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Varnished Bones become tacky/sticky many months after being sealed


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There is a thread in here somewhere where we discuss Krylon spray varnish not working with bones.  It appears to cure, but a few months later the bones minis are tacky.

Ya, but threads can get hard to find around here. The warning bears repeating.

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I painted the terrain from DDS2 last August, primed it with Grey Liner through my airbrush, used Tamiya paints, again through the airbrush, then Reaper, GW, and Vallejo VMC paints, sealed it with Dullcote.

Still no sign of any tackiness....

 

***Are you speaking to ME minion???***

 

Oopsie....

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I can confirm it...All my Bones miniatures painted with Games Workshop paints and varnished with Army Painter anti-shine spray have become shiny and sticky after 3 months. The guy at the shop told me that this happened to several customers, and he thinks this is related to the varnish, He suggested to use Army Painter acrylic matt varnish (brushable).

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It sounds like the plasticizers in the Bones vinyl are leaching out , and while waterborne acrylic paints and varnishes won't be affected, many spray paints and varnishes will be softened by them. It's for this same reason that spray primers are not recommended on Bones, as well as they take acrylics well enough without anyway

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I had some bones with liquitex varnish go a bit tacky on me several months after it was applied. I just set them in a warm place for a bit (this was over a year ago so I don't know how long of a bit) and they became untacky again. No additional varnishing. Just checked again and they are fine. I realize it has been a while since the op, but anyone encountering this looking for answers, maybe don't rush to varnish it again. If you have a bit of time to wait it out, maybe try letting it be for a week and seeing if it improves.

 

As to why it happens: no clue.

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I had some bones with liquitex varnish go a bit tacky on me several months after it was applied. I just set them in a warm place for a bit (this was over a year ago so I don't know how long of a bit) and they became untacky again. No additional varnishing. Just checked again and they are fine. I realize it has been a while since the op, but anyone encountering this looking for answers, maybe don't rush to varnish it again. If you have a bit of time to wait it out, maybe try letting it be for a week and seeing if it improves.

 

As to why it happens: no clue.

More time for the acrylic paint to fully cure?

 

Acrylic paint dries quickly enough, but complete curing takes days.

 

The way I see it, if you add your layer of varnish before the paint cured enough, it basically "re-hydrates" the paint, making it permeable to any solvent in the varnish that would react with the base plastic material. When that happens, a new layer of tacky material is created and it takes forever for the trapped solvents to evaporate again.

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More time for the acrylic paint to fully cure?

While it was some time ago and I couldn't say with absolute certainty, I don't think this was the case. I tended to paint figures individually or small groups of 2 or 3, and then varnish 10 or so at a time. I have never varnished before 24 hours after a paint job, so most of those figures were at least days old and some well over 2 weeks. I was completing my masters at the time and definitely did not get more than 2 painting sessions a week. In addition, the varnish seemed to cure or they would not have left my desk.

 

If I remember correctly, this was back when I was keeping my gaming minis in a sealed plastic bag. My hypothesis was that something was offgassed by the bones material, couldn't escape the baggie and softened the varnish. I haven't had a problem since changing my storage method. The op said that the storage case was not airtight, which punches a hole in that theory.

 

The only other thing that I have changed since then would be a which from liquitex paint to reapers paint. I still occasionally use liquitex on larger ones (DDS2 terrain) or for drybrushing, so I don't feel that this was the cause either.

 

Reveiwing the thread and my own experience leads me back to my inability to explain the cause of the tackiness. The only common things seem to be plastic mini and varnish, so I would still likely conclude that it is some kind of gas coming from the mini, but there is not nearly enough info to figure out why it happens or even how to predict it.

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Reviewing the thread and my own experience leads me back to my inability to explain the cause of the tackiness. The only common things seem to be plastic mini and varnish, so I would still likely conclude that it is some kind of gas coming from the mini, but there is not nearly enough info to figure out why it happens or even how to predict it.

If Reaper Bonesium uses common PVC plasticizers, it would be phthalates. They're what makes PVC soft, and they *do* leach out and evaporate over time, which is why old plastic items sometimes become more brittle (though a lot of these also degraded because of UV exposure).

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More time for the acrylic paint to fully cure?

While it was some time ago and I couldn't say with absolute certainty, I don't think this was the case. I tended to paint figures individually or small groups of 2 or 3, and then varnish 10 or so at a time. I have never varnished before 24 hours after a paint job, so most of those figures were at least days old and some well over 2 weeks. I was completing my masters at the time and definitely did not get more than 2 painting sessions a week. In addition, the varnish seemed to cure or they would not have left my desk.

 

If I remember correctly, this was back when I was keeping my gaming minis in a sealed plastic bag. My hypothesis was that something was offgassed by the bones material, couldn't escape the baggie and softened the varnish. I haven't had a problem since changing my storage method. The op said that the storage case was not airtight, which punches a hole in that theory.

 

The only other thing that I have changed since then would be a which from liquitex paint to reapers paint. I still occasionally use liquitex on larger ones (DDS2 terrain) or for drybrushing, so I don't feel that this was the cause either.

 

Reveiwing the thread and my own experience leads me back to my inability to explain the cause of the tackiness. The only common things seem to be plastic mini and varnish, so I would still likely conclude that it is some kind of gas coming from the mini, but there is not nearly enough info to figure out why it happens or even how to predict it.

 

I can confirm that time does not cure all bones.  Of my Bones that became tacky, there were some that I had no plans to game with and just sat them aside rather than try to deal with it.  It's pushing 3 years now, and they are still tacky.

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If Reaper Bonesium uses common PVC plasticizers, it would be phthalates. They're what makes PVC soft, and they *do* leach out and evaporate over time...

I've been thinking, and this is the logical answer.

 

I bet they're using low weight phthalates, which are highly reactive with benzene and other solvents / alcohols. This would explain the gassing, and cure loss, as these are common propellants in aerosols.

 

The real solution is to replace them, especially as the evidence for them as carcinogens mounts.

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