Last year, Testors Dull Coate was my go to sealer for all my miniatures. I’d spray 3 coats of Krylon or Rustoleum gloss for protection then spray a layer of Testors to kill the shine. A little gloss brush on from Vallejo for weapons, slime, or water, and the figure would be done. This miniature was sprayed with the old version of Testors dull coate. (Yes, I said “old version.” Keep reading for an explanation.)
There’s no shine on this figure except around the thighs because she’s in water.
Unfortunately, Rustoleum bought out Testors. I didn’t know this until I began doing some research online, and I picked up 2 cans of Testors dull coate at my local Hobby Lobby as usual. My results changed dramatically, and I got things that looked like this:
I’m still learning how to use my camera, so excuse the poor photos, but it no longer takes off the shine at all. In fact, it looked like gloss. I thought that the labels might have been switched at the factory and I had semi-gloss in a dull coate can. That’s happened before, but after going through 6 cans I can give a confident verdict. Testor’s Dull Coate is a terrible product now. Older cans are fine and will work but they have to be made before the change in owners.
Final Verdict: Do not Buy / Avoid
Next up is Plaid which claims a matte finish. As you can somewhat see in the photo, they’re no better than Testors. It also stinks slightly worse than Testors.
Final Verdict: Do not buy / avoid
Let’s take a look at Vallejo brush on matt varnish. This is a true matt finish, no smell, and washes out of your brush with water. The only drawback is that you do have to brush it on. When I’m painting armies or putting up 15+ auctions a week up for sale, I don’t want to take the time to brush a sealer on each one. Can be bought at some Hobby Lobby stores or on the internet.
Verdict: Excellent but slow because you have to brush it on.
And the final product that I tried: Krylon Matte finish. This can be found at my local Hobby Lobby, Walmart, and Michael’s stores. Hobby Lobby has a perpetual 40% off one item coupon you can print from your computer. This makes it a very cheap alternative and it does a job very close if not as good as the original Testors. You’ll get a true matte finish with this stuff.
Final Verdict: Excellent and will be using unless something changes about it
There’s also a Games Workshop spray can sealer but I didn’t try that. I used a can years ago and it was excellent, but I don’t have a GW store close to me. By the time I paid shipping or for the gas to drive and make a purchase, it wouldn’t be worth the money. If you can’t find Krylon Matte or Vallejo brush on but have a GW store handy, you might try them.