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"Painting White" Topic

21 Posts

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2,516 hits since 22 Dec 2011
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Comments or corrections?

PaintedMetal Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 5:47 a.m. PST

Whenever I have to paint white over a large area I always seem to have trouble. I basecoat in light grey then paint over in various different manufacturers white. It always requires many coats to get good coverage and because it ends up being so thick it always looks bad. If I spray prime in white, then add the shading, it looks better. However my preference is to prime in black so I'm unsure as to what direction to take. Right now I'm doing a white 28mm horse, amongst others, then I have a large dragon I'd like to do in white. Any hints?

Andrew Beasley Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 6:21 a.m. PST

Do in white and go over the black areas by hand – needs a steadier hand than mine though?

I moved to grey (Halfords car primer) and Vallejo white for the same reason – worked for me.

A Twiningham Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 6:25 a.m. PST

The Foundry white triad is very good. It's also on sale right now!

cavcrazy22 Dec 2011 6:25 a.m. PST

I second the Foundry paints.

jdeleonardis22 Dec 2011 6:31 a.m. PST

I third the Foundry paints. I use the Austrian White triad, and that has been the best white combo I have found so far.

idontbelieveit22 Dec 2011 6:32 a.m. PST

Good luck on the white horse, I have trouble with those.

For uniforms, I prefer to go for a slightly off white. I use the Foundry triads starting with the base coat from Foundry white, then covering it almost completely with the base coat from Foundry Austrian white, and highlighting with Foundry Austrian white C.

I prime black also and this works pretty well.

Greystreak22 Dec 2011 7:24 a.m. PST

Another vote for the Foundry 'Austrian White' triad, as it can be used to produce a reasonable white horse:


MajorB22 Dec 2011 8:08 a.m. PST

However my preference is to prime in black

There's your problem. Many people don't seem to realise that acrylic paint is not always opaque especially the paler colours and particularly when thinned. You will get far better results if you prime in white.

Evil Bobs Miniature Painting22 Dec 2011 8:35 a.m. PST

Once again you can prime in black if you use the right paints:


We use either grey #7 or #5 as the base, then go to grey #1 then pure white for the highest highlights. If you want even more depth start with grey#10.

Results can be seen in our galleries:

Their yellows and reds cover black in one coat too.

Todosi Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 8:47 a.m. PST

GW's Astronomicon grey is an excellent base for white. It makes the endless layers cut down to a reasonable amount. I can usually get a nice white with one or two layers after the Astronomicon Grey.

DeanMoto Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 9:33 a.m. PST

I use both black & white undercoating depending on the task at hand. For Napoleonics & heavily metal armored types (chainmail especially), I'll use black. For brightly colored types and with lots of exposed flesh, I use white. I usually undercoat horses white, followed by browns then stained with Minwax fastest/easiest method to get a lot of cavalry mounts done. BTW, I've never used gray as an undercoat; although I've heard many others (as yourself) do to good result. Best, Dean

ArchiducCharles Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 9:41 a.m. PST

I prime in black, then light grey as basecoat and then a Vallejo off-white, with the leather as pure white. I find black lining is very important when painting troops mostly in white. Works well for me.



Scott MacPhee22 Dec 2011 10:09 a.m. PST

I prime black and paint with craft store acrylics.




cavcrazy22 Dec 2011 10:11 a.m. PST

Beautiful Austrians.

CeruLucifus22 Dec 2011 11:05 a.m. PST

With a black undercoat, you need a buffer layer for pale colors. (Prep the area by pre-painting a light color that won't tint the final color so much.) For white, I use pale gray (for a cool look) or cream (for a warm look), or tan (for a slightly dirty warm look). Medium grays such as gray primer, in my experience, give a cold dirty look; I like it for fantasy undead but not for much else.

Also you may want to be sure to mix your paint thoroughly; if a thick layer of pigment has settled on the bottom of the paint bottle, the top layer you are painting out of is effectively thinned paint. Personally I find shaking does not mix paint satisfactorily enough, so I always stir it. (This is difficult with dropper bottle paints so I generally avoid those, except where the bottle design allows popping the nozzle off -- on that style of bottle despite the thin neck I can successfully get a stir stick down in there into the thick muck at the bottom, works wonders at stirring it up.)

Gonsalvo22 Dec 2011 11:22 a.m. PST

I find painting first with "pure" white, washing with a light blue grey, and then re-painting the cross belts in white works quite well, and it is very fast. Certainly more than presentable enough for the vast majority or wargaers.


herzogbrian Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2011 12:15 p.m. PST

For cloth, I would prime with an Ivory, then bring an linen/off white/dirty white, and highlight up to pure white.

Gives a great natural white (in nature whites tend towards the yellow end and not the grey).

If you are looking for a light/white grey, just hit it with a black wash before you put in your highlights.

GreatScot72 Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 12:23 p.m. PST

I found a way to get excellent coverage with craft paint white or yellow over black-even getting nice results without a lighter basecoat. I cut the paint with about a 70/30 ratio of paint/future floor finish. It usually takes two coats-three over black. The future allows for smooth, thin evenly pigmented coats that seem to have much better coverage properties than the same amout of undiluted paint. I am not sure exactly why this is the case, but I now rarely use the better quality pro paints any more because I have such consistently good results with this technique.

PaintedMetal Inactive Member22 Dec 2011 12:56 p.m. PST

Lots of great tips, thanks guys. I'll be trying a few of them over the next few weeks and will post results, if they're good enough. 15mm has been my main area and I find the tecniques don't always translate to 28mm. I'm trying the larger figures as I like how they come out more, I'm just not as good right now.

AICUSV22 Dec 2011 3:23 p.m. PST

I've done a couple units primed black and painted with craft store acrylics. I have used a purple ink for shading.

The next ''white" unit I do, I'm thinking of priming in white – wash it in brown ink and then go back and paint the highlights (belts – raised areas of uniform and such) in white. I've done this with some red coated units (belts and trousers) and I like the effect and it is much quicker. I've started using more of the transparent acrylics over the shading. It give much more of that flowing together of the colors, that you would get with oils, but a whole lot easier.

TigerJon29 Dec 2011 8:30 p.m. PST

Scomac, you're super-human though. We mere mortals can't work the magic you do…even with the Vallejos and GWs of the world. Nice work.

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