Best Paint for Model Cars: Top Brands to Consider in 2023

Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years...Read more

Promotional Enamel Paint Set
EDITOR’S PICK
Promotional Enamel Paint Set
  • Brand: Testors
  • Finish Type : Gloss
  • Paint Type : Enamel
  • Item Form : Liquid
  • Color: Multicolor
Testors Acrylic Value Finishing Paint Set
PREMIUM PICK
Testors Acrylic Value Finishing Paint Set
  • Brand: Testors
  • Finish Type : Gloss
  • Special Feature : Non Toxic
  • Paint Type : Acrylic
  • Color: Multicolor
Testors Enamel Paint Set
BUDGET PICK
Testors Enamel Paint Set
  • Brand: Testors
  • Finish Type : Gloss
  • Paint Type : Enamel
  • Size : 9 Piece Set
  • Color: Silver, White
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Model car building is a popular hobby that requires attention to detail and precision. One of the most critical aspects of creating a model car is choosing the right paint.

Paint For Model Cars

We tested several paints to identify the best options for model car builders. Our top picks provide excellent coverage, durability, and a smooth finish, making them ideal for creating a stunning model car.

Best Paints for Model Cars

Painting model cars can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but finding the right paint can be a challenge. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to determine which paints will work best for your specific needs.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best paints for model cars. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced modeler, these paints are sure to provide you with the quality and consistency you need to create a beautiful finished product.

Best Quick-Drying: Testors Enamel Paint Set

Testors Enamel Paint Set Gloss 9

If you’re looking for a versatile paint set that can be used on a variety of surfaces, the Testors Enamel Paint Set is a great option.

Key Features

  • Versatile paint set for use on various surfaces.
  • Solvent-based paints for durability and long-lasting results.
  • Quick drying, with a touch-dry time of just 5 minutes.
  • Vibrant colors are included in the set.
  • Suitable for fast and efficient project completion.
  • Includes 6 colors for a range of painting needs.
  • Can be used for a variety of projects.
  • Paint brushes may need to be purchased separately for more precise work.
  • Requires proper ventilation and safety precautions for clean-up.
  • Reliable and durable paint set option

Pros

  • Excellent for use on almost any surface imaginable, making it a versatile choice for a range of projects.
  • Solvent-based paints are extremely durable, ensuring that your project will last for a long time.
  • Dries to the touch in just 5 minutes, making it a fast and efficient option for those who want to complete their project quickly.

Cons

  • The set only includes 6 colors, which may not be enough for some projects.
  • The included paintbrush is not of the highest quality, so you may need to purchase additional brushes for more precise work.
  • The paint can be difficult to clean up, so be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area and take appropriate safety precautions.

The Testors Enamel Paint Set is a great choice for those who need a versatile paint set that can be used on a variety of surfaces. The included colors are vibrant and the paint dries quickly, making it a great option for those who want to complete their project quickly.

However, the set only includes 6 colors, which may not be enough for some projects. Additionally, the included paintbrush is not of the highest quality, so you may need to purchase additional brushes for more precise work.

Overall, the Testors Enamel Paint Set is a solid choice for those who need a reliable and durable paint set.

Best Affordable: Testors Enamel Paint Set

Testors Enamel Paint Set

If you’re looking for an affordable and versatile set of paints for your model car project, Testors Enamel Paint Set is worth checking out.

Key Features

  • Ideal for use on wood, plastic, and paper surfaces.
  • Enamel-based paints for vibrant, durable, and long-lasting color.
  • Includes a bottle of paint thinner for airbrushing applications.
  • Set comes with eight 1/4 fl. oz. paint bottles in various shades and finishes.
  • Provides excellent coverage and a glossy finish.
  • Resistant to chipping and fading.
  • Suitable for a wide range of projects, including model cars.
  • Comes with a paintbrush and tray for convenience.
  • An affordable option for hobbyists and enthusiasts.
  • Versatile set with a variety of colors and finishes to choose from

Pros

  • Ideal for use on wood, plastic, and paper
  • Enamel-based paints add vibrant color that is durable and long-lasting
  • Comes with one bottle of paint thinner which can be added to enamels for use in airbrushing

Cons

  • The included brush may not be of the best quality
  • Some users reported issues with the paint drying too quickly
  • The bottles are relatively small, so you may need to purchase more paint for larger projects

Testors Enamel Paint Sets come with eight 1/4 fl. oz. paint bottles in a range of shades and finishes appropriate for a wide range of projects. The set also includes one 1/4 fl. oz. paint thinner bottle, paintbrush, and tray.

The enamel-based paints are easy to apply and provide excellent coverage. They dry to a glossy finish and are resistant to chipping and fading. You can use them on a variety of surfaces, including plastic, wood, and paper.

One of the best things about this set is that it comes with a bottle of paint thinner, which you can use to airbrush the paints. This makes it a great option for those who want to experiment with airbrushing techniques.

Overall, the Testors Enamel Paint Set is a great choice for hobbyists and model car enthusiasts looking for an affordable and versatile set of paints. It’s easy to use, provides great coverage, and comes in a range of colors and finishes.

Related: Best Tar Remover for Car

Best Water-Based: Testors Acrylic Paint Set Primary

Testors Acrylic Paint Set Primary

If you’re looking for a versatile acrylic paint set for your model cars, then Testors Acrylic Paint Set Primary, Multicolor TSTRS 4PK .25OZ ACRLC 6 CLR PRMY TRI GRY KIT is a good option

Key Features

  • Comes with six primary colors.
  • Water-based acrylic paint.
  • Suitable for use on all paintable surfaces.
  • Heavily pigmented for vibrant and deep colors.
  • Smooth texture for easy application.
  • Dries with little to no brush strokes.
  • Requires one hour of drying time between coats.
  • Needs to be shaken well before use.
  • Easy cleanup with soap and water

Pros

  • This product is manufactured in the United States.
  • The acrylic paint set comes with six primary colors.
  • The smooth texture of the paint makes it easy to apply on all paintable surfaces.

Cons

  • The paint takes one hour to dry between coats.
  • The paint needs to be shaken well before use.
  • Clean up requires soap and water.

Testors Acrylic Paint Set Primary, Multicolor TSTRS 4PK .25OZ ACRLC 6 CLR PRMY TRI GRY KIT is a water-based paint that is easy to use on any paintable surface. The paint set comes with six primary colors that are heavily pigmented, ensuring a vibrant and deep color.

One of the downsides of this paint is that it takes one hour to dry between coats, which can be time-consuming. Additionally, the paint needs to be shaken well before use, which may be an inconvenience for some.

However, the paint is easy to clean up with soap and water, making it a convenient option for those who don’t want to use harsh chemicals.

In summary, Testors Acrylic Paint Set Primary, Multicolor TSTRS 4PK .25OZ ACRLC 6 CLR PRMY TRI GRY KIT is a great option for those who want a versatile and easy-to-use paint set for their model cars.

Best Glossy Finish: TAMIYA Acrylic Gloss Plastics Paint

Tamiya Acrylic X24 Paint Acrylic

If you’re looking for high-quality paint for your model cars, TAMIYA Acrylic X24 Gloss Clear Yellow TAM81024 Plastics Paint Acrylic is a great choice.

Key Features

  • Provides a glossy finish.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Dries quickly.
  • Suitable for adding a glossy finish to model cars.
  • May require multiple coats for the desired effect.
  • May not be suitable for all surfaces.
  • Some users have reported issues with paint cracking or peeling over time

Pros

  • Provides a glossy finish
  • Easy to apply
  • Dries quickly

Cons

  • Can be thin and require multiple coats
  • May not be suitable for all surfaces
  • Some users have reported issues with the paint cracking or peeling over time

This paint is perfect for adding a glossy finish to your model cars. It’s easy to apply and dries quickly, so you can get back to working on your project in no time. However, it can be thin and require multiple coats to achieve the desired effect.

While this paint is great for most surfaces, it may not be suitable for all materials. Some users have reported issues with the paint cracking or peeling over time, so it’s important to test it on a small area before applying it to your entire model.

Overall, TAMIYA Acrylic X24 Gloss Clear Yellow TAM81024 Plastics Paint Acrylic is a reliable and high-quality option for anyone looking to add a glossy finish to their model cars.

Best Overall: Testors Acrylic Value Finishing Paint Set

Testors Acrylic Value Finishing Paint Set

If you are looking for an affordable acrylic paint set for your model cars, Testors Acrylic Value Finishing Paint Set is a great option.

Key Features

  • Ideal for use on various surfaces like wood, plastic, paper, metal, canvas, and plaster.
  • Water-based paint is non-toxic, fast drying, and easy to clean up with soap and water.
  • Can be both brushed and airbrushed onto surfaces.
  • Includes nine popular colors in 1/4 fl oz paint bottles.
  • Comes with a paintbrush for convenience.
  • Suitable for model car enthusiasts of all ages.
  • Provides flexibility and control over painting techniques.

Pros

  • Ideal for use on various surfaces like wood, plastic, paper, metal, canvas, and plaster.
  • Water-based paint is non-toxic, fast drying, and easy to clean up with soap and water.
  • Can be both brushed and airbrushed onto surfaces.

Cons

  • Some users found that it requires multiple coats to achieve good coverage.
  • A few users experienced issues with the paint not adhering well to plastic surfaces.
  • The paint jars are small, which may not be enough for larger projects.

Testors Acrylic Value Finishing Paint Set is a versatile and easy-to-use paint set that is perfect for model car enthusiasts of all ages.

The set includes nine 1/4 fl oz paint bottles in popular colors like Red, Black, Gold, Silver, Gloss Blue, Gloss Orange, Gloss Green, Gloss White, and Gloss Yellow. It also comes with a paintbrush, making it a convenient all-in-one kit.

The water-based paint is non-toxic and dries quickly, making it a safe and practical choice for younger crafters, hobbyists, and scouts. It can be applied with a brush or airbrush, giving you more flexibility and control over your painting.

While some users found that the paint requires multiple coats to achieve good coverage, others had issues with the paint not adhering well to plastic surfaces. The small size of the paint jars may also be a downside for those working on larger projects.

Overall, Testors Acrylic Value Finishing Paint Set is a great option for anyone looking for an affordable and versatile paint set for their model cars.

Buying Guide

When it comes to choosing the best paint for your model cars, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some features to look for when selecting the right product:

Type of Paint

There are several types of paint available for model cars, including enamel, acrylic, and lacquer. Enamel paints are oil-based and take longer to dry, but they provide a glossy finish and are more durable.

Acrylic paints are water-based and dry quickly, but they may require more coats to achieve a smooth finish. Lacquer paints are solvent-based and provide a high-gloss finish, but they can be more difficult to work with.

Color Options

When selecting paint, consider the color options available. Some brands offer a wide range of colors, while others have a more limited selection. Look for a brand that offers the colors you need for your project.

Application Method

Consider the application method of the paint. Some paints require airbrushing, while others can be applied with a brush or spray can. Choose a paint that is compatible with your preferred application method.

Coverage and Drying Time

Look for a paint that provides good coverage and dries quickly. Some paints require multiple coats to achieve full coverage, while others provide good coverage with just one coat. Additionally, consider the drying time of the paint. Some paint dry quickly, while others may take several hours or even days to fully dry.

Safety and Environmental Concerns

Finally, consider any safety or environmental concerns when selecting paint. Look for a brand that is non-toxic and safe to use, especially if you will be working with children. Additionally, consider the environmental impact of the product and choose a brand that is eco-friendly.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best paint for your model car project.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between acrylic and enamel paint for model cars?

Acrylic paints dry faster and are water-soluble, making them easier to clean up. They are also less toxic than enamel paints. Enamel paints, on the other hand, take longer to dry and are oil-based, which makes them more durable and resistant to scratches and chipping.

Which brand of paint is most durable for painting plastic model cars?

Brands like Tamiya, Testors, and Vallejo are known for their durability and high-quality finishes. It is important to choose a paint that is specifically designed for plastic models to ensure the best results.

What are the best techniques for brush painting model cars?

When brush painting, it is important to use thin, even coats and to let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. It is also important to use a high-quality brush and to avoid overloading the brush with paint, as this can cause drips and uneven coverage.

Can you airbrush acrylic paint onto model cars?

Yes, you can airbrush acrylic paint onto model cars. However, it is important to thin the paint first and to use a high-quality airbrush to ensure even coverage.

How do you properly prepare a model car for painting?

To properly prepare a model car for painting, you should first clean it thoroughly with soap and water to remove any dirt or debris. Next, sand the surface lightly to create a rough texture that will help the paint adhere. Finally, apply a primer to the surface to ensure even coverage and to help the paint adhere.

What are some tips for achieving a glossy finish on painted model cars?

To achieve a glossy finish, it is important to apply a clear coat over the paint once it has dried completely. It is also important to buff the surface lightly with a soft cloth to remove any imperfections and create a smooth, shiny finish.

Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Randy Charles is the owner of PaintCentric.com, a website dedicated to providing information, tips, tricks, and news about all things paint. With over 10 years of experience in the painting industry, Randy has become an expert in the field and is passionate about helping others learn more about painting. He has written numerous articles on the subject and is committed to providing accurate and up-to-date information to his readers.

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