Water Effects: A Cautionary Tale...

Things haven't gone according to plan.  Something bad has happened.  To be completely honest, I have no idea why it has happened.  I could have literally glossed over it and presented you with some final photos because I think I've managed to fix it okay.  But I'd rather share this with you all in the hope that this doesn't happen to you.  Let me explain.

Early yesterday morning, I applied my gloss varnish to the water section of the board.  I took the following photos which were extremely well received in SocialMediaLand.  And I have to say, I was rather proud of them.

 And I have to say I'm just as proud of the static grass as I am the look of the water.  The tweezer application method is one of my own devising, but it does a great job of creating an uneven looking surface.  it's far better in my opinion than using an applicator as these tend to just create a very even coverage.  And when you're applying the stuff to large flat surfaces for wargaming rather than the uneven ground on a diorama or railway layout, a bit of variance is a good thing in my book.  

 The second coat is a layer of PVA.  And I have to say that this is where everything went wrong.  I applied the stuff direct to the surface, creating what has been described as 'Seagull Bay' in the process!
 This was then brushed evenly over the surface.  The idea behind using the PVA is that it adds some depth to the layers of varnish.
 All good in theory, but the blessed stuff went and dried matt.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Matt.  Look at the next photo if you don't believe me.
 So I waited until it was properly dry.  I left it overnight to be safe.  Sure enough, it was pure matt by then.  So, early this morning, I applied another layer of varnish over the top to restore it to its former glory.  And when I returned from work, this is what confronted me.
 I genuinely don't know how to describe it.  Looking for the positive, I could say that it is at least more of a satin finish than before.  But what really worried me was the way in which the raised crest of the waves on the surface now had milky flecks in them.
 I can only assume that the PVA reacted badly with the varnish.  And in an infuriating revenge trip, the overcoat of gloss varnish had a go at the PVA beneath it and decided to completely mess up the whole thing even further.  This is more than infuriating.  It's positively soul destroying.

Well.  There was nothing else for it.  With everything being more than dry, I decided the best thing to do was to paint over the whole sorry affair and hope the gloss varnish would allow my acrylic paint to stick to it.  This was a desperate attempt to rescue the board.  You can see the process in the next few photos.

 And with everything blended together, the result looked promising...
 Here are a couple of photos of the board looking towards my light source.  The wet paint gives the impression of the kind of sheen I'm looking for on my board.
 And then, after it had thoroughly dried, I applied a coat of varnish. Here's how it looks now...

To be completely honest, I'm afraid to do much more to the board for fear of ruining it all. Although I would like to add more layers of varnish to build up the effect, just now I'm wanting it to dry out so I can use it in my games.   Sometimes you just have to know when to cut your losses.


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