I recently came across an old version of HeroQuest whilst having a sort-out, and remembered back to when I used to paint these (as well as some other similar) miniatures. I also remember how much they cost.

So I was looking at some videos on YouTube and found a few people using general hardware store acrylics, and figured this would be a great idea, as they're inexpensive, and actually come in a great range of colours.

The only thing I don't like is the fact that they are in tubes, and you have to mix them together on a pallet. I thought, "what if you could get some pots like the ones old Citadel Miniatures had back in the day?".

I did a search at a local (UK) shop and couldn't find any empty pots, but found these:

enter image description here

So they're 'poster paint', not 'acrylic', but the pots are exactly what I'm looking for. But I wondered if painting miniatures with this is possible at all? It seems a shame to waste them.

I would be using a general spray primer for the undercoat, and probably a clear spray for gloss, but will these affect the paint?

  • 1
    Does this answer your question? Alternatives to Citadel / Games Workshop Paints
    – Allison C
    Apr 22, 2020 at 17:49
  • Not exactly. This is specifically about the use or Poster Paints as opposed to the Acrylics that are suggested elsewhere
    – W Six
    Apr 22, 2020 at 18:00
  • So -and correct me if I'm wrong - your question is: 'can I use poster paints for painting miniatures?'? ('Posting' in your question is a misspelling of 'painting', I presume?)
    – Joachim
    Apr 22, 2020 at 18:30
  • Yes I guess that sums it up. But I don't recall using the word Posting!
    – W Six
    Apr 22, 2020 at 19:13
  • Check the edit fixer1234 made ;)
    – Joachim
    Apr 23, 2020 at 11:33

3 Answers 3


I strongly advise against using poster paints for miniature painting.

Poster paints are described as (emphasis mine):

a distemper paint that usually uses a type of gum-water or glue size as its binder. It either comes in large bottles or jars or in a powdered form. It is normally a "cheap" paint used in school art classes.

With the correct primer the paints should be able to stick to the miniatures, but in contrast to acryllic paints they stay water soluble after drying. They are vulnerable to moisture and abrasion and rub off while handling the miniatures. A protective sealing coat could help, but any sealing (either spay or brush-on) is a liquid, which starts dissolving the paints again. You'd need to very carefully spray several thin coats of sealing or you risk your paints bleeding and loosing details.

The biggest problem, though, is the quality of the paints, more precisely the pigment density. Poster paints are usually cheep and intended for kids to paint on paper. You can have a whole lot of fillers and just a tiny amount of (expensive) pigments in those paints, because all they have to do is cover a white piece of paper with a colored paste.

In miniature painting, you want to apply coats of paint as thinly as possible to preserve all the details in the miniature. You may want to layer different colors or highlight a detail on a dark background. You need paints with a high pigment density for this job, or you'll be forced to literally cover the miniature with a colored paste, just to paint a white dot on a black background. That's usually the reason why dedicated paints for miniatures are as expensive as they are. They contain much more pigments than your average hobby paints.

  • Thanks Elmy. I looked into it a little more and found that Poster paints are used a lot for Scenery, so they would come in handy at some point. The other question that is raised I guess is, where can you buy empty pots like the ones shown in the photo provided?
    – W Six
    Apr 23, 2020 at 15:51
  • Where to get empty jars/pots? Craft stores, art stores, hardware stores, online, reuse the ones your jams and jellies come in, and so on.
    – rebusB
    Apr 29, 2020 at 21:41

I don't recommend using poster paint:

  • It has relatively large colour particles. This makes it harder to use for detailed painting, as well making it more opaque, allowing for less blending options.

  • Poster paint is usually dissolvable by water, making your miniatures more susceptible to discolouration.

  • It is cheap for a reason: the pigments are cheap and coarse, and not very lightfast.

  • It easily gets muddy, since many hues actually consist of several colours.

  • As always, there are more expensive poster paints, that have far less of these defects, but buying those would defeat the purpose of your question.


You can, but its a pretty bad idea. Acrylic paint is permanent, and has many good qualities. Its highly pigmented, fade resistant, and has various other properties. Poster paint is made for paper, and thats it. Its most likely going to fade and fall off. The poster paint is also designed to be used on large areas, and using it on a small paintbrush isnt going to be easy. Maybe youre looking for something like these: https://bit.ly/2LXKinH

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