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Flat Enamel Clear Coat: Does it Exist?

12 replies
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  • Member since
    December, 2016
Flat Enamel Clear Coat: Does it Exist?
Posted by FineCadetModeler on Thursday, March 30, 2017 2:40 PM

Hey everyone.

I'm going to be doing decals on a 1/72 Widgeon, so I'm going to spray the model with gloss before applying them and after application as well.  I'll seal the deal with a clearcoat.

The thing is, I have not been able to find a flat, enamel clearcoat.  All I see is lacquer and acrylic, and all the enamel stuff is gloss!  I heard lacquer dullcoats are a big no no for enamel-painted models...

Does a flat enamel clearcoat even exist?  Where do I find it?



  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Thursday, March 30, 2017 2:53 PM

I am not sure about a pure enamel flat coat, but it is not true that you can not use lacquer over enamels. I only use enamels and on aircrfat i don't apply a gloss coat, and i use a lacquer flat coat straight onto the enamel paint.

''I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so''


On the bench: Rudel Stage 3

                     Academy 1/72nd Apache AH.1

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:07 PM

Yeah, I have most problems going manufacturer- manufacturer, likeTestors flat or gloss over Humbrol, than I do matching the "so-called" names they use on their products.


It's always a good idea to test, and then go on that. Thats why I keep crap builds around.

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Thursday, March 30, 2017 3:17 PM
I'm in the market for an honest to goodness FLAT. Testors Dull Cote leaves a semi-gloss appearance.



Too many projects to list. 

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Austin, TX
Posted by smeosky on Thursday, March 30, 2017 5:18 PM

Testors dullcoat never seems to make a dead flat finish, but I usually am not after that. I am not aware of any enamel clear flat coats out there.

For flat clear coats i use the Vallejo matte varnish 70.520. which is acrylic. Use too much and it will frost, and it will not at all protect an enamel base coat from oil washes. So yeah, there is definitely a need for a good clear flat coat out there.

I've just used Alclad aqua gloss and love it. If only applying a few light coats it will not 'gloss' the surface up too much. There may be merit in using the Alclad clear flat coats, even those are laquer based.

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Thursday, March 30, 2017 5:19 PM

Get the Humbrol stuff in the little tin. Dead flat and it is enamel. The best you can find.


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, March 31, 2017 8:52 AM

I use enamels exclusively.  I know the old rule about no lacquer over enamel, but Testors lacquer clearcoats work fine- never had a problem.  Don't know why.  They dry super fast- maybe so fast there is no time to eat into the enamel.  Try a test on scrap plastic to assure yourself.

Testors did offer enamel versions a couple of years ago of both Glosscoat and Dullcoat.  But it was not real popular, and is now hard to find. They took quite awhile to dry.

But the lacquer Dullcoat and Glosscoat are both widely available.  Also, Testors offers a semi-gloss clearcoat now, but it is harder to find.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2016
Posted by FineCadetModeler on Friday, March 31, 2017 9:03 AM

Thanks for the advice.  I had done a layer of the dullcoat over a Type VIIC Uboat, painted with enamel, but it came out OK.  

Guess I just needed to hear it from the experts.  I'll test it out just to make sure.



  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:28 AM

I use Testors clear flat lacquer over enamels, oils and acrylics without any problems.  

I make sure that specially acrylics are dry and have cured before spraying light coats of the flat lacquer which dries very fast.




Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Saturday, April 01, 2017 11:28 AM

Never had a problem using lacquer clears over enamels...well...once, I did have a problem.

I use Minwax clear gloss lacquer (thinned 50/50 for airbrushing)...I got a little heavy handed, right off the bat, and the paint crinkled up. Now, I do a couple mist coats, with a few minutes drying time, then spray a couple heavier issues.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Monday, April 03, 2017 1:02 PM


 I switched paints some years back . For clear flat - coat I now use Testors acrylic .Don't get me wrong though . I still don't like acrylics .But , this works for me . T.B.

  • Member since
    January, 2014
Posted by Silver on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 2:53 PM

Alclad flat coat.

  • Member since
    October, 2016
Posted by MangoMan on Thursday, April 06, 2017 9:10 AM
Mr. Super Clear UV Cut Flat


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