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View Full Version : Varnish lifted off paint!!!!


wvbeadlady
09-27-2005, 11:32 PM
I HAD finished an acrylic painting of a wolf with lots of fine lines that were made with watered down white and then glazed over with various colours for the fur. After I finished I let it set for about an hour and then proceeded to varnish it with acrylic varnish. It lifted off the white lines and mixed with the varnish and left a white film over the whole painting. What did I do wrong? Is there a cure time for acrylics before you can varnish them? I'm so angry and disgusted. I put SO much work into this painting. :mad:

damar
09-27-2005, 11:55 PM
Sorry to hear about this experience. What brand of acrylic varnish?
Even with acrylics, it is always a good idea to wait 24 hours (if possible) before varnishing.
This is from the Liquitex website:
There is a difference between dry time and cure time.
Dry time is when the surface feels dry to the touch.
Cure time is when the acrylic film is fully stable, close to its maximum durability, water resistant and less vulnerable to attack by mild solvents. This usually takes at least three days for thin applications and may take much longer (up to two weeks or more) for thick applications such as with Liquitex Super Heavy Body Color .
Over brushing acrylic varnishes may also cause a cloudiness on the surface of the painting.
Temperature and humidity can also affect a paintings drying/cure time, as well as the ground that was painted on (canvas, wood, etc)
It's not a bad idea to test varnish on a scrap of similar materials that duplicate your finished painting, especially if you're not sure about a new product.
Some one else here, may be able to tell you if there is any way to save the work. I hope you are able to save the work somehow.

Johnnie
09-28-2005, 02:18 AM
You definitly did NOT wait long enough..

Wait a week at least..
You can varnish also by using Acrylic Gloss medium clear just as y ou would varnish .. Works for me.

Johnnie

blumoon
09-28-2005, 02:32 AM
If you used any mediums in the painting process, it can take longer to cure, than when you don't use mediums.
I wonder what type of varnish you used? Some are removeable, and some are not. I was able to remove a non removable varnish at one point, on some paintings I had varnished before I knew what the heck I was doing.
Can you let us know exactly what you used, then maybe someone will have a remedy. It would seem a shame to not be able to salvage the painting. :eek:

Richard Saylor
09-28-2005, 02:35 AM
The above comments are on target. Also, it is not a good idea to thin acrylics with too much water, lest the acrylic binder become too dilute, which can compromise the integrity of the paint film. For extreme thinning of colors, you might consider adding some acrylic medium to either the paints or the mixing water.

Also you might want to consider a non-water-based varnish, which is removable with mineral spirits. It is unlikely to dissolve any paint when it is applied, and in the event that the painting is ever cleaned, removing such a varnish is less likely to damage the underlying paint. For a permanent never-to-be-removed varnish, use Johnnie's suggestion.

Richard

wvbeadlady
09-28-2005, 03:02 AM
Thank you all for your help. I used Liquitex varnish. I've tried to repair the damage and think it'll be ok after a couple more layers of fur - again. I didn't take off the old varnish. I just painted over it. Now I'm wondering how well the new paint will stick and can I use a brush on varnish over the existing varnish? I'm considering going to town and getting a spray, just to be safe. What do ya think?

Richard Saylor
09-28-2005, 03:20 AM
I didn't take off the old varnish. I just painted over it. Now I'm wondering how well the new paint will stick and can I use a brush on varnish over the existing varnish?It depends on the type of varnish. If it is Liquitex Soluvar Varnish, this might not work too well. If it is one of the permanent polymer varnishes, it might be okay. Just let the paint cure thoroughly before reapplying the varnish, and try just a little spot at first to see what happens.

Richard

Einion
09-28-2005, 08:16 AM
What did I do wrong? If you had lifting it's very possible you over-thinned the paint. Since you say you glazed over the white lines both the white and the glazes would have to be at fault.

Now I've used extremely thin acrylics for years without much trouble but it depends on the surface how resistant these are as well as the brand. What brand are you using? I've only had bad lifting problems with one type of artists' acrylics and I'm guessing it's not what you're using :) If I were painting on canvas I couldn't get away with this degree of thinning with just water as the rough texture means the paint comes off the high spots of the weave if you brush over it with much pressure using a stiffer brush.

What kind of varnish are you using? If it's one of the 'permanent' ones then it's essentially acrylic medium so you can paint over it but if you used Soluvar you really can't paint over it safely.

Einion

idylbrush
09-28-2005, 08:42 AM
I really like using over thinned acrylics but it has its own problems (lifting) which can be eliminated by spraying (hand pump sprayer) acrylic medium thinned with a tiny bit of distilled water. It sets the pigments, creates a barrier layer between the varnish and paints. I checked with Golden Colors and they highly recommended it if you are likely thinning colors to much. So far it has worked well. The Golden site has a nice segment of varnishing acrylics and how to prep the surface for the varnish. Might be worth investigating a bit.

Einion
09-28-2005, 12:23 PM
I really like using over thinned acrylics but it has its own problems (lifting) which can be eliminated by spraying (hand pump sprayer) acrylic medium thinned with a tiny bit of distilled water. It sets the pigments, creates a barrier layer between the varnish and paints. I've done something similar by airbrushing a medium/water mixture on, not to prepare for varnishing, just as a safety measure after painting with highly-diluted paint on a non-absorbent surface.

Einion

blumoon
09-28-2005, 01:43 PM
Which Liquitex varnish did you use, and what type of finish was it: eg gloss, satin, or matte?

wvbeadlady
09-28-2005, 05:42 PM
Which Liquitex varnish did you use, and what type of finish was it: eg gloss, satin, or matte?

It was gloss finish for flexible surface. Went to Michael's today and got some spray varnish. It worked fine. I should be pretty good with fur now anyway. Did it over 3 times. The first time it came off with the varnish and the second time I tried (after painting it again) to go over it with medium and it lifted again. So I painted it AGAIN and then sprayed it. It's still there:clap: ....the fur that is. I probably did thin the paint with water too much. Next time I'll use the medium instead of so much water. I'm relatively new to acrylics. This is only about the 3rd I've done so I'm still learning. This was a very hard leasson.

Johnnie
09-29-2005, 12:02 AM
For a permanent never-to-be-removed varnish, use Johnnie's suggestion.

Richard

Hi there

lol Well thats the whole idea. It gives me a nice shiny varnished look and doesnt come off. I know its not the best solution, not the worst either, but it works for me.. I am an old fart so wont see my paintings in about 20 years or so and after that it wont matter.. lol.. Nothing I paint do I worry about longevity.. Its only a hobby.. When I go so will my hobby, I cant take it with me now can I.. :evil:

Johnnie

asmith38
09-29-2005, 01:41 AM
Mae,

As a beginner myself, I feel for you. So sorry! Hopefully your "repairs" will work well. It's so good to have all the wonderful people here helping out!

Azure Wings
09-29-2005, 02:20 AM
I really like using over thinned acrylics but it has its own problems (lifting) which can be eliminated by spraying (hand pump sprayer) acrylic medium thinned with a tiny bit of distilled water. It sets the pigments, creates a barrier layer between the varnish and paints. I checked with Golden Colors and they highly recommended it if you are likely thinning colors to much. So far it has worked well. The Golden site has a nice segment of varnishing acrylics and how to prep the surface for the varnish. Might be worth investigating a bit.

Bead Lady, Howard's point about having a barrier layer, or isolation layer, between the painting and the varnish, is an important one. It protects the painting. After you've given the painting enough time to cure, apply a coat of slightly thinned acrylic medium - Golden's Soft Gel Gloss is good; Polymer medium works, too, as does Gel medium (though you need to thin it more). Follow the instructions on the bottle.

I like Howard's idea of spraying it (Howard, where did you get your hand pump sprayer?). I've just used very soft hair brushes, and they work too.

Then, after your isolation layer has had enough time to cure, you can varnish (with spray or brush).

Hoping this is helpful,
Karen

wvbeadlady
09-29-2005, 02:24 AM
Thank you all for your help. As I said this was a hard lesson but one that I won't forget. I'm going to take ALL the help you've been so generous with and apply it.

Thanks again.