I’ve heard that matte coatings are less durable than gloss ones.

The claim was that gloss coatings form a hard protective shell, whereas matte ones do not.

The recommendation was to first apply a gloss coating for the durability. Then after the gloss is dry apply a matte coating to mute the glossy effect and achieve the intended matte finish.

Is this correct or a myth?

Using Krylon spray coatings to finish wargaming miniatures, but answer would likely apply to most any application.

  • 1
    I think that depends entirely on the product you use. I can't really imagine it though, not as a general rule, anyway.
    – Joachim
    Sep 17, 2019 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


Spray matte coatings can indeed be easily scratched and chipped; I can't speak for spray gloss coatings, as I have no personal experience with them, but brush-on gloss coatings (Triple Thick, Tamiya gloss, Future floor polish, etc) can be extremely durable. The durability you'll want will ultimately depend on how you plan to store your miniatures, however. If you transport them separated in a lined box and treat them overall gently, then a less durable finish can be just fine; if you tend to toss them all in a box, you'll want something more durable to prevent them from getting banged up.

You can layer finishes; when I do miniatures, I do coat them in brush-on gloss (Triple Thick) for durability followed by a spray of matte finish (Dullcote or Purity Seal/Munitorium Varnish) to cut the shine. The minis I've treated in this manner are from a board game and stored in the game box, and so far have not chipped or shown any damage to the paint or coatings. They aren't as matte as they would be had I used only the final matte finishing spray, but they aren't glossy, either; your desired finished look may have some impact in how you choose to finish your miniatures, as well.

As an addendum, if you are using only plastic or metal miniatures, Krylon sprays are likely fine, but if you choose to purchase any "premium resin" miniatures, under no circumstances should you use Krylon on them; Krylon has been shown to behave unpredictably on polyurethane resin, ranging from "it kind of worked but didn't dry/cure well" to "it pitted/ate away at the surface where it was sprayed."

  • Curious about the pitting on PU resin. Is the Krylon itself, or is it the propellant used in the spray, which is often more reactive than the product itself.
    – user24
    Sep 18, 2019 at 17:51
  • 1
    @WebHead unfortunately, there haven't been any scientific looks at it as far as I know, but one of my hobbies has a lot of sealant use on PU resin, and numerous people have reported assorted issues with Krylon. I'd love to know the details myself.
    – Allison C
    Sep 18, 2019 at 18:36

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