View Full Version : Two varnish Questions
02-12-2007, 09:59 PM
Hi all, I know there have been lots of threads on varnishing already, & I'm sorry if this ends up being a repeated question. All the threads I've been reading have started to mush together in my head :D
My first question is: Golden recommends using their soft gel gloss as an isolation coat. I have some of their polymer varnish in satin that I'm planning on using but was wondering how much it will lessen the glossiness of the isolation coat. I know you can mix different levels of the same varnish (matte/gloss) to get a satiny finish, but can't remember reading anything about the isolation coat affecting the overall finish.
& my other question is: does anyone have tips on how to apply varnish over a heavily textured surface? I have one of the Escoda chung king varnish brushes I got off blick, but have been too chicken to actually use it to varnish one of my textured paintings on canvas :o
02-12-2007, 10:41 PM
I believe the isolation coat does just that. It isn't the final coat. The final coat determines the gloss, satin or matte finish. I know many who mix different finishes of the same manufacturer to get the just right finish. Textures do provide some issues. Varnishing can lead to bubbles. I personally prefer to spray the final coating but that is my preference and others hate it. I use a 1:1 ration of distilled water and varnish and a hand sprayer. I go over areas with bubbles to eliminate as many as I can. In heavily textured areas bubble are created readily if you use a brush alone. In some situations you can roll out the coating and then brush the surface to rid it of the distinctive roller marks. It is a care of using whatever it takes to get the desired effect.
02-12-2007, 11:56 PM
Thanks Howard! Hmm..I may wait on the textured painting then until I get a spray-on varnish.
02-13-2007, 05:50 AM
The varnish will completely determine the finish. I use soft gel gloss as an isolation coat and then usually just do one layer of matt varnish. The paintings are completely matt. :)
Personally I would never recommend spray varnish (sorry Howard ;)), I had nothing but problems with it on flat and textured paintings. Poor coverage (needing about 3 applications), spotting, dripping - generally it nearly ruined paintings and cost a heck of a lot more in varnish because of the multiple coats needed. I found it much easier to get varnish coverage when I used to do heavy texture (with Golden's moulding paste) by varnishing with a brush. I didn't have a bubbles problem as long as I brushed very slowly and gently.
So you probably need to try both methods on a test piece to decide which you prefer.
02-13-2007, 07:43 AM
I don't use pressurized spray varnish. Far to expensive. I use a mix I spray from a hand sprayer. I tried the canned stuff and hated it. Expensive and not good coverage. I spray with the hand sprayer and it takes one vertical coat and one horizontal coat. I also spray on a flat surface whenever I can. That way there are no drips. So far it is working well for me.
For others it obviously isn't. Each to their own gout.
02-13-2007, 10:22 AM
This is interesting to me because I've been away from a/c painting for some time and I believe some stuff may have changed....can anyone direct me to a thread or threads where I can read about mediums and varnishs? TIA
02-13-2007, 11:43 AM
Timelady, thanks for your input! I think I'll try the brush out first as I don't have a hand sprayer or really access to one living in a dorm hehe.
Margaret, here are some links I found helpful when looking for info on varnish:
Hope that helps. If you do an advanced search for "varnish varnishing" just in the Acrylic forum you get a lot of hits.
02-13-2007, 11:56 AM
I have some of their polymer varnish in satin that I'm planning on using but was wondering how much it will lessen the glossiness of the isolation coat.
The glossier/smoother the painting's finish the less a satin or matt varnish will tend to affect the surface gloss - or to put it another way, if you apply matt varnish to a satin surface it'll work better than onto a gloss surface (for the same amount of varnish). You may need to apply more than one coat; but there are a lot of variables.
does anyone have tips on how to apply varnish over a heavily textured surface?
It may be best not to. The best way to varnish something like this can be by spraying, but even professionally works featuring heavy impasto are considered to be troublesome as the goal is to apply a thin, even coat of varnish - without thin spots on the raised areas or thicker accumulations in the recesses.
Sans varnish the only alternative if you want to protect the painting is framing in a glazed frame.
02-13-2007, 12:16 PM
Thanks, Jaime...I appreciate you efforts on mybehalf
02-13-2007, 04:23 PM
The glossier/smoother the painting's finish the less a satin or matt varnish will tend to affect the surface gloss - or to put it another way, if you apply matt varnish to a satin surface it'll work better than onto a gloss surface (for the same amount of varnish).
Using Golden's MSA varnish that hasn't been my experience at all. I've varnished normal, textured and very smooth (because I used a lot of medium) paintings that had a glossy finish (soft gel gloss barrier layer) and one coat of matte medium has always given the same result regardless of the finish underneath.
Howard - ah, the good old fashioned spray method. :) Fair enough! My comments were just about the aerosol can varnish. (And just the Golden one, to be fair, other brands may spray better or more consistently.)
03-06-2007, 05:01 PM
Hi everyone, I'm new to this so I hope I'm asking this in the correct order. My problem is with the isolation coat. I have used the Golden soft gel medium glossy mixed 2:1 with distilled water, practiced on a smaller work first and all was well. When I did the larger painting I was horrified that it had major streaks on it. I used the same brush, (not a very good one, I admit). I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and how they solved it. I will be using the spray varnish after I hopefully correct the streak problem. I'm waiting for tech support from Golden to get back to me, but does anyone have any suggestions until then?
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