Posted by Rich W on 28 Feb 2024, 00:23

I’m not sure if this topic has been raised before…

I’m just wondering how many of you finish your figures with a gloss varnish and then a matt varnish over the top?

Is there anything I would need to be extra careful about if I were to use this method?

I’m hoping it may be better at protecting my figures, but I don’t want to ruin them if the two different varnishes method turns out to be rubbish!

Thanks in advance for your always helpful advice!
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Posted by blacksmith on 01 Mar 2024, 14:08

I always applay matt varnish after gloss one without any problems. The only thing I do is wait 24h. betwen.
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blacksmith  Spain
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Posted by MABO on 03 Mar 2024, 20:31

I don't use any kind of varnish. And I have no problems until now. Maybe it is more important when you use them constantly for wargaming.
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MABO  Europe
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Posted by Kekso on 05 Mar 2024, 17:21

I use gloss varnish only if I apply decals.
I always finish my minis with coat of matte varnish. Less for protection, more because I like the effect.
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Kekso  Croatia

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Posted by Michael Robert on 10 Mar 2024, 14:47

Hello Rich,
I do not use gloss varnish, only matt. However, I know the recipees to convert gloss into matt. Also, durability of a varnish or flexibility is not so much a matter of gloss or matt but of the the type of resin the varnish is made from.
I will lecture a bit here - maybe somebody will find it helpful.
The trick to turn gloss into matt - trick employed by the manufacturers - is to add a surface structuring agent. Gloss is obtained by a liquid surface drying into a perfect smooth surface. When you add additives which modify the surface texture (basically make bumps inside) you can achieve different degrees of matt. These additives either have an effect on rheology or they are just solid elements which stick out of the dried paint surface. This latter effect can be used by anybody having access to such products (usually they are sold B-to-B and not available in your local supermarket). Silica matting agents work quite well (example Aerosil(r) pyrolized silica). There are many different. Many have the drawback that they settle in the paint bottle. So very thorough mixing or stirring before use is key. You need to determine the amount to mix into which gives the best result for your taste, and when you add them in the beginning you need to stir a long time to really incorporate them by wetting the surface - some physical work :-) .
Concerning the durability and resistance of the varnish: Traditional glycero-phtalique paints, solvent borne, are harder, but will yellow and can crack more easily. There are new generations of such paint with less solvent and better scratch resistance, but difficult to obtain in local shops.
Water-based acrylic paints and varnishes are my personal favorites. No solvent, no yellowing and better flexibility. I use standard water based varnish for art crafts and painting - readily commercially available and cheap. Also, one layer is not necessarily very resistant, but the interaction of several layers is.
When I require very high resistance and durability I use urethane modified acrylic paints, water based. I use leftovers from wooden floor sealings. These are just fabulous. However, they are gloss or "satin" = slightly matt. Here I add matting agent to obtain my matt level. These floor sealing resins (you buy them in liters or gallons, but with 200 ml you can last for several brigades to paint) are mostly tainted in ocre, or wooden colour. My experience is that this taint is nearly not visible because of the thin surface. Also, these varnishes come with thickeners - the paint without dilution can be applied more thickly. Usually, I don't want this and it is easy to water down the paint to a desired viscosity level.

If I want to obtain a very robust varnish
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Michael Robert  France

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Posted by Rich W on 15 Mar 2024, 00:05

Thanks everyone for your feedback! And thank you Michael for such a detailed explanation!

I’ve used Vallejo Matt varnish for a few years now, but have never felt it is particularly protective (although I like the Matt effect). I’ve now tried with some Vallejo gloss and then a coat of Matt. First thoughts…the gloss really bubbles when it dries if you put even slightly too much on. Thinner coats next time I think!
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Posted by Santi Pérez on 17 Mar 2024, 20:44

Rich, I only use matt varnish in several coats, from The Army Painter (although when I finish the can currently in use I will have to change brand, as I can no longer find that in the few model shops left in Madrid). Only exceptionally (for cars, for example) I use gloss varnish. ;-)

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Santi Pérez  Spain
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