PDA

View Full Version : acrylic varnish OK for oil painting?


jdk
01-08-2002, 01:41 PM
Hi there,

I had waited 6 long months for my oil paintings to dry (3 of them). I had bought a glossy varnish but it's an acrylic varnish. Does this mean I cannot use this for my oil paintings?

Also, my paintings have uneven "oilness" so that they look patchy with shine. Will these go away when I varnish them?

Thanks in advance,

juvie

Wayne Gaudon
01-08-2002, 01:56 PM
From anything I have read, I wouldn't use acrylic over oil and yes if you use damar varnish it will bring up the oils to an equal level .. you can also just apply a think coat of oil to the canvas and that will restore the oil level to the painting .. not sure how long after that you could varnish but my guess would be 2 weeks.

paintfool
01-08-2002, 07:13 PM
I would not recommend using acrylic varnish on an oil painting. Head back to the art store and pick up some Damar. Yes, providing that the dull spots are not too severe they should be minimized greatly with a few thin coats of Varnish. It usually works for me. Here is a link with a little more info on the process of 'oiling out' that Artist speaks of. If you choose to do this you'll probably have to wait about 3 more months to varnish.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28121
Cheryl

lori
01-08-2002, 07:25 PM
you can not use an acrylic based varnish on an oil painting. the reason is simple. acrylic is water based, it will bead and not cover...it'll aslo just peel off with time. think of the water and oil principle. same thing.

you can use a re-touch varnish for the unevenness of the oil paint, but why bother? if you are varnishing the painting anyway you are taking care of this problem. you can add the extra step, but it isn't necessary. but if you do i recommend doing a retouch varnish which is a deluted version of damar varnish. oiling out will only help if you continue to paint on this, but if not. don't.


like i said, its an extra step that'll be taken care of when you varnish anyway.

paintfool
01-08-2002, 08:04 PM
Thank you Lori. I've never oiled out and haven't had to deal with anything more than very minimal dull spots. I don't use an over abundance of medium so my dull spots if any are always remedied with varnish, so i haven't a lot of experience in this area. Which mediums are most likely to cause this? Also, some colors are oiler than others. Does anyone notice a difference in the sheen or lack of when not using mediums? Curious.
Cheryl

jdk
01-09-2002, 06:37 AM
Thanks a lot guys, for all your replies! I really appreciate it. I will get myself a damar varnish. I've already tried oiling out, as I have read about that part here in Wetcanvas sometime ago, but it didn't quite work :( So I will use damar!

Thanks!

Juvie

Michael2
01-09-2002, 10:00 AM
Winsor & Newton doesn't recommend using Damar Varnish because it yellows and can crack, and they recommend more modern varnishes instead. They carry a line of many different varnishes, including Damar.

Here is a link:

http://www.winsornewton.com/Main/Sitesections/EncycloSctn/ProductInfo/VarnishesTbl.html

I've never used any of their products myself, and I don't get any kickbacks from them, just thought the link might be helpful.

vallarta
01-09-2002, 05:02 PM
When you oil out apply a thin coat of lindseed oil with a lint free rag...then rub it in with the rag. Then rub it in with your hands...you do this to heat the oil and have it penetrate into the painting.

Remove all excess oil in case you applied too much!!!! Be sure you have no runs...and if it runs....whipe it off and rub it out!!!

vallarta

Einion
01-11-2002, 06:12 PM
I hate to be the sole dissenting voice but actually you can use acrylic varnishes on an oil painting, assuming it's completely oxidised - remember once the drying process is over the oil is not oil any longer. I think a better question is "should I", rather than "can I". The refractive index of a varnish is one of its most important characteristics and here dammar far exceeds any acrylic, giving much better depth and brilliance. There are a number of spirit-based synthetic varnishes that may offer better long-term prospects with comparable optical qualities but dammar continues to be a solid choice.

Originally posted by artist
...you can also just apply a think coat of oil to the canvas and that will restore the oil level to the painting...
Bad idea. Unprotected linseed oil (i.e. with no pigment to shield it from UV) on the surface of a painting will yellow much more, and faster, than the paint films under it - the thicker the coat, the greater the effect. If you do need to oil out, i.e. to check colour and value to continue work, this is not a problem but either way the layer of oil should be as thin as possible.

BTW, there were a number of mentions of dammar, anyone use mastic varnish?

Einion.

paintfool
01-11-2002, 06:24 PM
Einion, you should never feel bad about being the 'sole dissenting voice' on any topic. Your opinions are valued! I had said that i would not recommend using the acrylic varnish, but my reasons are a little less technical. I felt that simply because it says 'acrylic' :D So thank you for the info. I have never used anything other than dammar. I have heard of people being very satsified with mastic varnish.
Cheryl

Leopoldo1
01-11-2002, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by Einion
BTW, there were a number of mentions of dammar, anyone use mastic varnish?

Mastic is wonderful for picture varnish but has two drawbacks. One it is expensive, the mastic tears, dangerous to make because of the low flash point of turpentine(needs to be heated to dissolve the tears) and number two it is difficult to remove if need be(turps have to be reheated to remove the dry mastic varnish). Damar does the job wonderfully, it is inexpensive and dissolves readily at room temperature with turps if removal is in the question. Damar, best choice for pic varnish! :oL

jdk
01-12-2002, 04:38 AM
Hi guys,

I went to the website of the manufacturer of the varnish that I bought, Talens, and according to them, the term "acrylic varnish" does not mean that it can only be used on acrylic painting but on the type of resin present in the varnish, which is acrylate resin. So the varnish can both be used on oil and acrylic painting.

I don't know if this is the case for all manufacturers, but I'm guessing not, so it's best to always check it out and be sure.

Thanks,

Juvie

Einion
01-12-2002, 05:14 AM
Juvie, I presume this is a water-soluble acrylic? There are spirit-soluble acrylics but they are not commonplace. There are some technical concerns about using water-based anything on oil paintings, but purely in terms of optical properties the soft resin varnishes are vastly superior.

Try what you have and in due course get some dammar and try that as well (you can make it yourself quite easily BTW) and compare the results. If you're critical I'm sure the dammar will win out in your affections ;)

Einion

Scott Methvin
01-12-2002, 09:06 PM
A varnish over a dried oil painting should be removable. An acrylic varnish sounds permanent to me. Why risk it? Dammar does the job very well. Yes it will yellow eventually. ( in about 30 years)That's ok. You just take it off and put on another coat. This is how all oil paintings are treated in museums.

The best kind is the kind you make yourself. Not the spray can type. Apply with a brush. Warm the painting in the sun first, while heating the varnish also. Not hot, but warm. Brush in careful, even strokes. Let dry in a spare bathroom. (less dust)

Use the very best brush you can afford. The BEST are made from the ear hair of the ox. Germany is the main supplier of these. Why are they so good? No brush strokes-but strong enough to do the job, like a good gesso brush (not acrylic either)

Glossiness can be controlled with natural beeswax. If you screw up the job, you can keep trying until you get it right. Danmmar comes off pretty easy.

The bigger the painting the harder it is to do well. Small ones are very easy to master quickly.

I have several paintings to varnish this week and will maybe take some photos to illustrate.

Daniel Thompson's book-"Tempera painting techniques" has some very good varnishing tips.

jdk
01-13-2002, 04:11 AM
Hi methvin,

Thanks for the insight. I didn't know varnishing a painting can be such a complicated thing :(. Oh well, for the love of the art.

But if I may ask, what do you use to remove dammar varnish? Wouldn't this damage the painting?

Thanks,

Juvie

Scott Methvin
01-13-2002, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by jdk
Hi methvin,

Thanks for the insight. I didn't know varnishing a painting can be such a complicated thing :(. Oh well, for the love of the art.

But if I may ask, what do you use to remove dammar varnish? Wouldn't this damage the painting?

Thanks,

Juvie

Hi Jdk,

I was just visiting the Netherlands last month. Great place, nice people and everyone spoke english! Can't wait to go back.

To remove a dammar varnish, all you need is some good quality turpentine. I use a cotton diaper that has been washed and dried first. Just wipe on the turpentine and it desolves the varnish. Keep going until the varnish is removed.

The turpentine will not affect the dried oil paint in any way. You must be careful to use a gentle hand, though. No "sanding effect" with the cloth. This is why you want to wait until the painting is dried for 6mos to a year before putting on a varnish coat.

Yet another use for the "deadly toxic" turpentine:eek:

Einion
01-13-2002, 07:59 PM
Originally posted by Scott Methvin
A varnish over a dried oil painting should be removable. An acrylic varnish sounds permanent to me.
Nah, alcohol will do it quite effectively, the weakest solvent used in conservation.

Einion