View Full Version : Another Painful Lesson Learned

09-17-2005, 12:31 PM
A couple of days ago I varnished a painting with can of Golden matte spray varnish which I had bought a few months ago. This was the first time I'd used it. When I had finished and it had dried, I examined the surface closely and noticed it had a fuzzy look. When I touched it, it felt like fine sand paper. I took a large soft brush and went over the surface several times. The table beneath it was covered with a fine grit. The painting itself now had fine whitish specks over it and still feels like fine sand paper. Apparently this was a bad can of spray. There is a message on the can warning to test it before using it. I didn't do that and have probably ruined a painting that I spent 40-50 hours creating. I have three choices: try to remove the varnish (it doesn't have an isolation layer), try to cover it with a thick layer of glossy varnish (don't think that will help), or trash it. Any suggestions?
To avoid such disasters in the future, I painted a canvas panel with a solid acrylic color and will put a paper mask with a square cut out on it. Then do my test spray on it. Should be able to do a dozen or so tests before having to make another test canvas panel.
I really hate varnishing. I ruined one other painting using a brush. I have had some success with spray but it is so messy and very expensive. That can of Golden spray cost me $14 mail ordered from ASW. I can get some from Michael's for about $9 a can. Hobby Lobby sells Krylon Kamar for less than $5. Is the Kamar inferior to the others (Golden, Grumbacher, Winsor & Newton)?

09-17-2005, 12:53 PM
Dave I have never heard of a bad can spray can of varnish :eek: You sould contact Golden and find out what the story is!! I use the Golden spray varnish too and never even thought to do a test...but I sure will now. I've used Krylon and Kamar...Krylon will NEVER come off so make sure that that is what you want LOL. I think Kamar is fine, but I have to say that I actually like the finish I get from the Golden better. I use the glossy, but it's not really slick and glossy, sort of a more refined glossy I guess LOL Not sure what the difference is but I suspect it has something to do with the actual way the spray comes out and is distributed over the surface. No science here, just observation and a hunch :wink2: Really sorry to hear about your painting :( I'm not sure what would be best to do...I think I'd be inclined to VERY CAREFULLY and CAUTIOUSLY try to remove it. At this point if the way it looks is already unacceptable for sale or showing then perhaps you have nothing to lose.

Lady Carol
09-17-2005, 12:58 PM
I am not a fan of the spray varnish. I found that it ends up by not being even in the application. I use a combination of Golden's Acrylic Glazing Medium and a brush on varnish (which for the life of me I cannot find at the moment).

09-17-2005, 03:21 PM
Hi Dave,

I'm so sorry about your painting . . . I know how frustrating that can be. I have had this happen to me with the Krylon spray. Everything worked fine for a couple of paintings that I sprayed . . . no issues, pretty content with overall result, yet when it came time to do the third painting, it looked like fine dust particles landed on the painting. I figured out that it was the heat outside that caused the reaction. When I sprayed it, the spray partially dried between the time of coming out of the can to landing on the painting . . . very frustrating. So, I waited until it was a cooler day, used the same can of spray . . . and everything was fine. . . Since then, I haven't had a problem . . . Now, I avoid spraying when the temp. is above 80 and below 40 . . .

- Jenny

Leslie Pz
09-17-2005, 04:03 PM
Have sprayed when it was too cold and actually had crystals collect on my piece! The spray already comes out at a cold temp and with the cold moisture outside... OUCH! Waited until it was TOTALLY dry and then sanded with a very fine paper.

Rose Queen
09-17-2005, 04:27 PM
I bet the Golden people would like to hear from you about this. I've found them pretty responsive in the past and, after all, you can't stay in business long selling products that ruin people's work! Contact them: http://www.goldenpaints.com/

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09-17-2005, 05:12 PM
As Carol suggested I went to the Golden website. There I found the following under Varnishes and the explanation for using an isolation layer.

"The isolating layer is of critical importance when applying a matte varnish over an absorbent surface to prevent a cloudy or "frosted" appearance from occurring. This frosted appearance results from the varnish and solvent being absorbed into the support, while the matting agent remains exposed on the surface. While we have carefully selected the matting agent that is in Golden varnishes to be as transparent as possible, it is still a dry particulate material. When the matting agent is deposited onto the surface, and is not a part of a continuous varnish layer, it appears as a white solid."

The painting I varnished was more than 15 years old. Would an acrylic painted surface become absorbant in that time?