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Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Miniatures?

If you enjoy painting figurines, you’ll want to know precisely what types of paint you can use on them. While plenty of people have acrylic paint in their homes, is it worth using on your miniatures? Luckily, acrylic paints are highly versatile and work in various situations.

So, can you use acrylic paint on miniatures? Yes, definitely! Acrylic paints are very affordable and easy to use. My top picks are Vallejo Paints, and The Army Painter. You can also blend different colors to get unique shades for your figures. You’ll want to use a sealant with acrylic paint since it can rub off over time with frequent handling. 

Overall, Acrylic paint is perfect for miniatures. You may need to thin the acrylic paint with water, depending on your effect on the piece. If you’re interested in learning about acrylic model painting, make sure to continue reading!

How To Use Acrylic Paint on Miniatures

You’ll want to use a small brush when painting your miniatures. You should always choose artist-quality acrylics- they contain more pigment and higher quality ingredients. These features make them last much longer on your figures.

This Fine Detail Brush Set is perfect for miniatures! It comes with 15 brushes, and the quality is amazing.

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Start by shaking the paint containers in case anything has separated. Next, you can set up the colors you want to use on your figures on your palette. You can do this as usual and even mix colors for a unique shade. You may want to thin the pigment with water before you get to work.

First, before putting any paint on the figure, you need to start with a primer. This primer layer is what allows your acrylic paint to stick. I always recommend using The Army Painter Primer.

If you need recommendations for the best type of paint to use on your miniatures, I highly recommend The Army Painter Paint Set. This brand is known for models, miniatures and action figures paints, and they are one of the best on the market. A lot of people who paint their Warhammer figurines swear by this brand.

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Another great brand is Vallejo Paints. This brand is also well know as a miniature paint brand, and their quality is also exceptional.

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Now, you’ll want to add your base coat to the figure. It’s best to apply several light layers of paint. Make sure you give the color enough time to dry between every layer. The base coat is essential to making your final piece look great, so don’t skip it!

After the basecoat, you can add more acrylic paint. You want to work in very thin layers, so you don’t cover up the details on the miniature. You can add more after allowing the first layer of paint to dry. As you build up the color, you’ll want to use a smaller brush to go over the finer details of the figure.

You can also use acrylic paints as a wash. A paint wash is an acrylic paint that you thin out with water and cover the figure in large areas. You’ll use a larger brush to paint over the entire figure. 

Abstract Painting

This process allows the thin glaze to settle into the creases on the miniature, keeping the depth there. You’d do this before going over the small details with a thinner brush.

Overall, you want to use your acrylic paints much like other miniature paints. Acrylic doesn’t take as long to dry as oil paints so that you can finish with less waiting time between each layer. Still, make sure you don’t touch the model until the paint dries fully.

Can You Use Acrylic Paint on Dungeons and Dragon Minis?

Dungeons and Dragons miniatures are among the most popular types of figures on the market today, along with Warhammer figures. Since modern Dungeons and Dragons minis consist of plastic, you need to be very careful with the type of paint you apply to them!

Harsh paints containing many chemicals and thinners can melt the Dungeons and Dragons minis. However, acrylic paints shouldn’t harm your models, making them one of the best options for the job.

You will still need to use a high-quality primer on the model before adding the acrylic paints. Without the primer, the paint won’t have anything to grip on. In short, as long as you apply a reliable acrylic primer before adding your base coat, you can easily use acrylics on Dungeons and Dragons models.

How To Thin Acrylic Paint for Miniatures

Thick paint can easily ruin the appearance of your miniatures, which is why it’s so important that you take the time to thin the paint! However, many people wonder how thin they need to make the paint.

As a general rule, you want your acrylic paints to have the thickness of milk before applying. Milk isn’t very thick at all, so you will likely need to thin out the color quite a bit! However, you don’t want the paint to run either, so you’ll need to have a nice balance. 

Always start by adding small amounts of water, then mixing the paint. You shouldn’t add more than one drop at a time. That way, you can check on the consistency before thinning the paint even more.

As long as the paint behaves as you want, it should be the proper thickness. If you notice it running too much, that means it’s too thin. If the paint isn’t easy to spread and isn’t opaque, then it’s likely too thick. Make adjustments as needed!

What Type of Paint Is Used for Warhammer Figurines?

When it comes to Warhammer figurines, one of the best options for paint would be acrylics. You can apply your acrylic wash with a brush or even spray them on, which is a great way to apply a solid base coat.

Acrylics also can’t harm the figure, making them a safe choice. You also have the option of hobby or artist-quality acrylic paints and ones that are specifically for Warhammer figures. 

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Acrylic paints come with plenty of benefits. They dry quickly, are easy to thin with water, and work best when applying them in very thin layers. You can even choose matte or glossy options for different effects on various textures and materials.

Is Acrylic Paint Good for Action Figures?

Not only are acrylics great for minis, but they also work well for much larger action figures. You will still want to prime the model’s surface before you start painting. 

Acrylic paint is the best for action figures since the paint doesn’t come off for decades when you seal it. This process is the best method if you want a long-lasting action figure paint job!

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However, you still don’t want to use cheap acrylics. Hobby acrylics won’t last nearly as long as artist-quality options. Plus, you won’t get as good final results. Artist quality paints look better, blend effortlessly, and make thin. 

Vallejo Acrylic Paints are a great choice to use on miniatures and other figurines.

Overall, you’ll want to use acrylic paint on your action figures. If you know you’ll touch the figure often; it’s best to seal it with an acrylic sealant once your final layer of paint dries completely.

How To Seal Acrylic Paint on Miniatures

Sealing acrylic paint on your miniatures should always be the final step, no matter what kind of model you happen to be painting. A high-quality acrylic sealant should be what you use. 

The easiest seal to apply is one that comes from a spray can. You’ll need to hold the can at least 10 inches away from the figure before spraying it with an even coat of sealant. Allow that acrylic layer to dry, and then you can apply another layer.

I like to use Liquitex Varnish for my projects, because it’s a very reputable and great quality brand. They have different finish options such as, glossy, satin, matte and more!

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You can also use varnish from a bottle, applying with a paintbrush. Ensure that you apply the seal in very fine layers, so it doesn’t “blob” on your figure.

Final Thoughts

Overall, you can use acrylic paints on your miniatures! There are plenty of situations that call for them. Plus, acrylics are usually one of the best options for adding color. They’re also widely available and typically cost less than oil-based paints.

Always apply your paint slowly and thinly. As you do, you’ll notice the color building up, giving you the best possible results on your miniatures.

Make sure to follow all my tips and recommended products to ensure your miniature and figurines project turns out great! Also, don’t forget to check out my other articles for all your painting Q&A’s. Happy painting! 

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