Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Using Sealants

The purpose of spraying a base coat on bare plastic/vinyl or resin, is to give your doll a coat of flat matte, providing a microscopic uneven surface, which will enable your acrylic paints, pencils and/or pastels to adhere.

Spraying sealant in between applications is how layers are protected during the repaint process. It's much like what artists do, when illustrating with charcoal, to stop it smudging. It also enhances the colours, allowing you to create depth, even a degree of translucency to areas where you require it, such as the eyes.

This is especially so, when a final spot coat of gloss is applied to specific areas with a brush, after the final matt top coat has been applied. My sealant preference for this is Mr. Colour Gloss.

Applying a top coat not only seals and protects your beautiful artwork for years to come, it hides any minor imperfections in the surface and allows you to take photos of your finished dolls without a reflective glare, which is more often found on uncoated plastic/vinyl dolls like Blythe here on the right.

Things to watch out for when using sealants are:
Dust, hair and other miscellaneous airborne particles.
Extremes in temperature ~ it's advisable to work in temperatures ranging from 23-27C (73-81F)
Humidity ~ moisture in the air will create fine droplets or spotting on your work, so definitely don't use when it's raining!
Don't breath it in ~ most sealants are toxic, so it's advisable to use a protective mask in a ventilated area or a professional ventilated spray booth.
Avoid eye & skin contact ~ use gloves when holding your doll.
Distance ~ hold your can about 45 cm (approx.18 inches) from your doll and limit spraying to about 3-5 seconds, so it's just enough to apply a thin, even coat to the surface.

My ideal conditions are ~ 25C (77F) with 50-60% humidity, outdoors on a still day.

My go to sealant is Mr Super Clear UV Flat, as it can be used on both my plastic/vinyl and resin dolls, it also has the UV protection which helps prevent yellowing. Yes it's a bit smelly when applying, but that dissipates quickly.

Obtainable in Australia from Japan Toys in Melbourne, at a reasonable price, but please note MSC can only be shipped by road to other states.
Email: sales@japantoys.com.au or Phone: 0490 678 559.

Also available from Brunel Hobbies 20 Station Road, Cheltenham. Scroll to the bottom of their website page, it's just above Paint Pens.
Email: sales@brunelhobbies.com.au or Phone: 1300 278635.

8 comments:

  1. Hello Sandy,
    Thank you for the great tips about sealants. They are an extra step that can make all the difference to an art project.
    Big hug
    Giac

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    1. Hey you are most welcome Giac.
      Big hugs,
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  2. This is written very nicely and super informative! I always struggle with MSC in humid climates ;_;

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    1. Thank you Irene, I'm only too happy to help where I can. Humidity is the pits! However, we all seem to find a break in the weather sooner or later, don't we?
      Hugs,
      X

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  3. I really liked your explanation on using sealants. Thank you also for the links. I actually did not know MSC was available in Australia.

    For my own repaints, I use Vallejo with an airbrush (trialling a make up airbrush right now) and am currently experimenting with liquitex sealants using the lightly dab with make up sponge method. I am finding it gives a fairly decent tooth to the vinyl (I'm just experimenting on vinyl at the moment). I have discovered gloss on the lips (such as Tamiya) tends to be too sticky on vinyl and doesn't dry properly so am experimenting at the moment with other varnishes as my vinyl dolls need the gloss varnish over the lips and painted eyes. I've found I really enjoy working on vinyl.

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    1. Hi Alasse, I am pleased you enjoyed it. I only know of the Melbourne retailer, but if you check with hobby shops in your own state, you will probably find someone reasonably close to you.

      I have an airbrush that I used when we had our business, but I am so used to using MSC I haven't bothered with trying anything else. Maybe when I have run out of my stock of MSC I'll give it a go. It's fun experimenting though and it's only by doing so that you find what works best for you.
      Hugs,
      X

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  4. Hello!
    Great post! I always use my weather app, to see if it is the right conditions for working with sealants. And I am glad that I can order my sealants from my own country and get them home fast! The time when I can use them is rather short - then comes the cold weather during spring, autumn and winter.
    Hugs and happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks Niina. I think we all have the same problem with weather, no matter where we are the best time for spraying seems to be restricted to late spring and early autumn.
      Hugs,
      X

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