View Full Version : Protecting a Painting

05-19-2018, 11:29 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have painted an acrylic painting on canvas which I really like and want to protect it from dust and over-time(as the years go by) dullness (I don't know if there is a term for this):)

What I have read online is:
One should apply an isolation coat first(Golden Soft gel gloss) over the painting,
then varnish it.

My question is:
I have Gamblin GAMVAR Picture Varnish, Can I use it for my acrylic painting?
If yes, do I NEED to put the isolation coat before applying the varnish or it's not necessary ?
If No, then which varnish should I get?

Thanks in advance for all help!!!

05-20-2018, 08:05 AM
Be aware that the application of varnish has its tricks, I advise you to make some trials before you do it in your valued work. So go, get a canvas, throw some paint on it, let it dry and apply some coats of varnish, see for yourself what works or not and how. Of course you can follow instructions to get to the desired results fast. Check the information kiosk (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=329), they have several threads on Varnishing.
I personally use spray application only, and I make 2 to 3 layers leaving at least 24 h of drying time between.

05-23-2018, 09:34 PM
Personally I never felt the need for a varnish acrylics unless I'm trying to change the surface to glossy or mat finish. I've never applied an isolation layer, and I most commonly use a heavy body gloss medium to varnish it. I've done it like that for decades.

If I paint in Oils I always varnish, but not usually with Acrylics because they don't react nearly as much to the impurities in the air, like oils do.

If you do use Gamvar, I'm not convinced that an isolation layer is necessary. It (Gamvar) does take some time to dry, and is somewhat removable unlike most acrylic varnishes.

Don Dattler

05-24-2018, 10:47 PM
thank you :)

05-25-2018, 04:06 AM
Morden acrylic paint does not react with white spirit. So some of the picture varnish (like the one W&N does) are perfectly fine to apply directly on the painting without the need of isolation layer. My problem with isolation layer (apart from extra waiting time) is that it tends to attract dusts / create streaks and I gave up doing so eventually