Friday, March 24th, 2023

11 Best Miniature Primer [Reviews & Buyer’s Guide]

Best Miniature Primer

If you are a model or miniature painter, you must often be wondering about how to achieve the best-painted coat on an art piece. 

When painting miniatures, a primer coat is what sets the tone for your final paint. Without good priming, your paint is likely to turn blotchy and chip off soon. However, choosing the right primer from the plethora of options that are available on the market is not an easy thing to do. 

But fret not! To help you, we have designed this guide with the top 11 miniature primers that you can choose from. Here you will find detailed descriptions and the pros and cons of all these products. 

There’s also a buyer’s guide in the end where we discuss other important considerations to pay heed to before you make your decision. So, without further ado, let’s check them out. 

Top Miniature Primer

Our Top PickOur Top Pickhstcstbl-table__imageRust-Oleum 249846 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Matte finish
  • Spray type paint
hstcstbl-table__imageThe Army Painter ARM03019 Color Primer
  • Available in many colors
  • Comes in a spray can
  • Acrylic-based paint
hstcstbl-table__imageGames Workshop Citadel 5120999904206 Spray Paint
  • Available in black color
  • 0.4 liters volume
  • Pot size of 9.9 oz
hstcstbl-table__imageKrylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint
  • Provides glossy finish
  • 2 hours of cure time
  • 14.1 ounces item weight
hstcstbl-table__imageRust-Oleum 7582838 Professional Primer Spray Paint
  • Available in different sizes
  • Oil-based primer
  • Packaged in a spray bottle
hstcstbl-table__imageLiquitex Professional Gesso 5316 Surface Prep Medium
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Non-toxic
  • Anti-yellowing technology
hstcstbl-table__imageTamiya TAM87042 87042 Surface Primer
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Comes in a spraying can
  • Weighs 7.2 ounces
hstcstbl-table__image3M Single Step Primer
  • Resistant to UV-damage
  • Fast-drying formula
  • Weighs 1.6 pounds
hstcstbl-table__imageVallejo Black VJ73602 Primer Acrylic Polyurethane
  • Acrylic-based paint
  • Size is 60 ml
  • Weighs 2.82 ounces
hstcstbl-table__imageGames Workshop 5120999904106 Warhammer
  • Resistant to UV-damage
  • Product dimension is 2.5 x 2.5 x 8 inches
  • Weighs 1 ounce

Best Miniature Primer 02

  1. Rust-Oleum 249846 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover

For miniature painting, we have one of the best recommendations for you. The Rust-Oleum 249846 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover is an excellent choice for those who are looking for long-lasting results and smooth color coverage. Its great quality coating is highly durable, making it last for a long period.

Rust-Oleum 249846 Painter's Touch 2X Ultra Cover, 12 Ounce...
  • Ideal for use on interior/exterior surfaces including wood,...
  • Oil-based formula is low odor, resist chips and provides...

Why Did We Like It?

One of the best things about the item is the incredible primer formula that it offers. It is designed in a way that it bonds exceptionally well with the topcoat and thereby prevents the chances of color peeling and chipping.

Also, the solid bonding lasts for a considerable period of time. This helps you save a lot of unnecessary expenses on recoating, and wastage of time and effort.

Another unique feature is its advanced double cover technology. This is what enhances the hiding power of the primer— wondering how that helps? Well, this makes it easier and faster to complete your project. You won’t miss another deadline ever!

Lastly, you can practically apply it on any surface that you want. Be it plastic, ceramic, or metal, this item has got you covered… literally

41gaXEKcdgL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

There’s hardly any complaint that we have with how the product performs. However, after using it a few times, we noticed that if it is sprayed very close to the surface, it tends to pool at a single point. We recommend that you spray it from a distance to ensure that the paint coating is even. 

  • Prevents chipping
  • Cost-effective option
  • Provides quick coverage
  • Suitable to be used on multiple surfaces
  • Requires careful handling for proper coating
  1. The Army Painter ARM03019 Color Primer

If you are looking for an option that will help you save a lot of time, the Army Painter ARM03019 Color Primer is a good bet. Think about it, why paint with a brush when you can just use a spray instead? To know more about what this item has to offer, keep reading.

The Army Painter Color Primer Spray Paint, Alien Purple,...
  • MATCHES COLOR 100% - Our colour primer spray paint are made...
  • BORN FROM GAMING – Get awesome painted models on the...

Why Did We Like It?

We could not help but notice how versatile this item is. Take any type of surface, and you can use this item to put a primer on it. Even if your miniature is made of metal or plastic, this can help you apply a generous and even layer of a primer coat on it. 

Additionally, we were impressed by the color quality of this item; it’s a 100% match and stands true to what’s printed on the bottle. Its high pigmentation formula makes it suitable for all kinds of painting tasks. The color variant is clearly mentioned on the bottle’s lid, making the work easier for you. 

Moreover, it will help you save both money and time. You do not have to buy a primer and a color spray separately. It combines the goodness of traditional primer and that of well-pigmented color spray in one bottle!

41ZVJnjvybL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only issue that we noticed about this particular item is that it is priced a little high in comparison to its contemporaries. If you are on a modest budget, we request that you take note of this factor. However, we have to say that it is quite worth the price for the quality it offers. 

  • Helps save time and money
  • Versatile enough for various surfaces
  • Well-pigmented color quality
  • Dries fast
  • Relatively expensive
  1. Games Workshop Citadel 5120999904206 Spray Paint

The Games Workshop Citadel 5120999904206 Spray Paint is a top-notch choice for applying a base coat on plastic, metal, or even resin miniatures. The upgraded formula provides a uniform coat of color on all types of miniature models. All this in the least amount of time and with minimal fuss!

Games Workshop Citadel Spray Paint Chaos Black 9.9 Oz
  • Application: Chaos Black Spray, by Games Workshop, is...
  • Maximum Results: Reformulated for maximum results, with a...

Why Did We Like It?

It is not every day that you come across a reliable primer and one that you can confidently use on plastic and metal. The Games Workshop Citadel Spray Paint 5120999904206 is great when it comes to this. It is a spray-ready primer that can help you get your work done in no time. 

Moreover, this primer is suitable for both interior and exterior purposes. But after using it a few times, we have noticed that it works better when the humidity is relatively low and the temperature is not too high. 

Additionally, the matte finish that this product delivers is absolutely incredible, mainly because of two things. Firstly, it bonds exceptionally well and turns into a highly durable layer of coating. Secondly, the finish is somewhat resistant to dust. So, you have to spend significantly less time cleaning it. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

We do not have any complaints about the quality of the coat, and we would have scored it a perfect 10 had it not been for one issue. The design and quality of the sprayer could have been better as we noticed that the paint often tends to clog. In such a case, shake the bottle well and spray again. 

  • Can be used on a variety of surfaces
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable bond and finish
  • Beginner-friendly product
  • Poor quality sprayer
  1. Krylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint

Looking for a primer that is versatile and affordable at the same time? Well, look no further. This spray paint by Krylon provides the best of both worlds. Its glossy formula is suitable to work with a variety of materials when it comes to your miniatures. So, this primer provides all the flexibility you need.

Krylon K01303007 Acrylic Spray Paint Crystal Clear in...
  • Moisture-resistant and smudge-proof.
  • Improves artwork and photo contrast.

Why Did We Like It?

Creativity knows no bounds, and this product proves it. With this versatile formula, you can unleash your creative side on any material, be it wood, metal, resin, or paper. Thus, this glossy and long-lasting spray paint is every painter’s dream come true, especially if you like to experiment with art. 

Moreover, this item is highly suitable for beginners and pros alike. It is easy to use, and there’s no need to indulge in any complicated mixing process. It is a ready-to-use product, so you can get started with your project as soon as possible. 

Plus, it takes very little time to dry up. Within a span of 15 to 20 minutes, it is dry to touch. After 2 hours or so, you can even move the painted item.  Also, what makes this product stand out among its peers is that it is resistant to moisture, making it highly smudge-proof. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

After using it for a few weeks, we have to say that we do not have any significant complaints about the item. However, there’s one minor issue. The smell of the primer is pretty strong and heady. If it makes you feel nauseous, consider using a face mask to prevent the smell. 

  • Moisture-resistant formula
  • Prevents possible smudging
  • Dries up very fast
  • Easy to apply
  • Has a strong odor
  1. Rust-Oleum 7582838 Professional Primer Spray Paint

On the lookout for an option that provides a smooth coating but is also tough enough for commercial applications? Then you are at the right place. The Rust-Oleum 7582838 Professional Primer Spray Paint is an excellent quick-drying option that provides a sturdy protective layer.

Rust-Oleum 7582838 Professional Primer Spray Paint, 15 oz,...
  • Ideal for use on ferrous, non-ferrous metal, wood, concrete,...
  • High quality, durable oil-based formula maintains...

Why Did We Like It?

If you are planning to invest in a primer for a miniature project, it is no surprise that you would go for a durable option. 

And this item aces this requirement. It is an oil-based formula that is resistant to rust. Since the item is corrosion-free, it provides two times more protection than just a coat of regular paint! Moreover, you do not have to restrict yourself to using this primer on miniatures that are made of metals only. You can very well use it to prime other surfaces like wood, cement, plastic, and so on!

Additionally, the kind of coverage that this primer provides is quite incredible. One bottle covers around 14 square feet. And once you apply this primer, drying does not take more than 15 minutes. How convenient does that sound?

41WL7kkZs L. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

While it may not be a deal-breaker, we believe the packaging is sub-par and requires immediate attention. Although the product quality is impressive, the disappointing packaging takes all the points away because there’s always a chance of damage during transport. The manufacturers need to step up in this aspect. 

  • Provides great coverage
  • Takes significantly less time to dry
  • Durable and long-lasting formula
  • Easy to apply
  • Packaging is not up to the mark
  1. Liquitex Professional Gesso 5316 Surface Prep Medium

The Liquitex Professional Gesso  5316 Surface Prep Medium is a perfect choice for the ones who like to experiment with priming. Available in multiple sizes, it is an ideal option if you want to try something new instead of regular primers. Plus, its special anti-yellowing formula allows your miniatures to withstand the test of time.

Liquitex Professional Gesso Surface Prep Medium, 473ml...
  • Premium white acrylic gesso to prepare painting surfaces
  • Lightweight, non-toxic, dries to a water-resistant,...

Why Did We Like It?

Many users often complain about heavy primer containers that make the task of base coating extremely exhausting. But when it comes to this item, rest assured that you will face no such problems. It is lightweight and provides an even finish that is as smooth as butter! 

Moreover, this product is highly durable and stays in proper condition for a considerable period of time. Kudos to the manufacturer for conducting tremendous research before coming up with an anti-yellowing and water-resistant formula. 

So, once you apply the coat to your miniature, it will have a sturdy protective layering. Additionally, the efficiency of this item is incredible. You do not have to put multiple layers, which often leads to color pooling and chipping. Just apply one coat, and you’re good to go. 

3114pPqrhPL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

After using the item for a few weeks, we realized that the bottle could have been of a better quality. The quality of the gesso is quite extraordinary, but the bottle requires an upgrade. The cap does not close properly, so we suggest that you seal the lid carefully to ensure that there’s no spillage. 

  • Smooth application
  • Highly durable
  • Resistant to water
  • Provides even layer of coating
  • Cap does not fit properly
  1. Tamiya TAM87042 87042 Surface Primer

Tamiya is a popular name in the market, and their product, the TAM87042 87042 Surface Primer, is well-loved by many users. This is because of the high-quality materials used in the formula, making the primer last for a long time. To know about this product in detail, keep reading. 

Tamiya TAM87042 87042 Surface Primer L Gray, 180ml Spray...
  • Made from high quality materials and designed for long...
  • Use Tamiya stock and hop-up Replacement parts, accessories,...

Why Did We Like It?

This item is a favorite among professionals and beginners alike because of the ease of use that it offers. 

The primer is not too thick and instead is a fine mist that evenly coats all your models and miniatures to perfection. This way, all the minute and intricate details of the miniatures are adequately covered. 

Additionally, it is an enamel-based primer which makes it highly durable and robust. It does not chip easily and stays for an extended period of time. Also, it is suitable to be applied on a range of surfaces, even on metal and plastic miniatures.

Lastly, we appreciate the compact spraying can, which comes in handy when you want to give your miniatures a quick primer touch-up. Because of the size and shape of the can, it becomes pretty portable. 

315Ok38JdzL. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

There’s hardly any downside to this product that we could notice. However, it needs to be mentioned that the price of the product is on the higher end and at par with all premium primers. So, if you are on a modest budget, you might want to look for a cheaper option. 

  • Glides very smoothly
  • Compact and portable product
  • High on durability
  • Easy application
  • Costly
  1. 3M Single Step Primer

The 3M Single Step Primer is a multi-purpose primer that allows you to perform a range of crucial priming activities in and around the house. It is suitable for dealing with minor scratches, priming encapsulated glasses, and blackout priming to block UV rays.

3M Single Step Primer, 08682, Black Color, One-Part...
  • URETHANE ADHESION: Specifically promotes urethane adhesion...
  • PINCHWELD TOUCH UP: Can be used to inhibit corrosion on...

Why Did We Like It?

Besides being an excellent primer for miniatures, this item is quite incredible when it comes to urethane adhesion to glass surfaces. Moreover, it dries exceptionally fast, so you would not have to wait for too long before applying a layer of paint on the surfaces. 

The primer is dry to touch within a few minutes, and in a day’s time, you can also shift the objects. Since this product requires no activator, it is easy to work with, and you can get started right away.

Additionally, what makes this product highly suitable for priming windshields is that it is corrosion-free. So, be it rain or other kinds of potential weather damage, you can rest assured that the objects will be safe from harm once you apply this primer. 

41mugqsTJ7L. SL500

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only issue with this product is that it takes a considerable amount of time to get delivered. If you are in a hurry to get started with a miniature project, this product may not be the best for you. 

  • Dries quite fast
  • Does not require activator
  • Resists weather-based corrosion
  • Provides high-quality performance
  • Takes a long time to arrive
  1. Vallejo Black VJ73602 Primer Acrylic Polyurethane

Next up on our list, we have the Vallejo Black VJ73602 Primer Acrylic Polyurethane. This is an ideal option if you are thinking of giving your miniature projects a coat of primer. Depending on your requirements, you can also go ahead and use it as an airbrush primer.

Vallejo Black Primer Acrylic Polyurethane, 60ml
  • Surface Primer can be cleaned easily using water
  • It is recommended to avoid mixing Surface Primer with...

Why Did We Like It?

The best thing about this product is its consistency. The liquid is quite thick, and depending on your requirements, you can apply it in any particular way. If your project requires just a single layer of primer, don’t mix any thinner in it, and you are good to go!

Additionally, the kind of versatility that this item provides is quite noteworthy. You can use a brush-on or an airbrush, whatever suits your convenience. But keep in mind that if you choose to work with an airbrush, thinning it with a bit of water would be mandatory. 

Moreover, the range of colors that the manufacturer offers is quite incredible. Beyond the basic, gray and white, there’s a host of other color variants that you can try your hands on. However, we have noticed that customers mostly like the gray model. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

There aren’t any significant disadvantages of this product. However, its thickness is a subjective factor, and many users complain about the extra work it requires. While some appreciate the viscosity as it provides an opaque finish, others find the thinning process to be a hassle.

  • Versatile product
  • Easy to use
  • Available in a range of colors
  • Incredible product quality
  • High on viscosity
  1. Games Workshop 5120999904106 Warhammer

We are almost reaching the end of our list, and next up, we have the Games Workshop 5120999904106 Warhammer. This product is designed to provide a perfect primer coat on plastic, metal, and resin miniatures. To know more about the item, keep reading.

Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 Citadel Corax White Spray...
  • Application: Corax White Spray Paint, by Games Workshop, is...
  • Maximum Results: Reformulated for maximum results with a...

Why Did We Like It?

To begin with, this item provides a magnificent finish once you apply it. If getting a uniform primer layer that does not chip or peel off quickly is your prime concern, this is the best bet. It also provides you with a long-lasting layer of premium-quality primer coating. 

Furthermore, it is an ideal choice if you are looking for a completely fuss-free option!

The formula is such that it maximizes user experience and ease of use. You need not mix thinners to paint a seamless base coat in no time. Even with just one coat, you will be able to achieve a uniform layer. 

Moreover, the white spray paint finish is very vibrant and makes your miniatures stand out among the rest. The color is top-notch and manages to grab everyone’s attention. 

What Could’ve Been Better?

The only downside to this product is that you need to have a considerable amount of time in hand to use this primer on miniatures. The curing time is considerably long, so the primer does not dry up very fast. Hence, if you’re running short on time, check out other quick-drying options.

  • Provides a uniform base coat
  • Easy application
  • Vibrant and opaque application
  • Long-lasting and durable
  • Curing time is long
  1. Testors 1237 Spray Enamel Paint Primer

We have reached the end of our list, and we could not have wrapped up without mentioning the Testors 1237 Spray Enamel Paint Primer. This product ensures a glossy layer of primer, and once the base is laid, it can be sanded both in dry or wet conditions.

Why Did We Like It?

The main highlight of this product is the quality. It is well-liked by professionals and amateurs alike as the kind of result it delivers is simply excellent. Even if your miniature has a lot of detailing and carvings on it, the paint reaches all the corners and coats them to perfect precision. 

Moreover, you can apply this enamel-based primer on a range of surfaces, be it plastic, resin, or metal miniatures. The coating is solid because of the enamel base and provides a great undercoat before you can start painting. 

Additionally, the spraying can is very lightweight and compact. This is a beneficial feature if you are planning to work on your miniature projects while traveling. Hence, it is a great portable primer for those who are always on the go.

What Could’ve Been Better?

A major downside to this product is that it has a strong odor. If you are using it in the basement or in an area that is not well-ventilated, it might cause a major problem. We recommend using a mask while applying the primer coat to avoid the pungent smell.

  • High-quality product
  • Has simple application process
  • Can be applied on a range of surface
  • Curing time is less
  • Has a strong odor

Best Miniature Primer 03

Miniature Primer Guide Buyer’s Guide

Now that you have read about the top 11 miniature primers, were you able to make a choice? We understand that it is still tricky and calls for further inquiry and research. 

Only knowing about the features of the products is not enough to make a good decision. You need to dive deeper and look into a few other factors that might influence the choice you make. And in this section, we are going to discuss some of those factors. 

Hopefully, by the time you are done going through this buyer’s guide, you will know what the best option is! So, without further delay, let’s get right in. 

  1. Curing time

This is a critical consideration when buying a primer. If you work on miniature projects, it is crucial that you choose a product offering a short curing time. 

We suggest selecting an option that does not take more than 20-30 minutes to dry. Curing time is generally around 24 hours, so keep that in mind when you start with a project. Only when the primer is dry can you begin applying a layer of paint. 

From our research, we have found that latex primers have short dry-to-recoat time. On the other hand, oil-based paints take longer to dry. You will find all the necessary information to be printed on the package. Make sure that you read the label carefully before making the purchase. 

  1. Color Tint

Most of the primers that you find in the market either come in gray or white color. You can choose any of the options just like they are or choose to tint it according to your requirement. If you choose a tinting primer, you can achieve a more profound and uniform color coat. 

We recommend that you go for a tinted color option when you decide to shift from darker to lighter colors. This is particularly helpful when you have to hide darker base coats. In such scenarios, using a tinted primer reduces the number of paint coats required. 

Tinted primers ensure that no unwanted patches of grey or white primer show through the coatings. Thus it is very suitable if you are planning to transition from one color to another.

  1. Surface

Depending on the kind of projects you engage in, choosing a suitable primer for the surface you are working on is essential. 

Different types of primers cater to various surfaces. If you are applying it on bare wood, using an oil-based option is a good idea. Wood is a porous surface, and this type of primer helps seal the layers. 

If you are working on projects that include metals, choosing a rust-resistant and oil-based primer is essential. This helps to prevent rust-formation and corrosion that water in latex paints might aggravate. 

Alternately, if you have to coast glossy surfaces, the best option for you is a bonding primer that is mainly designed to stick to glossy surfaces. 

Best Miniature Primer 04

Final Words

That’s all for today, folks!

We hope you had as much fun going through this comprehensive guide as we did while researching and compiling all the information for you. Now that you are done reading it, we hope you can make the best choice. 

But, before bidding farewell, we would like to shed some light on our favorites. Needless to say, the Rust-Oleum 249846 Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover is quite an all-rounder. If you are looking for an option that is versatile and easy to use, the Army Painter ARM03019 Color Primer is an excellent choice. 

And if you are looking for an item that is high on durability, the Games Workshop 5120999904206 Citadel Spray Paint is your best bet. And with that, it’s a wrap. Keep a watch on this space for more such interesting reads. 

Until next time, take care!

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