Saturday, December 10, 2011

Matt varnish

I was having trouble with matt varnishes going all dusty white a while back. I tried using gw and vallejo varnishes and both gave me the same results. After airbrushing the varnish on, white dusty specks would appear after the varnish dried up. Maybe its because i used an airbrush to spray it on. It can't be the product because i bought both quite recently.

Anyway, my good friend Jeff suggested another product. Share and share alike :)

These are the 2 products.

1. Daler-Rowney soluble varnish matt
I got this at Arts Friend at Gardens for around RM25-30. Sorry guys, i forgot the actual price.
It is an acrylic resin based varnish. The liquid is quite thick and needs to be diluted for our use.

That's why we need product no.2

2. Ace Hardware mineral spirits odorless paint thinner.
Again i apologise for not remembering the actual price but it shouldn't be more that RM30.
You should be able to get this at any Ace Hardware store. I got mine at Midvalley.
We'll use this to thin the varnish down. Its odorless so it won't stink up your hobby area. But do work in a well aired area for safety reasons :)

Because the varnish is quite thick, you don't need to use a lot. I use a ratio of 1:3 varnish:thinner and it's worked beautifully for me.

The color after diluting. Its ready for airbrushing now. I've always used an airbrush to varnish my models.

But for the sake of my friends, i tried using a brush to see if it would produce the same results.

Before varnishing.
After varnishing. The one on the left and in front was done using a brush and the other using an airbrush. As you can see, they produced similar results. Fuhhhh :)
I can't quite show the level of mattness (is this even a word?) in this picture but I am very happy with the results. I would swear by them :)
Next time, i'll buy the gloss or semi-gloss and see how it works.

2 lessons from this methinks.

1. Share and share alike. If you're having a problem just tell your friends, they could hook you up with a solution.

2. Go outside the standard hobby range of products. You never know what gems you can uncover. This varnish should last me for avery long time. Not bad for a RM50 investment :)

Thanks for sharing Jeff ;)
No going back for me.


  1. you could've asked me dude, I can even give you some sample to try first..
    that being said, I also obtained the info from Jeff..

  2. Thanks for sharing. And as you said in your blog, even if its odorless you should still work in a well-aired area ... a very important point. Once when I was a wee-bit younger (ok ... very much younger) I worked part-time in a chemical lab and dropped nearly half a tin (the lab ordered in bulk) of benzene (carcinogenic stuff) on the floor. Lucky for me, I was in a well-aired lab that happened to have all its windows open. Sigh ... scary times.