Product Spotlight: Dead Flat Varnish

If you’ve ever searched for a matte flat topcoat for your projects or a sealer to prevent flashing on your decorative paint finishes, our Dead Flat Varnish is the choice for you! The premium quality, water base, non-yellowing Dead Flat Varnish is a water base clear finish coat formulated to have the optimum level of clarity with the least amount of sheen. We’re sharing a few project ideas for you to pin, share, use and be inspired by!

Using Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish on Walls and Ceilings to Prevent Sheen Flashing | Projects by Ali Kay | Modern Masters Cafe BlogArtist Ali Kay of Positive Space is a master at murals and beautiful decorative finishes. She uses our Dead Flat Varnish over her techniques to remove undesirable variations in sheen on both wall and ceiling surfaces.

Dead Flat Varnish by Modern Masters provides a beautiful flat, matte sheen for furniture | Project by Postcards on the Ridge | Modern Masters Cafe BlogYou won’t believe this great idea and project! A few years ago, Postcards from the Ridge transformed her dining room buffet into a bath vanity cabinet. Doesn’t it look wonderful? After painting and staining, she sealed the entire piece with Dead Flat Varnish and years later, one of their favorite cabinetry projects still looks amazing.

Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish on Table Top | Project by IMeeshu | Modern Masters Cafe BlogMany DIYers and artists share their Modern Masters projects with us on Instagram. The Imeeshu Blog did so with a Duncan Phyfe style dining room table that was painted with Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan and sealed with Dead Flat Varnish. She says of the varnish, “It’s amazingly smooth and holds up so well to everything.”.

Painted and Finished Range Hood Sealed with Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish | Modern Masters Cafe Blog | Project by Me & Mrs. JonesStephanie Jones of Me & Mrs. Jones is no stranger to beautiful decorative finishes and in fact, has even written a book about it, Upstyle Your Furniture. After a hand plastered technique, she used our Dead Flat Varnish to seal the range hood to give it both a matte sheen and also make the cleaning of it easy. Win-win!

Farmhouse Blues uses Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish for a Matte Look on Furniture | Modern Masters Cafe Blog Of Dead Flat Varnish, Ann of Farmhouse Blues Interiors gushes, “This stuff is awesome! It goes on very easily, gives a completely matte finish, doesn’t yellow, and leaves no brush strokes.” She used it to seal a recent china cabinet makeover that was lightened and updated with a gray Country Chic color wash first. Beautiful!

Dead Flat Varnish Project Ideas and Inspiration | Modern Masters Cafe BlogDead Flat Varnish is water base and is available for both interior and exterior surfaces. It’s great for walls, ceilings, furniture, floors, cabinetry, decor accents and more! It allows a surface to maintain its aged effect and can help erase unsightly sheen spots for a perfectly matte finish. Are you using Dead Flat Varnish? We’d love to see your projects! Send them in to us at and you may just find your artistry shared on this blog and/or our social sites. Have an inspired day!

24 thoughts on “Product Spotlight: Dead Flat Varnish

    • Oh, how wonderful! We love that project you just shared, what a wonderful crackled and stenciled wall finish! It is our pleasure to share your work and it always makes us so happy to see it. 🙂

      • Your range top in your last picture, is this anything like the faux method? I can not enlarge it but I did a fauxed ceiling that turned out to match the inserts in our entrance way, which turned out to be unbelievable ! Love your work, Congratulations on turning your hobby into a life long thriving business.

    • We love sharing your beautiful work, Angie! Thanks so much for letting us know about your Dead Flat Varnish experiences as well! We’re so glad you love the topcoat! 🙂

  1. I recently purchased the a farmhouse dining table from Restoration Hardware and loved the look of it however I had 1 problem: RH applies, to raw wood, some sort of distressing powder to achieve the “old or reclaimed” look and did not apply a sealant to protect the powder coat. When something is spilled (food, oil, wine, water) it stains and leaves a discoloration and it cannot be cleaned with a damp cloth or else the powder coat finish that gives the table its beautiful look will be wiped away.

    Problem solved: I purchased Dead Flat Finish and brushed 3 coats on the table and it worked a miracle! It was very easy to brush on and the table is now protected and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. The Dead Flat Finish did not alter the appearance of the table’s powder coat and it dried DEAD FLAT.

    Thanks Modern Masters for saving my table!!!

  2. We just purchased the RH Salvaged Wood Farmhouse table and have been reading blogs such as this to determine how to protect it from everyday dining wear and tear, I’ve read a lot about not using the wax actually recommended by RH. I’ve also read about how some have had a positive outcome with Rubio Monocoat. However, this is the first time anyone has said that the “distressing powder” applied by RH is actually preserved with the use of this protecting product! I would love to see photos if you don’t mind! Obviously, this is a big investment and we are all a bit nervous about any changes an application could make to it.

    I’m hopeful we can maintain the look we love using this product.
    Thank you for taking the time to post your experience.

  3. I agree with Kristen! I would love to see pictures because we bought the same table from RH and have looked into Rubio Monocoat and 100% pure tung oil. This dead flat finish product sounds ideal! I’d love to hear more from Garrett! Thank you SO much!!

  4. Hi, I was very excited to find this product. I just ordered it. I have a table that I painted with DIY chalky finish paint in a deep red and antiqued with a dark walnut glaze and I will be using the Dead Flat Varnish on it as soon as the paint is fully cured. This is exactly what I need… Something that leaves a flat finish to preserve the rustic and vintage look of the piece and something that won’t show brush strokes. I can’t wait to try it. I’ll post a pic when it’s done.

    • Hi, Elizabeth! Some have used it over wallpaper but it will require testing as, depending on the ink, it can bleed. Also, if it’s an area like a bathroom, there would be concern about the moisture as well. We hope this helps!

  5. Can I use Modern Masters Dead Flat Varnish over Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I am desperate to know. It seems no one can tell me. Thank You

    • Hi, Ms. Thomas – thank you for reaching out to us and we apologize for the trouble in finding the answer. Dead Flat Varnish can be used over Chalk Paint but we highly recommend it be used over Chalk Paint that has been primed underneath. When using it over Chalk Paint that has been painted over raw wood, an old varnish, or a stain, it can develop yellowing from the combo. We hope this helps!

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