Loot Studios – Protecting Your Painted Minis

Protecting Your Painted Minis

How to Play RPG With Your Painted Minis Without Ruining Them

As a passionate hobbyist or collector of painted miniatures, you know that the hours spent meticulously painting and detailing your prized pieces are a labor of love and dedication. To preserve the vibrancy and longevity of your preciosities, it is crucial to protect them from wear and tear, and one of the most effective ways to safeguard your painted minis is by varnishing or sealing them. We will delve into the reasons why varnishing is essential and  explore different varnish types and application techniques, so let’s start!

It’s About the Long Run

Painted miniatures are susceptible to chipping, scratching, and color fading over time as any other object, especially if you play your RPG quests with them. Varnishing acts as a protective barrier that shields your delicate paintwork from damage caused by handling, dust, moisture, and exposure to light. By sealing the paint layers, varnish helps maintain the integrity and brilliance of your miniatures for years to come.

There are different types of varnish that can bring different results to your pieces, so bear in mind if the miniatures will be mostly exhibited or played with. If you prefer a non-reflective finish that mimics the natural texture of your miniatures, matte varnish is an excellent choice.

But for a shiny, lustrous finish that enhances the depth and richness of your miniatures’ colors, opt for gloss varnish. This type of varnish creates a reflective surface that brings out the intricate details and highlights of your paintwork.

Falling between matte and gloss varnish, satin varnish offers results that strikes a balance between the two. It provides a slight glossiness while maintaining a natural appearance.

Application Techniques

There are basically two ways to apply it, sprays or brushes. Using a soft brush, apply thin and even layers of varnish onto your miniatures. Start with a matte varnish as a base coat, ensuring it covers the entire surface. Follow up with additional coats of gloss or satin varnish to achieve your desired finish, or just stay with the matte one if you prefer. Allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next.

On the other hand, the spray varnishes offer a convenient and efficient way to coat your miniatures. Work in a well-ventilated area or outdoors, and follow the instructions on the varnish can. Apply several light, misting coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Be cautious not to overspray and create unwanted drips or unevenness, it happens way more often you can imagine it.

Protecting your painted minis
Models in 32 mm from Loot Studios’ Loxwort Academy.

Final Details

If you follow our articles here, you already know the importance of testing before applying in bulk. So please, test on a scrap model the different types of varnish and applications. This helps avoid any potential adverse reactions or unexpected outcomes.

Be mindful of the environmental conditions when varnishing your minis. Avoid extreme heat or humidity, as they can negatively affect the drying process and lead to undesirable results.

Give sufficient time for each layer of varnish to dry completely. Rushing this process may cause smudging or sticking, compromising the final appearance. Additionally, allow the varnish to cure fully before handling or storing the miniatures to prevent surface damage or imprints.

Minis can be amazing too when you run one-shot adventures, click here for more details about that. But I guarantee that protecting your painted minis will bring you last-longing memories and usability. Keep Safe, keep varnishing, keep playing! See ya!

Loot Studios can help you paint highly detailed minis, statues and props. Choose your favorite bundle from our previous releases or sign up for Fantasy or Sci-Fi to receive a new bundle every month. You can also check out some tips at our YouTube Channel.

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