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Varnish before weathering - polyurethane? acrylic?

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  • Member since
    March 2018
Varnish before weathering - polyurethane? acrylic?
Posted by MountainManErik on Sunday, April 15, 2018 7:24 AM

Hi all, I am new to weathering and have tried streaking, washes, panel lines on scrap pieces with different oils and acrylics.  All of them seem to ruin my paint finishes.

I have heard alot about varnishes but have not tried them yet.  Is this the best way to go if I want to apply weathering afterwards especially with oil paints?

Also what would be better and more durable to protect the underlying paint, Polyurethane or acrylic varnish?  Or am i missing something altogether?


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:39 AM
If you painted with enamels,you need to protect with an acrylic clear if you plan to use oils or enamel washes.Same if you paint in acrylics,then you must protect them with lacquer clear if you are weathering with acrylics.You can weather with the same medium you painted in unless ypu protect it.

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:49 AM

Do not use the polyurethane if you are using paint thinner in your washes. It will mark the stuff.  Polyurethane is okay as a final clearcoat, but not under weathering, unless it is water color wash.


Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March 2018
Posted by MountainManErik on Sunday, April 15, 2018 8:49 AM

Thanks Tojo72.  I have not tried a acrylic clear yet.  Never thought about it, I always thought something that is normally water based would not be able to stand up to oil paints thinned with turpentine.   Will give it a try.  Have you tried acrylic tubed paints instead of oil paints for creating streaking and rust?

I know you mentioned before about possibly moving to the Asheville area.  I can check out some homes and send pictures if you find some listing you are interested in.


  • Member since
    September 2017
  • From: HTX
Posted by Kien on Monday, April 23, 2018 8:43 AM


I wouldn't use acrylics to create streaks; use oils or mig enamel products instead. When using oils, use something like mig enamel thinner to thin and streak the oils (I used turpentine and it was quite strong, causing the varnish coats to become mushy). I paint with tamiya acrylics, and seal it up using testors dull coat (the dull cote in rectangular bottle with pink label, thinned with testors lacquer thinner - cylinder bottle with black label). Then I typically begin weathering with a wash around details, then some oil paint streaks and fading, and finally pigments. The testors dullcote stands up to these products, thinners, and pigment fixers. Only problem I've ever had is when I used turpentine with the oils, which is why I switched to mig enamel thinner. You could also try AK thinner. Also, I recommend abteilung 502 oil paints, but if you don't want to order, the local art shop should have Winsor Newton "Winton" oil paints. I've heard that Wilder weathering oils and Van Gogh oil paints are good (never used them myself).


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