How to Deal with Fuzzy Primer Problems – Simple Hack

It happens to everyone eventually. Whether you’re new to the hobby, or a veteran, fuzzy primer happens. In my case, I was priming from too far away. When you do that, the primer begins drying before it hits the model, and in turn leaves a fuzzy coat. I know better, but we all mess up.

Thankfully for me, the fuzzy areas are not in very obvious spots, the underside of the models. I tried to get a shot of it, but it’s really hard to show fuzzy primer on such a small scale, especially since it was minor in the grand scheme of things.

Fuzzy Primer

In this situation where the fuzziness is minor, and it’s not in a very obvious spot, I have a trick I like to use to fix it. You don’t need to strip the models. Here’s the magical weapon.

The conqueror of fuzzy primer!

Yep, an old toothbrush. What I do is take the toothbrush and scrub the areas that have fuzzy primer. The process effectively buffs the area, and in turn smooths it out. Now, it’s not going to completely remove it, and make it perfect, but it will make a noticeable difference. How well it works will depend on just how built up the fuzziness is.

Fuzzy Primer Fixed

You can see the shiny spots now from where the toothbrush buffed the primer. If you wanted, you could go ahead and use a brush on primer in these areas to remove the glossy sheen to give you better adhesion for your base coat. I don’t typically bother. I find even buffed as it is, the primer still takes the base coat well enough, and I’ve never had any issues as a result.

That’s it. A really simple way to deal with fuzzy primer without having to strip your models.


  • Ha that is a great tip. Mine old solution was to throw the model and primer angrily, and storm out of the room.

    • Been there, and that’s how I stumbled on to doing this. I was pissed off, had it on my desk, and trying to find some way to salvage it without starting over.

    • That’s pretty much what I do so I’m going to try this the next time it happens.

      • Let me know if it works out. It should.

        • I tried it on some miniatures that has been collecting dust since I primed them, probably 2 years ago. It didn’t get all if it off but I didn’t expect it too but it got most of it off.

          • You’ll definitely get varying degrees of success with it depending on how badly the priming was. Still, glad it had some positive results.

  • Yeah I have done this before, but mine was spraying when it was too cold, and this caused a similar effect. I ended up using very fine sandpaper to fix the issue (luckily it was on a DE raider heich has alot of flat areas which caught alot of the fuzziness). I will have to try the buffing trick next time this happens to me

    • It works really well on flat surfaces, which of course is where you notice it more. It won’t be perfect, but it goes a long way to addressing the problem. I just hate stripping models when I don’t have to.

  • Humidity can also cause issues with this. If it’s mild, I find that using an ink/shade for my base coat can sometimes smooth it out. Did that with some second-hand Daemonettes that had been badly primed, and most of them turned out alright.

    • I’ll have to try a wash for the base coat, on top of what I did, and see how it goes.

  • Great tip Thor! I’ve done this so many times! The worst part is the fuzz also ruins the details in the model. I will give this tip a go for sure.

    • Thanks! Like I said, I know better too, but I guess I was just not paying attention that day. I didn’t notice till I picked them up to paint them and realized my mistake. Gave me the chance to do this article though ;)

      Yeah, losing detail is the worst. It’s not as bad on flat surfaces, the fuzziness, but obscured details sucks.

  • Truly, it is a mighty weapon that you wield! Good tip, too!

    • A toothbrush is scary to some ;)

  • Turkadactyl

    Thanks for the tip. Been there before. Now I need to buy a toothbrush….

    • If only toothbrushes were easier to find…

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