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"Rules for gloss varnish over matte varnish?" Topic

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901 hits since 27 Mar 2018
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Baranovich27 Mar 2018 9:46 p.m. PST

Hello all.

Just arming myself with as much knowledge as possible with regards to varnishing.

I just did a bunch of GW plastics quite successfully with Army Painter brush on matte, which works fabulously and is absolutely flat. My go to matte spray is Testors Dullcote. These two products have given me absolutely zero problems.

My general standards for varnishing are that for plastics and resins I do one coat of brush on or spray matte varnish.

For metal minis. however I do a coat of gloss spray followed by a coat of matte spray, since metal minis. tend to chip easier. I've noticed that even while painting metal minis. that have been well primed that the primer starts to rub off of some of the higher bits the more you handle them.

I generally wait a min. of 24 hours before doing any varnishing over acrylics, but more often 48 hours +.

My question is with regards to gloss over matte. Can you also use that technique with brush on varnishes, or would weird things happen with the finish? Just curious as I've never tried it. I would like to if I could because it would allow me to use brush on varnish for metals during times when I can't spray outside.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2018 10:23 p.m. PST

Nothing weird happens. You can just put the gloss over the matte in the areas you want to be glossy.

Rich Bliss28 Mar 2018 1:58 a.m. PST

Yes, shouldn't matter as long as the first coat is completely cured.

Timmo uk28 Mar 2018 3:44 a.m. PST

The issue you are having with metals chipping is more likely to do with the primer not the varnish.

If the primer hasn't bonded with the metal properly then the entire paint (and varnish) is only as good as the weak bond between primer and metal. I used to have this problem the way I solved it works for me. It may work for you.

Wash metal figures in warm soapy water and scrub with toothbrush. Rinse throughly in hot water. Air dry. Degrease the metal castings. I use cellulose thinners for this. After this don't hold them in your bare hands, use unpowered surgical gloves. Then I soak them for 15 minutes in white vinegar. This is a second round of degreasing but it also very slightly etches the metal not that you can see this.

Then prime with an ACID ETCH primer. This will properly bond into the metal not sit on top of it. Done correctly you will be hard pressed to get the primer off the metal unless you use a sharp metal implement, that's how well a primer should bond. Lots of acrylic car primers will just sit on top of the metal and can easily removed with finger nail pressure. If using acid etch you must spray outside. I've found temperatures of at least 21 degrees C give the best results. Too cold and the primer won't atomise enough too hot and it dries before it hits the figure. You should be just wafting on thin coats of primer. I now prep everything in summer to build up a winter stock.

Ask any autoshop about painting metal and they will all tell you it has to be degreased first. If not you are only putting paint on top of grease and that is a really poor start for the subsequent paint job.

To most here my method will sound like a real bother and to a degree it is. Equally many/most will say they don't have any chipping problems just using any primer or paint. So their method works for them but currently your method doesn't work for you hence my suggestion as to how I solved the same problem when it happened to me. As with all thees things YMMV.

Having painted I let the figures dry for a minimum of 72 hours, often I leave them for weeks as I have other projects in the pipeline. In 72 hours I swear that Vallejo acrylic slightly changes I think you can see this. I use Vallejo gloss varnish to seal the paint surface before matt varnish, again a non-yellowing acrylic version.

Without the gloss the matt varnish I use will darken acrylic paint hence using the gloss to seal the surface and preserve the colour. I apply both gloss and matt varnishes with a brush.

Personal logo jeffreyw3 Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2018 4:34 a.m. PST

Are you asking about brushing a coat of matte varnish over gloss varnish or the reverse? If the former, I do that all the time, with no issues.

Baranovich28 Mar 2018 5:30 a.m. PST

Yep, I was asking about putting matte over gloss. Sounds like it can be done which is good news!

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2018 5:41 a.m. PST

I'm with Timmo on decreasing.

Paint it Pink28 Mar 2018 6:04 a.m. PST

You can use windscreen wash as a degreaser too.

Then prime white with a matt enamel.

Only anecdotal, but I have figures 30 years old that are as good (badly painted) today as they were when I painted them.

Baranovich28 Mar 2018 6:06 a.m. PST

Some great advice.

So when you guys say acid etch primer, do you mean something like this?:



Even though it sounds like a lot of work, it really isn't that much more. I already wash my metals in soapy water any way. Only new step would be the degreasing part which isn't a huge deal. I assume the degreasing would mean soaking the minis. like you would if you were stripping them essentially.

I'm wondering, would an auto degreaser like Super Clean work for degreasing metal minis? I've used Super Clean to strip bad priming/paint jobs and it works fabulously.

This is the stuff I'm talking about:


Timmo uk28 Mar 2018 7:55 a.m. PST

Yes the acid etch is perfect. Likewise the professional degreaser should also do a perfect job. Give them a soak and follow the makers other instructions.

When you spray acid etch wear a breathing mask with multiple filters, they aren't expensive.

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