Friday, May 7, 2010

What Do You Seal With?

The other day I tragically 'frosted' three minis I had worked on for a considerable amount of time prior to spray sealing them. This last batch I used a can of Krylon Satin Clear. Before that, I used a reliable generic clear that came in a blue can and cost .99¢, but I couldn't find it on that trip to the store. So, as the title asks, what do *you* seal with? I realize the answer nine times out of ten is going to be Testor's Dull Cote, but I'm still curious what you use.


  1. Mik,

    I seal all of my figures with various and sundry Krylon products.

    The frosting is all about the weather. Did you try sealing them later afternoon on one of these recent hot days? Perhaps one of the muggier recent days?

    In my experience, frosting happens most often when it is hot and humid. During the summer months I do all of my spraying early in the morning when it is still cool. I had a lot of experience with frosting miniatures when I lived in College Station, Texas. It's hot and humid enough there that for the summer months I virtually couldn't spray anything.

    As for the figures, before tossing them in the stripper, try this. use your fingers/an old toothbrush to remove the majority of the particles The spray the figures (on a cool morning :) ) with a thick coat of clear gloss. Usually that will melt away most of the remaining fuzz and/or fill in all of the spaces so that it no longer refracts light in the same way. Once the finish is evened out, you can over spray with a flat finish to remove the sheen.


    PS Dullcoat is great for a truly flat finish, but in my experience is the very worst offender for frosting up on a hot day

  2. I always coat with any random gloss sealer first, then use Dullcote. I've always heard gloss protects the figure better.

    What I've heard is that gloss is glossy because the particles dry with a very smooth (reflective) finish, and matte has a rougher surface. I haven't done it, but I've heard what Brian's saying suggested before-- the clear gloss should fill the rough matte finish and even it out.

    Brian's smarter than me, though, so maybe he should comment on that.

  3. I don't do a lot of painting, but I did just paint up my long-neglected dark elf Blood Bowl team, and I used Army Painter Quick Shade, which is one of those miracle dip type of varnish. It gives a decent finish, more glossy than I'd imagined, but okay. It's a Danish company, so I don't know what your equivalent would be.

  4. Dullcote here, and as said above, the frosting is cause by the humidity in the air causing the sealer to dry irregularly, causing refractions or light which is what the white "frosting" effect is. I suggest just sealing them again in the early morning/late evening and then bring them inside to dry. Should fix things up for you.

  5. I used to know a whole group of hardcore Warhammer players who swore by Aquanet Superhold hair spray for sealing figures. It was cheaper than purpose made sealers and was rock hard when set.

  6. Testor's dull cote in the small can. There's something magic in the small can. Were you able to save the minis? I've had a model begin to frost and ran inside and put it under the kitchen tap to wash off the sealant before it fully dried. Managed to save it that way.

  7. I saved some frosted figures by hitting them with a brush-on varnish.

    After various problems with spraycans (primers, sealers) I've pretty much gone to all brush-on products. I don't have all of my paints in front of me at the moment, but I think my varnishes are Polly S brand. I think it's a model railroading product. I've used the brush-on Testor's Dullcote as well, but found that if I don't put it on over a layer of a gloss varnish, it sucks the shine out of my metallics.

  8. Ugg... that sucks bro!

    I've found the "frosting" effect to happen a lot with Krylon and GW sprays (especially if I don't shake em up for a bit and spray em head on for more than a few seconds). I've taken to doing very minimal bursts, multiple times to keep bad Mr. Frosty at bay.

    I've heard nothing but good things about Testors matte varnish. I'm gonna pick some up right soon and I'll blog about it.

  9. Dullcote, and nothing else.

    Santa Cruz Warhammer

  10. Thanks guys, too many to list individually. You know, it was in the late aafternoon, and I'm here in the southeast where it is both hot and muggy.

    I was able to salvage the models, as soon as I realized what happened I rushed them in and "drybrushed" them with a wet brush. Then I use a brush-on Testor's semi-gloss on the frosty areas, thinned down so it wasn't so shiny.

    I got exactly what I was looking for in the comments field, so thanks again everyone. I've got some good tips to work on here, and some great advice.

  11. I brush on Minwax water based Polycrylic varnish, then either spray Dullcote or brush on Vallejo or Reaper matte.

    Glad to hear the model survived.