1. Copying kits is a crime that hurts original artists & producers. Help support your favorite artists by buying their original works. PlanetFigure will not tolerate any activities related to recasting, and will report recasters to authorities. Thank you for your support!

Dulling down oil paints

Discussion in 'Oils' started by Cannonball, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. Cannonball A Fixture

    Hi everyone, can anybody advise what to use to use to dull down oil paints that have dried with a shine. I have heard reference in previous threads to dullcote and was wondering if this was a specific brand or just a generic term.

    I paint with artist oils over humbrol enamel base colours. I currently have some humbrol Matt cote and some life colour acrylic Matt cote and was wondering if either of these would work ( would the enamel based humbrol react with the oil paint and start lifting it or would the acrylic be able to key to the oil finish?).

    I would also like to know if I should apply the Matt cote once I have completed the figure or would I be able to do the affected area without it causing me issues when I come to paint the unaffected areas.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. DEL A Fixture

    Neal, don't know where you're from but Testors Dullcote is widely available. It comes as brush on and spray can.
    It's the brush on you need. Critical thing is carefully 'lay' it on the area you want to be matt, don't overwork it as it has a fairly quick initial drying time and it's easy to end up with pronounced brush strokes visible.
    I've never had any problem painting over it just make sure it's completely dry.
    JonH, winfield and Viking Bob like this.
  3. Cannonball A Fixture

    Thanks for that Del- I'll give it a try.
    Viking Bob likes this.
  4. megroot A Fixture

    I use Testors Dullcoate.
    Works amazing.

    winfield and Viking Bob like this.
  5. Cannonball A Fixture

    Thanks Marc, testors dullcote it is then.
  6. theBaron A Fixture

    I'll third DullCote. I use it as my standard matte sealer, regardless of the medium underneath.

    Going forward, if you that same paint again, you might want to add something to matte the finish. I use a wax medium (Dorland's) with oils, when I want to make the finish matte. The wax dissolves into very fine particles in the paint, and these provide the rough surface that scatters the light instead of reflecting it, which is what provides the matte look.

    chailey likes this.
  7. Jay-BFG Active Member

    Yep testors for me too.

    I use the brush on stuff through the AB.

    If you brush it on too thick it will dissolve the paint underneath.
  8. fogie A Fixture

    Simply mix the paint on some card - it will absorb a lot of the oil so you'll need to balance things a bit with a touch of
    linseed, but a little practice will make things easier
  9. Watcher New Member


    I've just tried to paint an Alpine Panzer crewman with straight oils (Rembrandt Ivory Black) and the shine scared me to the extent that I took it all off. I hadn't done as you suggest i.e. to put it in card but rather had used it straight onto a white tile. I know that black pigments tend to be gloss so am I fighting a losing battle? I wondered whether doing as you suggest but then using some Liquin might work?


  10. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Cannonball, and Matthew,

    I'm currently applying an acrylic undercoat in the colours I want on my figures, and then painting over in oils using a solvent - white spirit or Zest it - which dulls them down, together with drying them in an old crock pot (slow cooker) on low with the lid off for 12 hours which takes any shine off them. Also W&N Artisan water based oils tend to dry matt, especially with a solvent.

    clrsgt likes this.
  11. JasonB Moderator

    Depending on the material that the figure is made from, in the future you could dry it by heating in an oven on low/warm, or a crock pot on low. When you dry oils this way, they become dead flat. I think the heating removes the oils and leaves just the pigment. Absolutely dead flat. I have done this with resin figures no problem, but of course if you heat them too much, items like sword blades may droop. As far as Dullcote goes, shake it well and test it before spraying your figure. Over time, Dullcote can go bad and actually go on frosty white. When you buy it in a bottle for airbrushing, you can see it separate, but shaking it remixes it. The spray dullcote seems to go bad and no amount of shaking makes it better.
    chailey and clrsgt like this.
  12. Watcher New Member

    Food for thought there but I might have a practice on a scrap figure before I apply heat to my pride and joy!
  13. Babelfish A Fixture

    I've tried various supposedly "matt" varnishes (including W&N) but none of them have worked. At best they've given me a satin finish, at worst a high gloss shine.

    Dullcote however I do find does the job.

    Some guys swear by a "light box". I've tried that as well, but with mixed results (sometimes it's helped, sometimes it hasn't).

    This past year or so I've taken to mixing a small amount of Abteilung 502 "Matt Effect Thinner" in with my oil paints, and I've also found that to be very effective in flattening down any sheen. Not the cheapest solution, but it does work very well, and on all colours. At least in my experience.


    - Steve
    chailey likes this.
  14. Babelfish A Fixture

    Yes, always do this. It makes a big difference. Put it on a square of card so that the oil can leach away. I'd even go as far as to say leave it for as long as you can before the paint starts to dry out (and even then you can 'reactivate' it with a bit of 502 - see above - if it's not too far gone).

    - Steve
  15. Watcher New Member

    I'll give the Abteilung a go as well as making use of the card. Thanks for the heads up.

  16. frank h Well-Known Member

    There is a hell of a lot of oil to be taken out ...before you can begin to do anything with oil paints
    Having got the excess oil out on a piece of card ;;;;;I use lavender oil as a medium
    it makes the paint go on smoothly.......... now and then if i have a glossy area
    Vellejo matt varnish ....sorts it out

  17. Jay-BFG Active Member

    I add oil to my oil paint. Stick in a light box overnight and it dries flat most of the time. Sometimes I will run a dry brush over the paint just before it fully dries to scuff the gloss off.

    But then again I do tend to use oils completely differently from everyone else.

    But I always give the figure a final coat of dullcote
  18. Watcher New Member

    If I decide to use a matt varnish (I usually use W&N Galeria) how long would I need to wait before applying it?
  19. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    If you do decide to use heat, whichever method you choose (oven or slow cooker with the lid off) keep the heat low - its not so much about temperature, but the application of low heat over a period of time that dulls them down. I use it simply to speed up the drying process while working on a model.

    Paul Kernan likes this.
  20. Paul Kernan A Fixture

    I used Dullcote a few times with mixed results when I first started but now only use a heat source. I agree with Chris. The secret is low heat over several hours
    Chrisr likes this.

Share This Page

planetFigure Links

Reviews & Open Box
Buy. Sell & trade
Link Directory

Popular Sections

Figure & Minis News
vBench - Works in Progress
Painting Talk
Sculpting Talk
Digital Sculpting Talk
The Lounge
Report Piracy

Who we are

planetFigure is a community built around miniature painters, sculptors and collectors, We are here to exchange support, Information & Resources.

© planetFigure 2003 - 2022.