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Varnished Bones become tacky/sticky many months after being sealed


Splurch
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I seal my miniatures with Liquitex High Gloss Varnish through an airbrush and then do a matte coat. Last year, I put a number of figures away sealed with gloss but did not get around to putting a matte coat on them. Figures were primed with Badger Stynylrez, had several paint brands used on them and washed with an ink/liquitex medium/flow improver/slow dri home made mix. Some of these figures were Reaper Bones, some were not. They were all kept in a display case that, while not airproof, does keep dust out and is not in direct sunlight. The metal, resin and hard plastic figures have cured just fine and are not sticky at all. Even the bases of the bones figures, which are green stuff or plastic are not sticky. Only the bones figures themselves have become tacky. Some are barely sticky, some are so sticky I can press my finger to them and life the figure up without fear of it falling. I don't know when the problem happened, but the figures were sealed at various points last year and some had no issues for at least weeks after being sealed. Other bones painted at the time that were not sealed do not have this issue.

 

The problem seems to be some kind of reaction with the bones material and the liquitex high gloss varnish that happens through the primer/paint. I've only read up on issues with them becoming tacky when aerosols that react with the bones material. I'm concerned if I matte them, the tackyness will just come through again. I had some issues with the same problem with Liquitex High Gloss and bones a few years ago when I started using it. After some change in application/use I eventually got it to work without issue (or at least with no immediate issue.)

 

Has anyone else experienced your bones becoming tacky months after being sealed with no issues beforehand? Any idea why it is happening or if there is something I can do to fix and/or prevent it?

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That's just... odd. :huh:

 

Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction. I've never had a varnish become tacky after it had completely cured. My initial thoughts was that it was the wash just taking a while to react, but the fact that the metal/resin/plastic are just fine eliminates that as the sole cause. I will probably just matte one this week, see if it fixes the problem and if it does, just keep periodically checking it for a while to see if it turns tacky again. I'm kind of at a loss for why it is happening and somewhat worried about my other bones now.

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That's just... odd. :huh:

 

Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction. I've never had a varnish become tacky after it had completely cured. My initial thoughts was that it was the wash just taking a while to react, but the fact that the metal/resin/plastic are just fine eliminates that as the sole cause. I will probably just matte one this week, see if it fixes the problem and if it does, just keep periodically checking it for a while to see if it turns tacky again. I'm kind of at a loss for why it is happening and somewhat worried about my other bones now.

 

So how long did you allow your paint to cure before applying the varnish? Did you shake up your varnish gently and apply in a thin coat? What kind of Matte are you using? Spray or brush on?

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Also, has there been a temperature change/weather change (higher/lower than average humidity or pressure)?

 

Wondering if there's an odd chemical reaction occuring in the Bonesium material that is destabilizing the petroleum or water content and causing it to leech out.

 

Otherwise I'm very baffled but I'm no chemist. Leave for ex-husband #1.

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That's just... odd. :huh:

 

Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction. I've never had a varnish become tacky after it had completely cured. My initial thoughts was that it was the wash just taking a while to react, but the fact that the metal/resin/plastic are just fine eliminates that as the sole cause. I will probably just matte one this week, see if it fixes the problem and if it does, just keep periodically checking it for a while to see if it turns tacky again. I'm kind of at a loss for why it is happening and somewhat worried about my other bones now.

So how long did you allow your paint to cure before applying the varnish? Did you shake up your varnish gently and apply in a thin coat? What kind of Matte are you using? Spray or brush on?

 

Paint cure time varies, but its a minimum of days. Some were sitting for weeks before I varnished them.

 

Varnish was shaken a bit, nothing too vigorous but also not all that gently. I know I apply it in slightly thicker coat then I probably should, essentially I slowly apply it until it forms a consistent wet coat.

 

Matte will be liquitex matte (brush on) through an airbrush and has not yet been applied.

 

 

 

I have had problems with tackiness in some Liquitex products in the past.

 

Yeah, I have too, but eventually sorted them out. It seems 100% fine on non bones material, and was fine for a while after it was applied to bones. I really like the way their varnishes flow through an airbrush and provide a solid seal, at least up until now. What do you currently use?

Edited by ladystorm
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That's just... odd.  :huh:

 

Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction. I've never had a varnish become tacky after it had completely cured. My initial thoughts was that it was the wash just taking a while to react, but the fact that the metal/resin/plastic are just fine eliminates that as the sole cause. I will probably just matte one this week, see if it fixes the problem and if it does, just keep periodically checking it for a while to see if it turns tacky again. I'm kind of at a loss for why it is happening and somewhat worried about my other bones now.

 

So how long did you allow your paint to cure before applying the varnish? Did you shake up your varnish gently and apply in a thin coat? What kind of Matte are you using? Spray or brush on?

 

 

Paint cure time varies, but its a minimum of days. Some were sitting for weeks before I varnished them.

 

Varnish was shaken a bit, nothing too vigorous but also not all that gently. I know I apply it in slightly thicker coat then I probably should, essentially I slowly apply it until it forms a consistent wet coat.

 

Matte will be liquitex matte (brush on) through an airbrush and has not yet been applied.

 

 

A trick people have done when their figures have primer that is tacky is to hit it with some matte coat which seems to stop that tackiness. Perhaps try this and see if it does the same for your problem. I'm thinking either you have a bad batch of varnish or it's reacting to the bones material.

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That's just... odd.  :huh:

 

Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction. I've never had a varnish become tacky after it had completely cured. My initial thoughts was that it was the wash just taking a while to react, but the fact that the metal/resin/plastic are just fine eliminates that as the sole cause. I will probably just matte one this week, see if it fixes the problem and if it does, just keep periodically checking it for a while to see if it turns tacky again. I'm kind of at a loss for why it is happening and somewhat worried about my other bones now.

 

So how long did you allow your paint to cure before applying the varnish? Did you shake up your varnish gently and apply in a thin coat? What kind of Matte are you using? Spray or brush on?

 

 

Paint cure time varies, but its a minimum of days. Some were sitting for weeks before I varnished them.

 

Varnish was shaken a bit, nothing too vigorous but also not all that gently. I know I apply it in slightly thicker coat then I probably should, essentially I slowly apply it until it forms a consistent wet coat.

 

Matte will be liquitex matte (brush on) through an airbrush and has not yet been applied.

 

 

A trick people have done when their figures have primer that is tacky is to hit it with some matte coat which seems to stop that tackiness. Perhaps try this and see if it does the same for your problem. I'm thinking either you have a bad batch of varnish or it's reacting to the bones material.

 

 

Yeah, I think it's reacting to the bones material rather then a bad batch as the non bones are fine, and if that is the case, it is doing so through primer/paint. The length of time to react just seems odd, especially since it had cured. I plan to use liquitex matte varnish on it, just wanted to make a post before I proceeded and risked making the problem worse. I've seen the posts about matte fixing a tacky mini, but none of them about a mini that had turned tacky after being fine, so I want to proceed with a bit of caution ;)

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I have seen and heard about this happening several times.

All with Bones figures, and one with Privateer Press' Undercity board game miniatures, which seem to be the same material as Reaper Bones.

 

It has something to do with the varnish you're using reacting with the plastic through the primer and paint.

The following products react to Bones' soft plastic by making the surface tacky:

 

Liquitex Varnishes and finishes.

Army Painter coloured primers.

Vallejo varnishes.

 

This is only what I have witnessed first hand. If left for long enough (a year or more) the products finish reacting, and the surface loses the tackiness. But, only after another sealer is applied. I have yet to hear of any aerosol finishes (ie. Dullcote or the like) reacting in this manner. It has always been some sort of brush-on varnish or sealer.

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I have seen and heard about this happening several times.

All with Bones figures, and one with Privateer Press' Undercity board game miniatures, which seem to be the same material as Reaper Bones.

 

It has something to do with the varnish you're using reacting with the plastic through the primer and paint.

The following products react to Bones' soft plastic by making the surface tacky:

 

Liquitex Varnishes and finishes.

Army Painter coloured primers.

Vallejo varnishes.

 

This is only what I have witnessed first hand. If left for long enough (a year or more) the products finish reacting, and the surface loses the tackiness. But, only after another sealer is applied. I have yet to hear of any aerosol finishes (ie. Dullcote or the like) reacting in this manner. It has always been some sort of brush-on varnish or sealer.

 

Well that is massively disappointing but good to know I'm not the only one who has encountered it. Do you know of any varnish that can be applied through an airbrush that don't have this issue? Any idea if I apply my liquitex matte varnish at this point if the reaction will simply continue?

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I have had problems with tackiness in some Liquitex products in the past.

Yeah, I have too, but eventually sorted them out. It seems 100% fine on non bones material, and was fine for a while after it was applied to bones. I really like the way their varnishes flow through an airbrush and provide a solid seal, at least up until now. What do you currently use?

At the moment I finish my minis with a quite thin coat of Golden High Solid Gel (Gloss) and after a day's drying a thin coat of Golden Soft Gel (Matte). Neither of these are intended as final varnishes (but then that's true of most mediums which we use as varnishes), and I am contemplating experimenting with other finishes.

 

I have found that even with these my Bones have a slightly waxy feel under the fingers, not quite sticky but perhaps just a touch rubbery compared to the dry feeling my painted pewter and hard plastic minis have.

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I have had problems with tackiness in some Liquitex products in the past.

Yeah, I have too, but eventually sorted them out. It seems 100% fine on non bones material, and was fine for a while after it was applied to bones. I really like the way their varnishes flow through an airbrush and provide a solid seal, at least up until now. What do you currently use?

At the moment I finish my minis with a quite thin coat of Golden High Solid Gel (Gloss) and after a day's drying a thin coat of Golden Soft Gel (Matte). Neither of these are intended as final varnishes (but then that's true of most mediums which we use as varnishes), and I am contemplating experimenting with other finishes.

 

I have found that even with these my Bones have a slightly waxy feel under the fingers, not quite sticky but perhaps just a touch rubbery compared to the dry feeling my painted pewter and hard plastic minis have.

 

 

A touch rubbery is a good description for how bones feel after varnish.

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I have little to contribute to the tackiness discussion, as I have not had the issue with the few bones I have hit with dullcote. Really, though, I haven't bothered finish-coating very many Bones, and have had less problem after heavy use (by hamfisted D&D players) with ruboff than with some of my heavily finished metal pieces.

 

Which is of no use to the problem at hand, but I would suggest you try not sealing a bones or two and see if you really find it necessary in the future. It's one of the things I love most about Bones....worry free paint-table-to-game-table use!

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