Easy (and I mean easy) chipping paint effect for 3D Printed Castings

Since 3D Printed castings are fragile with the incredible prototypical detailing, I developed this super easy chipped paint technique. I am working on several new videos but wanted to post this quick sbs. This is specific for water based paints. A dark base (like black!) is very important as you need a contrast between the base and top coat. I use a flat spray paint as my base.

This works great anytime you want chipped paint effects for oil drums, gas bottles, trash cans, etc...

Paint your casting using the same techniques and water based paint as you would my traditional hand poured resin castings then immediately dunk the entire casting in isopropyl alcohol (ipa). You can leave it in the ipa varying lengths of time depending on the desired effect and brand of paint. (This will be demonstrated in the video btw.) Try "sloshing" it around too, some neat results will occur. Experiment to see the different effects you can achieve. Super easy!

Pull the casting out and using a cosmetic foam wedge, gently roll the casting against the wedge or tap/blot the wedge against the wet paint. This is lots of fun and simple. Allow to dry then chalk weather just like the hand poured resin. Try layering the paint and chipping each layer allowing the layers to dry each time. Use different colors for really neat effects.

The wedges are easy to find and inexpensive. They can be reused many times. I believe I purchased this bag at target for like $5 a few years ago.

Have fun and enjoy!


  • Great idea!!

  • Thanks Brett. A new tool in the box. Now maybe I wont destroy the detail on your wonderful 3D parts.
  • thats easy enough
  • Nifty technique...and great little tutorial.
  • Thanks for this Brett.
  • let's see....i have the castings, i have the acrylic paints, i have the alcohol and i have the wedges. i also have a 9 week old puppy. i'll try it when i can........:)
  • Pretty snazzy tip, Brett.

  • Looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with here, be sure to post examples of your work with this technique.
  • kebmo said:

    let's see...., i have the acrylic paints, i have the alcohol and i have the wedges. i also have a 9 week old puppy. i'll try it when i can........:)

    Don't try it on the puppy!!!!


  • Jerry said:

    kebmo said:

    let's see...., i have the acrylic paints, i have the alcohol and i have the wedges. i also have a 9 week old puppy. i'll try it when i can........:)

    Don't try it on the puppy!!!!


    too late. she's weathered.....

  • What a great easy way to do chipping. I should be getting that big load of your new O scale 3D printed detail parts on Wednesday I believe, so I’m going to try this effect on them. Thanks for the great tutorial Brett.
  • Brett, I assume the base black coat should be well cured oil based so it resists the alcohol. Or doesn't matter?
  • Hey Mitch. Yes, I use Krylon Camo black from the rattle can but that has become impossible to find. I am currently looking for an alternative that isn't $20+ a can! ALL of the alternatives I have tested claim to be "flat" but are really more of a "satin" finish.

    Anyone have a good dead flat black rattle can brand?
  • Glad I have a can of the black in the garage.

    I've actually been using a dark gray primer instead of black lately. Seems easier on the eye. It's Rustoleum auto primer.
  • I used the rustoleum flat black!!

  • The dark charcoal tones I too feel are much better than the flat black.....very few things in reality are that black.....unless burnt...
  • edited January 2022
    I like the flat black and remember once the final weathering is applied it is not black any longer! Since I cannot find any good flat black (Jerry thanks for the suggestion, I find the Rustoleum to have a bit of a satin sheen when cured) I might have to try the charcoal. It's dead flat like the camo colors?
  • The dark gray auto primer is dead flat.
  • Thanks Bryan, just ordered a can. I have used this before but never for priming castings. Looking forward to giving it a try especially since the camo black apparently is gone. If anyone wants to give it a try - Amazon has it for $5 a can.
  • Brett..,.after you get the the can from Amazon and have used it I'd be interested in knowing if all went well with the can....I've had issues with Amazon third party vendors in the past selling items with a 'shelf life' that don't operate or last as expected (batteries as one instance) tho they buy up inventory near the end of it's shelf life....not saying anything against Amazon...just questioning the possible tactics of third party vendors
  • edited January 2022
    Agreed Terry, luckily this was Sold and Shipped by Amazon.
  • Brett, would you have either an Amazon link or a name for the paint? I see there are many different flat black Rustoleum Auto paints


  • Had a can on the shelf... This is available at Amazon and is an excellent replacement for the camo black. Thanks for the suggestion Bryan.

  • Glad to help.

    I tried it for the first time while building the Case. I wanted 2 tone black on the boiler. Used flat black and this. Really liked it so I use it more than black now.
  • Thanks for the info. Running out of the camo black here as well.
  • My wife went to Home Depot here in Chilliwack and bought the last two cans of that black spray paint. A couple of weeks later I went there and the only colour they had was green. At the moment, I have 1 1/2 to 2 cans each of the black, earth and khaki. I also have almost a full can of white and half of grey primer.
  • How do you guys keep your Rustoleum spray paint nozzles from clogging. I rarely get the use of a full can of paint. The nozzle usually clogs half way through the can. I try to turn it upside down and spray till it goes clear but it doesn't clear up. At 1 point I found some extra nozzles on Amazon and bought a pack of 10 but they are all gone now, and tried to find more replacements but the ones that were listed as supposed to work didn't work on Rustoleum.
  • edited February 2022
    I always wipe the nozzle with paint thinner after using. I think it helps some.
  • edited February 2022
    Some tips ... on tips

    1- When the cans are empty always take off the good nozzles and save them as spares to swap out with one that spits or clogs.

    2- When you finish spraying but still have paint left take the nozzle off and soak it in paint thinner, I usually use xylene as its stronger and will also clear a clog.

    3- If you have a can with no paint in it but still has propellant in it put the dirty nozzle you just used on that can and use that empty to blow the nozzle clean.

    Turning a can upside down and spraying until clear wastes both paint and propellant. I have several half full cans with no propellant left in them, so switch your dirty nozzle to an empty can and use that to blow it out.

    4- I have a small empty garlic jar with xylene in it, when finished spraying I throw the nozzle in to soak, leave over night and with the lid on shake it to dislodge any clogs.

    5- If you have a half full can with no propellant in it or a clogged stem you can decant the paint out into a small jar or bottle and use it to either air brush or brush on. There are several YouTube videos on this
  • "Turning a can upside down and spraying until clear wastes both paint and propellant" - I find this method works if you remember to do it every time, but uhmmm, I seem to always forget.

    Seems no matter what I do they still clog up. I'm lucky to get thru ⅔ of a can... Gonna try the soaking cap in Xylene. Only done that using paint thinner and no go - most eb too weak a solvent.
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