View Full Version : Varnishing issues

10-05-2001, 11:20 AM
My beloved cat died on Monday and I painted him a beautiful headstone. My problem: in my grief, I unthinkingly used water mixable oils, forgetting that it is customary to wait six months before varnishing. I don't want to wait six months to place his headstone. So here are my questions:

1) What will happen if I varnish it in, say, two weeks? Does the drying time differ since I painted on cement instead of canvas?

2) Are there other ways to weatherproof the painting?

3) Is there a way to get it to dry faster???

Please help. I want to place the stone as soon as possible.


10-05-2001, 01:22 PM
I'm sorry for your loss. The best solution i can think of would be to redo this project. Clean it off and start again. Use acrylics or alkyds. Acrylics can be clear coated immediatley and will be weatherproof (at least for some time) The alkyds are a fast drying oil color and can be varnished within two weeks, according to the manufacturer. There is no real way to speed up the drying time of your oils whether they're on canvas or concrete. The addition of mediums such as liquin will help in drying time but not enough to varnish any sooner than months from now. If you're absolutley in love with the work that you've done let it dry to the touch and then set it out there. Go back six months from now and varnish it. I'm thining that Krylon clear spray paint (available at Wal-Mart) might be a better option for this than varnish.

10-06-2001, 11:14 PM
I agree with Cheryl. Why not do an acrylic temporarily and put it up until the oil drys. Also, I hate appearing so negative but I'd almost be afraid to know what would happen to an Oil subjected to the outside elements day in day out. I'm sorry that your cat died. :(

10-09-2001, 09:01 PM
Sorry to hear about your cat Michelle. How large is the stone? You can force-dry oils by heating, its not a good idea but it does work :-) So if the stone is not too large you could place it in your oven at a very low temperature (120F) for about four or five hours or overnight, this should fully cure the oils if they are applied fairly thinly.

You should then be able to varnish it with a fair amount of safety and it should hold up for a few years at least. A good outdoor-grade polyurethane with UV inhibitors is probably your best bet for the varnish, apply 2/3 thin coats with a large brush.


10-10-2001, 11:08 AM
Thanks, everyone, for all your kindness and help. Einion, I will try putting it in the oven, thank you for letting me know about that technique.