Shopping Guide for Painting Miniatures


Where to Buy 

Before you start shopping you should know where to find the best products! 

  • Your Local Gaming Store - The Hidden Lair 
        • Gaming stores will be your go to source for miniatures, paints, and some hobby supplies. Gaming stores are a great resource for painting guidance. 
  • Your Local Crafting Store 
        • These stores have an amazing selection of artist supplies and tools that will help you with your painting. They also carry a wide variety of art knives, glues, ect. 
  • Your Local Hardware Store
      • At hardware stores you will find primers, varnishes, and tools to help you paint your miniatures!

    Essential Painting Supplies 

    Below you will find the most crucial tools to begin painting miniatures! 

      • Having an art knife at the ready will come in handy while building miniatures! You can use them to trim and smooth mold seams on miniatures. 
      • These knives are available at Arts & Crafts stores and Hardware stores. 
      • Priming miniatures prior to painting is very important. Primers typically come in aerosol cans and bottles.
      • Spray primer is easy to apply but requires good ventilation and low humidity. 
      • Brush on Primer gives you more control over where the primer is applied. Brush primer can also be used as a touch up for spraying primers. 
      • Most people typically prime with white primer, but some painters will swear by priming with gray or black primers. 
      • You can find primers at your local craft store or hardware store.  
      • What paint you use to paint your miniatures is one of the more important decisions you will make. There are various different lines of miniature paints manufactured solely for  miniature painting. 
      • Using miniature paint will make your life much easier in the long run. The convenience of using miniature paint will be worth the cost in the long run! 
      • We like to use the Reaper Masters Series paints - they come in triads organized in a highlight color, mid-base tone and shadow color. The triads are designed to work together.
      • A good paint brush makes for easy and enjoyable painting! Painting with a bad brush will make miniature painting much more difficult! 
      • Even if you are not a pro-painter we recommend 1-2  high quality brushes. We like to use Kolinsky Sable brushes. They are a little pricey, but so worth it in the end. 
      • Synthetic brushes are a cheaper option and they do work well for miniature painting. Synthetic brushes typically do not last as long. After a while the tips of the brushes will begin to curl and splay. Synthetic brushes are useful for rough textures and mixing paints. 
      • The key to having long-lasting brushes is taking the time to clean and care for your brushes properly. A great brush cleaner we use is Master Brush Cleaner.
      • You can find paint brushes for miniature painting at your local store, and even your local gaming store! 
    Painting Pallet 
      • Painting pallets are extremely useful for mixing paint. 
      • You can use an artist's paint pallet, a paper plate, or even a 99 cent ceramic tile from your local hardware store. What you use does not really matter as long as it gets the job done!
    Brush Soap 
      • Taking good care of your brushes will be the key to preserving the life of your brushes! 
      • To take good care of your brushes, ensure that you are cleaning them frequently while painting, and use brush soap consistently after painting. 
      • We are a huge fan of Master Brush Cleaner and Preserver. It can be found at most arts and crafts stores. 
      •  Sealer/Varnish is what you will use to protect your painted miniature once you are finished painting. Varnish comes in spray and brush on forms.
      • Spray varnish needs adequate ventilation and low humidity. But does a very good job sealing your work. 
      • Brush varnish is very useful for touching up spots you may have missed while spraying your varnish. 
      • Varnishes come in matte, satin and gloss finishes. Matte and satin are not as strong of protectors. Glossy varnishes are very strong, but their finish can typically make your  miniature look like plastic. 
      • We use 1 coat of glossy varnish and let it dry completely. Then 2 coats of matte varnish on top of that, letting it dry completely between coats. 
      • Varnish can be found at arts and crafts stores, and hardware stores. 

    This concludes our list of the essentials for miniature painting. Stop in at our store, or even online to get started with painting miniatures. Happy Painting! 

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