Cloud Nine X Yuzu mix

Dark Net X Death By mix

Life on Mars x Lunar Eclipse



I then moved on to try out a number of two different metallic paint combinations. I had done some mixing of metallics previously so I knew that a 1:1 ration of two different metallics should provide some interesting results. As anticipated, I found that not only did the metallic paints play well with each other but they joined to create a whole new array of impressive colors. 

Photographs of some of my favorited mixes are shown below. I have been calling the Gold Rush and Pearly Gates mix Platinum Blonde. The others, I will leave up to your imagination.

Blue Steel X Cool Ranch mix

Da Ba Dee X People Eater mix

Death By X Red Rum mix

Gold Rush X Pearly Gates mix

Multi Pass X Redrum mix

People Eater X Spicy Meatball mix

Sea Food X Tin Star mix



Finally, I experimented with combining a metallic paint with other commercially available acrylic materials (paint, contrast paint, shade/wash, and ink).

What I found was that in most cases the other acrylic paints and inks easily overwhelmed the color of the Turbo Dork paint. Therefore, I had to slowly titrate the amount added to the metallic. For example, I only needed to add a single small drop of black ink to 20 times that of a metallic to darken it. More ink rendered the mixture completely black. 

Two other things of note is that depending on the quantity of the other acrylic material added: (1) the final mixture might be more semi-gloss than gloss, and (2) the resulting blend might be very thin. 

Photos of some reasonably successful mixtures are shown below:  


Sea Food X Army Painter Dark Green mix



Da Ba Dee X GW Talassar Blue Contrast mix


Pucker X GW Reugan Orange Shade mix


Redrum X Daler-Rowney Black Ink mix



I wouldn’t say never mix two turboshifts but be forewarned that you will likely not get what you think you should. However, mixing two different metallics does indeed result in some new, interesting and relatively predictable shades. 

Although I have shown several examples of mixing a Turbo Dork paint with some other acrylic paint or ink, I was not overwhelmed by the results. In general, the overall color of the mix was dominated by the other acrylic material requiring that one carefully titrate the amount added. This was particularly true when using ink to lighten or darken a Turbo Dork paint. My recommendation would be to use Pearly Gates or the soon to be released Black Ice to accomplish the same thing with more control. 

In any case, if you are so inclined to experimenting with color, try your hand at mixing up some new combinations. As always, be sure to post your creations on social media such as the Turbo Dorks Facebook Group.