The brush I use is a 2 inch Purdy Ox Hair. Only a few are recommended for paintings. It’s crucial that a painting is completely dry before it’s varnished or the varnish may crack. The most important part about varnishing an oil painting is knowing when to do it. After all the hard work and time that you’ve spent completing your oil painting, you’ll want to make sure that it’s protected. However, its short comings are what lead to its replacement by damar. Gloss and matte varnish can also be added together for a semi-gloss finish. If you’ve followed all the rules of oil painting: Fat over lean. My biggest problem seems to be that nothing is drying fast enough. This may seem too soon for some, but my method of painting makes my oil paintings dry very quickly. After this amount of time you will notice the finish is much thinner than it was when you applied it. On a musical instrument, you want that perfect mirror finish. This is the time to let the varnish level out and solvents to evaporate. An Isolation Coat. How to varnish an oil painting with Gamvar - Duration: ... OIL PAINTING MEDIUMS - How to use them + how to make your own! With the painting flat, work from the top to the bottom, applying the varnish in parallel strokes from one edge of the painting … An oil painting will be fine without a clear varnish as long as it is hung in a fairly clean room. While its glossy, that is just not the case. After you’ve removed most of the paint, then wipe the remains of paint off with a cloth or kitchen paper, wipe again with a solvent or an oil, then wipe it dry. The next step in how to varnish an acrylic painting: Lay the painting flat while varnishing, and make sure it's in a place where it can lie flat and undisturbed for a few hours while the varnish dries.If you try to varnish the painting while it's hanging on a wall, for example, the varnish will just run down the canvas and drip all over the floor. Now that you have 100% of the dust removed from your painting, you want to choose a location to varnish. Acrylic Paintings are always suggested to be varnished. From what I have read, Mastic can bloom or turn cloudy in humid conditions, yellow and darken, and become brittle. This is particularly annoying with darker colors, where their matte appearance makes them seem lighter and creates the problem of matching a color with fresh, glossier paint much more difficult (Image 1). However, you cannot effectively sand your art so you will have to live with some bumps in the varnish from specks of dust imbedded in the paint. Plainly put, if you don’t follow these rules, your paintings are almost guaranteed to crack and age poorly. In truth, even a painting on a smooth panel has all kinds of small little bumps, minute brush strokes, and of course dust. The UV stable damar I use is from Kremer Pigments. The majority of it is a solvent with just a very small amount of resin . You can purchase the same varnish that I use here. There are different types of varnishes, varnish being a generic term for a clear  finish. Without the addition of an added drier (which I suspect some manufacturers use) in these whites, you really should wait 6 - 12 months to varnish. In fact, a glossy finish will make them more noticeable. You will be able to discharge a large amount of varnish to the surface and have more time to distribute and level it out. I have practised oil painting as well as acrylic painting. Then it was sanded perfectly level with a 1000 grit sand paper and buffed to a high luster using a buffing wheel and automotive compounds. Waiting for oil paint to dry can be one of the pain points of painting. If your objective is texture and thicker brushstrokes, do so without crusty bits of paint or dust. Use a flat bristle brush to apply the varnish. However, if your oil painting was done on paper or thin card, glass may help to provide support for the surface. Tipping will remove brush strokes. If your painting is large, focus on 1 or 2 square feet starting in the corner of the painting. I use the term resin here because typically it is damar based. Texture of paint can be beautiful, but any large bumps or crud is distracting, especially if detail resides in that area. “Oiling out” has its benefits on a recently completed painting as well, since it not only unifies the surface quality but it reduces the absorbency of paint layers – allowing the subsequent varnish layer to remain on the top-most part of the painting structure. If you decide on matte, remember to stir the varnish before use. Artist will use it as an alternative to "oiling out", or as a quick temporary varnish before a show. If you’ve completed an oil painting, you’ll notice that once completed and dry, the surface of the painting isn’t quite even. Basically, a flexible varnish is best for paintings because they allow the support of your painting (wood, canvas, or paper) to expand and contract (due to changes in humidity or temperature) without cracking. Most painting varnishes are designed to be removable, including damar. Waiting for the bottom layer to dry to then apply the next, or waiting for larger slash thicker sections to dry so you can transport or finish a painting can be frustrating. Today the air is much cleaner and we don't have to worry as much about dirt particles in the air leeching on to paintings and staining them. Its obtained by tapping trees, sort of like maple syrup from maple trees except this resin hardens into crystals. A room with very still air will benefit you because there is less of a chance of stirring up dust which can land and settle in the wet varnish. Some people recommend waiting for between 6-12 months before varnishing an oil painting but the time it takes to dry is dependent upon a number of factors: I typically wait a week before I apply gloss varnish. Since your painting currently has a glossy surface, subsequent varnish applications may bead up like water on a newly waxed automobile. Once that stone has been wet, it's appearance changes dramatically; the colors are vibrant and rich, and overall the stone has more depth. Acrylic Paintings are always suggested to be varnished. Each of these aids my paintings to dry faster. It will take 15 - 30 minutes before you can come back to it and prop the painting vertical. When that stone is dry, the surface is dull and colors are muted. I take a clean small sable brush, moisten it with OMS and lightly rub the surface with it. Danbury Rule 1. Then use the method of tipping; hold the brush at a low angle and make long straight passes the length of the painting. If you were varnishing your oil painting (or if you decide to use a non-removable acrylic varnish ) the process is slightly different and you can usually paint your varnish straight onto the paint layer without the need for an isolation coat. After the scraping, wiping and especially if you have used solvent, the surface of the wood may be a bit dried out and it could use some oil … The oil paint itself however, once dry, is impervious to thinners and would not be harmed by coming in contact with turpentine. Contrarily, a painting done with thick, impasto, hanging off the canvas cadmium red, a slow dryer, may need years to fully oxide thoroughly; if this is your technique you may consider adding a bit of alkyd medium to help speed the drying process so you can varnish sooner. The objective here is to remove all the dust, bits of fuzz, and hair that has accumulated on the dry surface. If you varnished the painting with a good "wet coat", you shouldn't need to apply a second layer. Part if what makes a varnish acceptable for paintings is it ability to be removed. With a painting, there is no such thing as sanding all of the painted surface and you don't want a thick varnish layer because it will eventually need to be removed. Paint has a habit of ending up in places we never intended. So as a result, without any sanding prep, you will see small imperfections in the varnish, especially in paintings done on smooth panels. If possible, use a flexible varnish rather than a rigid varnish. This article talks about how to varnish an oil painting. What makes a brush ideal for varnishing a painting is it's a ability to hold varnish in its bristles and release it evenly at the tip. Improper mixing can lead to inconsistency and streaking. It will also ensure that your oil painting stays looking vibrant for longer. Because the resin or polymer that the varnish is made of is a soluble material, it can always be re-dissolved in a solvent. Damar is a soft resin found in Southeast Asia such as Singapore or Indonesia. For this, it needs to have a soft natural hair. It protects the finished painting from years of things that might settle on a painting. Bonus! Then to make matters worse, it is usually bound in slow drying, weak film forming safflower oil for its non-yellowing properties. Always take care in removing dust and little bits of fuzz during the painting process so you have a cleaner surface when it comes time for varnish. Once you perfected the area, move to the next section and periodically unify them by tipping. Company No. More importantly the spot you choose should have perfectly still air. Fill in the form below to speak directly with one of our helpful customer services team. Its a finish that dissolves in an acetone based solvent that dries to the touch within seconds. Varnish comes into … Waiting for oil paint to dry can be one of the pain points of painting. Oil paint dries from the outside-in, so although it may appear dry to the touch, it may still be drying or curing on the inside. You won't be able to hide these imperfects with the varnish layer. Real Life Experiment. A tack cloth is a piece of cheese cloth treated with a tacky material that attracts dust. The ideal coat of varnish should be as thin as possible to do the job. This places a temporary coat onto the oil painting which will help to protect it and revive the colours. Many "how to" videos don't demonstrate this and it's a shame. An Isolation Coat. The title, your name, year, varnish type, and date the varnish was applied will provide the restorer in the next century with enough information on either how to clean and/or remove the varnish. If I'm going to be using  this older type of varnish, I want it look good for as long as possible. However, oil-based varnishes typically have a natural amber tint and often become more yellow over time. Why these oil painting rules are so important. The way I see it, retouch varnish isn't necessary for this purpose. Tack clothes are used in every wood shop and automotive body shop. But the way I see it,  restorers have been dealing with damar for many years. It has areas that shine and others that appear quite dull and matte. If you choose to use another varnish, I recommend selecting one that is clear (not yellow) and of artist quality for the best results. What Happens If You Varnish Oil Paintings Too Early? It has areas that shine and others that appear quite dull and matte. Whether you “oil out” the painting … What is being described here is the appearance of a dull matte area in a section of an oil painting. In order to achieve this, you need a lot of sanding prep to level the surface and numerous coats of clear. A painting applied thinly with mostly earth tones such as burnt umber, a fast dryer, could be ready for varnish within 1 week. Unlike the smooth synthetic, liquid can better attach itself to an irregular surface; the result is a greater carrying capacity. A. Damar varnish, made from the resin of coniferous Asian trees, is applied to oil paintings to protect them from dust and other airborne contaminants. Varnish provides two main benefits: I prefer to use gloss picture varnish by Jackson’s for my oil paintings, as I think that it brings out the details of my paintings better. As early as 1768, William Donaldson wrote about this medium inThe Life and Adventures of Sir Bartholomew Sapskull: 'The magilp was a nostrum known only to the ancients; but our modern artists..have labour'd..to find out this valuable mystery, and as they say with so… The polyurethane type of varnish is usually the best choice for this. For paintings that use regular oils, with paint applied thickly, or where slower drying mediums have been used, a greater time should be allowed before varnishing. The only dirt it will see is regular house dust; however, a clear protective finish is still desirable to deflect it. 121 Main Road One problem with cheap brushes is that they often loose hair during use. Shut any windows and doors as a precaution. You can purchase tack clothes at your local hardware store for about $1. Then to make matters worse, it is usually bound in slow drying, weak film forming safflower oil for its non-yellowing properties. I had to lower my standards of what makes an acceptable varnish job on an oil painting. Since my approach to painting realism, I prefer the gloss. Before even opening the can, make sure your work zone is protected. Cracking can occur because the outer layer is dry and the inner oil layer is still slowly contracting as it dries.. eventually the outer layer cracks and buckles. This means when you are using the brush, you will not need to constantly dip it in the varnish. Some of them like Gamvar also contain UV stabilizers which help prevent yellowing and increases the life of the varnish. Art stores sell a few varnishing brushes but you don't always shop art stores for the right tools. Prepping the painting is the crucial step for an attractive clear finish. I made all of the experiments on older works from college. 1 The Spinney If you don't want your painting to be too shiny, use a matt varnish rather than a gloss one. There are about 12 coats of sprayed lacquer on this guitar. There has always been and always will be the question, how long should I wait to varnish a completed painted? Even though I go to extreme to avoid dust in both the painting and the varnish, it still finds it's way in there. By gently dabbing the surface of your painting with a tack cloth, you will eliminate all dust. For years there has been a misconception that you need to wait 6 - 12 months. Let it dry, then you're ready to paint! However it still is a damar, not the easiest varnish to remove compared to the new synthetics. Unlike mastic, damar doesn't bloom or cloud and is one of the easiest varnishes to apply to an oil painting. Also watch for areas you may have missed by viewing reflective light in the surface. This can distort the colors of the item you have painted. Next, give your painting a final dust check. The last thing that you want is a rogue brush hair coming off onto your masterpiece. If you must paint during the off season, a good rule of thumb to follow is to apply paint with an airless sprayer between the hours of 10 am to 2 pm. Once you have completed perfecting the coat of varnish, pour the remaining varnish back into your main container and seal your brush in a plastic bag. While it would be cool to give your oil painting a perfect mirror finish like this guitar, its not desirable. If you put a quick drying medium over the top, you are preventing it from curing correctly. Since I'm stuck using damar,  I sought out to find a damar resin with UV stabilizers. If the coat of Varnish produces a gloss, it means you applied too much. Paint has a habit of ending up in places we never intended. Contact Us. Fat over Lean. This does all the heavy lifting for you. In my frustration with the beading varnishes I desperately wanted to used,  I gave up and went back to damar. Fortunately, I didn't ruin any good paintings in the process. It really depends on the pigments and mediums you used and how thickly you paint. Therefore, it isn't necessary to lay down multiple thick coats of varnish on your paintings. This makes the surface feel sticky and tacky under the brush making it difficult to get an even second coat without disturbing the first. I don't believe this is entirely necessary unless the surface is very dirty. That sure sounds good to me. The guitar was finished with a clear varnish called lacquer. A shiny finish on top of this makes all of these imperfections visable in a certain angle of light. Lay the oil painting down onto a dust free and clean surface. Your varnish problem is complicated and contains risk factors. To the right I have included a few photos of a guitar I made in 2011. The choice between Matte and Gloss varnish is up to your personal preference. Sanding the walls will improve adhesion which is the only sticking point to consider when applying latex over oil. If you want to even out the gloss on a not-yet-dry oil painting, use retouch varnish. You are ready to varnish when the oil painting film has oxidized completely through, firm to the touch, and cannot be reconstituted or removed by OMS or turpentine. Had a problem ; it always lays down and levels outs perfectly used for oil paintings in my Online School... Some of them like Gamvar also contain UV stabilizers can hold up for 60 - 100 years down! 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