Monday, 9 November 2009

In search of new primer for painting figs ...

I currently use Humbrol enamel paint to prime my metal figures. However the 'aroma' from the paint rather lingers and I am trying to find a primer which does not infuse the room with its smell.

I am about to tryout black Gesso - is this OK on its own ?

Any ideas/suggestions/techniques welcome


  1. I hear good things about gesso and will try it myself sometime. For now I use black or buff acrylic paint (depending on what the final main top color will be) into which I mix a drop or two of Future/Klear floor polish.

  2. I use LiquidTex gray gesso as my primer now. You can use it straight from the container although some people thin it with water. It dries real tight so you can kinda glop it on. I use acrylic craft paints and the gesso provides a nice base for almost all colors.


  3. Hi Allan,

    Yep, glop it on. The thicker the better. Gesso will shrink as it dries, leaving your figures' detail unobscured. If you use a black basecoat technique, you can also find Liquitex gesso in black in the better art/craft supply stores, which saves you a step. I'd suggest applying two coats, whatever color you use, to get a nice, even coverage before you begin the actual painting.

    Best Regards,


  4. I use black gesso, too (after reading about it on Stokes' blog). I've been adding a bit of Future/Klear like AJ. I like that it "shrinks to fit". I can glop it on pretty thick without obscuring detail. White or gray (grey?) gesso can also work depending on your painting style.
    A bottle will last quite a while.

  5. I'm using the Revell matt black - not quite as smelly as the Humbrol one and it really does dry matt so you can still see the detail.


  6. Allan,
    checking in here a little late but you could also use Citadel Foundation black watered down a works well for priming (sticks and covers like crazy and no smell) the only down side is it's a bit pricey if you are doing a large batch.

  7. I use black gesso from Liquitex on most all of my plastics; I'd want to double check its recommendations for suitability with metal. Works great with the plastics...