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Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

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Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Flacktron » Tuesday October 15th, 2019 5:56pm

Hello all. Its been a while so sorry if this has ever been a topic before.

I've been painting a wide range of models as of late from Hero Quest, Space Marines to Corinthian Footballers. I've started using water slide decal paper to create my own decals. As I only have an inkjet printer I have to seal the images before I dip them in water to remove the backing paper. To seal the images I've been using Testors Dullcote, which is what I also use to give a layer of protection to the figure at the end. For the last few months, no matter what sort of precautions I've been using (mask, spraying outside etc), the Testors Dullcote spray has really been irritating my throat so I'm searching for a different product to use. Are there any that could be used to seal the waterslide decal paper and at the end to give a layer of protection to the figure, that aren't as full of chemicals and a little better for human use?

Thanks in advance for any help given

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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Stig » Wednesday October 16th, 2019 3:53am

How about you paint the varnish on? You can buy bottles of varnish just like paint pots, and I imagine there won't be that much to paint as decals tend to be pretty small.

Or wear a mask and spray outside taking more precautions etc
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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby KrautScientist » Wednesday October 16th, 2019 7:43am

I was going to suggest varnishing by brush as well, even though it's probably far less convenient. I regularly use Vallejo's Matte Varnish which works great (although I've never used it to seal custom made decals, to be fair). I think any spray can will always end up having more of the ingredients that seem to irritate your throat, since most of the irritants are probably exactly the substances that make the spray can work in the first place...
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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Flacktron » Wednesday October 16th, 2019 8:43am

Thanks for the replies.

I've tried using a mask and doing it outside but a standard dust mask didn't do the trick. I was considering using a proper painters mask which would hopefully let zero fumes in to my throat/lungs. When I seal the decals it is a lot easier with a spray can as the first coat needs to be so light to just seal the ink onto the decal paper. This is easier to control plus you get a more even spread with a spray can. I've tried to paint a varnish on but in 3 attempts it always made the ink colours run from the decal.

Whilst searching the internet today I did stumble across the Vallejo's matte varnish and it has a lot less chemicals in it than the Testors Dullcote so I think I'll give that a go.

I'm meeting my doctor this week so I'll see if I can get any good advice from them, see if they think it definitely is the spray causing the irritation etc

Thanks for replaying
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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Flacktron » Wednesday October 16th, 2019 8:47am

Also do either of you know of a good matt varnish for painting on? I definitely want to cut my spraying use down to a minimum so will paint the figure at the end in varnish and just save the spraying for the decals
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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Anderas » Wednesday October 16th, 2019 12:14pm

Spraying paint is always... difficult if I don't want to say dangerous.
Paints are made of microparticles (which makes them matte), color (which is usually toxic) and a supporting medium, acrylic, enamel, terpentine with oil or whatever (which is usually cancerous).

So if you paint with a brush... you have virtually no contact until it is hard and then there are no worries. And if you have contact, the contact is minimum. Even if you lick your brush, there is no problem because the amount involved is minuscule... I let my daughter paint what she wants, no problem.

Spraying is different. You use a lot more paint, the droplets you create are ideally mini small, say, they get roughly the size of that famously dangerous fine dust. Everything that get's in the air, will stay there for a while instead of sinking down. You're breathing it. It will paint your nose and lungs from the inside. That's not good.
Spraypainting outside is a good idea, ideally when humidity is high and there is a little bit (little! bit) of wind.

Easiest solution is: Wear a face mask! Always, when using spraypaint, use a face mask.
Second best solution is to paint varnish on with a brush, as you might accidentally destroy your inkjet print with the brush.


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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby lestodante » Wednesday October 16th, 2019 1:04pm

I am not understanding what is the use of the inkjet printer for..?


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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Anderas » Wednesday October 16th, 2019 2:22pm

he prints his own decals on decal paper


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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Flacktron » Thursday October 17th, 2019 8:57am

Great advice and thanks for the replies. This might sound a stupid question but do you have any tips on applying the varnish onto the decal after its printed? I'm guessing I was a little heavy handed when I tried, the colours began to run almost instantly even though I'd let the image dry for 2 days. Would you load the brush and just let the varnish touch the decal or would you just apply a little varnish at a time with a very soft brush stroke? Living in the UK the weather will be pants now for at least 5 months (if not 12 haha) so I won't be able to spray outside much and I don't have a garage
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Re: Matt Varnish and Decal Paper

Postby Flacktron » Thursday October 17th, 2019 12:24pm

Applying the varnish with a brush onto the decal sheet I meant
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