For me, painting miniatures produces a special kind of joy. I do not know if it is the attentiveness to detail or the act of bringing characters and sceneries to life that attracts me so much. However, the fact is that there’s something very special about painting miniatures. Luckily, I am not alone: People all over the world enjoy this hobby.

To miniature painting enthusiasts like myself, it is terribly important to have the right tools. Among them, without a doubt, the most vital is the paint. By using the right paint, you can ensure that your project will look lively, detailed and well-defined. Even more than that, you will protect your work, extending its durability.

In order to help you choose the right best paints for miniature your project, I will provide important bits of knowledge I have gathered through the years on the subject. Additionally, I will discuss miniature painting in general. Read more

mini painting

Paints for Miniatures: A Brief Guide

What Makes Paint for Miniatures Special?

There are no huge differences between paints for miniatures and other types of artistic paints. In reality, it all comes down to the specificities of the product’s formula. Because miniatures tend to be made of certain materials, paint for miniatures is formulated to be compatible with those materials. For example, they tend to be semi-viscous to allow a balance between coverage and penetration. In addition, many paints for miniatures tend to dry fairly quickly to the touch, allowing you to work faster and more efficiently.

Types of Paints for Miniatures


The most common type of paint for plastics, acrylic-based paint is often used to decorate miniatures. This type of paint is made by adding color pigments to an acrylic polymer. The result is typically emulsified with water to create the final product.


More traditional than acrylic-based paint, oil-based paint is still a popular choice for being used on miniatures. It’s made by mixing color pigments with a drying oil (such as linseed oil) that functions as a binder. Oil-based paint is characterized by reacting to air by drying to a very hard finish.

Paint Forms and Applications

Liquid Paint

The most commonly used paint form on the market, liquid paint is widely found in all craft stores. Being a versatile form of paint, it can be used for splattering, brushing and even airbrushing. Most hobbyists choose this type of paint above the others.

Spray Paint

Spray paints are not often used to work on miniatures because they are not precise. However, they can be useful for covering large areas quickly and efficiently. As a result, they can be a good tool for making diorama bases.


Despite not being as versatile as liquid paint, paint markers are very useful for painting miniatures. In particular, I use these tools when I have to cover large areas with a single color. Additionally, they are great for retouching figures.


How to Choose the Right Paints for Miniatures


Opacity is a term that refers to the level of transparency a paint has after it has been applied to a surface. If it is completely non-transparent, it is said that a paint is opaque. Depending on its level of opacity, a paint will look different on a given surface. Typically, opaque paints are better for covering darker surfaces.


Viscosity refers to the consistency of a paint. A paint that is thin and watery will be easy to apply using various application methods, including airbrush. However, they will produce less coverage than their thicker counterparts. It should be also noted that thicker paints will achieve textured or raise appearances when fully dried. At any rate, you can modify the consistency of a paint by adding water to it.


Lightfastness is a term that refers to a material’s resistance to direct light. The more lightfast the paint, the more durable a paint job will be.

Color Shift

Typically, a paint for miniature changes its color as it dries after application. The degree in which it changes varies according to the product’s formula.


Without a doubt, choosing the right paint will help you customize and refine your miniatures in a satisfactory manner. Hopefully, this brief guide will point you in the right direction.