Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

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Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by Celereon » Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:22 am

I've read that you generally don't need to prime or seal Dwarvenite, especially when using Pokorny paints. However, I've been struggling with my paint job on my Erinthor mountains set: once painted, after some minor handling, the pieces look faded and lack contrast. On a hunch, I scratched at one of the pieces and sure enough, the paint came right off. In fact, I could rub it off with the skin of my thumb without too much effort.

You could argue that scratching with a fingernail is an extreme case that exceeds normal wear and tear, but rubbing with my thumb I think is a general use case. Not to mention that the paint is visibly faded from just handling it after painting and packing it away.

What am I missing here? I've washed the pieces before painting, and I'm using Pokorny paints: Olive drybrush and Caverns drybrush (with a couple drops of Reaper pure white and Pokorny base grey added in). I waited overnight for the paint to cure before trying to rub it off too. Do I just need to seal it? I've already had some bad experiences with a wash drying tacky, and a coat of Liquitex matte varnish (that I used to try to fix the tackiness) drying with white frosty spots all over, so I'm not keen on going through that all over again.

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by lostpict » Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:33 am

I always wash my plastic and epoxy things with warm water and a mild detergent before painting. In my case, I painted my Erinthor without primer using the Cardboard color first without issues.
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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by Trollface » Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:14 pm

I wash my dwarvenite before painting (and remove mold lines), then seal all my dwarvenite after I paint it.

Unless acrylics have a lot of resin in them, read glossy, they will rub off. I like to use very flat paint on terrain. After painting I seal with spray shellac, then I go over with light dry brush, and some touch up. Finally I give them a light spritz of dull coat.

By sealing I don't worry as much about chipping and scratches with handling and storage.

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by geekjeff » Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:12 pm

How long did you give them before the rubbing & fingernail tests? The paints do need some time to cure beyond when they're just dry.

I have found that in the first few days, the lightest drybrush layers can rub off a bit with too much handling, and the paints can be removed if desired with a quick soak and light scrubbing. (I found both things to be true with both Pokorny paints and Reaper.)

After it's cured for a week or two though - for some things I changed my mind on the colors and wanted to repaint I was unable to get the paint fully off even with a multi-day soak in Simple Green and a stiff nylon brush.

Sealing is always an option, I've heard good things about Testors Dullcoat behaving well with Dwarvenite. You don't always want a full flat coat though, many of the factory paintjobs allow some of the PVC sheen to show through the drybrush layers and a flat overcoat won't match that.

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by Celereon » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:00 am

Hmm, I've only been waiting a day or so. I've been doing some experiments re-washing some pieces as recommended by lostpict and Trollface (thanks to both of you!) -- I washed them when I first received them but that was before the pandemic hit. I'm also trying a rinse in Dettol instead of dish soap, just because I had it lying around for stripping minis. I'll wait a week this time and report back.

Maybe Dullcote will be needed in the end, but I'm trying to avoid that if possible. It's hard to get where I am, so either I shell out for shipping, or try a bunch of other matte varnish sprays to see if they get tacky. That's a whole new range of experiments and I'm running out of energy :lol:

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by Trollface » Tue Sep 29, 2020 2:19 am

One more thing that has worked well for me with bones, that reduces the hydrophobicity and helps the paint adhere better, is use some white vinegar when you wash them. Then try not to handle the pieces too much between drying and getting the first coat on, so the oils on your fingers don't mess up the work you just did.

Hopin that helps

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by Celereon » Fri Oct 09, 2020 7:43 am

Alright, experiment results are in! Posting here in case someone from the future stumbles upon this thread via Google or something (hi!). In order of ascending effectiveness:
  • Rinsed with water, or water + vinegar (no improvement)
  • Dipped in Dettol, then rinsed (minor improvement)
  • Washed with dish soap and water (minor improvement)
  • Soaked in 99% isopropyl alcohol for ten seconds, then wiped clean (major improvement)
  • Soaked in Dettol for 20 minutes, then rinsed (major improvement)
  • Painted, varnished with Liquitex Matte Varnish, then stripped with Dettol over 4+ hours, then repainted (basically bulletproof; clearly impractical)
All but the first approach benefited greatly from a week of curing time. Most likely I'll stick with the isopropyl alcohol method -- I can't rub paint off with a finger, and need specially sharp fingernails at the right angle to scrape it off. The Dettol soak is a little more durable but boy does the smell linger.

I may still investigate Dullcote or a similar matte spray for the forest and swamp Wildlands pieces, just because those will be a pain to touch up down the road if the paint starts to wear. The change in final finish may just be a price I have to pay for that piece of mind.

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by zenako » Fri Oct 09, 2020 10:04 am

While not dwarvenite, our standard cleaning practice for most metals from the machine shop to be heat treated is to degrease it with an IPA spray and then wipe the part dry to avoid adverse hydrocarbon reactions in the furnace and discolor the metal. Paying special attention when wiping to any blind holes and internal corners to ensure that the IPA and whatever it has liberated is removed. (Hit some of those with compressed dry house air.) So another way of saying, not at all surprised by the success IPA showed with removing any mold release residue. I would recommend doing that however in a well ventilated area if doing any significant number of tiles at one time.

Also if you are immersing the tiles (soak) one might need to change out the IPA solution every so often as it will become more saturated with the materials you are removing and then you lose some effectiveness as you redeposit residue on the part you are cleaning. (Had to chastise a vendor who kept using their cleaning bath WAY past that point and was sending parts that looked like they had never been cleaned. Their internal process layout had a bath change every month, regardless of processing volume. Sigh.)

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by lostpict » Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:20 pm

Years ago (at the dawn of personal computers) I worked for IBM on the first PC. We used a freon bath to degrease our plastic parts used for those original keyboards. Turns out that the freon removed both mold release compounds and the naturally occurring low molecular weight oils that were near the surface of the plastics. This adversely affected the coefficient of friction and could result in the keys sticking. If you left the parts alone for a couple of weeks, oils deeper in the part would diffuse to the surface, restore the lubricity, and keys would stop sticking. Applying this to cleaning, a fresh cleaned dry surface is best before you prime. Obtw, I always prime to avoid adhesion issues - usually with Krylon or Rustoleum. I also seal most miniatures with a dip in 1:1:1 water, Future floor wax , and Windsor Peat Brown ink followed by either Testors Dullcote if humid or Krylon Matte if cooler.
Regards,

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Re: Not sealing Dwarvenite: what am I missing?

Post by Celereon » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:14 pm

lostpict wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:20 pm Obtw, I always prime to avoid adhesion issues - usually with Krylon or Rustoleum.
Doesn't that add *two* extra steps to your painting process? Because then you have to basecoat the whole thing in the original base colour...which I've seen isn't trivial for some colours like the Erinthor mountains mix.

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