Structure Painting? is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Maytag "Danged Agitator"
What type of paint do most of you use on your structures? I have been using the acrylic craft paintsz on mine with limited success. I think I have discovered one of my problems. I forgot to wash the mold realease formt he last set that I painted leaving streaks in my finish. Putting a second coat on made nothing but a big mess. Now I need to figure out how to strip the paint and start over. The craft paints work well but cannot be sprayed. My unsteady hand leaves a lot to be desired in the apppearance of my buildings.


Long Winded Old Fart
I use the Walmart acrylic latex paints. You can actually strip most of the paint off if need be w/rubbing alcohol or using soap & water & a small scrub brush. On a lot of my buildings that are weathered, I thin the paint just a bit w/water. If you want rust or something like rust, put a small amt. of yellow, a sm. amt. of orange & a small amt. of dark brown thinned w/water in medicine caps & brush it on by touching the brush in each cap & brushing it on in whatever thickness you prefer. Don't thin the yellow or the orange.
I've been using latex paints on my bldg.'s for about 5 years. They are cheap (44 cents ea.) & real easy to use.



Diesel Detail Freak
Those craft paints from Wally world spray well, if you use rubbing alcy to thin them.


Registered Member
Staff member
WoW! Most of mine were painted some time ago. There was a model paint called Humbroil (or something like that) an oil based paint available in matt colors or gloss. It was a good paint dried even (most times) and no great skill was needed to apply it. When I got back into models after a long dry spell this paint wasn't available around here so I started using the craft paints. I find these pretty good when thinned a bit so it doesn't glob on. The results are not quite as good as the model paints but when applied carefully it results in a very acceptable job. All the painting here is craft paints


I use a lot of different sized brushes, depending the size of the area to be painted, and no I'm not the neatest but hey! they're acrylic and water is cheap :) All in al if there was a test for painting I'd flunk it.

Cheers Willis
Last edited by a moderator:


Coal Shoveler
The Humbrol stuff is good, I used them to paint my microarmor back in my wargaming days.

Nowadays, I use the craft paints from places like Michaels. Can't beat the price for Delta Ceramcoat and Folk Art. You can even airbrush it if you use Liquitex thinner or stuff like windshield washer fluid.

Washing the mold release off is a good idea. I also prime the models as well, gives the paint something to hold on to. I started doing that with plastic car models; somebody said "Why don't you paint those car models the same way they paint real cars? As in 5 coats of primer, 10 coats of color (with wet sand), 15 coats of clear. But, I digress.

These days, I use black primer, and drybrush the colors onto the structure. You can get a really grungy, weathered look doing this, especially if you use some random splashes of white over the black. Doing this, the base color shows two different shades; one shade on the black base, the other on the white base.

BTW, I mix the acrylic paint colors on the back of the hand that's holding the structure I'm painting....




Maytag "Danged Agitator"
Thanks for all of the tips guys now maybe my interest will be rekindled and I will get more MRR done.


Running the MC & Buffalo
I agree with Haggis,Dry brushing is very affective and ceramic paints are good to use and have the benefit of water cleanup.


House Mother, Cheerleader
WOW! Thanks to all of you for the fabulous amount of information. Most of my buildings are plastic (from kits). I haven't been brave enough to attempt customizing or weathering those yet, but I've painted or stained wooden buildings and added color trim. I'm very happy with the acrylics from Michaels. They're forgiving when it comes to correcting mistakes and the soap-and-water cleanup is a big plus.

Even though mine is an outdoor layout, it doesn't stay outdoors for long periods since its in a "working garden" that gets watered and "fed" regularly.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.