Can Acrylic Paint be Used to Paint Miniatures?

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Miniatures are an awesome hobby no matter if you plan on assembling and painting wargaming miniatures or historical miniatures or miniatures for dioramas. But what kind of paint can be used for painting miniatures and what kind of paint is best for painting them?

As a whole, acrylic paint is the best kind of paint for painting miniatures. It is easy to use, it can be mixed and diluted easily, and it is quite cheap compared to other types of paint. But a primer is needed to ensure that the acrylic paint adheres properly to the surface of the miniature.

You need to apply a primer to the plastic surface of the miniatures first to ensure that the acrylic paint adheres properly. I have another article where I explain exactly how to do that.

But once the miniature has been primed properly it can be easily painted with acrylic paints.

How to Paint Miniatures With Acrylic Paint

As I stated before, you have to prime the miniature first or the paint will come off at the slightest scratching.

Acrylic paint should be slightly diluted with a few drops of water before applying it to the surface of the miniature to make sure that non of the details get covered by thick acrylic paint.

The primer will ensure that the paint adheres and covers properly even when it is slightly diluted.

I also highly recommend using a wet palette for painting with acrylic paints. A wet palette will ensure that the acrylic paint doesn´t dry out and it will make mixing and diluting the paint easier.

You can read more about wet palettes and how to use them right here in this article I wrote.

Can Acrylic Paint be Used for Warhammer Figures?

Warhammer is the king of the wargame genre and as such probably the number one manufacturer of miniatures. So it is probably not a bad idea to take a look at how to paint Warhammer miniatures too.

Warhammer figures can be painted with acrylic paints but the figures have to be primed first. So a layer of so-called primer has to be applied to the whole miniature to serve as a base for painting it with acrylic paint. Without a primer, the applied paint will easily come off at the slightest scratch.

Pretty much all miniatures are made out of either plastic or resin. It doesn´t matter which material they are made out of though, they have to be primed before it is possible to paint them with acrylic paints.

Warhammer figures are usually made out of plastic but either way, they can all be painted with acrylic paints when you apply a primer first. The paint that Warhammer sells is in fact nothing more than acrylic paint.

I personally prefer using Vallejo acrylic paints (Here on Amazon) for painting miniatures. They are cheaper and just as good as the paints from Warhammer.

My favorite primer is the black mat primer from army painter (right here on Amazon). It is also cheaper than the Warhammer primer and it works just as well.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Plastic?

I already mentioned that acrylic paint can be used on the plastic that miniatures are made out of in the section above but does that mean that acrylic paint can be used on all kinds of plastic.

As a whole, acrylic paint can be used to paint plastic but the plastic has to be applied with a primer first to ensure that the acrylic paint adheres properly to the surface of the plastic.

There are also other types of paints that can be applied to a wide variety of plastics directly without the need to apply a primer first. You can find a list of these paints in this article of mine right here.

Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.

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