Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Question about Varnishing


I have a question about varnishing miniatures.

I use Humbrol gloss varnish for protection and then Daler Rowney to get a matt finish.

I always need several layers of matt varnish, which I apply thinned down, until all glossy parts disappear.

Although I’m careful not to let the matt varnish pool, there are always parts where this happens. I correct this with acrylic paint.

I’m happy with the result, but the process takes quite long.

Is this normal or do you think I could improve my technique?




  1. I suppose it depends on how important the finished look is to you and how much time you have; I'm soooo slow at painting that I often just put one coat of varnish just as a little bit of protection. In the past I didn't bother with it at all! I think most people would put 2 layers though I may be wrong..

    1. I'm also a very slow painter, a slow person in general, I think. What bothers me about the varnishing technique I use are the little mistakes that happen when I apply the matt varnish. This really slows down the whole process and I might do something wrong, like using the wrong brushes, thinning the varnish too much or something else I don't even know about ... Cheers, Karl

  2. I use the same products, assuming that the Daler Rowney Matt varnish is the water soluble one. I leave the Humbrol gloss to cure for a week before adding the Matt so that it does not react to a satin finish. I shake the D-R Matt for about 15 minutes and then apply with dollar store synthetic art brushes making sure that it does not pool. I usually do 2 coats of D-R Matt with 24 hours between coats. I am now applying a final coat of AK Interactive Ultra Matt Varnish which is really Matt. Both varnish brushes can be washed in soap and water to clean them
    Graham W
    Aka Mindenbrush on LAF

    1. Thanks for your reply, Graham.

      The Daler Rowney matt varnish I use is not water based. I use turpentine to dilute it. It is possible that I dilute the varnish too much. Somebody on Instagram, where I asked the same question, suggested that I shouldn't dilute the matt varnish at all, but use it straight out of the bottle.

      We seem to be using similar brushes to apply the varnish.

      I will try to shake the matt varnish longer, as you suggest, and let the gloss varnish cure for a week.

      With your technique, do you sometimes get little white spots on your miniatures? Or does this never happen?

      All the best,