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"Army Painter Anti Shine Spray Varnish - NEVER AGAIN!!!" Topic

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30 Apr 2011 6:21 a.m. PST
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Lord Raglan27 Mar 2011 1:10 a.m. PST

I read mixed reviews about Army Painter Anti Shine Spray Varnish. Subsequently when I bought a can and I first tried it on some old miniatures.

Regardless what temperature, humidity or any other bloody environmental fact, this product leaves at best a white film on the miniature and at worst a grey gunk.

I experimented in lots of different environments, and I can quite honestly say DON'T USE IT.


BRUTALPAUL27 Mar 2011 1:17 a.m. PST

Strange, never had any problems myself. I use it for about 2 years now.

yorkie o127 Mar 2011 1:58 a.m. PST

I have only tried it once and it made a real mess, it cracked and left a white film, that was nigh on impossible to remove.

Admittedly it was cold when i used it, but im very wary about trying it again.


AndrewGPaul27 Mar 2011 2:11 a.m. PST

Mine's worked fine too; I had that bad experience with a can of Humbrol matt varnish and was a bit nervous, but it's been fine so far.

Lord Raglan27 Mar 2011 2:50 a.m. PST

I have just done a search of TMP and this problem has been flagged up several times in the past.

As a result, I really don't want to play Russian roulette with my painted miniatures.

I will therefore revert back to my tried and tested brush method, despite it being time consuming.


Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2011 2:58 a.m. PST

I have been using this for about two years and have had no problems after adjusting the optimum way of using it. Too much and you will get the white powder. All I can recommend is what I would describe as a gentle spray from about 12 inches and do not leave the figures in the cold to dry. As I say I have been doing that for 24 months and been very very happy with the results.

Bosco0527 Mar 2011 3:10 a.m. PST

I've never had an issue with the Army painter spray. I do use it in doors in a spray booth and try to have a light touch and (so far, knock wood) have not had any glazing issues.

I hold the can about 12 inches from the models do 2 or 3 passes, turn the models, and two or three more and that's that.

For those having issues – how are you using the product. I'm not trying to defend Army Painter – I just want to avoid making a mistake with it.


mattspooner27 Mar 2011 3:53 a.m. PST

It has such great potential (probably the best matt finish that I have acheived) but such small tolerances in order to get it right.

Ironically for me, the biggest issue was the consitsent reaction and crackling when used over the 'dip' that it is supposed to complement. The only solution I found was to hit them with a coat of an alternative varnish first.

Given that, I have moved back to the Vallejo Matt varnish which is also as good but far more accepting of my amateurish efforts

Anatoli27 Mar 2011 4:19 a.m. PST

The army painter matt varnish is Russian roulette when it comes to results. I stopped using it after it ruined several models besides giving me mixed Bleeped text results over a period of time.

I could never finish a can of Matt Varnish, once I had used about 3/4 the remaining varnish always made a mess. Add to that the inconsistent results no matter what range, amount of varnish or temperature when applied. It's crap. I wish I could get hold of the Dullcote everyone praises, but I have to get by using Tamiya Clear Flat instead.

jthomlin27 Mar 2011 4:21 a.m. PST

I've only ever had one problem with spray varnish when I used it on probably not properly dried paint on a very humid night. Since then, no problems. I put it down to the following:

. Let the paint dry at least a day.
. Avoid extreme conditions (heat, cold, humidity).
. Spray indoors (Garage).
. Heat spray can in container of hot tap water so it's at room temperature by the time you stop shaking it. (If it feels cold it's not right)

And most importantly …

. Spray on a test piece first!


Gloria Smud27 Mar 2011 4:48 a.m. PST

Good advice from jt.

I've not had this problem with army painter varnish I did a couple of times when using Testors Dullcoate though.
After my initial horror (i did say a few rude words) it turned out all was not lost.

I always spray my figures with a clear car lacquer this gives the models a rock-hard gloss finish that's designed to bring the paint colours out.
Leave them to cure overnight.
Then matt them down with your spray varnish.
If they start to go cloudy re-spray with the lacquer and try again somehow the lacquer removes the greying/whiteing
which I believe is caused by very fine particles of talc in the varnish (that's what makes it go matt).

normsmith27 Mar 2011 5:01 a.m. PST

I was told that a too heavy application of varnish spray can result in whiting, regardless of brand.

John de Terre Neuve27 Mar 2011 6:07 a.m. PST

Just finishing my first can of AP matt, no problems, I spent at least a minute shaking it before use. It take a minimal amount to take the shine off AP dip. I did have a white cloud once with spray Dullcote (suspect I did not shake enough), easily corrected with re application of gloss.

I suspect improper use rather then a problem with the product. I always spray inside.


Martian Root Canal27 Mar 2011 6:47 a.m. PST

I have used two cans of Army Painter finish and the results were 50/50. One good…one very bad. And yes, I follow all the advice above. I think there is a quality control issue with the product, quite honestly. I will never buy another can of it.

jpattern227 Mar 2011 6:56 a.m. PST

Dullcote, Dullcote, Dullcote. I've never had a problem with Dullcote in something like 40 years. It can mess up if you spray when the paint isn't dry, or it's too cold or humid, but Dullcote's quality control is second to none. It doesn't sound like that's the case with Army Painter.

Muah ha ha27 Mar 2011 7:08 a.m. PST

I use a simple satin polyurethane coat unless I am dipping, in which case no spray-on coat at all.

Thus far, as long as I am not spraying my figs in a snowstorm, no problems.

Bohemund27 Mar 2011 7:37 a.m. PST

To confirm the obvious, Dullcote "whitened" one batch of my figures long ago. I sprayed and left my figures in a 40 or 50 degree room . . .

LeadLair7627 Mar 2011 8:05 a.m. PST

I have to agree with Dullcote. I will never use anything else again.

PTL181527 Mar 2011 9:01 a.m. PST

I use it mostly on the plastic figures I paint and AP has been a great product, no problems. I use it in my garage, spray from 12" away, and just a few passes on each side of the figure.

Empires at War Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2011 9:26 a.m. PST

I always store my spray cans upside down as its easier to get a consistent mix when shaking the can. Spray with gloss first then matt once its dried properly, like others above from about 12 inches,. Never had this whitening problem. I sprayed 300 Confederates a couple of weeks ago with Army Painter and have used them twice since including today with no evidence of this problem.

Incidentally why would anyone spray varnish figures when the paint isn't dry yet?

battle master27 Mar 2011 9:57 a.m. PST

I wouldn't risk AP spray. I had a bad experience with the matt white spray undercoat. It gave the figures a rough speckled texture which was impossible to remove. I tried scrubbing them afterwards but the paint wouldn't come off and even after painting the figures and spray varnishing with dullcote the figures still have a rough feel to them. I sprayed them in the same conditions as I have always done for the last 15 years and so it was not the conditions, just the spray. From what you guys say here about the matt varnish, I wouldn't risk it. When I complained to the company they just said they had it checked out and said there was nothing wrong with it. I uese GW white undercoat spray and never have any problems. As to spray varnish, dullcote is the best and I was lucky to buy about 15 cans of it before it was withdrawn. Not sure if it is available again but with a new recipe?

Phil Hendry Fezian27 Mar 2011 10:38 a.m. PST

I tried the AP matt spray, twice (i.e. two different cans) and had the same white, gritty, result each time, despite following the instructions to the letter – so I went straight back to using Dull Cote, with which I've never had a problem.

Mardaddy27 Mar 2011 11:03 a.m. PST

Dullcote is my spray of choice as well, but the last two cans of it I had a problem. They leaked at the connection point of the metal can and the plastic nozzle. I tried swapping out the nozzle with other cans of paint and coating I have (and different brands) to no avail.

With both cans of Dullcote, spraying got me the coating I wanted, but also a pool of Dullcote in the raised "cup" area of the top of the can, resulting also in drip, drip, drip…

And at around $5 USD for a very small can, a waste of valuable contents…

colin knight27 Mar 2011 2:04 p.m. PST

I have also had a problem with white primer and grain effect! The flesh has been ok. As to matt spray. been ok so far except one occasion with "furring". I only spary small amounts of figures at one time however out of fear!

Where can I buy Dullcoat in UK?

Personal logo BigRedBat Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2011 2:09 p.m. PST

Colin, Antenociti (I ordered 6 cans last time to save on postage!)


RelliK27 Mar 2011 3:27 p.m. PST

I have also had a problem with white primer and grain effect!

Colin, I can't afford wasting time with poor primers and clear coats. I've been stung going with a $7 USD can of primer…it turns out to be a BIG waste of my time and wrecks my work.

I trust Floquil matt and GW primer (20+years)… price doesn't matter, my time does.


bombersmoon27 Mar 2011 8:57 p.m. PST

My experience is that it is humidity related. I ruined a couple of batches of ancient britons to the 'white mist of death'. I had sprayed them outside, and the atmosphere was a bit damp. With one batch I thought if I sprayed them again soon after that might fix it – it made it worse as the paint(or the first layer of spray) started blistering.
However, when I set up a spray booth in a cardboard box indoors (warm , dry room) there are no problems and the results are excellent. Given my first experience though, I always do small batches (just in case).

Who asked this joker28 Mar 2011 10:54 a.m. PST

Go for the industrial strength craft varnish such as Krylon. I have never had a problem with it. Not sure if they have a brand sold in UK though.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Mar 2011 1:26 p.m. PST

Dullcote, Dullcote, Dullcote. I've never had a problem with Dullcote in something like 40 years. It can mess up if you spray when the paint isn't dry, or it's too cold or humid, but Dullcote's quality control is second to none.

Ditto. I've never had a problem with Dullcote.

laptot28 Mar 2011 3:14 p.m. PST

I did a side by side comparison of Dullcote and Krylon Matt and found them to be the same in terms of degree of sheen. As Krylon is 3-4 times cheaper, I use it over Dullcote. Now some have said that Krylon Matt is not a true flat, but more a satin sheen. I have also heard that the Dullcote of today is not as flat as it was years ago. Forty years ago I also heard more frequent complaints about Dullcote leaving white fog on finishes. Perhaps Testors has tweaked the finish a bit to reduce the whitening tendency? The directions on Dullcote used to say that if whitening occurred to allow it to dry and reapply a lighter coat and the white should disappear. I recall people putting their models in a warm oven for a few minutes just prior to applying Dullcote to reduce the chances of whitening. This probably has to do with reducing humidity. I've never used Army Painter products.

TKindred Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2011 7:00 p.m. PST

I also use the Krylon matte and never had a problem with it. FWIW, I prime my minis with inexpensive ($1/can) spray paint from WalMart. Comes in white, rust, black and grey. I almost always use white, but in the 10+ years I've been using them I have NEVER had a problem with pebbling, orange peeling, grittiness, or anything other than a thin smooth covering.

Arrigo29 Mar 2011 1:13 a.m. PST

Never had a problem with AP matt spray… and I used several cans worst thing I had was the GW one….

1234567829 Mar 2011 8:42 a.m. PST

I love these posts where someone has a bad experience with a product and insists on coming here to tell us about it and to inform us that we must never buy it.

All (and I mean all) matt varnishes will cloud if over sprayed or used in the wrong climatic conditions. I have found the Army Painter one to be one of the more tolerant; my only complaint is that it does not seem matt enough.

cytaylor30 Mar 2011 11:34 a.m. PST

tried AP with bad results, maybe it was a bad can. Never had trouble with krylon or testers, and have been spraying miniatures for 25 years.

Marc the plastics fan31 Mar 2011 2:28 a.m. PST

Is it a US v UK thing? In England, we seem to have a very limited window when the weather outside is conducive to spraying anything with anything – normally when the bl**dy rain stops :-), but does the US suffer more from humidty – we get the rain, but you get the heat?

I have taken to spraying indoors if I really need to, but it gets everywhere :-)

1234567831 Mar 2011 6:27 a.m. PST

Marc, I share your pain; fortunatel;y, it is sunny today so I may be able to undercoat some Russians, if I get home before it gets dark!

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART01 Apr 2011 7:22 a.m. PST

I went heretical and have been using acrylic artist flat paints from the tube. That and future floorwax mixes. At first I thought I was being lazy but it was apparent that there wasn't that fear of the white death that follows some spray sessions. You can do it on the painting table and put it on (in coats) as thick as you like. Never sprayed again. We have all been burned but this ALWAYS works.

phil bagnall02 Apr 2011 5:00 a.m. PST

My spraycan days are over – gone over fully now to gesso brushed on as primer (usually black), and top coats of firstly Future/Klear +/- ink, then brush-on Winsor & Newton Galeria matt varnish. Only problem I had with the matt varnish was not shaking the bottle enough so figures stayed too shiny (matting agent settles over time, but mixes back with a darned good shake).
No more furtive trips to the garage in winter, no more grass clippings sticking onto figures in the garden in summer….

NickNorthStar02 Apr 2011 10:46 a.m. PST

AP Matt spray ruined my SCW army a couple of years ago, but a wise man gave me some brilliant advice.

'Respray the figures with GW Purity Seal'

I followed the advice and the GW spray made the white frosting from hell disappear like magic. I don't try to understand how such dark sciences work, but the advice is now passed on.

The army is fine except for one stubborn Anarchist Militiaman where the frosting remains in the deep recess behind his rifle, I just make him stand at the back.

Purity Seal gives a satin finish which I don't prefer, but I chose to leave well alone as far as that army was concerned.

kevanG04 Apr 2011 2:23 p.m. PST

The standard solution is to varnish by brush over and let it dry , then respray

Battlescale18 Apr 2011 10:52 p.m. PST

Vallejo Matt for me. Used it loads with no problems at all.

BugStomper19 Apr 2011 2:49 a.m. PST

As SPC Wargame Scenery says, Vallejo Matt. I paint it on which is actually a lot quicker to do that I thought it would be.

nbforrest22 Apr 2011 2:14 a.m. PST

I had the same problem,really crap spray it left my figures with a white film,i now paint on the army painter strong tone varnish and let them dry then i spray them with windsor and newton matt varnish and they look great,a good matt finish

histdean27 Apr 2011 7:41 a.m. PST

It can never be said too often… Testors DullCote #1260!!

I have used it for over 35 years and my father before we swore by it as well. There is nothing better on the market…

You can spray it on as light or as heavy as you wish and the result is still fantastic.

If you don't see it anywhere else, check with Neal at The War Store. His price is very reasonable as well!


Asbestos27 Apr 2011 3:06 p.m. PST

Other than the knock-you-off-your-feet fumes I've had no problem with AP Anti-Shine. Though, it is a little more satiny than I would prefer.

1234567828 Apr 2011 6:52 a.m. PST

The satiny finish is my objection to it.

Cyclops30 Apr 2011 2:49 a.m. PST

What satiny finish? I spreayed a mixture of 10mm and 28mm figs with Army Painter anti shine last week. Just had another look at them and they're fine. Nice flat, matt look to them all. I sprayed on top of AP Strong Tone Quickshade. Don't know if that's important.
The only time I've ever had a frosting effect when matt spraying was years ago using Humbrol Matt and that was my fault. I was daydreaming while doing it and hugely oversprayed. As they were zombies a few washes of green and brown ink sorted that out.

Tajima107 Oct 2013 8:11 a.m. PST

I know this thread has cobwebs but I have some burning good advice. I use Army painter matt all the time and have never a problem but I have certainly experienced the horror of the white frosting after using some other varnishes. However, I discovered that in some cases, it can be completely reversed by spraying again with testors dullcote. Something in the testors formula can break down the white frosting and reverse a potentially lost paintjob.

Worth a try if you ever experience this particular nightmare before throwing away your minis and crying like a girl!

BrianH17 May 2014 9:22 a.m. PST

Dullcote is my standard and favorite varnish, but I have had bad batches occasionally that won't dry flat but rather satin. I just tried the Army painter flat varnish over a figure painted in acrylics (Valejo & Army painter acrylics) but no Army Painter Quick shade on it. Sprayed at 70F and 60% humidity in a spray booth 12" away after shaking for 2 minutes (figure had dried for 12 hours), the varnish dried flat almost instantly, and looked fine, no frosting or any other problems. It is flatter than Dullcote so I think it is best to make sure you don't put it on too thick. It probably has more talc than Dullcote. I will save most of my Army Painter varnish to put over figures that have their shiny quick shade on them due to its ability to dry so flat.

cavalry4717 Aug 2014 12:43 p.m. PST


Having tried to soak some bases off of Figures I had bought on line, I fond that they were not detaching I went for total immersion as a solution, which worked.

However on the figures drying I got the dreaded Dull white frosting, initially I thought that this was the varnish washing off as the bottom half of the figure was not as bad as the top. Repeated immersion only made things worse when wet they looked good on drying they go duller and duller.

Having checked these boards I decided to try immersing them in water again to remove the opaque dull sheen then putting them in the oven Gas Mark 4 (190 degrees C). The Test figure came out great I then tried to do them on mass, Having set the 20 or so figures up half of them ell over as I went to put them in the oven. By the time I had them se up again they were already turning Opaque. I decided to do the two excellent painted French Generals, I stood the up right and being Mounted figures gave them 15 mins.

Disaster… The base melted and the figures fell over one the head fell off when I went to pick it up the other had turned one side into flats.

I then temporally based the Figures using superglue as they then need immersing to remove the opaque colour. 15 mins later I popped them in the Oven gas mark 3 (180 degrees C)

This worked, so my answer is

Base the figures so they wont fall down in the over Immerse the figures in water until clear and pop in the oven at Gas Mark 3 (180 Degrees C) for 10 minutes.

All th e figures came out clear again.

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