Tips & Tricks

Need some Tips & Tricks to help get you over your painting block? Or just looking for some insight to improve your skills? While it’s hard to know what may and may not be helpful to fellow miniature painters, we’ve compiled a list of our top tips to do our best to help out those struggling!

New to Painting? Here are some tips for you!

  • Less Is More – Most Miniature paint is good enough to go a long way on very little. Whether it’s just pouring some out to use, or applying it to the miniature itself, less tends to work better. You can always add more coats if you need but it’s much harder to reduce down paint if you’ve used too much.
  • Style May Vary – What works for one painter may not work for another. There are so many different ways to paint don’t get hung up if you aren’t painting exactly like your favorite miniature painter! Find what works for you and improve on that!
  • Weather Matters – Humidity plays a huge part when you’re priming or painting. It can cause paint to not adhere, bubble and splotch if it’s too high. Temperature can also play a part, causing paint to crack if left out in certain extremes. Make sure you’re not making things harder on yourself and check the weather first!
  • Paint Kits – Geek City has a few Paint Night Kits that are amazing ways to get in some basics that will carry you through painting other things as well! On top of getting a cool mini, you’ll get a sample of paints and a brush to start you out too! Don’t be ashamed to snap up a YouTube tutorial either. You can even build your own kit around that. Find a painter you love and following their palette can help you too!
  • Buy What You Need Only – You don’t need every color available if you’re starting. Buying only what you need not only saves you money, it saves you space until you’re sure this is the hobby for you!
  • Dedicate A Workspace – Even before you decide this is your new hobby, dedicate a space just for it. Something clean and level with good lighting! And if you have pets and/or young kids, make sure it’s a room they don’t have full access to, trust me on this!
  • All Paints Are Not Created Equal – Different pigments mix differently. Whites tend to be more chalky and yellows more runny. It’s not the fault of you the painter, but rather the chemistry in mixing pigment. Some brands have a better handle on some pigments than others!
  • Ask Us! – We have several employees who have or still do paint. They are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Experienced but looking for help or advice? Here’s some advice for more experienced painters!

  • Makeup for Dry Brushing? – Makeup Brushes make the BEST dry brushing brushes. Just make sure to buy ones to use only for miniature painting and never borrow your friends’!
  • Color Wheel Knowledge – Okay, so you don’t have to learn actual color theory but it’s a huge bonus to know how colors mix and can help improve your skill by making richer color combinations.
  • Blend Baby, Blend! – Learning how to blend colors can really improve your overall paint skills. Youtube is an amazing resource to find different blending styles and hopefully one that clicks with you!
  • One Good Brush – A good well made brush is better than an arsenal of poorly made and wonky brushes! It doesn’t have to be a fine art brush, just one that doesn’t lose bristles and works for your hands.
  • Wet Palette For Sanity – Wet Palettes are a divine invention for keeping paint wet so you don’t run out of your newly mixed color. A good wet palette allows you to “pause” your paint session and preserves your paints for awhile without worry. Just don’t completely forget about them as they will eventually dry out if left for too long.
  • Try Different Styles – Maybe you’re not happy with how you’re painting? Maybe you’re in a rut? Either way, trying a new painting method might not only be eye opening, it may be your new method! No matter what happens, you usually pick up more than you realize trying something different.
  • Spend Time on Your Base – Adding details and working on your basing skills can take any mini to the next level. From bushes to little skulls, it can really add a nice narrative or compliment what you’ve already done.
  • Digital Assistance – If you’re comfortable mixing your own paints, you can get nearly any color you want through finding its pantone/ratio through a digital program like Photoshop. It’s not an exact science (since printers mainly use only 4 colors to print) but it can get you close to what you’re after!
  • Be Kind To Yourself – No one is a master painter over night. And often we’re our own worst critics. Remember to step back and take breaks. Don’t be too harsh on yourself! 

All Around Tips and Tricks for all painters!

  • Tack it Down! – Poster Tack works great to hold minis during priming and on top of bottles for better hold and to prevent them toppling from spray pressure.
  • Take Care of Your Supplies! – Brushes wear out but taking care of your favorite ones can make them last a long time. Same with palettes and other tools. Don’t let yours get caked with paint!
  • Have Test Panels – Having Test panels to test out techniques and paints is invaluable. Whether it’s finding a sponge gives you the best rust effect or seeing that a new yellow stands out best. You can either make or 3D Print these!

Geek City hosts occasional paint nights, so if you’re still looking to learn or have more questions than answers, check our EVENTS CALENDAR to see when we’re doing our next night!

Painted Groot Miniature with Terrain
Painted & Based by Katie
Painted Hulk Miniature on work table
Painted & Based by Michael

Store Hours

10am – 8pm Mon-Fri
10am – 6pm Sat-Sun

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