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cobalt fingers
07-19-2002, 10:22 AM
I have always wondered about final varnish. When restorers remove old final varnish what happens if the artist used varnish in his medium and paint mixing. How does the cleaning know where to stop? Furthermore, the wait a year rule seems pretty soft as artists paint differing thicknesses and use driers and mediums that change the rate of oxidizing. Is this like waiting an hour after lunch before you can swim?

Retouch varnish is put on as soon as he surface is touch dry and all this is is thinned final varnish. Is two or three coats of retouch then the same as a final varnish?

Has anyone seen what happens to a young surface that was final varnished? I'm trying to figure what the difference is between mixing with varnish and applying it as protection. It is mixed with turps and oils of all kinds and driers and pigments during the process of painting but then we are told to wait one year. Can anyone clear this up for me?

I just used Gamlins new final varnish on a painting 12 months old and it was great went on easy and dries fast and even. This stuff is very different from Damar. I see how one could remove it later w/o touching the paint under it.

Is there any way to tell if a painting is completely dry w/o knowing when it was actually signed? Does a hard paint surface count? The creators of the work are not the only ones who put final varnish onto paintings.

Titanium
07-19-2002, 10:31 AM
Cobalt fingers,

this question has been dealt with on
Cowdisley a few times.See the Archives.

You need to also look up curing times
for Linolenic oil and Linoleic oils.
Good Luck,
Titanium

* A cobalt drier only dries the surface,
but the oil still has to cure.
A lead drier only dries through the
binder, but the oil still has to cure.

Titanium
07-19-2002, 10:48 AM
Forget to let you know, that is there much in
the Wet Canvas Archives as well.

Much of the Lead information recently
discussed is in the wet Canvas Archives.
Happy Reading.
Titanium.

cobalt fingers
07-19-2002, 11:07 AM
I've not yet found the answer to my question exactly...still searching

Wayne Gaudon
07-20-2002, 03:51 AM
I just used Gamlins new final varnish on a painting 12 months old and it was great went on easy and dries fast and even. This stuff is very different from Damar. I see how one could remove it later w/o touching the paint under it.

I have read that it is highly recommended to use Damar in your mediums, etc but to use a Final Varish of a different type as restorers who clean the painting at some future date will know where to stop. ie. They would remove only the Final Varnish leaving all Damar varnish in it's place and that makes a lot of sense to me.

I have always wondered about final varnish. When restorers remove old final varnish what happens if the artist used varnish in his medium and paint mixing. How does the cleaning know where to stop? Furthermore, the wait a year rule seems pretty soft as artists paint differing thicknesses and use driers and mediums that change the rate of oxidizing. Is this like waiting an hour after lunch before you can swim?

I have hear it's six months from creation date and though I have no experience in the matter, from anything I have read it seems like the swimming rule .. early attempts will kill some and others it won't affect. Apparantly the clearner knows when to stop as soon as they see any color on their little Q-Tip. If it's a good restorer they will get a clue before they do any damage by seeing slight color appear on the cleaning Q-Tip. I think that's why they recommend only experience people tackle the job.

Has anyone seen what happens to a young surface that was final varnished? I'm trying to figure what the difference is between mixing with varnish and applying it as protection. It is mixed with turps and oils of all kinds and driers and pigments during the process of painting but then we are told to wait one year. Can anyone clear this up for me?

Again only from things I have read and I can't even give you a sourse as I've read lots of good stuff and lots of junk but from reading I have deducted that the final varnish is just one more layer of protection. I would think it would be like the Clear Coat that they use on vehicles .. just that one more layer of protection that could save the painting. Think of it this way .. you painting is leaning against the wall and some fool lays another painting in a metal frame up against yours .. ooops a slight scratch .. Sorry .. if you had that final coat perhaps the scratch would just be on the surface and it could easily be fixed .. if you didn't and the scratch got some of the paint then the job becomes a big time fix.

Later

Phyllis Rennie
07-20-2002, 07:54 PM
Hi Tim. Several years ago I purchased and read the book, Oil Painting Secrets of a Master written by one of the students of David Leffel about his techniques. One of the statements in the book was that you could varnish as soon as the painting was dry to the touch and the paint and varnish would dry together. So I did. I varnished a piece that was about two weeks old. The date on it is 1985 and I cannot see any difference between the surface of that one and others that dried for months before varnishing. Whether removing the varnish would be a problem I don't know---likely noone will ever try. :D But it looks fine.

Noble
07-20-2002, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by Phyllis Rennie
Hi Tim. Several years ago I purchased and read the book, Oil Painting Secrets of a Master written by one of the students of David Leffel about his techniques. One of the statements in the book was that you could varnish as soon as the painting was dry to the touch and the paint and varnish would dry together. So I did. I varnished a piece that was about two weeks old. The date on it is 1985 and I cannot see any difference between the surface of that one and others that dried for months before varnishing. Whether removing the varnish would be a problem I don't know---likely noone will ever try. :D But it looks fine.
That's a good book and I always wondered about his advice regarding that as it conflicts with other information widely distributed. I suspect that several factors must be in place for such a procedure to work well as in your case.
A couple of questions:
What was your painting support?
How did you apply the varnish, spray or brush?
Was the varnish acrylic or a natural resin like damar?

Noble
07-20-2002, 09:09 PM
Originally posted by cobalt fingers
Retouch varnish is put on as soon as he surface is touch dry and all this is is thinned final varnish. Is two or three coats of retouch then the same as a final varnish?

In general my answer leans toward yes. Retouch varnish works because it is so dilute as to not put down a solid film. If you layer enough of it on, a solid film will develop and then you will have the potential for cracking.

cobalt fingers
07-21-2002, 12:11 PM
all this is consistant and agrees with what I've come to.

cobalt fingers
07-21-2002, 07:46 PM
We use damar as a medium in the painting. The painting dries. Why must we wait so long for the "final varnish? what's the dif. Why will the work dry when the varnish is "a medium" and not as a final varnish"?

Also what really bad things happen when the work is not dry before the final damar coats are put on and have any of you actually seen these really BAD things for yourselves? I've done some experiments and quess what-- no boogie man-nothing seems to happen. I do welcome hearing what you have seen.

Thanks

Titanium
07-21-2002, 08:17 PM
Cobalt Fingers,

try it like this.
When linseed forms a skin and is touch dry it is not
cured.
When the linseed oil film is - CURED - you can scrape your
fingernail over the paint and not remove paint.

When cured, linseed oil is unaffected by normal solvents
turpentine or mineral spirits.

If just touch dry, the solvent can still disrupt the film.

Thin coats cure faster.Thick coats take longer.

Walnut oil takes longer to cure.
[ Remember I left you a bit on Linolenic and Linoleic oils.
Linseed is high Linolenic - Walnut is high Linoleic ]

Dammar is supposed to take twenty years or so to
crosslink[ become insoluble in normal solvents].

All resins,oleoresins and drying oils brown with age.

If the dammar as a varnish bonds to your painting's
coat with time you run the risk of your picture darkening
and the dammar varnish needing stronger solvents
to be removed, also removing your pigment.

As part of a medium,used in small quantities,the darkening
of the dammar is masked by the pigment.
What you risk here is weakening the coat if you use too much
dammar resin- removal of paint by solvent .

Resins harden the coat, but also make the coat brittle.
Which is why stand oil is often used in the medium as well.

If your one of those people who do not believe the
research of the National Gallery [ London ] ignore all
of the above.

Thus far the report is that there are only traces of
pine resin in certain glazed areas of Old Master
Paintings.These traces of pine resin are left over from
turpentine use,as was explained to me.

The 19th Century however used resins.
Hope this helps.
Titanium

* See Mayer for information on resin.

cobalt fingers
07-21-2002, 08:50 PM
Very helpful-you know so much! Thanks

DLGardner
07-22-2002, 01:58 AM
Good thread!
BTW...your painting is gorgeous.

Linarty
07-23-2002, 02:13 AM
Since you are using Gamblin varnish now you should e-mail and ask what he recomends. A few years ago he did a q & a chat here and was very receptive and helpful.

Wayne Gaudon
07-25-2002, 12:27 PM
Tim .. do you use the varnish straight out of the bottle or do you dilute it and if so, with what? I have to varnish a couple of pieces.

cobalt fingers
07-25-2002, 09:59 PM
Boy, have I been reading and learning.

Here's the thing I got Wayne, you can delute with good turps or wlanut oil for instance. A thin coat will be fine as a retouch varnish. I'm still reading old and new info and trying to sort it out-it's complex. Make sure you have no mosiure on the surface (remember to flash) and brush on lightly-- thinly on a dry surface. THE END

Wayne Gaudon
07-26-2002, 07:13 AM
Thanks Tim .. think I'll try an old study to see how it works before I tackle the patron's painting. Will give it a shot this weekend hopefully. Wish I had a studio as I have an airbrush and compressor and would use it to spray it on one and brush it on another .. to see if there was a difference. I would think the spray would be far superior.

:D

Mario
07-26-2002, 08:06 AM
I have had NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS varnishing. I have learned that if there is ANY MOISTURE at all, including Humidity in the air, the stuff will destroy your painting as a white BLOOM appears seemingly from nowhere.
If you have already found a product that works, stick to it...be EXTREMELY CAREFUL with RETOUCH varnish!!! Especially from a spray can, I WILL NEVER TOUCH THE DAMN STUFF, AGAIN!!!!!!
I hope you get my message.
I remember reading a recent scholarly study on the French Impressionists, the materials and processes that they used, right down to; who bought what paint from whom. The bottom line was that VIRTUALLY ALL of the problems with the paintings from this era WERE CAUSED BY THE VARNISH. And that those that were NOT VARNISHED, HAD NO PROBLEMS.
Dispute this if you will but facts are facts.

cobalt fingers
07-26-2002, 09:06 AM
only brush on.