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Kittles
09-08-2014, 07:50 AM
Hi there,

Interested in peoples opinions on the best matt varnish for acrylic paintings?

I have experimented with many brands of varnish, along with the various types i.e. satin, gloss, matt etc .

I generally like the richness in colour that most of the gloss and satin varnishes give however due to my style of work and also because they are shown under gallery lighting the gloss and even satin are far too shimmery and shiny.

I have experimented with various brands of matt varnish too. The final finish on the paintings is ideal as it is very matt however it doesn't bring out the richness and depth of the colour in the paint.

Anyone recommend any acrylic paint varnishes that give me a fairly matt finish but still enhance the colour of the paint?

Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations. Be interested in hearing if people have a matt varnish they particularly like that fits in with this criteria as I imagine its a problem other artists face.

idylbrush
09-08-2014, 08:07 AM
Not a big fan of matt varnish for the very reason you listed. I only use gloss varnish and I have had very few issues with gallery lighting. Have you looked at Golden Matt Varnish. I would suggest spraying not brushing.

Davkin
09-08-2014, 02:43 PM
I'm pretty sure any matt varnish is actually going to dull the colors a bit this is why I use satin which can be a good compromise. In particular I use Krylon archival satin in a spray. It's not an acrylic varnish though, it's a solvent base of some sort.

David

old_hobbyist
09-08-2014, 05:41 PM
Try putting matt over gloss.

Kittles
09-09-2014, 05:03 AM
Hi there,

Thanks for the various advice. Was interested to know if anyone knew of a matt varnish that happened to also have colour enhancing qualities within it but as I expected I am guessing perhaps a satin varnish is the best way to go. I'll have a look at the varnishes you have suggested. Tempted to also try matt over gloss but not sure if it will dull or cloud the painting, might be worth a try.

Anyone rate the liquitex varnish sprays out of interest?

LavenderFrost
09-09-2014, 12:40 PM
I use the Krylon matte spray on my paintings and it doesn't seem to dull them much.

Mythrill
09-10-2014, 11:14 AM
Hi there,

Interested in peoples opinions on the best matt varnish for acrylic paintings?

I have experimented with many brands of varnish, along with the various types i.e. satin, gloss, matt etc .

I generally like the richness in colour that most of the gloss and satin varnishes give however due to my style of work and also because they are shown under gallery lighting the gloss and even satin are far too shimmery and shiny.

I have experimented with various brands of matt varnish too. The final finish on the paintings is ideal as it is very matt however it doesn't bring out the richness and depth of the colour in the paint.

Anyone recommend any acrylic paint varnishes that give me a fairly matt finish but still enhance the colour of the paint?

Thanks in advance for any advice or recommendations. Be interested in hearing if people have a matt varnish they particularly like that fits in with this criteria as I imagine its a problem other artists face.
Hi, Kittles!

Matt medium (and varnish) will always lighten the colors a bit. The secret to avoid a big loss of color is to glaze thin layers of matt varnish over your painting just enough to kill the sheen.

Another important key to lessen the lightening of colors is to paint darker and more saturated than your final painting should be. Then, when you add matt medium or varnish, it'll be "just right".

When I varnish my paintings, I create an isolation coat a mix of with Golden's Regular Gel (gloss), and around 25% to 50% water. After allowing the layer to fully cure (at least for 72 hours), I add a layer of Winsor & Newton's Galeria Matt Varnish. If I decide it isn't enough, I wait more 72 hours and add a second layer. I repeat the process (maximum of 3 varnish layers) until everything is fully protected.

cinderblockstudios
09-11-2014, 02:32 AM
Technically speaking acrylic paintings don't really "need" varnish, but something like this: http://utrechtart.com/Liquitex-Matte-Varnish--Flexible-Surface--MP-00618-013-i1003953.utrecht to level out the shine of the different paints should do just fine.

Mythrill
09-11-2014, 03:09 AM
Technically speaking acrylic paintings don't really "need" varnish, but something like this: http://utrechtart.com/Liquitex-Matte-Varnish--Flexible-Surface--MP-00618-013-i1003953.utrecht to level out the shine of the different paints should do just fine.

I have to disagree here.

Acrylics actually gather dust much more easily, so, although you don't necessairly need a varnish, the extra coat will take any dust that would stick to the surface.

If dirt does get to the acrylic film, it can be hard to impossible to clean the paint without damaging it, as acrylics become soft when it's warm. If they're trapped on the varnish, however, all you need is to remove it.

alex101
09-11-2014, 05:42 AM
I was recommended a wax varnish to get a matt finish, but unfortunately I just tested it out now a few minutes ago and looks really bad...

cinderblockstudios
09-11-2014, 12:27 PM
I have to disagree here.

Acrylics actually gather dust much more easily, so, although you don't necessairly need a varnish, the extra coat will take any dust that would stick to the surface..

Keep in mind though that acrylics aren't as temperamental as some other paint media. Dry paint on a canvas can easily be wiped off with a wet rag to remove any dust or debris.

Mythrill
09-11-2014, 12:45 PM
Keep in mind though that acrylics aren't as temperamental as some other paint media. Dry paint on a canvas can easily be wiped off with a wet rag to remove any dust or debris.

Golden actually recommends against this. Since the film is soft, when you wipe it with a wet rag, the pressure of your hands can actually make dust settle permanently into the film.

There's also mechanical damage that may be caused by wiping it with a rag. This is particularly true if the paint was done using thin washes.

cinderblockstudios
09-11-2014, 02:39 PM
Golden actually recommends against this. Since the film is soft, when you wipe it with a wet rag, the pressure of your hands can actually make dust settle permanently into the film.

There's also mechanical damage that may be caused by wiping it with a rag. This is particularly true if the paint was done using thin washes.

I never said to be rough with wiping. Besides if dust settles permanently the paint probably wasn't completely dry. I understand you wanting to trust the manufacturers (as Golden is top of the line), but personally I'll trust my experience.

Mythrill
09-11-2014, 03:35 PM
I never said to be rough with wiping. Besides if dust settles permanently the paint probably wasn't completely dry. I understand you wanting to trust the manufacturers (as Golden is top of the line), but personally I'll trust my experience.
Well, it's not about paint just being dry. Personally, I live in a "dust-friendly" environment (very polluted), and it's irritating to see a painting gathering a lot of dust.

It's also worth nothing that acrylic binders are flexible. That very flexibility means that, even if your painting is completely dry, the film will always be on the soft side. When the environment is very cool or very warm, dust settles much easier. This is why acrylics need extra care to last a long time.

Yes, most technical information about conservation comes from Golden, which is obviously interested on selling acrylics; however, it's no secret that many conservation tips they describe can also be done with products from other brands. One example is about creating an isolation coat: if you can't buy Golden's gloss medium (or you don't like it), you can easily get Liquitex's gloss medium, or Winsor & Newton; in fact, as long as you use acrylic polymer to protect your paint as an isolation coat, your paint will be more soundly protected.

Kate123
07-30-2016, 11:11 AM
I have another question regarding matte varnish. I just used Liquitex satin varnish, and am unhappy with the shine. Can I use a thin layer of matte over it to reduce the shine?

Also, Liquitex says not to thin their varnish with water. Has anyone done that?

Thanks a bunch!

janinco
07-30-2016, 12:11 PM
Kate, you can mix varnishes. I mix gloss with satin for my final layer and you can mix a little matte in with either of those. That way you can gradually get the sheen you want.

Jan

Kittles
07-31-2016, 06:35 AM
I have another question regarding matte varnish. I just used Liquitex satin varnish, and am unhappy with the shine. Can I use a thin layer of matte over it to reduce the shine?

Also, Liquitex says not to thin their varnish with water. Has anyone done that?

Thanks a bunch!

I also found the liquitex satin varnish far too shiny, so now just mainly use Liquitex matte varnish for most things.

You can use the matte varnish over the satin to reduce the shine. I have previously read that this is a way people often varnish work, an initial coat of gloss varnish followed by a matte cover.

If you are using the matte varnish, make sure to give it a gentle shake, stir in the bottle before you start to use it as the matte can seperate within the liquid.

I have personally never mixed water with any type of varnish as presume they don't mix well. If you are looking for easy coverage the liquitex spray varnishes are also handy. I personally do one coat of light spray varnish followed by a brush coat of matte liquid varnish.

Hope all that info helps!

All the best.