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Hull Finishing

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Ray Worth30/06/2008 15:05:00
6 forum posts
2 photos


Can anyone advise please?

I'm a newbie modeller and have just finished the plank-on-frame hull of my first - the Aeropiccola kit 'Mediterranea' - instructions practically non-existent (and why, when double-planking a hull, would you want to use a pre-formed ply strip for the bulwarks? I 'sweated' a couple of spare first planking strips to fit).

Anyway, I'm reasonably pleased with the result so far - pix below - but instead of painting it I would like to finish the hull with a matt varnish. Problem is I've no idea what to use and if I get it wrong I'm frightened I'll spoil the my work so far.

So, can anyone please suggest a suitable varnish to produce a very matt finish which will show the wood off to its best?





ashley needham30/06/2008 19:19:00
7394 forum posts
159 photos
Ray. Important question first, and a platform to display my ignorance (if more experienced types are familiar with the model) it going in the oggie or is a shelf boat?? this will affect the final answer I think. A matt acrylic varnish should give a long lasting non-yellowing appearance ok, but may not be suitable for prolonged immersion. Or for those of you into this sort of thing, do you have to treat plank on frame boats differently in the paint stakes? Ashley
Ray Worth30/06/2008 19:54:00
6 forum posts
2 photos


 Thanks - It's going to sit on the shelf (if it's good enough!). Ray

Manxman30/06/2008 20:02:00
440 forum posts
133 photos

Hi Ray,

If thats your first model, can't wait to see your next one !

You may have a problem with finding a suitable varnish though.  I build my boats from matches and like you, will not paint them.  However I've not had much luck in finding a waterproof clear matt varnish,  all the ones I've tried say they are clear but are not, they are transparent !, when opened and stirred they have a brown colouring to them (something to do with sunlight protection) when applied to a dark wood they look great, but not when applied to a light coloured wood.

I now use Humbrol aerosol satin varnish (i don't think they make a matt version) which is clear.  just apply several coats, rubbing down between,  when satisfied with the thickness just rub down again with the finest wet-n-dry to give you the look your after.

As Ashley says, it depends whether you intend getting her wet, if not you can use the acrylics.  Either way stay away from anything that is quick drying, they dry too quickly, do not soak into the wood and can leave brush marks.

Cheers and good luck - Ken

Paul T30/06/2008 20:49:00
7335 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles


If its going to sit on a shelf and definitely not go into the water then there are a couple of options that I have used in the past, the first is just to oil the wood with linseed oil which drys to a Matt finish and the second is to use a "magicoat" Matt varnish spray which comes in a 500ml can and can be bought from craft shops (even some B&Q outlets have it in their specialist paints section)

If you opt for ether of these just remember to do a test piece on a piece of scrap wood first to check that you are happy with the result.


Ray Worth02/07/2008 14:34:00
6 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks to you all - the advice is much appreciated.



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