5 Best Spray Primer for Miniatures in 2023 [Buyer’s Guide]

Best Spray Primer for Miniatures

Miniatures are become popular among hobbyists, especially with the rise of 3D printing. They are also common among gaming enthusiasts. This is because they enjoy collecting figures for their gaming sessions.

To make this hobby even more interesting, you need to customize your miniature. And the best way to achieve that is by painting them. But before you get to the painting part, you should prime the models first.

Regardless of how great you are as an artist, the paint will peel off if you don’t prime the surface. That’s why you need the best spray primer for miniatures!

Why apply a primer?

Priming acts as the foundation of any painting task. It gives the applied color an undertone and makes the paint adhere to the miniature. Not to forget that it makes the painting process much simpler and smoother.

Now that you know the importance of miniature priming, which is the best one to buy? 

Well, they are various miniature priming products out there. This, however, doesn’t mean that all of them are quality products. If you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a low-quality primer!

To help you out, we have reviewed the best model spray primers in the market today. Let’s check them out one by one!



Editor's Rating


Army Painter Acrylic Undercoat Spray for Miniature Painting


Games Workshop Citadel Spray Paint


Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Primer


Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint


TAMIYA TAM87042 Surface Primer


Why Do You Need to Prime Miniatures?

Priming models is the initial step for painting miniatures. All plastic, metal, or resin miniatures have microscopic flaws and imperfections on their surfaces, which can negatively influence any paint job.

A problem with mass-produced miniature kits is that the resin composition also prefer to stick together. To avoid this, be sure to cover the paint with adhesive primer.

Priming miniature kits is essentially step one for painting miniatures. Since most plastic, resin, and polymer miniatures have imperfections and tiny surface defects, any paint job can suffer.

The problematic characteristic of mass produced miniature kits is that the material, like acrylic, tends to fasten badly to the paint. To prevent adhesion issues and flaking paint, prime the miniatures with a primer.

Priming models is the most crucial step in miniaturizing a sculpture. All plastic, metal, or resin partial models have imperfections on their perplexing geometries that allow paint to stick poorly.

Having a cheap model kit sheet body, you will notice that the material adheres less well than to the paint, which will decrease. Make sure you preprime your miniature ahead, in order to avoid blurriness and peeling paint.

Our Recommendation 5 Best Spray Primer For Miniatures Reviews

1. The Army Painter Acrylic Undercoat Spray for Miniature Painting

On top of our list is this acrylic undercoat spray from The Army Painter! A modeling company that focuses on creating various products for miniature hobbyists. 

They are also committed to creating the highest-quality products! And this undercoat is no exception! Simply put, if you want to bring your small figures to life, this is the right spray primer for miniatures.

To start with, this product is ideal for any type of miniature. Thanks to the acrylic-based formula which adheres to various materials including metal and plastic. Even better, it forms a long-lasting layer on these surfaces for subsequent painting. 

The other great thing about this formula is that it has a unique combination of color spray and primer. As such, you can give your models some base foundation fast and skip the base coat layers. This means that you don’t need 2 different sprays, saving you both money and time.

This acrylic-based spray has a fast drying time and it’s of all, it’s extremely simple to apply. It comes ready to use formula, so you don’t have to add thinners. You just need to shake the 13.5 oz can before use. Then hold it a few inches back and spray your model in quick bursts.

It’s also worth mentioning that this spray paint/ primer is available in matt white color. However, you can find it in many other colors like matt black, leather brown, crystal blue, etc.

Overall, this undercoat spray is ideal for games like reaper and Battletech figures. It will help you to paint figures fast, leaving you more time for your favorite games.


  • Comes in 23 different colors.
  • Fast drying time.
  • Adheres well on various miniatures.
  • Available at local game stores and hobby shops.
  • Non-toxic formula.


  • No cons

2. Games Workshop Citadel Spray Paint

Games Workshop is another reputable brand in the miniature industry. They are mainly known for producing world-renowned Warhammer miniatures. However, they also make some of the best spray primers for miniatures like this Citadel Spray Paint.

If you’re looking for a quality spray-ready primer for your models, we believe your search is over! That’s because this paint is all your figures needs.

It is a great option for a base coating and it’s compatible with the Contrast paint collection from Citadel. In terms of versatility, you can use it on various surfaces. For instance, it’s ideal for resin, metal as well as plastic miniatures.

The most unique thing about this product is that it has excellent black color. For that, it forms a uniform matte base over your figures. That’s not the only color available though! You’ll find this Citadel Primer in many other colors like gray or white-colored. However, each color is ideal for a certain purpose.

You should also note that this paint has a thin formula. This enables you to spray your models quickly since there’s no build-up in their detailed components. Besides, this speeds up the model painting process.

However, remember to shake the spray can before use. The manufacturer recommends using this paint in relatively low humidity. Also, applying it at room temperature will provide excellent results.

On the downside, this spray primer for miniatures is a little expensive than most non-specialized paints. Apart from that, this formula creates an incredible foundation for any painting job. It dries quickly and leaves your models clean, smooth, and ready to receive the actual paint.


  • Superior quality.
  • Excellent adhesion to different surfaces.
  • Quick drying time.
  • Beautiful matte black color.


  • Fairly expensive.

3. Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Primer

If you are just starting to take model painting seriously, this primer is a good option. It comes from a reputable manufacturer, and more importantly, delivers excellent value! 

The first notable thing about this product is that it comes in 12 oz. can. What you may not know is that this can contain enough primer to cover an area of about 12 sq. ft. Although that will depend on the amount you use, that’s a lot of priming products. And since you intend to use it on models, you can apply it on different miniatures for a long time. 

We also love that this spray paint is available in different colors. So, apart from this flat black color, you can choose other colors like red, clear, white and gray. 

Another great thing about this oil-based primer is that it’s very versatile. It adheres to various surfaces including plastic, metal, wood, and unglazed ceramic. As such, regardless of the type of models you have, there is a good chance that this primer will adhere to them. 

When it comes to application, the can feature a comfortable spray tip. This makes it easy to apply the paint at different angles while minimizing overspray. 

Lastly, the paint’s Ultra Cover 2X formula features double cover technology. For this reason, it’s ideal for concealing any stains on the surface with just one coat. It’s simply a much better option than general-purpose paints when you’re working on large or small models. 


  • Available in many colors
  • Adheres to any material
  • Low odor
  • Provides ultimate coverage
  • Fast drying formula


  • Doesn’t produce thick coats
  • The spray can’s nozzle can create a mess

4. Krylon COLORmaxx Spray Paint

If you want to prime your miniatures on a budget, then this Krylon spray paint is the best option you’ll get. It’s a flat primer that acts as paint as well. Therefore, you can prime and paint the models without breaking the bank. Available in 12 oz. can, this product provides a solid undercoat foundation for miniature painting projects. Besides, the can contains enough paint to apply on many models. To be precise, one can cover an area of about 25 sq. ft. This also makes it ideal for efficient coating and bigger models.

Multi-functionality is the other incredible thing that should make you consider this product. For that, you can apply it to both metal and plastic miniatures. You can also use it on models crafted from NMDF terrain or wood. This is because it seals them with a solid coat. Thus sealing off and filling porous surfaces.

Its versatility doesn’t end there! This formula is perfect for both outdoor and indoor projects. As such, you can use it to offer rust protection to your crafting projects. Moreover, the paint is available in different types and different colors. Therefore, you’ll find the right option for your needs, regardless of how complex your project is.

Looking at the application, the spray can feature a convenient button. This allows you to apply the paint at different angles, including upside down. Afterward, it takes less than 20 minutes to dry completely. Whether you’re an experienced painter or a beginner, this product is ideal for your project!


  • Wide range of color collection
  • Fast drying 
  • Adheres to many surfaces
  • Ideal for indoor and outdoor applications
  • Budget-friendly


  • Sprays on thick

5. TAMIYA TAM87042 Surface Primer

Established in 1948, Tamiya was among the first companies in the modeling industry. Their original surface primers were mainly designed for car models. After realizing its potential on models, it has become a popular choice for hobbyists. 

It provides an extremely thin mist that covers the models perfectly. Thus preserving any small detail on your figures. For that, it’s ideal for preserving rivet and panel line details. 

This enamel-based priming product is durable, especially on metal and plastic miniatures. Thanks to its incredible adhesion properties and convenient application process. Just remember to shake the spray can thoroughly before use. 

Talking of the spray can, this formula comes in a 180ml can. This contains a decent amount of primer that will last a good while. On application, the product leaves a good finish and quality coating on your models. 

Regarding the color options, this product is only available in light gray color. This is a great neutral base for any model. However, if you want another color option, look for another colored primer from Tamiya. 

On the drawback side, this product is premium priced. Although it comes in a 100ml can, its price is almost similar to other premium miniature primers. 

All in all, the Tamiya surface primer provides a high-quality undercoat. It adheres to plastic and metal surfaces, without covering the details of your models. Apart from miniatures, you can use it on many other surfaces that need a high-quality finish. 


  • Ideal for capturing every detail
  • Excellent adhesion properties
  • High-quality, durable undercoat
  • Easy to apply uniform, thin layers


  • Costly

Choosing The Best Spray Primer for Miniatures | A Definitive Buyer’s Guide

Spray Primer Miniatures

Spray primers are available in different brands and types. Some are suitable for use on metal miniatures, while others work better with resin or plastic miniatures.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to buying spray primers. We’ve made it easy by compiling this buying guide that will help you make the right decision.


Spray primers are primarily used to create a smooth surface for painting. They can also be used to cover up imperfections on the surface of the miniature. However, these primers have one major drawback – they don’t always adhere well to your paint.

What should you look for when purchasing spray primers for miniatures? First, you should make sure that the primer is compatible with the paint you plan on using. Second, it’s important that the primer has a high adhesion rating. The higher the adhesion, the better it will be at holding onto the paint.

Material Compatibility

You need to ensure that the spray primer you’re choosing will work with the material you’re using. For example, if you’re painting plastic miniatures, make sure that the spray primer isn’t made from acrylic paint and vice versa.

Furthermore, spray primers should be compatible with your paint so that you don’t have any issues with your paint drying too quickly or sticking on top of the primer, which will create problems such as clogs in your airbrush gun or uneven coverage from brush strokes.

Curing Time

One of the most important things to consider before purchasing spray primers for miniatures is the curing time. You should always check how long it takes for the primer to cure before painting with it. It can be as quick as 30 seconds or up to 10 hours, depending on the type of primer and paint you are using.

If you want your primer to dry quickly, you need to choose a primer that has a lower curing time. If you want your primers to cure slowly, you should choose a primer that has more cured molecules per minute than other primers.


The nozzle is the most important part of the spray primer because it determines how much paint comes out and how well it spreads. To make sure you get a good nozzle, check the diameter of the tip on your spray primer and compare that to what’s listed on the canister. If they match up, then you’re good to go.


Coverage is the amount of coverage spray primer offers. A low coverage primer will result in a lot of fine lines, and a high coverage primer will provide smooth, even coverage.

You want to cover as much of the miniature as possible, so be sure that the primer has a high coverage rating. It is also important that the primer does not leave any residue on your miniature when dry, so make sure to check for this in the product description.

Ease Of Use

Spray primers are easy to use and can be used on miniatures of all types. They also have a long-lasting effect and don’t need much maintenance. If you have a hard time using the product, it may not be worth your time and money.


Last but not least, you also need to know how much you are willing to spend on it. Spray primers can range in price from $10 to $60 per can, depending on the brand and quality of the product. They can be bought in most stores that sell acrylic paints and miniature painting supplies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which is the best type of miniature primer?

There are different types of primers out there. However, the delivery system is one of the most notable distinctions. The primer can come in a squeeze bottle, drop bottle or spray can.Each type is ideal in certain circumstances. For instance, a spray can is the best option for people who paint models pretty often. They come at affordable prices and contain enough volume to coat many figures.

2. Do I need to prime my figures?

Yes! Priming is really important in miniature painting. It creates a solid base for the paint to adhere to. Thus delivering a nice and uniform surface. Besides, it makes the painting process much simpler.

3. Which materials are used to make miniatures?

Miniatures can be crafted from different materials such as metal, plastic, & wood. Each material adheres to the primer differently. This affects the result of the final coating. For this reason, you should consider buying a primer that works on various surfaces.

4. How long do miniature spray primers take to dry?

High-quality primers dry up completely in about 10 to 40 minutes. However, low-quality products can take more than an hour. 

5. How long does the spray primer last?

Spray primers can last on surfaces for more than 3 years. But this will depend on the environment in which you’re storing the painted figures. 

Final Words

Model painting is a very interesting leisure activity for hobbyists and gaming enthusiasts. More notably, this activity is attracting people of different ages.

Either way, it’s important to choose the best spray primer for miniatures. The quality of the spray paint you use will affect the priming and the results. Lucky for you, our article contains some of the best primers available on the market.

By choosing any of these paints, you’ll be able to protect your models from paint chipping. Best of all, they are easy to apply and ensure your miniatures have smooth, clean finishes.

Up Next: Choose the Best Pin Vise for Miniatures from our lists.

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