So I was thinking about varnishes lately because I have switched from matt to satin for my armor builds. It got me wondering about what other people prefer.

So what do y’all prefer? The brand and the type is what I’m looking for.

Colin :grin:


Hi Colin, you said satin, I use glossy and then matte, but for both glossy and matte, I use Mr. Color’s GX for airbrush, they are excellent

and semi gloss the SEMI-GLOSS SUPER CLEAR or the Tamiya LP-24

This time I don’t know if I have been of much help, but that is personal preference.


Still using my all time favorite flat, the long discontinued Pactra Acrylic Flat A48.

The common wisdom is NEVER trust an old bottle of Flat coat, using ~26 years old A48 with very satisfactory results and no issues.


Most of my builds are armor and aircraft so much of my paint selection are mattes/flats anyway, but when I do automobiles I use gloss paints and then coat everything in clear acrylic floor polish (Originally the Future method but due to ingredient and name changes over the years for me is currently the ‘Revive’ method.)

I’ve also used Testors gloss coat but I like the floor polish better in most cases.


My go to Flat coat is testors flat acrylic I’ve had a couple bottles for years and it is just great.
I’ll use Vallejo Gloss, matte and satin mainly for a type of glue or brushing it on.
Vallejo matte and satin just don’t spray well for me, which is probably user error.
I also use Testors dullcote on occasion. Again, just easy to use.
I’ve never used any aerosol can types, always bottled for an airbrush.
And i have Future that i use for gloss.


I’m a relative newbie to the whole ‘Future’ floor polish thing (not available here). I’ve been using ‘Holloway House Quick Shine Floor Finish’ in its place. :sweat_drops: HTH.



I started using AK Intermediate Gauzy Agent for gloss,along with Alclad Aqua Gloss

For matte im on Alclad
Satin Vallejo


I use Vallejo Premium and I’m quite happy with them:

And I have heard good things about VMS, btu haven’t tried them myself:


After decades of using the Testors lacquers - Gloss and Dull Coat - I now use the Tamiya line of clears: X-22 Clear Gloss, X-35 Semi Gloss Clear, and XF-86 Flat Clear.

All three can be mixed together to achieve just about any degree of sheen (specular quality) desired. All of them are also compatible with the other Tamiya clear colors, to include one of my all-time favorites, X-19 Clear Smoke. So, all of the Tamiya clears can be tinted with any of the Tamiya clear colors.

You can push the XF-86 Flat Clear to an even flatter sheen with a touch of X-21 Flat Base added to it, but this must be kept to a minimum since too much of the X-21 will make the XF-86 dry kind of “powdery.” On dark base colors this will definitely show up, although on lighter base colors (sand, buff, dark yellow, white, etc.) it’s not noticeable. If you try this, do a test spray out first!

The Tamiya clears are also “bullet proof” which is what I like best about them. Once dried, they seem impervious to any sort of thinners used for washes, etc. (except lacquer thinner, which you wouldn’t use anyways…).

I do still squirt some Testors Dull Coat from time to time as a final “dead flat” finish on some work. The Tamiya XF-86 Flat Clear seems to have a slight sheen over Teators Dull Coat, so if I want an absolutely “dead flat” I’ll still use it, but only now as a final, last application topcoat. Any hoo…

Tamiya clears pretty much all the way now for me.


For gloss clear coat, I use Holloway House Quick Shine. Available at WalMart in the mop aisle.
For flat clear coat, I mix my own with Holloway House Quick Shine and Tamiya X-21 Flat Base mixed 70/30. It always gives a dead flat finish and never frosts or pebbles. I’ve been using these for years with 100% success rate.


Since Model Masters went out I have been using Vallejo paint. No matter flat or semi gloss I have to use the corresponding varnish or the paint will scratch easily.


MARABU clear mat from the rattle can is my weapon for everything … Super fine stuff for graphic and art.

For small parts with the brush i like valeyo PU coat in satin for a little glossy surface.


Hi, I’ve been using the VMS range of varnishes lately and really like them.

Prior to that I have used Humbrol clear coats in gloss, satin and matt and also found them easy to use and have had good results.