Jump to content

Tire paint for model cars

AK Buickman

Recommended Posts

What type of white paint can be used to paint whitewalls on model cars? Enamel never drys 100%, and remains tacky.

Someone told me that there is a special paint for model tires, but couldn't remember what it is called.

My local hobby shop suggested using acrylic paint, but could not give a guarantee.

Scale Buick models look much, much more authentic when I paint wide whitewalls on them! My $9.99 K-Mart 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera now looks stunning with wide whites!!

AK Buickman...........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest scott mich bca # 6619


Give me the specs. the id & od for the whitewalls and I can computer cut them out of vinyl.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always had the same problem with the paint being tacky on the tires. Although I never tried to fix the problem, I might suggest using nail polish as a possible fix. If you can find white nail polish, try it on a scrap tire (I'm sure you've got quite a few if you're an avid model builder).

Also, I think the "model paint" they use in those little bottles is a bit different than other enamel paints you might find in a spray can or otherwise. Try using a white spray paint (good luck taping it off), but I think the spray paint has a hardener that the bottled stuff does not. I could be totally wrong on this! Correct me if I am.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may need to experiment with various formulas of white paint until the perfect one is found. If the old white tire paint for autos used in the 1950's & 1960's was available in a small quantity, that would work. Could the flexible-when-cured craft paint used to decorate clothing be the same stuff?

Scott, your offer of making vinyl whitewalls is very thoughtful of you. The only problem encountered would be the sidewall of the tire is not always flat--the sidewalls bulge out as in a real car, or there is a raised area on the sidewall. This would make it difficult for the vinyl to stick to the surface without wrinkling.

My proven technique is to brush on white paint while the tire is spun using a variable speed electric drill. Just hold the brush stationary while the tire is spun. It works great!

I added wide whitewalls on my 1/64th scale Road Champions 1957 Roadmaster 76R which originally had blackwalls--what a difference the whitewalls made on this tiny Buick!

AK Buickman

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I enjoy buying or making model Buicks-I never sell any.

Yes, I will see you all in Flint, 2003!

Are there any plans for showing model Buicks at this show?

We could have a tremendous model car show (non-judged)

As a kid in 1966, I built a 1/25th scale '66 Skylark GS. Then, in the 1980's, I restored the model, and changed the color to red exterior/white custom bucket seat interior.

I have an unbuilt, original AMT 1/25th scale 1966 Wildcat 2-dr hardtop that I may put together soon. It's not too late to build after 36 years, is it?

AK Buickman.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have the hardest time finding model buicks off the shelf. Is there somewhere I can find a semi-wide variety of model buicks? preferably late 60's, early 70's..those are my fav grin.gif




PS: Are there any Buick shows in St. Louis coming up??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

check out j c whitney...or large auto parts stores..they sell a white tire paint used to paint raised letters..comes in a pen...nice point..dries well.

holds up well...should be enough to do a couple of model cars.

ive tried latex...nope

tried semi gloss...nope

tried parking lot strip paint...nope...but might work on models..will show

cracks on reg.tires

good luck


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest John Chapman

AK, Buick models are difficult to come by, but try this site:


There is no search function, so you have to go to each catigory and then use the browser find to look for Buick. There's some pricy, original Buick kits listed... like $129! But, Buicks have never been cheap, right?

As for white wall tires, hey, you guys are making this more difficult than it needs to be. Check out the scale tires from American Satco Tires, model 10010 Firestone Deluxe Champion Wide Whitewall in particular. They offer a number of white walls, red lines etc for 1:24/25 autos. Way easier than painting it on....


On the sidebar, scroll down to American Satco: Vintage Tires

Other sites:


Happy gluing!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...