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Seal in dry brushing

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  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Seal in dry brushing
Posted by wpwar11 on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 8:55 PM

Just finished dry brushing the seat of a Spitfire.  The leather seat back and edges are highlighted.  Next is PE belts.  Is a clear coat the best way to seal the dry brushing in?  Is there a better material?  I like using oils for dry brushing.  Should I wait several days before putting my fingers all over the part for the belts?

Thanks.  Probably a dumb question.  Tons of info on the net about dry brushing but not much on what to do after.

  • Member since
    April 2004
Posted by Jon_a_its on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 3:15 AM

No such thing as a dumb question... Answers are another matter! Surprise

Paints, hmm, you will get as many, if not more opinions than there are modellers.

Old school, as characterised by Verlinden, was base coats in enamel, then dry brushing in lighter shades of base coats (adding tan not white) then enamel rust & graphite pencil highlights. Leave it a day or more & you were good to go.
Old School enamels could take hours/overnight to be touch dry, then days to fully cure.

Assuming your seat base coat is acrylic, which is touch dry in minutes/hours, but can take a day to fully cure... (always leave as long as possible) applying thin oils on top should be ok.

Caveat: the key point of using oil paints, especially in pure form for figure painters, is they have two usefull properties.

A: They can be applied thickly, or very very thin, translucent layers, you build up layers & blends slowly.

B: They can take weeks to dry, helping with the above, blending, translucency, etc.

Assuming you are using those oil pens for washes as by MIG, or the Airfix washes (enamel) etc, then they 'may' dry a lot quicker, but leave as long as possible.

The only way to be sure is to do a test piece at the same time, same base materiel, primer, top coat & same oils dry brushing.
Perhaps the underside of a tank, or interior of the aircraft wing? or a failed build/junkyard/range hulk as a tester.

Then use that as a test piece for trying painting techniques, handling and varnishing.
Once you gain experience with the materiels you are uing, you will be able to gauge your working better.

Consensus of modelling opinion (ha! as if, see above, Wink) is primer, acrylic, gloss acrylic varnish, pigments or oils, leave for ages!

i.e., paint down, protect your paint layers with acrylic varnish, then weather with pigments, emamel washes or oils...

Many modellers report problems trying to apply 'hot'/lacquer or enamel based varnish on top of acrylic finishes, especially if applied too thickly as they can react, especially IF the base coats are not fully cured.




East Mids Model Club 29th Annual Show 19th MAY 2019

Don't feed the CM!


  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 6:30 AM

Thanks for such a detailed response.  My order is as follows.  Prime with Mr. Surfacer 1500, Tamiya acrylic paint thinned with their acrylic thinner airbrushed, matte coat, matte coat dry for a day, then dry brush with Abteilung oils.  First time using the Mr Surfacer.  I’m really happy with the results.



  • Member since
    October 2010
Posted by hypertex on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 7:48 AM

Personally, I don't seal in the drybrushing. I don't find it necessary. I've drybrushed with oils and acrylics and have never had any of it rub off from handling (after drying for about a day).

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 7:51 AM

Personally, I do not seal drybrush detail.  I have never had any adhesion problems.  I generally do drybrush after after clear coats.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota


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