How to Paint a Model Car with a Brush

Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Bright Calister

How to paint a model car with a brush? Painting is one of the things we do to make our cars, homes beautiful. Paints bring additional elegance to things, and cars are no exception. Whether you want to paint your car yourself or have it done by someone else, you need to know certain things about paints.

For model cars, it is fun to construct them, and it is an engaging hobby as well. When you are fixing your model car, it is essential to pay attention to little details. Hence, painting the car is as essential as constructing the car in the first place.

There are many ways to paint a model car. For example, we are using spray paint, an airbrush, painting by hand. In this article, painting model cars with a brush are our focus.

Painting model cars with a brush

How to Paint a Model Car with a Brush

The following steps will help you get the job done.

Add a paint thinner and stir your paint.

These are paint thinners that exist precisely for model usage. If you want to use a particular paint brand, it is best to use paint thinners of the same brand.

However, if you can’t find paint thinner or want to create a personalized one, combine 50% distilled water with 50% propyl alcohol alongside your paint. The perfect ratio is 1:1. Thinning out the paint lightens the thickness and helps you to make more uniform coats.

Wash your model car

It is best to use modest dish soap and cold water with a rag to wash off your car. Eliminate any particles of dust that can appear on the surface of the vehicle because of sanding. Brush the model dry before you move to the next step.

Start painting the smaller pieces of your model first

Dip your brush into your paint. Afterward, start painting more detailed parts of your model. For example, the mirrors at a good start point.

Ensure you don’t paint over areas where your car fits together or where you may have trouble assembling the vehicle correctly. Buy various sized brushes to enable you to paint faster. You can use either a synthetic or natural–haired brush to paint your car model during painting.

Apply paints using uniform, steady strokes

Proceed to paint over a more extensive part of the car. It is best not to dab scrape with a brush unless you carry out precise detailing. Instead, you want to achieve a uniform coat by making long and consistent strokes.

Give time for parts of your model car to dry before applying more coats

Give your model car a day to dry before going back to apply additional coats to the model. Proceed to work at painting your vehicle, using the paint as evenly across the model as possible. Apply painter’s tape to finished details so you don’t harm them when applying more coats of paint.

Types of car paints you should know

The world of model cars can be complicated, and car paints are no exception. There is also an undercoat finish that is often put down first. Also, it would help if you chose between a base coat, clear coat finish, or acrylic lacquer.

Hence, we shall discuss the various types of paint below.


These paints are just like the name suggests -basic. It is the actual colored paint of the car that would go on top of the primer layer. The crucial point to know is base coats don’t have any strength. Therefore, it is only raw paint, and when you use it, it would just sit on top of the primer.

It won’t protect itself or the primer layer and metal frame. If left in this state, chances are you will notice scars in the paint. These scars will enable rusting of the frame.

As a result, base coats are usually utilized with a clear coat. This coat will protect the paint, frame, and primer from the elements effectively, which allows it to shine a little because of the glossy nature of the clear coat. Often, people use a base coat and a clear coat because they provide shine and protection.


For the primer, you can expect shades of grey or black. It is similar to when you were painting the walls of your house. The primer will help you make the surface of the car ready for painting.

Primers can do this because they are put on cars to make the surface of the paint stick to the vehicle. Therefore, if you try to put a base or clear coat paint on the surface without the primer, the color will appear shoddy and bond inconsistently. So primers are considered a binding layer.

It is important to note that primers are porous, which means you have to sand them down to develop a flat surface. If you don’t do this, the next layer of paint you add to the surface will look bumpy.


Often called the clear coat finish due to its ability to stay on top of the base coat, it is painted without any color. Although strange, the role of clear coat paint is not to add color. Instead, it is to protect the paint that is underneath and make it shine brighter.

And that is the reason clear coat finishes come with particular chemicals that give easy adherence to flexible components such as the plastic bumper. Clearcoat finishes come with UV inhibitors.

The aim is to ensure the car’s color doesn’t fade as a result of ultraviolet rays. Often, these finishes are created from polyurethane.

The primary function of this chemical is to give the car a high–gloss showroom shine that you notice in new vehicles. If you show proper care to your vehicle, this shine will continue for a long time.

Conclusion – How to Paint a Model Car with a Brush

Painting a model car is often the last step before you take it for a ride. Painting is a great way to improve the appearance of your vehicle. However, you need to follow the steps discussed here for you to complete the process successfully.

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