Painting Rubber Terrain

Many people are interested in buying our unpainted terrain, either to save cost or because the pre-painted colors don't match their games tables well. However, people are also uncertain how to best paint the raw rubber terrain to avoid the paint flaking off. Here we present two options for painting your terrain: one cheap and easy, the other more difficult but also more resilient. Unless you are going to be really rough on the terrain, the cheap way is fine. Also, the maximum toughness approach requires relatively expensive and toxic automotive spray products - you need a respirator and somewhere away from the family to do this!

Method 1: Cheap & Easy

  1. Clean - a light scrub with a brush, dish soap and water is fine. Let dry thoroughly.
  2. Prime with Krylon Camouflage spray paint. It's pretty widely available: you can get it at Walmart, Fred Meyer, automotive or sporting goods stores, etc.
    Krylon Camouflage
  3. Paint as desired, using your normal hobby paints.
  4. Matte varnish with whatever you like. I like Army Builder, very matte but not particularly tough.

That should do for most gamers. Unless you run a game store, travel often with your terrain, or have friends with anger management issues, you don't need much else. If you do need some extra durability, this next approach is what we use here at Advanced Terrain to prime and paint all the terrain we sell, and so far we haven't found anything tougher:

Method 2: Maximum toughness

  1. Clean -  a light scrub with a brush, dish soap and water is fine. Let dry thoroughly.
  2. Treat with an adhesion promoter, this SEM stuff or this Bulldog stuff are good. Follow the instructions for your particular product.

  3. Basecoat with this stuff: SEM Color Coat. It comes in a wide variety of colors.

  4. Paint as desired using your normal hobby paints.
  5. Matte varnish with sprayed Liquitex Matte Varnish. We particularly recommend spraying on this varnish as it can cloud if you leave pools of it, which seems to happen more when brushing. Despite that problem, we really like this product: it's very matte, UV-resistant (non-yellowing), water proof, flexible, and is certified as non-toxic. So it probably won't make your toddler sick when he decides to taste the terrain. Not that I recommend letting toddlers play with our terrain!

And obviously... please be sure to follow the safety instructions on all the products. Wear a respirator when spraying, they're not that expensive. And if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!