Are Vallejo Paints Acrylic? Are Vallejo Paints Acrylic?

Are Vallejo Paints Acrylic? Everything You Should Know

Vallejo Paints are acrylic. The paint can be used to paint miniatures for your table or board games such as ;Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars: Legion, Flames of War and many others. Since Vallejo paints are water based, they can be thinned with water or with Vallejo’s special thinner. To avoid a sticky goo, it is not recommended to use alcohol or mineral spirits as a thinner.

If you are looking for another great alternative to Citadel Paints for your next painting project or miniatures, then Vallejo is a sure bet. Vallejo paints come in dropper bottles that make it super easy to work with. They are also available in various color ranges. But , are Vallejo paints acrylic?

Vallejo Paints are acrylic. The paint can be used to paint miniatures for table or board games such as ;Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars: Legion, Flames of War and many others. Since Vallejo paints are water based, they can be thinned with water or with Vallejo’s special thinner. To avoid a sticky goo, it is not recommended to use alcohol or mineral spirits as a thinner.

In this post, I will cover everything you need to know about Vallejo Paints such as; toxicity levels, benefits they have over GW’s paints , and if you really need to prime it first before use. So, yeah…. let’s get started !

Related Post: Are Citadel Paints Acrylic?

Are Vallejo Paints Acrylic?

Just like Citadel Paints, Vallejo paints are acrylic paints. They are uniquely formulated with acrylic polymers as the binder, which gives them their fast-drying and water-soluble properties. It is a well-known brand in the world for its versatility or a wide range of applications including miniature painting, model making, and other artistic endeavours.

The popular various formation are ; Model Color, Model Air, Game Air, and Metal Color , each tailored to specific applications and preferences. One notable feature of Vallejo paints is their dropper bottle packaging. This design helps prevent the paints from drying out and allows for easy control over the amount of paint dispensed, making it convenient for mixing custom colors and minimizing wastage.

Vallejo also offers a variety of auxiliary products, such as primers, varnishes( matte and gloss), washes, and weathering effects, to enhance the painting process and achieve different effects on your models.

How to Use Vallejo Acrylic Paints?

To use Vallejo acrylic paints, it’s pretty much easy. Just follow these steps:

  • Shake the bottle well: Vallejo Model Color paints have a thick consistency, so it’s important to shake the bottle thoroughly before use so that the pigments are properly mixed and the paint is ready to be applied.
  • Thin the paint: While you can brush the paint straight out of the bottle, it’s recommended to thin it for better results. Vallejo offers their proprietary thinner, which is specifically designed for their paints. Alternatively, you can thin the paint with water. Distilled or demineralized water is preferred to maintain consistency, as tap water can contain chlorine and dissolved minerals.
  • Decant a small amount of paint: Pour a small amount of paint into a palette or mixing surface to control the amount of paint you’re working with and makes it easier to thin it to the desired consistency.
  • Thin the paint to a suitable consistency: Add a few drops of thinner or water to the paint and mix it well. Your goal is to achieve a consistency that is easy to work with and flows smoothly. The optimal consistency may vary depending on your painting technique and the specific project you’re working on.
  • Apply a primer: Vallejo Model Color paints may not adhere well to bare styrene or other surfaces. To enhance adhesion and improve the overall finish, it’s recommended to apply a primer before painting. You can use an airbrush to apply an undercoat in a suitable color as a primer.
  • Apply the paint in layers: Start with applying the first layer, let it dry (usually within 5 minutes), and then continue adding additional layers as needed. Vallejo Model Air Color paints work best when applied in thin layers to build up the desired color depth. This technique allows for better control and smooth coverage.
  • Avoid mixing with incompatible thinners: For example; Tamiya X-20A acrylic thinner is not suitable for use with Vallejo paints. Mixing them can cause the paint to become sticky and unusable. Stick to Vallejo’s proprietary thinner or water for thinning and cleaning your brushes.
  • Use a good quality brush always: It’s recommended to use good quality brushes. I suggest you check out this Miniature Paint Brushes Art set that are high-quality brushes with finer bristles that hold and apply the paint more smoothly, resulting in a better finish.

If you follow these steps and experimenting with different techniques, you’ll be able to effectively use Vallejo acrylic paints and achieve the desired results in your painting projects.

Is Vallejo Paint Water Based?

Vallejo acrylic paints are water-based due to the presence of the water-soluble acrylic polymers that act as the binder. This also means that they can easily be thinned with either water or using any other thinner. Additionally, the water-based nature of Vallejo paints allows for easy clean-up. Brushes and other painting tools can be rinsed with water, eliminating the need for harsh solvents. This not only simplifies the painting process but also reduces the environmental impact associated with the disposal of hazardous materials.

Are Vallejo Paints Toxic?

Vallejo paints are water based , which means that they are non-toxic and safe to use. It is always recommended to handle any paint, including Vallejo paints, with caution and follow safety guidelines to minimize potential risks. To ensure safe usage, consider the following guidelines:

  • Avoid ingestion: Do not eat, drink, or smoke while working with paints. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling the paints.
  • Enough Ventilation: Work in a well-ventilated area or use ventilation equipment to prevent the inhalation of paint fumes. Open windows, use fans, or work in a dedicated painting area with proper airflow. You do not want to suffocate and inhale paint fumes.
  • Wear gloves: Depending on the scale and nature of your project, consider wearing protective gear such as gloves, goggles, or a respiratory mask to minimize any potential contact or inhalation of paint particles.
  • Keep Your Kids and pets away : This is a no brainer. As a parent, you do not want accidents . So, you should store your paints in a secure location away from children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion or exposure. You can also check out this article I wrote on how to keep your dog safe from acrylic paint.
  • Dispose of waste properly: Dispose any paint containers, empty bottles, and any other waste materials associated with your painting process.

Vallejo paints are generally considered non-toxic, it’s always a good practice to read and follow the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Can You Use Vallejo Paints for Miniatures?

Vallejo Paints are perfect for any miniature project. You do need to prime your miniature first with a varnish or spray primer. The Vallejo Game Air Paint Case Set is good place to start if you want a versatile range of acrylic paints suitable for painting your miniatures and models.

I tried this paint set on dungeons and dragons and it turned out just fine. These paints have a wide selection of colors and provide excellent coverage. Plus, they can be thinned with water or Vallejo’s proprietary thinner to achieve the desired consistency for smooth application on your miniatures.

Recommended Paint Set

Are Vallejo paints acrylic?

Vallejo Game Air Paint Case Set

  • Can be thinned
  • Perfect for Warhammer 40k
  • Easy to work with

Do Vallejo Paints Need Primer?

While Vallejo paints can be used without a primer, it is generally recommended to apply a primer before painting for extra layer of protection to the underlying material. A primer acts as a barrier, preventing direct contact between the paint and the miniature’s surface, which may be susceptible to corrosion, moisture, or damage from handling.

Primers also help create a uniform surface by filling in small imperfections, such as tiny scratches or mold lines on the miniature or model. So, if you want a smooth base for painting , then you should prime your miniature or surface . Another cool thing about priming is that it reduces the number of paint layers required to achieve solid color coverage. This can save time and effort in achieving the desired color intensity and can also help preserve the fine details of the miniature or model.

Vallejo Grey Primer Acrylic Polyurethane, 200ml

  • Grey Color
  • Gives a matte finish
  • Non-Toxic
  • Non-inflammable
  • Recommended use on interior/exterior

How Long Does Vallejo Paint Take to Dry?

Vallejo paints, being acrylic and water-based, tend to dry quite rapidly. Typically, they will dry to the touch within approximately twenty to thirty minutes, allowing for the application of subsequent layers. However, when applying multiple layers, let the paint dry for a minimum of 24 hours before handling the object to prevent the formation of fingerprints or smudges. Additionally, you can check out this sperate article on how long it takes acrylic paints to dry.

Can You Mix Vallejo and Citadel?

You can mix Vallejo and Citadel paints together. Both Vallejo (Model Color and Game Color) and Citadel (Layer and Base) paints are acrylic-based and have similar formulas, making them compatible for mixing.

From personal experience and using the provided information, I can share that Vallejo paints tend to be thicker than most Citadel paints and may dry with a slightly different appearance, resembling latex paint. When mixing the two brands, it is recommended to thin down the Vallejo paint first to achieve a smoother consistency and ensure better compatibility with Citadel paints.

Adding a medium to the mix can also help improve the overall blending and compatibility of the paints, resulting in a more seamless combination of colors. However, as with any paint mixing, it is advisable to conduct some tests on a spare surface or palette to determine the desired color and consistency before applying it to your actual miniature or model. This lets you to fine-tune the mixture and ensure that it meets your specific painting needs and preferences.

Can You Use Normal Vallejo Paints in an Airbrush?

Normal Vallejo paints can be used in an airbrush. Vallejo offers a specific range called Vallejo Model Air and premium that are specifically formulated for airbrushing, but their regular Vallejo Model Color and Vallejo Game Color paints can also be used with an airbrush with some preparation.

Vallejo paints are typically thick out of the bottle, so it is recommended to thin them before using them in an airbrush. You can use distilled water or Vallejo Airbrush Thinner to achieve the desired consistency. Start with a 71.261 to two parts of paint and adjust as needed for your specific airbrush and project.

How to Thin Vallejo Paints for Airbrush?

To Vallejo paints with a thinner. it is advised to combine two parts of Airbrush Thinner 71.261 with two parts of paint.

Follow these simple steps:

  • Clean up Your Airbrush: Make sure your airbrush is clean and in good working condition
  • Gather the necessary materials: You will need Vallejo Airbrush Thinner (e.g., Airbrush Thinner 71.261) and the Vallejo Paint you wish to thin.
  • Mixing ratio: The recommended mixing ratio is typically two parts Airbrush Thinner to two parts paint. You can adjust this ratio based on your preference and the desired consistency of the paint.
  • Mix the paint and thinner: In a mixing cup or palette, pour two parts of the Vallejo Airbrush Thinner. Then, add an equal amount (two parts) of the Vallejo Paint to the cup.
  • Stir or mix thoroughly: Use a stirring stick or palette knife to mix the paint and thinner together. Stir until you achieve a smooth and homogenous mixture. Make sure there are clumps in the paint.
  • Test and adjust: Test the thinned paint consistency by spraying it through your airbrush onto a test surface or paper. If the paint is too thick or clogs the airbrush, add a small amount of additional Airbrush Thinner and mix well. Repeat the test until you achieve the desired consistency and smooth flow.
  • Now, Start airbrushing: Once you have thinned the paint to the desired consistency, airbrush your project.

That’s it, super easy !

Can I Use Water to Thin Vallejo Paint?

You can thin Vallejo paint with water, but it is recommended to use distilled water. Another alternative is to use Vallejo’s proprietary thinner specifically formulated for their paints. Avoid using enamel thinners, alcohol, or mineral spirits, as they can leave behind a sticky residue.

Best Vallejo Paints for Warhammer 40K, Dungeons& Dragons and Others




Vallejo Wargames Special Set #12, 17ml

Vallejo GAME COLOR SET: SPECIALIST (16) - For Brass 

Vallejo Game Air Paint Case Set- For Plastic and Metal 

Vallejo Game Color Washes 17ml Paint- For Plastic 

Vallejo Medieval Colors Acrylic Paint Set, 17ml- For Plastic and Metal 

Vallejo Metallic Game Color Set (8 Colors)- Best for Plastic 

Vallejo Acrylicos Metal Color Jet Exhaust Paint Set- For Metal

Vallejo Non Death Chaos 17Ml Paint

Vallejo Acrylicos Game Color Advanced Set, Model Color Paint Set, 1/2 Fl. Oz. Bottles, 16 Colors

Vallejo Amer Civil War Paint Set #11, 17ml- For Metal and Plastic

Is Vallejo Paint Good for Miniatures?

Vallejo paints have gained a significant reputation as a favoured option when it comes to painting miniatures. Just like Citadel paints, they have high pigment quality, smooth texture, and a god extensive color selection for a variety of table top games such as ; Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars: Legion, Flames of War, Bolt Action and numerous others.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Vallejo acrylic paint good?

Absolutely, Vallejo paints are great for miniatures and other artistic projects .

Vallejo Paints Vs Citadel Paints: which one should I pick for my miniatures?

Well, they are both great. However, Vallejo will give you value for your money


To round up guys, Vallejo Paints are a great choice for your miniatures, scale models, and tabletop gaming. No doubt. So go ahead and unleash your inner creativity with Vallejo Paints! Thank You for reading!