Friday 4 December 2015

261: Recovering from varnish frosting

I found a way to fix frosted models!
  1. put the pieces in an electric fan oven at set to 50 degrees C (120F) to pre-warm them. 
  2. oven started cold, and I only left them in for 10 minutes throughout the process I am describing. I would not do this with resin or thin plastic bits (swords etc).
  3. I took each piece out, sprayed it, and put it back in again.
(Gas oven would be a bad idea: water is a combustion product, so they are intrinsically more humid)

The longer version.

 I had sprayed the guns for my Crimson Death (which are magnetised) with dullcote a while back. It was cold and humid, and I got the dreaded frosting. This was a bit of a downer, and it has taken a while for me to get the drive back to tackle the job.

The guns are mostly black with green gems. I repainted over the black, as it was quick (I had just painted black and edge highlighted), and the frosting stood out over the black worse than the green. My gems have a 5 step highlighting process that I could not be bothered to do again. The black came out looking shiny in places and matte in others, so really needed matte varnish again.

Warming and spraying again worked well. It made the black matte, and on the gems that I had not repainted, it actually removed the frosting. I can only assume the solvent in the dullcote re-dissolved the frosted layer and this time dried properly because is was warm and the humidity was low. I imagine that if the original frosted layer had been too thick, this would have been less successful. These gems were frosted, and this is them after the fix.  

The formation.


  1. Holy crap! Testors Dulocte frosted on you? That is scary. That stuff is so dependable o_O

    1. Yep. I had sprayed when it is damp and cold before without ill effect, so I was blasé. It was very damp and cold this time.

  2. Great tip, I hate the dreaded frosting, I now make a point of shaking the can for 1min solid before attempting a spray with Purity Seal.

  3. A weird tip my mate swears by for dealing with frosting, paint the models with olive oil. They then take on a glossy look, but after a few weeks this fades down to a matt finish. I can't say why, but he's shown me the finished effect, and it looked good.

    1. I'd heard of that tip too, but as I've never bothered to varnish, I've yet to have the problem. I think the oil fills in the roughness of the frosted texture, but could be wrong about that being the method by which it works.



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