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Mr. Super Clear

After I released a tutorial on my repaint process, I received a lot of questions about Mr. Super Clear. I had one particular person who asked me for help in using it for the first time which was sort of educational for me too based on her experience in using it. She had a lot of great questions and I admit, I had to research answers for a lot of them. I’m sharing my knowledge from what I learned from the exchange since it might be useful for aspiring doll artists out there.

 

What is Mr. Super Clear?

Mr. Super Clear is one of many types of sealants created by a company called Mr. Hobby. Mr. Hobby, as the company name suggests, is a familiar brand name for people who like to customize toys or make dioramas. They have a huge range of products from two part putties, paint and different types of sealants depending on what you want to do or what you need. The brand name is not common to western countries since it’s a Japanese based company.

Mr. Super Clear has gained popularity among BJD artists. What’s great about Mr. Super Clear is that not only can it be used for BJD’s and vinyl dolls, it can also be used to seal traditional artwork, or even sculptures, or any surface you want to color and want to keep the color on. Being a mixed artist, this is why Mr. Super Clear was an absolutely necessary part of my tool kit. Aside from being versatile, Mr. Super Clear was inexpensive even next to common place art sealants available at stores. Although it was a hassle to have to buy Mr. Super Clear online, for me it also had the added benefit of being long lasting. Dolls or artwork, your colors did not fade. It had a very strong chemical smell but it only lasted for as long as you were applying it on the artwork. It was odor free and it made sure that the surface you applied paint or pigment on, stayed on without any adverse effects to the surface below.

I’m honestly not sure whether Mr. Super Clear was specifically designed for BJD artists or sealing traditional artwork but due to its growing popularity, a new formula was developed called Mr. Super Clear UV. The original formula had a “yellowing” effect on vinyl and resin dolls after several years or if dolls were frequently exposed to sun light. The yellowing effect was found to be caused by sun damage. Mr. Super Clear UV is essentially the same as Mr. Super Clear with the extra added benefit of preventing the yellowing effect. Dolls could now safely brave the sunlight and ensure that they had permanent sunscreen on.

 

 Where can I get Mr. Super Clear?

You can sometimes get lucky and find Mr. Super Clear available in Asian stores or areas like Little Tokyo at Konikuniya stores. Some specialty hobby stores may even carry them since they are popular with mecha toy collectors.

Otherwise, you can pick up Mr. Super Clear at Junkyspot or various stores at Amazon, or just google it and check the results. It’s pretty popular so there’s tons of places where you can get it.

 

Which kind should I get?

Mr. Super Clear and Mr. Super Clear UV both come with a Flat and Gloss version. If you are going to do any vinyl or resin doll repaint, go with the Flat version. Gloss is recommended for hard plastic surfaces like Monster High bodies and does work on vinyl doll heads if “shiny” skin is precisely what you’re looking for. You still need to use the Flat version in order to apply any repaint work done and can only use gloss as a finishing agent if shiny skins are your motive.

Gloss is what you need to use for the bodies. The Flat version will simply flake off due to mild mold release residue on the bodies. If you have the patience to sand the body and carefully wipe all the mold release from the MH body surface, you can use Mr. Super Clear Flat. Even so, it won’t guarantee that there won’t be any flaking here and there.

The Flat version of Mr. Super Clear will take the shine off any shiny surface you apply it on which gives it that “teeth” you need for applying pastels, paints or color pencils when working on doll repaints. The Gloss version will make everything shiny and look like one of Masamune Shirow’s permanently oiled bodies. Both are useful depending on what look you are going for.

The only real difference between Mr. Super Clear and Mr. Super Clear UV is that the UV version ensures that your doll repaint will remain what it is now for several years and will not yellow. Mr. Super Clear UV is also considerably more expensive than Mr. Super Clear.

In some ways, if you are a beginner, you should try using Mr. Super Clear to start with. Just keep in mind that your work will have a mild yellowing effect after 1-2 years, even worse and faster if you take your doll outdoors often. Mr. Super Clear is also generally more inexpensive usually with a $12-15 price tag per can, sometimes even more readily available.

You can usually pick up both the flat and gloss version in the same shop since they are usually sold side by side.

 

How do I use Mr. Super Clear?

Mr. Super Clear is a spray sealant and, like any other spray sealant, it is toxic. If you use this stuff, do it outdoors or a well ventilated area with a mask on. There are some people who may even have a bad reaction to its fumes even if it lasts for a shorter period of time compared to other sealants.

In addition to using Mr. Super Clear outdoors or a well ventilated area, it is extremely sensitive to temperature. Don’t use Mr. Super Clear especially if it’s windy, rainy, hot and humid. Little to no humidity is the key so the ideal conditions are dry weather (don’t use in temperatures of 30’C or more, humidity of 70% or more).

Don’t use oil based paint with Mr. Super Clear. They will not be sealed and will cause a chemical reaction rendering the oil paint permanently sticky. It will ruin your work. For doll repaints, use water based materials like soft bodied acrylic paint and water color pencils. Not only will water based materials allow for easy clean up and touch ups, they will stay on after being sealed with Mr. Super Clear. Try to keep your paint applications thin and flat. If your work has glop, it is very likely to flake off because parts of the paint are not able to dry properly. On that note, only apply Mr. Super Clear when the paint has completely dried and only continue work once Mr. Super Clear has completely set (which should take about 15-30 minutes).

EDIT 7/15/2014:

“[OPTIMAL WWATHER CONDITION] The room tempereture 25 degrees Celsuis. The room humidity is around 50-60 percent. Plase don’t use on a rainy day.” I emailed Mr.Hobby awhile back and finally got a reply. The spelling made my giggle.

Myra Dimler

How far do I spray?

Spray Mr. Super Clear within 1 to 2 feet away from the surface of what you will be working on and try to limit it to 3-5 seconds just enough to leave a thin and even coat. You don’t want to inhale any of it and you just want it far enough to get a nice even coat.  Try to circle it around an uneven surface like doll heads or limbs to get an even spread. If you spray too close, it will cause clumps, a thick layer or a flaky texture.

It is normal for Mr. Super Clear Flat to look wet immediately after application. As it dries, the surface will have a non-shiny texture, a perfect matte surface.

Mr. Super Clear Gloss is a lot harder to tell by sight when it has finished setting so play it safe and just leave surfaces where you have applied Gloss alone for 15-30 minutes, even up to an hour. If you touch an area that hasn’t completely set, it will leave unwanted imprints which means you have to start over from scratch.

Sealant Safety

Being a Japanese product, MSC cans do not display English safety or directional text. Being a sealant/propellant, MSC is harmful to your respiratory system, eyes and skin. Some folks may be especially sensitive so use proper equipment and caution as you would when using any kind of propellant/aerosol product. MSC is only toxic during its “fluid” state which is when it’s in use being sprayed or drying on a surface. It is completely harmless once dry.

  • Use in a well ventilated area.
  • Wear a mask (or a respirator for those who are sensitive).
  • Avoid contact with eyes or skin (wear gloves!).
  • Keep can out of extreme temperatures (cold or hot) or direct sunlight.

Be advised that when using sealants indoors, out spray will end up on anything it is sprayed on or near it. It will float around the room and settles on everything in the form of white dust.

Spray booths can be used but make sure that it has a fan with an explosion proof motor. Most hobby spray booths used for water-based airbrushing do not have explosion proof motors. The fan localizes and contains out-spray or dried Mr. Super Clear within the spray booth.

Mr. Super Clear Alternatives?

Why bother when it does what it’s supposed to do well? If you really can’t afford to because it is unavailable in your area, here are a few alternatives that I would recommend.

  •  ZM Finishing Powder Spray – Specifically designed for Volks resin dolls. I’ve never used it myself but it is one of the most popular sealers used by doll artists. If it’s recommended on a Dollfie doll, it must be really good. Just sayin!
  • Games Workship Spray Varnish Matte – Used on miniatures so that already tells you that it’s got good teeth action for pastel work! They are readily available at hobby stores and are relatively inexpensive.
  • Liquitex Matte sealer – It isn’t a spray sealer, it’s a brush on sealer. Since it’s a popular brand, it’s readily available in many places (even if sometimes the price isn’t reasonable). Unlike spray sealers, you aren’t guaranteed a flat, smooth surface so using this will require a lot of ingenuity and skill to take advantage of what you’ve got when you do your doll repaint. The best way to get a nice even surface is to dilute the Matte sealer and dab it with a cotton bud. Just make sure that the surface is absolutely dry before you attempt any work because you may occasionally have to go back and re-dab the surface. You’ll know when you’re done by feel or with clear sunlight to see the matte surface. If you ever wanted to repaint those gargoyles, this would be a great pick.

I am very wary of using any other type of sealer outside of the three I have mentioned because of the known yellowing effect, the residue odor or unintended chemical reactions to vinyl because it wasn’t designed for it.

Mr. Super Clear is hands down the best and only sealer I prefer to use for doll repaints (or anything I do that requires a surface to be sealed). I hope this was informative and feel free to ask any questions or share knowledge of your own experience!

Further Reading

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This Post Has 120 Comments
  1. Hi I’m fairly new to this hobby. Hope I’m not too late.
    I’ve noticed that most face up artists wait 30 mins between coats of MSC. I sprayed, waited 9 hours, then started my face up. Even though it was completely dry, my throat began having this weird sensation while working and I had to stop. Does MSC need an additional curing time even after it’s dry, or else it may become toxic again? Am I going to need to wear my respiratory mask while doing face ups, even when not in the spraying stage?

    1. MSC is only known to cause issues in it’s solvent form but I’ve never heard anyone have a reaction that you’ve described once it has dried. It sounds like an allergic reaction to me so I suggest you talk to a medical professional so you can isolate whether it is caused by MSC or one of the materials that you’re using to paint with. Keep in mind that high quality paints use various types of materials to create the pigment color so that may also be a factor to consider.

  2. Hi,

    I’ve used MSC Flat on some dolls, and I noticed that after 3-4 layers the doll’s face becomes glossy… Is it normal? 🙁

    1. You need to shake the can vigorously before every use to make sure that the mixture is even. When the contents settle inside, it doesn’t always distribute evenly and has results similar to what you’ve experienced. This is a common issue in aerosol products.

  3. How does MSC work on EVA foam? I’m in the planning stage of a doll and want to have some larger horns that I was thinking using an EVA foam clay to make them with. I don’t want to spent the time making beautiful horns out of foam only to have them melt or crumble if I seal with MSC.

    1. I’ve been using MSC to seal mediums such as pastels, oil pastels, watercolor, and acrylic on various paper products long before I started using it on dolls. If you’re reading up on the repaint articles on this website, many hobbyists have been using MSC on plastic kits for years. I hope that is enough to inform you and make a decision whether or not you want to try it as a sealant for EVA foam clay.

    1. I think so, but just keep in mind the effect your going for. The Flat version will create slight opaque effect so you might want to consider the satin or gloss finish to maintain the transparency in glass.

  4. Thank you so much for your tutorials! I am not an artist by any means, lol, I just want to repaint the lips of some of my dolls. I’m assuming I need to only prime the lips, right?? Also, it’s very humid where I live, so would it be better to use one of brush on alternatives, especially since I’ll only be doing the lips?

    Thanks again!!

  5. Hello, I dont know if I’ll get a response since this is so late, but I dont have the UV MSC just the matte version and I sprayed my dolls head and it doesnt seem to feel rough or like the light grade sand paper yet and I’m worried I wont be able to use water colored pencils. Would another coat work, or is this normal

  6. I can only readily access MSC satin, will that work instead of the MSC flat? I don’t want to purchase it incase it won’t work as well.

    thanks!

    1. No, you can’t use MSC Satin or Gloss as a primer as explained in this entire article. You can only use Satin or Gloss as a finish if that is your intended effect.

  7. Hi! I was working on a doll repaint and on top of two layers of acrylic paint, I sprayed Mr. Super Clear UV flat. After 45 minutes left to dry in a location with cool temperature, I checked on the doll, only to find it had large areas with a grey/white discoloration due to the spray. I am wondering if this is known to happen under certain conditions and what I can do to fix the problem? I sprayed 1+ foot away and shook well. Thank you.

    1. Also–it is not flaky or bumpy whatsoever. I wish I could send a picture to explain! It is like one spray painted a light grey, but it feels very smooth and consistent with the rest of the doll that isn’t discolored.

    2. UPDATE: it’s peeling smoothly like nailpolish… An additional piece of information that may be helpful in the diagnosis of the issue is that the area I sprayed in was around 50 F.

    3. Follow this protocol:

      1) Prep your doll
      Based on all of what you’ve described, you have to start from scratch. Clean everything up with acetone thoroughly until you have a blank canvas. DO NOT leave anything on, don’t skip any parts. Make sure to wash the head thoroughly with dish soap and water and let dry thoroughly overnight just to ensure that there is no acetone or moisture left over on the surface.
      2) Read through the manufacturer requirements for the product that you’re using
      I’m not going to assume that you’re using MSC for this project but regardless of what it is, be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommended conditions for using the product. If you are using MSC, be sure to read through this article and check out the comments. Depending on what you’re using, you may need to take extra steps to prepare your materials before you can actually use them to ensure that they meet ideal conditions. You will have to figure this out on your own through trial and error so be sure to have a test doll to work with until you get it right.
      3) Practice proper ventilation
      4) Make sure your work area is clean and sterile. Make sure there is little to no humidity, not too cold, not too hot, no dust that will interfere with your work.
      5) Allow the solvent to dry properly, overnight if you need to.

      Good luck!

    4. is it okay to spray a doll outside when the can was left in decently warm room then take inside and leave in seperate closed room that i wont be in. I want to make a custom but its winter and its gonna be my first time

      1. As long as it’s dry outside, this usually works but it can be very problematic when you have to deal with humidity and sudden temperature changes. It isn’t unique to MSC, aerosol products are really sensitive to temperature changes that it’s very important to create the right conditions for it to work as intended.

  8. I’m deciding what to buy for my first custom, and I’ve decided on liquitex matte varnish (because i cant afford MSC and a mask h a h a :,)) but i have two questions; 1. Is liquitex matte varnish the same thing as liquitex matte sealer, & 2. will it work with watercolour pencils?? I don’t want to mess up any of my repaints lol.. thanks in advance!!

  9. Hello, I just started repainting and have MSC at home. I always sprayed a thin layer on the doll face to set my progress. Today as I was working on the wig I noticed some dark smears under her chin. I tried to erase them but it did not work. Then I started using acetone and it came off but now you can see where I cleaned and where I did not. I tried to clean everything around the painted areas (eyes and lips) and had to take of all the shading on her cheeks etc. any idea why this happened? Is MSC still sticky? Do you only touch it with gloves?

    1. If you are following the process of repainting that I have on this blog, a layering method is used in order to create your repaint. As such, whenever there’s any kind of smudge or dirt that you want to remove, you want to see if you can remove it only from that top layer by way of soap and water, something mild. Anything more extreme than that will remove all of the layers you have done such as using acetone.

      If the clean up that you’ve done has ruined the layers of repaint you’ve worked on, your work is effectively ruined. You’ll need to start from scratch.

  10. This might sound like a stupid question, but I would rather ask, than be too shy about it. So after watching so many repaint doll videos, I really want to try doing one myself. So when the weather is just right, I was planning on spraying the MSC outdoors on my doll, but once I finish spraying the doll, do I leave it outside to dry or take it in the house with me?

    1. This isn’t unique to MSC, but as an aerosol/spray type product it’s very important to ensure that there is proper ventilation or air circulation when using any aerosol products so that you don’t accidentally inhale the product. Occasional exposure is harmless but exposure overtime is when this becomes a huge issue (which is why you should check with a health professional whether or not YOU are fine to use aerosol products).

      It’s when MSC is in its “solvent” form that it’s harmful (when you’re spraying it because there’s a chance you could inhale it which is why you should wear a protective mask/gloves), but once it has bound to the area you are using it as a fixative, you can take it indoors (just make sure not to disturb it and allow it to dry properly). After it’s dry, it’s harmless.

    2. I live in a highly humid climate and no matter what season….spray outside and always bring it back inside to dry. You never know…a bug or piece of dirt or grass could blow onoyour drying face.n Th being said …when humidity is high ….I do think spray at all. Just too high of a chance for a poor finish.

  11. Hi im not sure to use mr super clear or mr top coat for my sticker bomb project on my hardcase.. what would u recommend me to do in order to seal the sticker bomb surface as well as to have a smooth and even surface not to mention high gloss finishing?

    Thank u so much in advance.

  12. Hey, I was just wondering…I read on GSI creos’ website on MSC and it says that it cannot be applied over water-based paints, yet many use it over watercolour or acrylic parts on their customs (like eyes or other details on the face) will this or has this had any effect on your customs?

    1. I’ve been using MSC for nearly 2 decades and have always used it as a finish on water-based art supplies. All of my work has never had any issues. If anything, it doesn’t work very well with oil-based art supplies.

  13. Hai, thank you for the article. I am wondering if you ever heard of “Winsor Newton Matt Varnish” because I am planning to use it as an alternative sealant. Do you think it’s save for Resin and Vynil doll?

    Thx before..

  14. are you suppose to be able to smell the msc when youre using it even with a respirator on? i try to not breathe in when i use it even with a mask but sometimes it cant be helped and i dont want to have lung cancer when im in my twenties

    1. As long as you’re using the particle mask or gas mask properly, using the proper protective gear (covering your skin, wearing gloves), you’re spraying in a well ventilated area, you’ll be fine.

  15. I just got my very first can of MSC!! WOOT! Now even though the basic directions are in English, there are pictures of the cap, nozzle and that part is in Japanese. Anyone know? Also up at the top the Mr Hobby site translates to English but I didn’t see the cap instructions there. One more most important thing…does anyone know what solvent removes the MSC, just in case. It says it’s an aerosol resin, but I know of no known solvent for resin… Help? Getting ready to start my first faceup and reroot on an 18″ doll… crossing fingers! <3 Pam

    1. Can’t say much about the English translation for MSC but as for a solvent that removes MSC, I’ve heard other artists use Windsor and Newton’s Brush Cleaner. Since I haven’t dabbled enough on resin dolls, please make sure you experiment if it works with your dolls first. I can’t speak for whether it will actually work or not.

  16. I’m using Mr. Super Clear Flat UV, but for some reason it’s drying shiny on the vinyl doll I’m spraying it on. It also isn’t creating any kind of tooth so watercolor pencils aren’t working on the surface. Do you know what could be causing this? I’m spraying it in optimal weather conditions and shaking the can before using it.

  17. Hi ^^ I’ve been reading up on this page for a while, and I have a problem with my msc. I’m a first timer at ball joint dolls and their faceups, but I know its supposed to be more matte than I’m getting. ive noted everything you’ve written yet something is still going wrong. I have msc uv cut matte, but hes continuously coming out shiny. today I retried and the same thing happened again. up close, the msc looks all spotty instead of smooth. its not flaking or anything, its just not looking right. I’ve looked everywhere and nothing has an answer for me, and asking on facebook just got me ignored , so I was really hoping you could help me. thanks !

    1. I inhaled Liquitex Matte Varnish by accident. I felt dizzy so I went to breathe fresh air. I’ve had the door open for about an hour now do you think I’ll be okay?

  18. I have been trying to learn to repaint my MH dolls and I’m fairly new to it..well I cant seem to get my watercolor pencils to draw well on the doll faces, do I need to use multiple layers as the base of my MSC to aid? or is it just one layer that is needed?

      1. I’ve read it 😀 I am still not sure if one or more layers of the primer is required though. Do I just apply until it has the grit feeling?
        Thank you!

        1. You don’t want to apply too many layers. You do want to achieve the grit texture. That may require a lot of practice depending on what you’re using as a primer/sealant so use a test doll until you get the results you’re looking for.

  19. Normally when I’m customizing in cold, hot or humid weather, I spray the MSC UV outside and then bring the doll head back inside to dry. So far, this has worked out for me (anyone else do this?).

    Also, I have an issue with sealants in general–
    Said issue being that I spray them, they dry, but the smell lingers. I can leave the room and it’s still there. It irritates my lungs and while it’s only happened a few times, I’m getting paranoid that it’s going to give me lung cancer or something (I mean, I often read that it’s not just toxic, but really toxic). I spray with the mask but then take it off when I come inside and set the doll down. ;-;
    Maybe I’ll just start keeping the mask on for about a half hour until the smell totally fades.
    How much exposure do you have to have to this stuff for it to do horrible and/or permanent damage? Again, I might just be paranoid, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. :c

    1. Sorry, not much I can say about prolonged use. I’ve never personally suffered long term issues since I’ve always used it outdoors and never lingered in the area where I sprayed. If you want more specific answers, you can try and contact the manufacturer or talk to a health professional (about aerosol safety and use).

  20. Um, is 45 degrees Fahrenheit too cold? It’s not really that humid but I don’t want to wait until next season to start doing my doll. :T I just got all of the supplies to start and I didn’t take into account that you had to have certain weather conditions for the sealant.

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