Here are some basic guidelines, by no means exhaustive, to start you off.
Unfinished wood miniatures offer a great opportunity to personalise your house or diorama and so to create a unique project.
Remember the golden rules:-
- There are no mistakes, ideas just change and evolve
- Don’t be afraid to experiment
- Always sand the pieces first and don’t forget to wipe them over to remove all dust before painting
- Always apply the paint thinly – several thin coats will give a much better finish than one heavy layer
- Lightly sand each layer
- If you are building something try to paint the individual pieces prior to construction. This will give clean lines, and if you are working on a small scale, will prove much easier to do.
- Never use gloss paint
- If you wish to create a shiny finish a thin top layer of transparent varnish is ideal.
- Wood varnishes from a DIY store work well but need careful application in order to create a wood grain effect.
- Emulsion paint and modeler’s paints are the best paints to use.
- Do not be afraid to mix colours. Eg adding some white emulsion to a darker coloured one, adding a stain to emulsion
- Do not mix water based and spirit based paints.
- Children’s paintbrushes are ideal for application.
- To create a distressed effect use a small amount of black or brown on your finger and gently rub over the area.
- When you have finished ‘snag’ and runs or blotches.
- Invest in some masking tape.
ABOVE ALL, read the labels and be careful. Do not allow children or animals in close proximity when you are painting or mixing.
When I am painting I use a white emulsion as an undercoat. This soaks into the wood and adds depth to the colour. I use taster pots of emulsion from DIY stores, leftovers from family and friends decorating projects and occasionally model, water based paints.
Most importantly have fun and enjoy your creations.