How to Paint Miniatures with a Dip Technique (Paint Dipping)

  • By: Richard
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Do you love painting miniatures but hate the tedious process of blending colors and layering paint? If so, then you will love the dipping technique! This easy painting method can create beautiful, professional-looking miniatures in no time.

This tutorial will show you how to use the dipping technique to paint your miniatures quickly and easily.

What is the Dip Technique (Paint Dipping)

The dipping technique, also known as paint dipping, is a simple and quick way to paint your miniatures. All you need is a container of water, some paint, and your model. Dip the miniature into the water, then dip it into the paint. The paint will adhere to the miniature and create a smooth, even coat. You can repeat this process with different colors to create a multi-colored effect or even a chameleon effect.

How does it work?

The dipping technique works by using the properties of water and paint. When you dip your miniature into the water, the surface tension of the water will cause the paint to adhere to the miniature. The paint will then dry and create a smooth, even coat.

What are the benefits of this technique?

It is much faster and easier than painting with a brush, creating a smooth, even coat that is less likely to fade or chip over time. Additionally, the dip technique is perfect for painting large numbers of miniatures, such as an army for a war game.

What do I need to get started?

To start with the dip technique, you will need a container of water, some paint, and your miniature. You can use any paint, but we recommend using acrylic paint. Acrylic paint is easy to work with and dries quickly.

You will also need a piece of cardboard or something similar to act as a painting surface. It is important to use a non-porous surface, so the paint does not soak into it.

Finally, you will need a toothpick or other sharp object to pick up the miniature from the water.

How to Prepare your Miniature

  1. Start by ensuring that your miniature is clean. If it is not, give it a quick wash with some soapy water.
  2. Once your miniature is clean, you need to prime it. This will help the paint to adhere to the miniature better and create a more even coat.
  3. To prime your miniature, simply apply a thin primer layer over the whole surface. You can use any type of primer, but we recommend using an acrylic primer.
  4. Allow the primer to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
  5. Once the primer is dry, you are ready to start painting!

How to Dip Miniatures: Step-by-Step

Making a colored tiny dipping solution is a distinctive dipping method.

Method 1: Dipping

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Miniature(s)
  • Paint (acrylic or enamel works best)
  • Container for the paint
  • Water
  • Fine brush
  • Toothpick or another sharp object

Step 1:  Prepare your paint.

In a container, mix together 1 part paint to 10 parts water. This ratio can be adjusted depending on the darkness of the color you want. If you want a very light color, use more water.

Step 2: To start, you must prime your model and paint the base coat colors.

You can do this with a brush or an airbrush. Let the paint dry completely before moving on to the next color.

Step 3: Dip

Gently lower your miniature into the paint mixture. Use a toothpick or other sharp object to help guide it and prevent air bubbles from forming.

Step 4: Tap or shake the model to remove excess paint.

Step 5: Wait for the paint to dry

Remove the miniature from the paint mixture and set it aside to dry. Depending on the paint you used, this could take anywhere from a few hours to a day.

Step 6: Allow to completely dry.

Once the paint is dry, you can proceed to the next color. Repeat steps 3-6 until you have achieved the desired effect.

Step 7: Repeat as necessary

Once the paint has dried, you can decide whether you want to add another layer or leave it as is. If you want a darker color, simply dip the miniature again. Repeat this process until you’re happy with the results.

Method: 2 – Brush Application

You can also apply the brush application directly to the miniature. This is a bit more time-consuming but can be done if you don’t have access to a spray gun or airbrush.

Step 1: Begin by mixing your paint.

Begin by mixing your paint with water at a ratio of 2:1 (two parts paint to one part water). Alternatively, you can use a commercial paint diluting medium.

Step 2: Load your brush with paint

Load your brush with paint and apply it to the miniature, using long, even strokes. Be sure to cover all areas evenly.

Step 3: Allow the paint to dry

Allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 4: Repeat

Repeat steps 1-3 until you have achieved the desired coverage.

Method: 2 – Airbrush (Dip Technique)

The method is similar to dipping the miniature in paint, but in this method, the paint is sprayed on the miniature with an airbrush.

You will need:

Step 1: Set up your airbrush and paint thinner.

Step 2: Place the miniature on a surface that can be protected from overspray.

Step 3: Spray the paint onto the miniature and evenly coat all areas.

Step 4: Allow the paint to dry completely.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3-4 until you have achieved the desired coverage.

Step 6: Remove any excess paint with a paintbrush or dip the miniature in paint thinner.

And that’s it!


  • You can add a drop of dish soap to the water to help the paint adhere to the miniature better.
  • If you want a stronger color, you can use more paint.
  • You can thin the paint with water if you want a lighter color.
  • You can apply multiple coats of paint to create a more opaque effect.
  • A good “dip” solution is an easy way to shade models and add contrast.
  • The matte varnish helps the colors look consistent and hide any reflections on the surface.
  • There are many products available to help hobby tabletop gamers. You can buy ready-made dipping paints.
  • For the minis, painting in highlight or brighter colors worked better.
  • Some people who like a gloss finish may not like the super wet shine of Quickshade.
  • The limitations of using polyurethane stains are that they can be very messy, smelly, and require work to remove excess pooling on your miniatures.
  • To seal in your watercolor, you will need to varnish your model. This will keep the pigments from coming off.
  • You can prime your minis using Gesso brush-on primer, or if the weather permits, you can spray them with a white primer.

Video about How do You Make a Dip Wash?


Now that you know how to paint miniatures with a dipping technique give it a try! This method is excellent for painting large groups of figures quickly and easily. Plus, it produces an even excellent coverage of paint that can be difficult to achieve with a brush. So if you’re looking for a fast and easy way to get your miniatures painted, the dip method is definitely worth trying.

FAQ about Paint Dipping

What supplies do I need to use for the dipping technique?

To use the dipping technique, you will need some paints, a primer, and a sealant. You may also want to use an airbrush or a spray bottle to help speed up the process.

Can I still achieve a realistic finish with the dipping technique?

Yes, you can still achieve a realistic finish with the dipping technique. Dipping is a great way to quickly and easily paint your miniatures without worrying about brush strokes or blending colors.

How long will it take me to paint my miniatures with the dip technique?

It should only take a few minutes to paint each miniature with the dip technique, so you can finish painting your entire army in no time!

How do you dip-wash miniatures?

You can dip-wash miniatures by dipping them into a paint bath and then removing the excess paint with a brush.

What paint do you use to hydro-dip?

You can use any type of paint to hydro-dip, but I recommend using spray paint or a primer.

How do you make dip paint?

To make dip paint, all you need is a container to hold your paint and something to dip your brush into the paint. You may also want to add a few drops of dish soap to the paint, which will help it adhere better to the miniature.

What is the best primer for hydro dipping?

There is no definitive answer to this question because primers vary in composition and performance. However, many people recommend using a primer specifically designed for use with hydro dippings, such as Plasti Dip Primer.

How do you dip clearcoat miniatures?

You dip clearcoat miniatures by dipping the entire figure into a paint container, then wiping off the excess. Make sure to do this in a well-ventilated area since the fumes from the paint can be harmful.

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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