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TOPIC: Once the varnish is on, is it too late?
PM MykeCole
Standard User
Posts: 37
Once the varnish is on, is it too late?
26th Aug 2016 02:02:32

Hey all,

Stupid noob move here: I did a dry brush of Reaper MIniatures "Honed Steel" for steel armor of my Wars of the Roses figures. Now, I want to try adding an ink wash to bring out the details.

Unfortuntely, I've already varnished the figures (using Citadel's "Purity Spray"). Is it too late to add the wash? Will it either not adhere or just look like crap if applied over the varnish?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.

PM ithoriel
Standard User
Posts: 61
Once the varnish is on, is it too late?
26th Aug 2016 02:54:33

Don't see why it would be a problem, providing the varnmish is good and dry.

I've sprayed matt varnish onto models part way through painting to protect decals and the like, finished the paint job, added a second layer of spray matt varnish then brushed on gloss varnish to the bits that should be shiny.

Worked for me so should work for you.



Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

PM Glenn Pearce
Standard User
Posts: 178
Once the varnish is on, is it too late?
Glenn Pearce
26th Aug 2016 08:32:48

Hello MykeCole!

Well, although the detail on most figures is pretty good, the more coats of paint, varnish etc. the more you lose your detail and the less grip for the ink to grab onto. I brush everything on and often when applying a finishing coat some of the ink is washed away.

I would simply try it on one figure (cover the rest of them) and see how it looks. If it does not work simply repaint the one figure if it turns out badly.

Hope this helps you in some way.

Best regards,


Email dourpuritan PM dourpuritan
Standard User
Posts: 342
Once the varnish is on, is it too late?
27th Aug 2016 08:33:01

Damn it, pressed cancel again. It's still on the intuitively wrong side. Anyway, to do it all over again:

When painting is complete I give my figures a coat of satin varnish. Once dry I then apply a coat of magic wash to bring out the folds and creases. I read that satin varnish helps the wash to flow into creases, and it does seem to work. Talking of varnish, another tip; if after varnishing it frosts on your figures (gives a whiteish covering) this can be cured by respraying with varnish.

PM Estarriol
Standard User
Posts: 19
Once the varnish is on, is it too late?
27th Aug 2016 03:01:32

You can wash over varnish, indeed it is the best way to use an ink wash over white, as it picks up the rec esses withoput making the white go gret in the main body of the colour.

PM jbickley00
Standard User
Posts: 21
Once the varnish is on, is it too late?
31st Aug 2016 02:07:01

Yes you can wash over varnish. I typically do a gloss varnish, then an oil wash, then after cleaning up the oil wash and letting it dry, I use a matte varnish. I apply the varnishes with an airbrush.



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