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View Full Version : Acrylic Varnishing Advice


Assaf
07-01-2007, 06:15 AM
Hi All.

I've bought Some new varnish (Talens' Acrylic Varnish, Glossy) and used it on 2 paintings. The bottle doesn't come with any instructions, other then notices that it's toxic and flammable. If I ever needed to make home-made dynamite, I'd know what to do, but how to varnish a painting it doesn't say.

I used it undiluted, and applied on canvas with a brush straight from the bottle. It smells aweful, but the result seemed somewhat decent. I wanted to know how it's supposed to be applied: Should I mix it with something? Do two layers, alternatring brush strokes?

Any help is welcome.

idylbrush
07-01-2007, 07:48 AM
If you have an opportunity take a look at the varnishing directions on the Golden paints website.

http://www.greatart.co.uk/TALENS%20PICTURE%20VARNISH%20GLOSSY%20002.htm

Reading the description here it states to use turps to thin if desired.

If this is the product you are using it appears to be thinned with turpentine. That would account for the odor you are experiencing.

I might suggest that you use a barrier layer or two of acrylic paint. Allow to cure for several days and then varnish.

If it is a turps based varnish I would think it might benefit from a bit of thinning (20% max ). Use odorless turps if you can get it. Use a quality brush that would be reserved for use only with varnish (crossing between water based and turps based products is something I have tried to avoid and use different brushes for each).

Two coats should be most agreeable but one may well do what you are seeking to accomplish.

You might want to check the manufacturer's website to try and find more information on this product just to be safe. When in doubt, check it out on the web......great source of information.

Just a thought. When thinned some of these varnishes like to create bubbles. I find that if you work in a very slow and deliberate fashion these bubbles can be minimal. Any quick brushstrokes can create bubbles. Just take your time and if you find you are getting bubbles try to slowly brush them off the edge of the work. Also try to keep the brush strokes in one direction at a time. No back and forth, this seems to really foam up the varnishes.

Assaf
07-01-2007, 09:46 AM
I did find some basic instructions at the talens site (http://www.talens.com/english/products/detail.asp?subID=8&mc=004&artikel=24280114). The wonderful last line is this:

* Flammable (in spray can: extremely flammable)

If you ever needed a flamethrower and couldn't get a license.

edtree
07-01-2007, 10:36 AM
Hi Assaf!

I've only ever varnished wood. I don't know if the method or advice applies but I always used the product straight out of the can. Thinning would give a lighter coat and could help in leveling. With that in mind, I'm thinking, if you want brush strokes to show, thinning would do the opposite. Humidity level and temp can affect application and drying time.

Funny how the container only had warnings and not advise for usage. Good thing we have access to Wet Canvas and the Internet.:lol:

Elizabeth

Einion
07-01-2007, 11:50 AM
I used it undiluted, and applied on canvas with a brush straight from the bottle. It smells aweful, but the result seemed somewhat decent. I wanted to know how it's supposed to be applied: Should I mix it with something? Do two layers, alternatring brush strokes?
Often it's a good idea to thin varnishes, even if just a little, but it does depend on how watery it is.

Almost always a good idea to aim for two (or more) thinner coats rather than one thicker one and you want to apply the least amount necessary to get the finish you require

Yes, alternating brushing direction from coat to coat is advisable.

BTW, I would recommend you thin with mineral/white spirit instead of turps.

The wonderful last line is this:

* Flammable (in spray can: extremely flammable)
:lol:

If you ever needed a flamethrower and couldn't get a license.
Ah but can't we just use bug spray for that and it's cheaper :D


Funny how the container only had warnings and not advise for usage.
Yeah, unfortunately I've seen this before on products of this type. Partly it's a size issue - small bottle, small label hence a limited amount of space - but still, some guidelines for use at least guys!

Einion

idylbrush
07-01-2007, 11:56 AM
If the flammability of a product is of concern you may want to switch over to a water based product instead. It will be safer and of less concern.

I use a alkaline removable varnish myself since many of the turps/mineral spirits products can start an asthma attack with me.

Assaf
07-01-2007, 04:30 PM
Thanks everyone. I think I have a good idea now on how to varnish my works. And, as always, a little trial and error could help. Or explode. 50% odds are good enough for anyone.

theonoe
07-01-2007, 06:34 PM
Howard,

Would you mind sharing the brand of the varnish that you use? I've been having breathing problems over the last few months and may have developed adult onset asthma-:crying: --will be seeing a pulmonologist in a few weeks to find out for certain. Some of the products in my art room are really starting to bother me as of late and I may have to stop using them, which is surprising as acrylic products typically aren't as smelly as oil products can be.

Theonoe

idylbrush
07-01-2007, 06:44 PM
The varnish I have been using is Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS (Gloss)
Removable with an alkaline solution. (Ammonia and water) Read the label closely. It is filled with all sorts of good info.

they do suggest wearing gloves. If you are very sensitive consider a chemical mask.