One of the things I was most curious about while doing oodles of research while I gear up for my Mini Farmhouse project is what type of paint is the best for a dollhouse.
I do have some paint experience thankfully, having worked in a home improvement store for 3 years and being an avid artsy girl, so while I was researching it wasn’t completely foreign to me, but I was still curious – what kind of paint would last well, give good color, good pigmentation, and not break the bank?
So I did my homework, and there’s basically two types of paint you can consider for your dollhouse:
Latex Paint – This is what you would use on a real life house. And so it’s not surprising many people consider using it on a dollhouse. However, you have to take some things into consideration before deciding on what brand and type.
Acrylic Paint – This is what most artists and crafters use. Acrylic paint comes in a wide variety of colors and types, and so it’s important to know what’s best and it’s intended use to choose which one to use.
Okay, so now we know there are two types of paints that you can consider for dollhouse, the next question to ask is “What shall you be painting?”
Latex paint may be good for the exterior or interior walls or floors, however it’s NOT for painting teeny tiny little detailed items. It’s thick, it’s drippy. If you go with Latex, be sure to choose EGGSHELL finish – flat and semi-gloss or high-gloss will definitely be too shiny or too flat in the small space, and may cause lighting to look strange.
So, to me Acrylic Paint makes the most sense, but go to any arts and crafts store and you’ll find there’s about 8 bazillion types to choose from!
Well, for starters, you are going to want to stay away from anything heavy bodied or student grade paints – these are not going to work well, because they are thick. And while the pigmentation is typically better than craft paints, they just are not the right consistency.
Personally, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Liquitex Soft Body Acrylics for my art projects. They have excellent coverage and pigmentation – not too thick, not too runny…just right! Golden Fluid Acrylics are nice, but they are VERY expensive, and they are almost translucent, so you would need a lot of coats unless you want that translucent look or you use a primer such as Gesso first. So I may be using the Liquitex soft body paints here and there however I am also on a budget, so I am looking for what’s going to work best inexpensively and I’ve found through some experimentation I really like the Folk Art and Deco Art brands.
NOTE: If you’ll be painting plastic, be sure you get acrylic craft paint designed specifically for plastic coverage, as other acrylic paints will chip/peel off. If painting on plastic often, I would probably recommend Martha Stewart Crafts Satin Paints or FOLKART Plaid Multi-Surface – these paints are suitable for all surfaces, and reasonably priced and lots of great color options also!
The thing I like the most about the Folk Art paints is they come in awesome metallic and glitter styles too! I’ve used both in my art before and the results are awesome – you could paint just about anything and no one would know it wasn’t metal!
Oh, and Deco Art – makes a crackle paint! Very cool for those of you looking for the shabby/worn look for various projects!
Are craft paints museum heirloom quality? Probably not, but they will last long enough until you decide to repaint – and you won’t be forever sanding to get it off or worry about thick chunky layers of paint that drip and run…You can also always cover with a spray fixative or finish if you are really worried. However, my dollhouse will always be a work in progress so I will probably be re-decorating quite a bit!
Is there a paint brand you recommend for your dollhouse miniature making? Share your thoughts in the comments below! We’d love to check it out!