What Are The Different Types of Model Paint?

Do you like to build model cars or airplanes? If so, you know that you need to familiarize yourself with different modeling techniques to make sure you get the best results for your project. One of the essential techniques when it comes to scale modeling is painting.

Scale modeling requires you to use paint to finish them off. But what paint should you use? There are many different types of model paint on the market, and it can be tough to decide which paint is ideal for you.

Knowing what type of paint to use and how to use them is an excellent way to¬†improve your scale modeling. And if you’re interested in doing so, continue reading this article. This blog post will look into the different types of model paint and help you choose the right one for your project!

Acrylic Paint

Red acrylic paint squeezed from the tube

When it comes to modeling, acrylic paint is one of the most common mediums used for painting. That’s because acrylic paint is known for its non-toxic properties, easy cleanup, odorless, and versatility. Because of these features, acrylic paint is often used by newbie scale modelers, as well as kids.

Acrylic paint can be used on a variety of surfaces, including plastic, wood, metal, and more. That’s why it is perfect for painting scale models, as they often come with various materials.

One of the best features of acrylic paint is that it dries quickly. So, if you are someone who likes to work fast, then this type of paint is perfect for you. It also comes in a variety of colors, so you’ll be able to find the perfect shade for your project.

Furthermore, there are two different types of acrylic paint: water-based and alcohol-based. So, depending on the look you are going for, you’ll be able to choose the right type of paint.

Water-based acrylic paint is the most common type as it is easy to use and clean up. Alcohol-based acrylic paint, on the other hand, dries faster and creates a more durable finish.

Enamel Paint

A can of paint

If you’re looking for durable paint that’s perfect for outdoor scale models, the enamel might be your best option. Enamel paint is a popular choice for scale models, mainly because of its durable and glossy finish, along with its thicker base.

Enamel paint is ideal to use on large-scale projects and repair projects. However, because it has a thicker consistency, it can be challenging to work with. So, if you’re a newbie, you might want to consider using another type of paint.

Another thing to keep in mind is that enamel paint doesn’t mix well with other types of paint. So, if you’re planning on using multiple colors, make sure to use the same type of paint.

In addition, enamel paint is usually oil-based, making it a better option if you want the color to last longer. However, unlike acrylic, enamel takes a longer time to dry.

Lacquer Paint


Lacquer paint is more distinctive than enamel and acrylic. That’s because it’s a solvent-based paint, which means it uses volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as its base.

Lacquer paint is known for its high-gloss finish and is often used on car models. This type of paint is often used as a final coating to give a shiny look. It’s also among the toughest types of paint to work with, so it’s not recommended for beginners.

One of the main things to keep in mind when using lacquer paint is that it’s flammable. So, make sure you work in a well-ventilated area and avoid using any open flames.

In addition, lacquer paint needs to be mixed with a thinner before use. And once it’s mixed, you need to use it quickly as it has a short shelf-life.

Choosing the Type of Paint for Your Project

Gallons of paint

Now that you’ve learned about the various types of paint available in the market, it’s time to choose what paint to use for your project.

The best way to do so is by considering the type of project you’re working on. For instance, if you’re painting a small-scale model, then you might want to use acrylic paint. But if you want to work on a larger project or an outdoor model, then enamel paint would be a better option.

It’s also essential to consider the look you are going for. If you want a glossy finish, then lacquer paint would be the best option. But if you’re looking for a paint that’s more durable, then enamel paint would be a better choice.

Another important factor to consider is your skill level. If you’re a beginner at scale modeling and painting, acrylic paint is your best option. But if you’re more experienced, then you might want to try using lacquer paint.

Enamel and lacquer paint can be challenging to work with, so it’s best to start with something simpler like acrylic paint. Once you’ve perfected your technique, then you can move on to more challenging types of paint.

So, take some time to consider the different types of paint available and choose the one that’s best suited for your project. With the right paint, you’ll be able to create a beautiful and long-lasting scale model.

Tips on Using Model Paints

Despite the differences found in each type, there are some general tips you can follow when using model paints. Check out the key points below to learn more about how to use each type:

  • Always use a primer before painting your scale model. This will help to create a smoother surface for the paint to adhere to.
  • If you’re using enamel or lacquer paint, make sure to work in a well-ventilated area. These types of paint give off fumes that can be harmful if inhaled.
  • When using lacquer paint, always mix it with a thinner before use. This will help to extend the shelf-life of the paint.
  • Enamel paint takes a longer time to dry, so be patient when waiting for it to cure.

Once you’ve chosen the best type of paint for your project, follow the tips above to ensure a successful painting experience. With these tips, you’ll be able to create beautiful scale models that will last for years to come.

Cleaning Your Brushes After Using Model Paint

A paint brush on a surface

Painting your scale model is one thing, but cleaning the brush after using it is another. Some people don’t like the idea of cleaning the paint brush after using it; others simply throw it away and then buy another. But if you’re scale modeling on a budget, you’d want to make the most out of your materials and pretty much do your best to make them last longer.

One way to do this is to clean your paint brushes after use. This will make it easier to remove any dried paint that’s clinging to the bristles. Not to mention, it will also help to extend the life of your paintbrush.

So, how do you clean a paintbrush after using model paint? Check out the steps below:

First, remove as much paint from the brush as you can. You can do this by gently wiping the bristles on a paper towel.

Next, rinse the brush in lukewarm water.

Once the brush is rinsed, use a mild soap to create a lather. Gently massage the bristles to remove any remaining paint.

Rinse the brush again in lukewarm water.

Finally, use a paper towel to remove any excess water. Allow the brush to air dry before using it again.

Final Thoughts on Paint for Scale Model

Scale modeling is a popular hobby both for children and adults. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy some creative time. But in order for your scale models to look their best, you need to choose the right paint.

There are many different types of paints available on the market, so it’s important to know the difference between each one. With the right paint, you’ll be able to create beautiful and long-lasting scale models.