How to Paint Model Cars In 4 Simple Steps

Building model cars is a valuable skill or hobby to have. Painting is equally as important as putting it together.

All you have to worry about is getting the basic steps correctly.

There are many ways you can paint a model car. You can paint with a brush, with spray paint or using an airbrush.

Whichever way you choose should enhance your creativity and help you come up with a personalized model.

Below you will find out how to paint model cars...

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Get Your Model into Position

Once you have your model car paint kit, equipped with all the tools you will need, find a stand for the car.

There are different types of paint as well; you can paint with enamel paint or with acrylic paint. Acrylic paint dries quickly and easy to clean.

You can make your stand using a coat hanger if you don't have one.

Pull the middle to make the hanger look like a diamond so that your model can stand properly.

Once you have your stand, place the model into position. Ensure you can access every part with ease, including the interior and the bottom.

Spray the Protective Primer Layer

Your paint kit should have your desired primer spray to lay the base coat on your model.

Apply enough pressure on the spray trigger to get an even coat on the car's surface and interior.

Once the primer is applied all across the model, keep it in an aerated place for it to dry.

There are model-specific primers that will not require you to apply the base primer.

But the base, however, will give a consistent paint job once you are done.

Use off-white or grey primer; the primer is also an adhesive for the layers of paint. 

It will take at least two hours but can go up to four hours to dry.

If you are wondering, do you have to sand a model car before painting? The answer is yes.

Sand Your Model Car

Remove the model from the stand and use sandpaper, and smooth out the surfaces.

Use 1200-1500 sandpaper, and be careful not to remove the protective primer layer you applied. 

The goal is to have the model smooth for painting; if you accidentally remove the primer, you can apply it again.

After you sand the model, wash it with a bit of soap and a damp cloth. The wash is to get rid of any primer residue after the sanding.

Apply Paint

Your model is now ready for you to apply paint.

Return it to the stand and get your paint ready; when using spray paint, shake before using it.

Point it towards the model and apply pressure while sweeping through the car surface and interior.

Ensure the coats of paint are even across the model, and you can dry it overnight.

After it dries, apply another coat of paint.

You can continue the same process until the colour is as deep as you want it to be.

Sand the car after you are done painting to get rid of the bumps and wash it.

Use 3600 grit sandpaper; it has to be fine not to interrupt the paint.


With this simple process, you will have your model car painted and looking great.

Practice on a different object if you have never painted before.

Hand painting especially requires a lot of skill, which is why practice is needed. Follow these steps for a perfectly painted model car.