Best Paint for Warhammer 40k Miniature Models (2023)

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There is no single best paint for painting wargaming minis like the Warhammer 40K miniatures. However, some offer better advantages than others. 

If you want to get paint for your Warhammer 40K model but don’t know which to choose from, then you are in the right place! 

We mention some of our favorite brands that offer more advantages than others in this guide on the best paint for Warhammer 40k models. 

What type of paint will be best for Warhammer 40k
(Acrylic, Enamel, Or Lacquer)

Acrylic, enamel, and lacquer paints are three of the most common paints used for painting armies or single miniatures. However, the difference between the paint is in their thickness, durability, and dry time. 

For Warhammer 40k minis, the best paints are often acrylics. 

Acrylic paints have decent thickness. Yet, they are more opaque than enamels, flow well and keep their volume when used on a Warhammer 40K mini. 

Enamels, on the other hand, will rip off the plastic. Most Warhammer figures are made from plastic. While enamels are excellent for weathering effects, they are slick and won’t stick well on the kit. Plus, they are high maintenance and difficult to clean. 

Always Choose Acrylic Paints For Painting Miniatures

Best brands of paint for Warhammer 40k

Citadel Acrylic Paint Is Best For Miniatures

Citadel ranks top on our list not because of their long years in the industry but because they produce paints with excellent opacity that offer a smooth finish on a Warhammer 40K figure. 

Besides this, Citadel paints are designed specifically for Warhammer models. A good example is their Warhammer 40,000: Paints + Tools Set with over 13 paint bottles for painting Warhammer models. 

They also have a large paint line from their base paints to the layer, shades, contrast, and technical, and with over 300 colors, perfect for every stage of painting Warhammer miniature. 


  • More than 3 paint line
  • Over 300+ colors
  • They have a starter set


  • They come in a pot bottle
  • They are the most expensive paints for warhammer

Vallejo Acrylic Paints Are Also Best For miniatures

Vallejo is another brand Warhammer 40K miniature painters favor when painting their models. 

Like Citadel, Vallejo has had quite a history in the miniature painting industry since the 1960s. Their paints are top-quality, opaque, pigment-rich, and flexible. 

However, the major reason Vallejo ranks top among other brands for painting Warhammer 40K miniatures is in their large line of paint and wide color range. 

Their line of paint includes Model Color, Model Air, Game Color, Game Air, and Mecha Colors, and with over 400 colors they offer, finding the perfect color scheme to suit the theme of your Warhammer 40K miniatures will be easy. 


  • They have a starter set
  • A wider range of colors
  • More than four color lines 
  • They come in dropper bottles


  • Some lines may be expensive

Reaper Paint For Your Minis is good quality

Another awesome brand is Reaper. Their paints come in dropper containers making it easy to paint small details on your Warhammer 40K figures.

Then again, the most exciting part of getting paint from Reaper is the 216 color palette and interesting Master Series paint line. This paint line gives an interesting mix of colors from the Core Color to paint Warhammer 40K kits to the Bones. 

For entry-level Warhammer miniature painters, Reaper is a must-have brand.  


  • Over 200+ color schemes
  • They come in dropper bottles 
  • They make starter paint sets
  • Inexpensive
  • Beginner friendly


  • The paint has thick pigments

The Army painter is also good, but not as Vallejo or Citadel

Unlike Vallejo, Citadel, and Reaper paints, what really sets Army Painter paints aside from these other paint brands is their unique paint line. 

Army painter makes Speedpaints and warpaints any Warhammer 40K miniature painter can use. They also have a D&D paint line for Dungeons and dragoon minis. However, for Warhammer kits, they boast of a 124+ color range with excellent consistency and opacity. 


  • They make starter paint sets
  • Reasonably priced
  • Paints come in a dropper bottle
  • Large selection of colors
  • They also make paints for D&D minis. 


  • Paints consistency may be on the thick side

Coat D’arms Paint, A Small Brand For Painting Miniatures

With over 15o colors, Mike Lewis Coat D’arms is another good paint brand for Warhammer 40K miniatures. 

Their paint line won’t also disappoint you. They range from fantasy and military kits to World War II paints, shaders, inks, washes, British, German, or American color schemes, Ancient sets, and color triads. 


  • They make a color triad
  • Over 150+ colors to choose from
  • Cheap
  • Beginner friendly


  • They come in a pot
  • They are not available in local hobby stores

Scale 75 – Another Good Paint For Miniatures

The last brand on our land is Scalecolor paint, Scale 75. 

Scale 75 makes a wide range of acrylic paints and paint sets that would work great on Warhammer 40K figures. 

For one, I love their paints for metal hues, skin tones, eyes, and soil washes on my Warhammer models. However, unlike the other brands with over 100 color schemes, Scale 75 only has 63 colors in its collection. 


  • They make paint sets for beginners
  • Reasonably priced
  • It comes in dropper bottles
  • Beginner friendly


  • Only 63 colors

Best color schemes For Miniatures

One of the reasons why some armies look better displayed is the color palette used on them. You can paint your Warhammer kit in pink color for all that matters. However, the best color schemes are those colors that make sense thematically on your Warhammer 40K kit miniatures. 

For instance, mini painters use blue on their armors on Ultramarines, dramatic red paints like the Gal Vorbak Red on the armor, clothes, and uniform of a Tyranid Warrior, and even purple on Daemonic Servants of Slannesh. 

Regardless, some must-have colors every mini painter should have are:

  • Browns for wood, leather, and earth
  • Silver and gold for metal
  • Beige for flesh and sand
  • Grey for stones
  • Green for plants and rot
  • Red for blood
  • White for bones and eyes.

Airbrush or brush – which is best for painting WH40K miniatures

Technically, you can use both to paint your Warhammer 40K miniatures. You can use an airbrush to prime, base, and shade and then use a brush to paint trim, highlights, and do other detail painting.

 However, most painters prefer airbrushing to brushes as it helps define the details of the Warhammer model better. 

For an average painter, the best option would be to mix both. It helps to get faster and better at painting. 

The slight drawback to using only an airbrush is that you won’t always get 100% consistency if you don’t have the skills, knowledge, and right technique to use an airbrush. 

You can use an airbrush to paint an entire Warhammer 40k miniature or 90% of it and get fine results, but like using a regular brush, you need the actually know how to pull it off. 

Acrylic model paint Is better than any regular paint

Model paints and regular paints are quite similar and work well for miniature painting, but for your Warhammer 40K miniatures, they offer varying results.  

Model paints are thinner than craft paints and flow better off the brush. So, they will work better for painting Warhammer 40K minis. 

Hence, the reason you should use model paint is due to the pigment size. 

Best Pigment size for 40k miniatures

Pigments are finely ground natural or synthetic colored materials commonly used to make paints. 

Pigment size affects the flow and consistency of paint. 

When the paint has a thick and chunky form, they offer thicker strokes, which may obscure the small details of a model. On the other hand, thinner paints with slightly thick pigmentation will make it easy to cover small details on a model in thin coats. 

Craft paints straight out of the bottle have thick pigmentation than model paints. So, they might be difficult to thin to milk consistency for your Warhammer 40K kit. 

Model paints provide a thinner consistency, ideal for miniature painting. 

I prefer Dropper over open bottles

Dropper bottles and paint pots have their merits and cons. 

However, dropper bottles are far better than open paint pots thanks to their good mixing ability to their maintenance, use, and paint ratio. 

Open pot bottles often make paints crust under the lid no matter how well and frequently you clean them. Plus, they also make you lose paint during the mixture. The case is the reverse for dropper bottles. 

With dropper bottles, you can mix paints easier than in paint pots. Also, paints are much easier to shake and mix with an agitator than in the pots, and you won’t lose as much paint as in open pots. 

Another advantage of a dropper bottle is that you can be more exact on paint ratios when mixing and you can also put paint on your palette easily. 

Is it good to mix colors yourself?

If you’ve ever painted a 40k Hhorne Bezerker, you know how almost impossible it is to paint with basic colors.

When you don’t have the right color scheme for your Warhammer 40K miniatures, it is okay to mix colors. Still, there’s a catch!

The major challenge you may face mixing colors is that most miniature paints are a color mix in themselves with white and black pigment added to control the lightness or darkness of the paint.

You may mix red and blue and get a purple color, but it will likely be desaturated and loo more grayish. 

In short, trying to get good color blends might be difficult. However, with pure pigment paints, mixing paints will give desired results. 

is it best to paint WH40k with a starter kit?

For beginner painters, getting a starter kit to paint their Warhammer 40K miniatures will be a good move due to the surplus painting resources they usually come with. 

Starter kits often include a set of paint (between 11 to 39 paint bottles in different colors), brushes, and small figures to help you improve your painting skills. 

Many of the top brands in our list, like Vallejo, Army Painter, Citadel, and Reaper make starter kits to make painting Warhammer 40K miniatures easy. 

So, if you’re thinking of getting a starter kit, some good starter kits to consider are the Reaper Learn to Paint starter kit and Vallejo Basic Colors Paint Set. 

Your next thought – use a wet palette For Best Results

Acrylic paints have a fast-dry time. 

To ensure smooth results and avoid imperfections due to slow dry time when painting, consider getting a wet palette. 

A wet palette ensures the acrylic paints on your Warhammer 40K minis stay wet longer, so you can perfectly blend colors across your figure. 


When it comes to painting your Warhammer 40K miniatures, you’ll find different paint brands that meet your needs. 

Vallejo, Citadel, Reaper, Army Painter, Coat D’Arms, and Scale 75 are some of the best brands to choose from. Before paying a large amount for paint from some other brand, consider these few, especially their starter set.