The Best Paint to Use on Diecast

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Diecast metal is used to make models of various vehicles and other items, although a model may have details made from plastic or other materials. Many hobbyists enjoy repainting existing diecast models using a variety of methods. The types of paint to use can be found in spray paint cans or in bottles to be used with airbrushes.

Enamel Paint

  • Enamel paints tend to be heavy and are often more durable than lacquer, as well as being better for painting details. However, they’re also more expensive than lacquer and take a much longer to dry. Enamels are glossier than acrylic but less glossy than lacquer. Unlike the other types of paint, enamels don’t require primer, although some hobbyists prefer to use primer anyway.

Lacquer

  • Lacquer paints dry quickly, which also allows less time for dust to settle on the model's finish. They’re also less runny than other paints, and mistakes can be fixed by wet sanding without damaging the lacquer. However, lacquer paints can melt plastic, so if your diecast model contains any plastic, you’ll have to prime it if you want to use lacquer.

Acrylic Paint

  • Acrylic paints dry quickly and can be cleaned up with water. They’re more durable than enamel, which can be worn off over time. However, acrylic paint can build up a thick layer on top of whatever surface it’s applied to and will also require a coat of finish after it has dried. Acrylics don’t stick to smooth surfaces very well, but that problem can be solved by using primer. They also have a tendency to be more flat than other kinds of paint, but like enamels, are better for painting small details than lacquer.

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