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Author Topic: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?  (Read 6116 times)

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Offline NsMHdolls

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What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« on: August 25, 2017, 08:09:14 AM »
Hi everyone!

I'm just wondering, is there a Safe alternative to the Mr.super clear sealant? I really don't want to get into having to use something that is highly toxic. Right now I'm using mod podge for MH dolls, but I'm looking for a more permanent sealant.
Also, can you use brush on sealants on watercolor pencils? Or will it make the repaint run?

Ty!
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Offline Kara Zor-El

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 12:17:38 PM »
Do you own an airbrush?
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Offline SaelaVe

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 02:20:17 PM »
Check out our Customization Tutorials, Resources, and FAQs sticky for the answers to these questions and more.  In particular this thread on sealants: http://mharena.com/index.php/topic,7416.msg166857.html#msg166857

The short answer is that if you are painting with watercolor pencils and chalk pastels, then the only viable safe alternative to aerosol sealants is watered-down Liquitex Matte Varnish applied via an airbrush.
If you are painting with acrylics then you can use non-toxic brush-on sealants.
Otherwise, no.  Sadly there are no good, safe aerosol sealant options available at present time.

And no, brush-on sealants are not a viable sealant for watercolor face-ups.  Dollightful did a video in which she attempted to seal watercolor pencils with DuraClear, and the results were less than stellar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GeVBDP5y2Y&feature=youtu.be).
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 02:27:52 PM by SaelaVe »

Offline Firecracker

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 02:33:30 PM »
I'm just going to add on with what SaeleVe has stated, in that liquitex is less toxic, but that you should still wear a respirator and work in a well ventilated area if you use it in an airbrush.  All varnishes give off fumes as they cure, even brush on, and that is nothing you want in your lungs when it's used in an airbrush!  If you use it as a brush on, you don't have to worry about the respirator.

Offline DogMom

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2017, 07:11:21 PM »
I'm just going to add on with what SaeleVe has stated, in that liquitex is less toxic, but that you should still wear a respirator and work in a well ventilated area if you use it in an airbrush.  All varnishes give off fumes as they cure, even brush on, and that is nothing you want in your lungs when it's used in an airbrush!  If you use it as a brush on, you don't have to worry about the respirator.
Thanks for that clarification, Firecracker!
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Offline Myrcury

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2017, 09:35:06 PM »
Can I please submit a very strong opinion, which is backed up by MUCH personal experience - and that is to NOT. USE. MODPODGE!

Whatever you do. It's a lovely glue for paper things, and that's about it. If any moisture/humidity at -all- gets to your dolls, it will just turn sticky again, and things will stick to their faces, and their faces will be RUINED. Things, as in like - their own hair, or if you ever go to pack your dolls away, other dolls' hair or clothes can get stuck to it. Dust will always stick to it. Stuff like that.

It's happened to me a lot. To the point it makes me fume with frustration! So please heed my warning, ye artistes! Say no to ModPodge! lol

This has been a PSA. XD


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Offline saharali

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2017, 11:11:12 PM »
And no, brush-on sealants are not a viable sealant for watercolor face-ups.  Dollightful did a video in which she attempted to seal watercolor pencils with DuraClear, and the results were less than stellar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GeVBDP5y2Y&feature=youtu.be).

I have to disagree!
If your options are mod podge or actually sealants applied with a brush, things like Liquitex applied with a make up sponge will turn out better than mod podge.

Also, I recommend vallejo matte medium. I use it in conjunction with an airbrush, it's cut at the right ratio to glide through the airbrush, and it is self levelling meaning, if applied with a brush or sponge, brush strokes or tiny bubbles should be minimal at best.

But without an airbrush or some sort of pressurised air, it will be difficult to get that smooth finish.

Offline SaelaVe

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 01:09:42 AM »
Can I please submit a very strong opinion, which is backed up by MUCH personal experience - and that is to NOT. USE. MODPODGE!

Whatever you do. It's a lovely glue for paper things, and that's about it. If any moisture/humidity at -all- gets to your dolls, it will just turn sticky again, and things will stick to their faces, and their faces will be RUINED. Things, as in like - their own hair, or if you ever go to pack your dolls away, other dolls' hair or clothes can get stuck to it. Dust will always stick to it. Stuff like that.

It's happened to me a lot. To the point it makes me fume with frustration! So please heed my warning, ye artistes! Say no to ModPodge! lol

This has been a PSA. XD

LOL  Very much agree.  I ruined quite a few custom MLPs back in the day with Mod Podge.  Never again.


And no, brush-on sealants are not a viable sealant for watercolor face-ups.  Dollightful did a video in which she attempted to seal watercolor pencils with DuraClear, and the results were less than stellar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GeVBDP5y2Y&feature=youtu.be).

I have to disagree!
If your options are mod podge or actually sealants applied with a brush, things like Liquitex applied with a make up sponge will turn out better than mod podge.

Also, I recommend vallejo matte medium. I use it in conjunction with an airbrush, it's cut at the right ratio to glide through the airbrush, and it is self levelling meaning, if applied with a brush or sponge, brush strokes or tiny bubbles should be minimal at best.

But without an airbrush or some sort of pressurised air, it will be difficult to get that smooth finish.

I think that you might have misunderstood my comment, or else did not read my complete post.  I was speaking specifically about brushing or dabbing on a brush-on sealant over watercolors, not applying them via an airbrush.
In the previous paragraph I explained that brush-ons can be successfully used to seal watercolors when applied via an airbrush.

Numerous custom artists have attempted to seal watercolors using a brush-on sealant and make-up sponges.  As you mentioned, it is very difficult to keep the watercolors from running while maintaining a smooth, even, consistent surface.  Dabbing the sealant on with a sponge tends to produce a bumpy, textured surface once dried—even with proper sealants such as Liquitex.  This is what I meant when I said that brush-ons were not a viable option for watercolor face-ups.  Or rather, brushing on a brush-on is not a viable option.

Offline seasides

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 04:28:23 AM »
I use the sealant dollightful used in her video linked above. It is tricky to get it the right ratio of water to sealant but when it works it is a good method. The only downside to it is that too many layers of sealant will make the face quite shiny, I usually try to limit myself to four or five layers.

I don't have the room or desire to airbrush because of health reasons and so I try to stick to pastels and acrylic paints. If you use a tinyyy brush you can get pretty fine details that are similar to watercolor lines :) I would recommend getting a good paint - I use a thinner from the art store to get it smooth for tiny areas and I have recently ordered some miniature paints I hope will save me that step. I have heard good things about Vallejo as well so am hoping to try that out soon.

If you want another video guide for Liquitex here is a couple of videos by Anandoll https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4uZwZLVh5g It is for BJD faceups but it'd be the same for MH I assume? :)


Offline saharali

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2017, 04:42:21 AM »
I think that you might have misunderstood my comment, or else did not read my complete post.  I was speaking specifically about brushing or dabbing on a brush-on sealant over watercolors, not applying them via an airbrush.
In the previous paragraph I explained that brush-ons can be successfully used to seal watercolors when applied via an airbrush.

Numerous custom artists have attempted to seal watercolors using a brush-on sealant and make-up sponges.  As you mentioned, it is very difficult to keep the watercolors from running while maintaining a smooth, even, consistent surface.  Dabbing the sealant on with a sponge tends to produce a bumpy, textured surface once dried—even with proper sealants such as Liquitex.  This is what I meant when I said that brush-ons were not a viable option for watercolor face-ups.  Or rather, brushing on a brush-on is not a viable option.

Oh, nono I read your post completely, and I disagree!
I believe it is possible to get brush on sealants to work in conjunction with water colours and pastels WITHOUT an airbrush, but it's a technique that requires finesse and the ability to mix paint/thinner ratios well. There are one or two issues to work around (such as shininess building), but brush on sealants without an airbrush do work if the artist is willing to take the time to learn the materials.
As long as the coats are quite thin and applied sparingly to protect the coloured materials, then layered quite well to build strength, it's possible to get good results with watercolour paints.

http://www.nonaptime.com/2013/07/brush-on-sealant/
Just some extra info re:brush on sealants with a makeup sponge, with some very good results :)

If you want another video guide for Liquitex here is a couple of videos by Anandoll https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4uZwZLVh5g It is for BJD faceups but it'd be the same for MH I assume? :)

Mh and BJD faceups are definitely the same. I work on both and the only real difference is I find i sometimes accidentally squish the MH heads when turning them around.  :yikes:
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 05:32:01 AM by saharali »

Offline Kara Zor-El

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2017, 07:40:43 AM »
I'm waiting for Testors Aztek airbrush matte sealant to come from Amazon, once I've given it a shot I'll report back what I think.  I use both airbrush and brush on techniques.
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Offline SaelaVe

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Re: What\'s a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2017, 08:26:47 AM »
Oh, nono I read your post completely, and I disagree!

My mistake then.  Since you had said:
But without an airbrush or some sort of pressurised air, it will be difficult to get that smooth finish.
I was under the impression that we were saying the same thing, but I guess not.

I suppose if you really want to invest the time and energy into working out the proper sealant-to-water ratio, and experimenting until you've learned how to properly dab on a brush-on sealant without mucking up your face-up, then go for it.  I feel like just buying a respirator would be a heck of a lot easier though.


Also, I recommend vallejo matte medium. I use it in conjunction with an airbrush...

Does Vallejo make a varnish?  You might want to consider switching if they do.  Mediums are not sealants.  They're used to change the viscosity of acrylic paints.  They provide some amount of protection, but not permanent protection like a proper sealant or varnish will.  Just a suggestion.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 10:44:18 AM by SaelaVe »

Offline NsMHdolls

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2017, 01:27:03 PM »
Can I please submit a very strong opinion, which is backed up by MUCH personal experience - and that is to NOT. USE. MODPODGE!

Whatever you do. It's a lovely glue for paper things, and that's about it. If any moisture/humidity at -all- gets to your dolls, it will just turn sticky again, and things will stick to their faces, and their faces will be RUINED. Things, as in like - their own hair, or if you ever go to pack your dolls away, other dolls' hair or clothes can get stuck to it. Dust will always stick to it. Stuff like that.

It's happened to me a lot. To the point it makes me fume with frustration! So please heed my warning, ye artistes! Say no to ModPodge! lol

This has been a PSA. XD

Oh wow! Thank you for the advice! I didn't know that it could actually RUIN the doll. I'll have to def. Find a better brush on sealant.

And thank you everyone for all of the great advice! No, I do not have an airbrush. I use acrylic paint for repaints as of right now, but was thinking of using watercolor pencils. Thanks again everyone!
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Offline Mad_Malady

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 01:03:12 AM »
Can any clear nail polish be used?
Do they only yellow when/if exposed to sunlight?

Mine seem to be holding up.

There are various types of mod-podge; I've just always assumed I don't get the right ones when a pony goes tacky. It's like grody accidental flocking. I say NO to mod podge for my doll's sake.

Offline SaelaVe

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Re: What's a safe alternatives to Mr. Super clear?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 09:17:02 AM »
Can any clear nail polish be used?
Do they only yellow when/if exposed to sunlight?

Mine seem to be holding up.

Nail polish is not recommended.  It is designed to be temporary—think about how easily it chips off of your fingernails—and is not meant to be used as a varnish for crafts, so it will not offer long-lasting protection of your dolls' face-ups. 
I would certainly stick to products that are designed to seal craft and hobby projects.