A replacement for Dullcote, that is. For several year now, I have been lamenting the inconsistency and "failure to flatten" of Testor's Dullcote. See my earlier ramblings on this topic at Reliability of Primers and Dullcote. Prior to the last four or five years, Dullcote was my dulling agent of choice. It rarely failed to take the sheen off of my freshly painted figures. But then something changed. The packaging changed and my suspicion is that the formulation changed too. That I could not prove. Was the Dullcote having difficulty knocking the sheen off figures stained with MinWax? I could not be sure. All I knew was that results were inconsistent. So I began a hunt for an alternative. In every case, I returned to Dullcote and hoped for the best but the hunt never stopped.
Several months ago I came upon Rust-Oleum's Clear Dead Flat in a Big Box hardware store. "Dead Flat" certainly sounded promising and my expectations were set high. Having applied this in various weather conditions, my verdict is that this product is NO WHERE near dead flat. It leaves a satin sheen as do most matte clear topcoats. Very disappointing.
Recently while browsing Dick Blick in search of a replacement Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush, I came upon W&N's Professional Matt Varnish. After reading a few reviews, the product looked promising. Given that this product is about a third the cost per ounce of Dullcote, I figured what do I have to lose? Not much really. My hobby closet holds many a half empty bottle of matt varnish that has failed to meet expectations.
Well, when the order arrived, I grabbed a stand of figures that still had the Dullcote satin sheen and gave them a spray with the W&N matt varnish. The results were incredible! Dead flat! I have not seen this level of dead flattedness since the days of using Floquil's Figure Flat about twenty years ago. Next I grabbed a unit of recently "dipped" figures. Again, absolutely dead flat was the result. Splendid! I have found a new dull coat.
The only issue now is that I have become accustomed to figures showing a slight sheen...