So you decided that you hated money and bought a bunch of absurdly expensive pieces of PVC sculpted into the flawless beauty your waifu so undoubtedly is. Then, because you’re smart, decided to invest even more heavily and throw down an extra $60-70 on the ubiquitous display case that is the IKEA Detolf.
Over time, you notice that a layer of dust settles upon your what used to be glistening collection. The once radiant colors on your figures now seem faded, the glass shelves aren’t so transparent anymore, and you don’t even want to think about having to clean it all off every couple of months. Not even the best lighting setup will offset the negative effects; in fact, it would probably just highlight them.
Here’s an elegant solution to counter this problem.
Here’s a roll of what is called Brush Sealant. It’s very cheap. I just did a quick eBay search and you can get 5 meters of it for 5 dollars (this is around what I paid). Free shipping from your favorite Chinese vendor, naturally.
I used a 9x7mm strip of 5m. The ‘9’ is the width of the strip, and the ‘7’ is the length of the bristles. You’ll see different options on whatever eBay listing you click on, so just an FYI.
The bristles may seem a bit long upon installation, but I feel like anything smaller will leave gaps between your glass panes in some areas unless you assembled your case with near flawless precision.
Here’s a close-up version of what the material actually looks like. It’s literally a long strip of brush.
Now you’re going to want to do (actually, you probably don’t want to per se) what is pretty much the most labor-intensive part of this whole process, and that is remove all of the contents of your case and dust everything.
Just some things to note while you’re doing this (take it or leave it):
- When you’re handling your figures, wear some white cotton cloves. Your hands are naturally oily, and these oils will leave stains on your figures if touched directly.
- Unless you have an air compressor, or want to buy a few cans of compressed air, use a makeup brush (you can find them at the dollar store). It works great. It gets in a lot of the crevasses and details on the figure that sometimes even compressed air can’t remove. Be sure to find a brush that uses soft, fine hair.
- Sometimes dust has been sitting on the plastic for so long that it’s become some kind of sticky grime dust-like substance, so you’ll want to use something more powerful than a puff of air.
Once everything is out, take the opportunity to use some glass cleaner and wipe everything down after a thorough dusting.
You’ll want to have some kind of open desk space or safe area you can place all your stuff while you’re cleaning your cases and installing your sealant. You can tell I grossly underestimated how much space I actually needed.
The strips have an adhesive backing, so you can apply them to any surface such as wood or glass in this case (literally, in this cas- lmfa–). What I did was measure the length I needed for each side where there is an opening: top, bottom, and the two sides. Then I cut the corresponding lengths off the coil you saw in the first picture on this post.
You’ll want to leave a bit of a gap where the door magnet makes contact as shown. The reason for this is because if it’s too crowded, the door won’t shut properly.
I also found that removing the door first helped to apply the strip on the side where the door hinges were, otherwise you risk having the door push the strip to an area that isn’t flush with the edge of the glass, making it look sloppy.
Here’s another shot. Also as a side note, I chose gray brush bristles because I felt like it was the least visually obtrusive. I ultimately did not want this mod to stick out and take away from the overall presentation. Though the color is up to you, I’m pretty sure most shades of black, gray, and brown would all work great.
Repeat this simple process on all your cases and arrange your figures back inside as desired once they have all been dusted.
Here’s a close-up of what it should look like after application. You’ll notice that the bristles seem to get pushed slightly to the side as a result of being maybe 1mm too long as I mentioned earlier. In my opinion, this is a good thing; it ensures no dust will ever get through. Though one may argue it looks bad, I’d rather have it be functional.
And we’re done! Can you tell that there is brush sealant installed on there? You shouldn’t really be able to! That’s what makes this mod so great. It’s very subtle and incredibly effective. In fact, this photo was taken on September 30, 2018. I did the mod in May of 2018 and haven’t needed to dust anything since. God bless.