In a previous article, we talked about applying bas relief here: tutorial bass relief. Today I am going to walk you through the next step and teach you all about miniatures painting techniques and how I repainted my miniature furniture.
On the topic of actual painting miniatures, I have written an expanded tutorial here.
But today we are going to talk some more about the materials that you need to paint your miniatures, how to repaint your piece, and finally, how to finish it with patina.
A lot has been said about paint. The overcrowded stores with painting materials prove that paint is very personal. Everyone has a preference for thickness, type, coverage, and other aspects.
A few things have to be considered though for the miniature hobby. The paint, preferably water-based (it must be applied thinly), must adhere to almost all surfaces and preferably cover in one or two layers. For me, the choice is clear: acrylic paint.
Acrylic paint is available in small jars and tubes, so for a relatively small amount, you will soon have a large assortment of colors. This does not mean that other, water-based, paints would not be good, but as said, my preference for this paint is very personal! You can find acrylic paint in every hobby store, on Amazon, or on Etsy.
Besides the paint, the brushes are also important. Soft acrylic brushes: a pair with a thin tip, a pair of flat ones with a wider tip, a pair with a large tip. If you take care of the brushes well, they will last a long time. Mixing colors is done with a cocktail stick, not with the brush.
Try to hold the paint on the brush’s hair only and do not let it run into the metal ( don’t follow my example as you can see in the picture, I haven’t followed my own advice as you can see haha ).
It is difficult to wash it out there. Rinse between two layers of paint in a glass of water by moving the brush back and forth (do not sand over the bottom). Allow drying while lying on some kitchen paper.
Once all paintwork is done, rinse the brush under the tap with a little bit of soap and let it dry while lying down.
(Re)painting things like a miniature cupboard is a challenge because drawers and doors often close precisely, it can happen that they get stuck with a layer of paint. Therefore, first, consider which drawers will remain closed and which will remain open.
The latter must also be painted on the inside and on the top, the closed drawers preferably only the front. Paint a thin layer, I’d rather have you painting it three times very thin than one layer that is too thick. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly between the applying of the layers.
Where necessary, use fine sandpaper to smooth the fibers that come up from the wood. Then our cupboard looks like this.
Finally: apply Patina.
The final step in the miniatures painting techniques subject is applying Patina.
Maybe this sounds a little simplistic, but Patina is nothing but diluted shoe polish in a jar. A beautiful material that requires old clothes and a trash bin nearby.
Patina is used to making new things look old. It gives a nice shine over paintwork with acrylic paint and stays darker on the deeper parts.
It is available in various shades of blue, green, red, black, and brown. In contrast to Treasure wax, which illuminates the higher parts, Patina will darken the lower parts.
Before you can get started with Patina, it is a good idea to prepare the workplace well. Make room, prepare kitchen paper and tissues. Look for an old brush that can be thrown away after use. Put newspapers on the table.
Once the patina is on a spot, it’s not easy to get it removed again. A trashcan nearby is not a luxury.
The workpiece is covered with a brush, cotton swab, or something else with a thick layer of patina. Make sure all the corners are done and fill all the dimples. The longer the patina is rubbed on, the darker the color becomes.
Depending on the color underneath the patina of the acrylic paint, one always gets a different effect.
Start rubbing it off with kitchen paper to get rid of the most patina. First the large pieces, then the corners. Once the biggest amount has been rubbed off, using tissues is handy for the last scraps.
If you feel that in some places too much patina is removed, add some patina with the brush or cotton swab, wait and rub again. The layer of the patina may dry gently overnight before you continue with a possible next step.
By now your miniature furniture should look like new! I also added a flower with Modge Pod and a napkin. I have talked some more about Modge Podge in this article here, cause you would definitely need it for fairy gardens. It would look good to also glue some ornaments on the doors (doorknobs), but I haven’t come round to that yet.
I wish you happy crafting!