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Rust-Oleum Products Experiment

Breyer Custom Minis completed with Rust-Oleum Products, Pastels, and acrylic paint.

Rust-Oleum has been one of my go-to brands of supplies over the years. I use the 2X Ultra Cover white primer on almost every model I customize, plus one of my favorite sprays—Testors Dullcoat —is made by Rust-Oleum.

So I thought I'd do a little experiment and try some other Rust-Oleum products for two different phases of pastelling customs: first, for the basecoat color under the pastels, and second for the fixative spray between the layers and/or final coat.

The two basecoat colors I chose were Satin Ivory Silk and Satin Fossil.

PROS: The paint can be applied directly to a well-sanded, prepped Breyer or over primer.
I think the colors of these paints were lovely places to start a horsey-toned paint job. The Ivory Silk color seems like it would be great for buckskins, palominos, sorrels and bays, whereas the Fossil was less warm/yellow and more of a neutral brown for grullas and some bays and buckskins.
They were affordable, about $4.00 each, and easy to find at Home Depot.

Dapple Buckskin with Ivory Silk basecoat
Grulla with Fossil basecoat
CONS: The paint takes longer to dry than primer. If it isn't dry it can fingerprint. Several light coats might help with even drying, as well as waiting many hours before pastelling the horse.
The paint doesn't like cold days. (Or humid ones, see above.) I just moved to Michigan, so we have lots of these. Painting on a cold day got me an uneven coat... I deserved that.
The paint surface doesn't accept pastel dust as evenly as primer alone. (Especially if the model needed a little bath because, oops it didn't look so hot on the first attempt.) I would recommend a coat of your favorite matte spray before pastelling.

The other product I tried was 2X Matte Clear.

In my opinion this was more of a semi-gloss than a matte, but depending on the model it might be the perfect finish... and that's just where I would use it—as the finish layer.  It seems to be durable—the model has been out to his outdoor photoshoot at the barn and didn't come home covered in rubs.
The Matte Clear didn't work for me as a spray between layers of pastel because the pastel dust seemed to slide right off the model instead of "grip" in place. As a result, his dapples are very fine and detailed, a delightful outcome!
I also found this spray very smelly and would only use it outdoors or with a fume hood.

Pastelled model with Fossil basecoat and Matte Clear used throughout pastelling, including finish coat for a show-ring shine.
As an artist, new tools and products can be the next best thing, or something we try once. For me, I'm thinking I'll keep these three sprays in mind when I'm working on models in the future.


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