The most important step in painting any project is preparing the surface. No one wants to spend all that time painting and end up with chipping or peeling...what a disaster! Soooo...make sure to base EVERY surface EVERY time. You will never be wasting your time & you will never have any regrets. I absolutely love DecoArt's Americana Matte Spray Sealer/Finisher. I use it to base all the candles and have the assurance that my surface is prepped and the paint adhere. My candles go to all the shows and are on display at our store. They do not get the best of care while traveling and are handled ALOT! I have not had any of the paint chip or peel! The spray has a wonderful, even spray, it dries quickly, and also doubles as a fabulous top coat. You will get a smooth, soft lusterous finish that will make all your projects look great! However, for the black glossy candles, I use the DuraClear Gloss as a topcoat. A couple light coats will create a beautiful glossy finish that will look like crystal. It is non-yellowing, so you can confidently varnish over lights & whites and not worry. I also use the DuraClear gloss on eyeballs to create a wet shiny eye. It looks really cool and realistic. What a fun idea! Make sure to use products that you can trust for the most important steps...primering and finishing! You will never have any regrets.