Learning How to Paint Resin Models and Other Pieces For Beginners


As mentioned, drawing on paper is one of the simplest parts of art. Sometimes, you can create a masterpiece with your talent and skill just with a pencil and paper. However, to make an artwork on resin, only talent and creativity are not enough. Instead, you need to prepare more necessary tools and equip yourself with essential knowledge for this job. 

Therefore, learning how to paint resin models and other pieces is what you need to do before making artwork, and this post will show some primary steps. 


Things To Prepare For Painting On Resin Models (And Other Pieces)

To make artwork on resin models and other pieces, you need more than a pencil (or paint) and paper (or canvas). Below are some essential things:

  • Colored paint (10 to 20 colors recommended)
  • Resin models (or other pieces you want to work with)
  • Clean water
  • Soap
  • A sponge
  • Clean cloths
  • An unused toothbrush
  • A sharpening knife
  • Sandpaper (800 grit recommended)
  • Epoxy putty
  • Spray primer
  • Epoxy resin

How To Paint On Resin Models (Step-By-Step Instructions)

Step 1: Clean the model surface

Paper doesn’t need cleaning, but resin or other models do, although they may look clean. First, wet the surface using a damp cloth to wipe over or dip the whole model into water. Next, apply soap on the surface and clean it with a sponge. If there is any tough dirt, use the toothbrush. Finally, rewash the model with clean water and wipe it with a dry cloth. Check again for any dirt left, then apply soap to clean again if necessary. 

Step 2: Smoothen the surface

After washing the resin model, check the whole piece for any residual flash, then use the sharpening knife to remove it. If the surface is still rough, use the sandpaper to scrub it with moderate force. Once you finish, wash the model and check again. 

Next, check for holes on the surface. You need to identify even small holes and fill them because they may affect the quality of the artwork. To eliminate the holes, apply a small amount of epoxy putty to each, wait a few minutes to let it dry, and use the sandpaper to smoothen the surface. You need to follow the instructions to use putty and better wear a facemask to avoid poisoning. 

Step 3: Prepare the painting surface

The surface is now smooth but still not ready for painting. We need to cover it with a primer to make sure every inch on the surface has the same characteristic to apply paint. 

To do this, spray a thin layer of primer on the surface, let it dry, and use the sandpaper to smoothen the surface again. This action is also to make the surface water-resistant so that you can erase any painting mistakes. Remember to apply moderate force to avoid wiping out the primer layer, affecting the use of paint. 

Step 4: Start painting

Now the surface is ready, and you can make a piece of artwork with all your skill, creativity, imagination, and even experience. During your work, you can use a damp cloth to clean any mistaken paint as long as it is still wet. You may need to wear thin plastic gloves and a facemask to avoid getting into trouble with the chemicals. 

Step 5: Cover the surface

Painting color may fade after a period if you don’t protect it. After finishing your artwork, wait until it is dry, then use a clean wall paintbrush to apply a thin layer of epoxy resin on the surface. Wait a few minutes to let the resin coating dry, or you can use a dryer to make it faster and enjoy your finished artwork. 

Remember to use the resin within 15 minutes after mixing, so make a reasonable mixture amount. 

For other pieces, you can follow the 5-step instruction above. However, if the shape and surface of the model are smooth already, just clean it and skip steps 2 and 3. 

Below is a video posted by Rinske Douna, showing to apply epoxy resin on finished paintings:


What are the pros and cons of painting on resin models?

If you make a drawing with paint on paper or canvas, you cannot erase any mistake, even a tiny paint drop. On the other hand, because the surface of resin models is smoothened and covered with a water-resistant layer, you can clean any mistake provided that it is still wet. Moreover, the particular shape of some resin pieces can help you create unique artwork. 

However, compared to paper painting, resin painting requires more time as most resin models are small with no plain surfaces. Therefore, you need to take good care of every inch, and as you often clean mistakes during your job, the period for a finished product may be much more extended than expected. As a result, patience is also a necessary characteristic of a resin artist. 

Can we use gesso instead of spray primer?

In step 3 of the above instruction, the spray primer creates a smooth and water-resistant layer before painting. But if we don’t have or cannot buy spray primer, gesso is an acceptable choice, although it is less popular. 

When using gesso, do the same things as spray primer. First, use a thin unused card (or something similar) to apply a thin layer on the surface. After that, wait until it is dry and smoothen it with sandpaper. However, don’t wash it with water after scrubbing the surface, as water can penetrate and affect the layer. Instead, use a clean cloth to wipe the dirt away. 

Can we use nail polish on resin artwork?

Nail polish is cheap and has various colors. It seems suitable for resin painting, but its color is not consistent and tends to fade a little in practice. And since we are not sure how much it fades when it is dry, we should not apply this substance to resin artwork. 

Click here for a detailed explanation of this issue. 


In conclusion, learning how to paint resin models and other pieces seems complicated, but as long as you are patient, you can make fantastic artwork with your talent. If you are fond of this art, why not try to make some? And if you think this article is informative, share it with your friends.