How to paint balsa wood models

Written by jose leiva
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Balsa wood is used in modelling because it is lightweight, inexpensive, easy to cut, and easy to work with. However, balsa wood is not easy to paint because it is a spongy material and absorbs the paint. This does not mean that balsa wood shouldn’t be painted, but that balsa wood takes a little more work to paint than materials such as plastic or other woods.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Sandpaper
  • Sanding sealer
  • Paint

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  1. 1

    Use the sandpaper to sand the balsa wood model until it is smooth on all surfaces.

  2. 2

    Use a sealer, such as a sanding sealer, to prep the wood for painting. This will help keep the paint from being absorbed by the balsa wood. Allow time for the sealer to dry.

  3. 3

    Paint the balsa wood model from the darkest colours to the lightest colours. For example, if the base of your model will be black with some lighter-coloured accents, paint the entire model black first, then add the lighter-coloured accents on top of the black paint. Allow each coat of paint to dry before adding another.

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