View Full Version : How Long Do You Wait Before Varnishing?

11-02-2004, 01:17 PM
My varnish says to wait 3-5 days before varnishing. This is very misleading because I know an artist who uses the same paints and varnish as me, but he waits just one day. I've also heard of others waiting 2 days and some a week.
Those of you who varnish your acrylic paintings, how long do you wait before doing so?
I am using a Grumbacher Matte Varnish.


11-02-2004, 03:27 PM
I paint thinly and in layers, so I'm comfortable waiting 24 to 48 hours and have had no problems.

11-02-2004, 07:36 PM
Hi Dave:
I usually wait until I know I won't be adding anything more to a painting... until I consider it DONE! About a week or so and then give it a spray of UV clear acrylic. Have had zero problems working that way!

11-03-2004, 12:31 AM
I'm never in a rush to varnish so it could be weeks before I put any on, this used to be because I always wanted to tweak and tweak but I'm better now.

If you check the recommendations they'll usually give you an idea of the length of time one should wait based on the thickness of the paint layer* and relative humidty. Apart from having to wait longer in humid conditions one should ideally not varnish when it's very cold or very damp so we're really lucky in the modern era to have central heating :)

*Remember that really thick acrylic paint films can take months to dry.


11-03-2004, 04:04 AM
so we're really lucky in the modern era to have central heating :)

YOU are lucky to have central heating! Central heating doesn't exist yet in Paris. We have small electric heaters in each room and since the electricity is expensive, you only turn it on in the room you're going to be in for a while.

(Sorry, couldn't resist)


11-03-2004, 08:57 AM
I usually wait until it is going on the wall or being shipped out, 24hrs to 2 weeks. James :wave:

11-03-2004, 11:01 AM
I am waiting for low humidity.....yeah right, In Texas???

11-03-2004, 05:04 PM
I varnish as soon as the paint is dry, even within minutes of making my last brush stroke. I don't paint very thickly, and I use a hairdryer. I haven't had any complaints yet. I use a spray varnish. It provides a thin even coat. I spray outside no matter what the season, and quickly bring it inside and dry it with a hairdryer so the fumes don't smell up the house. I have also varnished within minutes of packing and shipping without problems. The only problem I've had in the past is not varnishing, and the packing material stuck to the gloss medium I used.

11-03-2004, 09:05 PM
Well, I tend to paint very thick, so I think waiting a little bit should be fine. Thank you all for your help.


11-04-2004, 12:21 AM
(Sorry, couldn't resist)

I feel your pain, I've lived without central heating a couple of times when I was younger and it's not an experience I'd care to repeat voluntarily!