Expert Advice: Common Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Plaster Animals

Expert Advice: Common Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Plaster Animals

Posted by PM Plaster Craft on Nov 06, 2023

Whether you're a seasoned artist or just looking for a new hobby painting plaster animals can be a fun and creative endeavor. These sculptures provide a blank canvas for your creativity, allowing you to transform them into vibrant works of art. However, like any artistic endeavor, there are common mistakes that can hinder your progress and leave you feeling frustrated. In this blog, we will provide you with expert advice on the most common mistakes to avoid when painting plaster animals to paint. By following these steps, you can turn your sculptures into stunning masterpieces.

1: Skipping the Preparation

One of the most common mistakes artists make when painting plaster animals is neglecting proper preparation. Plaster is a porous material that can absorb paint unevenly if not treated correctly. To avoid this issue, start by cleaning your plaster animal thoroughly. Use a wet tissue or sponge to remove dirt, dust, or residue. Once it's clean, let it dry completely before applying any paint. Additionally, you should consider applying a primer to the plaster surface. Primer helps create a smooth and even base for your paint to adhere to, resulting in a more professional finish.

2: Using Low-Quality Brushes and Paints

Another frequent mistake is using subpar brushes and paints. Quality matters when it comes to achieving a polished look in your artwork. Investing in high-quality brushes will give you more stroke control and allow for finer details. Acrylic paints are a popular choice for painting plaster animals because they dry quickly and adhere well to the surface. Low-quality paints may not have the same pigmentation or durability, leading to a dull outcome.

3: Rushing the Drying Process

Patience is key when working with plaster animals. Rushing the drying process can result in smudges, streaks, or uneven paint coverage. Before adding the next layer of paint, let the previous one completely dry. If you're in a hurry, you can use a dryer on a low, cool setting to speed up the process, but be careful not to overheat the plaster, as it can cause cracking.

4: Neglecting the Base Layers

Skipping the base layers is a mistake that can affect the overall appearance of your plaster animal. Start by applying a base coat that matches the primary color you want for your sculpture. This base coat will serve as the foundation for the other colors you apply later. Without a solid base, your final result may appear patchy or inconsistent.

5: Overloading with Paint

Applying too much paint is a common mistake, especially among beginners. Thick layers of paint can obscure the details of your plaster animal and create an unattractive texture. It's essential to use thin layers of paint and build up the color gradually. This allows you to maintain the texture and nuances of the sculpture while achieving the desired color depth.

6: Ignoring Fine Details

Plaster animals often feature intricate details that make them unique. Neglecting these details is a mistake that can result in a less impressive finished product. Take your time to carefully paint these finer elements, using small brushes and a steady hand. The mistake is in the details, and they can make a significant difference in the overall quality of your work.

7: Skipping the Final Seal

Protecting your finished masterpiece is crucial to ensure its longevity. Many artists need to apply a final sealant or varnish. A clear sealant not only protects the paint from wear and tear but also enhances the colors and adds a professional touch to your artwork. Choose a sealant that is compatible with your chosen paint type (e.g., acrylic, watercolor) and apply it according to the manufacturer's instructions.


Painting plaster animals to paint can be a rewarding and enjoyable creative pursuit. However, it's essential to be aware of common mistakes that can stop your progress. By avoiding these pitfalls and following the expert advice provided in this blog, you can enhance your skills and transform your plaster sculptures into stunning works of art. Remember the importance of proper preparation, quality materials, patience, attention to detail, and the final seal to protect your creations. With practice and dedication, you'll be able to create beautiful and long-lasting plaster animal paintings that showcase your artistic talents.