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.
Get your paintbrushes on Amazon or Etsy.
(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.
You can also buy Patina on Amazon or Etsy.
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.
Do you have any questions about this tutorial on miniatures painting techniques or other questions? Just leave a comment below or join my newest Facebook group or Youtube channel.
I wish you happy crafting!
8 thoughts on “Miniatures Painting Techniques – Another Tutorial”
I always thought of wanting to do this as a past time, a hobby, I like painting as a child, I thought of learning more about this so I can do some miniature painting on my free time but I actually never followed through. Seeing this article makes me want to jump right ahead and start painting right away. I love the details you have carefully outlined here. The way I should go does not look so difficult anymore. I will follow your techniques and start painting pretty soon. Thanks. My fiancee is interested in painting also, I am going to share this article with her.
Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us .I always love to refurbish my old furniture .This is why miniature painting is not an option .My choice is Acrylic paint .Acrylic paint is available in small jars and tubes .And they are very good in quality .Besides the paint, the brush is very important. The soft acrylic brush is at the top of my choice .Carefully brush the brushes and last longer so that I can use them again .Because of the miniature painting techniques I used to be able to refinish my old furniture and then it looks great. I renovated all my old Asabas through Miniatures paintings and my house has returned to life in a new way and I hope everyone will benefit greatly from your article and share their new experiences with you.
Thank you for providing the techniques on miniatures painting. Even though I don’t own any miniatures furniture, it’s a good idea for me to try something new during my leisure time! Do you have any tutorials on how to build miniatures furniture? The acrylic paint and the different types of brushes are the essential tools to paint miniatures furniture, once its applied, the miniature furniture look nice and new! Thank you for the great post, this might become my new hobby.
Hello Miki !
You are very welcome. Keep an eye on my blog for future workshops or tutorials, I am sure one off these days in the (near) future, I will have some 😉 . Thank you for your reaction !
As an apprentice electrician in the first year I was tasked with crafting mild steel with a hacksaw and file. There was no electrical training for a while. I know a craftsperson when I see one and you are a true crafty.
What a fascinating subject. I wasn’t into miniature furniture but I was into making model planes and painting them. I loved your discussion on paint. You have got to be so careful. Acrylic paints huh? My mother used a paint based patina on antique furniture. Wouldn’t boot polish fall apart after a while?
Thank you for your positive comment on my tutorial. I am happy that you liked it. I wouldn’t exactly use boot polish for miniature furniture, but that’s a good question. I was just comparing it to boot polish because the way it works is similar 🙂 Happy crafting!
Thanks so much for this tutorial on miniatures painting techniques. You laid out the steps very clearly and I was easily able to follow along and understand. This is a hobby of mine as of now, but I think if I devoted a little more time to it, I could easily turn it into a good side hustle. There is a demand for this.
I agree with you that the best paint to use is Acrylic. I have tried many varieties over time, and this works better, at least for me. The brush advice has been noted, and using patina for the last step is one that really adds to the final job. Up to now, I have Patina only sparingly. but I will try to up my game! I loved this tutorial and I am sure lots of others will as well! Thanks again!
This is such an amazing tutorial. This miniatures painting techniques are very useful and i want to thank you for all this explanation given. I have been many old objects that I would like to paint but I never knew where to start. I also have colors and brushes but I haven’t started so far because I didn’t want to ruin these objects. The most interesting thing is that I apply Patina and I think I will try it too. By the way, your work came out perfect. I can’t wait to do this myself, and I would like to send you a picture with the result. Wish you all the best!