View Full Version : glazes, shine and varnish

08-05-2002, 09:34 AM
Hello all! What a great site. I'm a newbie here and thought you folks might know about a shine problem. I've been working in oils, mostly alkyd and used "Wingel" for some glazing. I love the stuff, it's juicy and smooth but dries extremely shiny. After I finished my painting (and waited a couple of months), I applied a satin varnish I could still see all the shiny bits where the Wingel had been applied. It looks very blotchy, some bits very glossy, some slightly shiny, some parts satin. Any suggestions?
Thank you for replying. I'll post a pic of the painting when I figure out how to do that...

David Dowbyhuz
08-05-2002, 11:14 AM
Even after applying a satin varnish? Hmm. Odd.

Most of the alkyd mediums (Liquin, et al) do promote glossy passages, but a good low gloss varnish usually tames them. (I personally cannot stand "Wingel"! How can you make it work? It seems to absolutely refuse to blend with the pigment!)

There is "matte" varnish available. Maybe someone with a more "chemical" background will help ...

08-05-2002, 03:45 PM
Thanks Iconoclast, I do need to get the shine under control. DO you think a second varnish would be harmful - over top of the satin one I already put on? I could try the matt...

David Dowbyhuz
08-05-2002, 04:08 PM
I'd recommend you hang in for a little while and see what other advice is forthcoming ...

I know you can layer varnish, but usually the same varnish. I'd hesitate to guess what the effect of another, competing varnish might do.

This is very odd. Varnish has always unified the painted surface in my experience. I only use "matte".

08-05-2002, 05:53 PM
I'm so glad I stumbled across this topic. I have just completed a painting for a client, waited several days after the finishing touches until the surface felt uniformly dry (no wet or cool spots), then applied a layer of liquin once a day for two days to unify the surface and give it temporary protection until it is dry enough to varnish. The client wants it framed and in her home by next week, so I saw no alternative but to take this approach.

In the meantime, I've been trying to decide what type of varnish to use when time comes to take the painting down and put the coats on. The liquin, while enhancing the colors, does give an all around shiny surface. Also, narista,I see you have waited only a couple of months before applying varnish. Has that worked well for you? I was always told to wait 4-6 months. Is that too conservative? And, will a matte varnish dull the color, any? I've always used a satin. And, one last question, while I think about it. How many layers of varnish do you prefer to apply?

David Dowbyhuz
08-05-2002, 06:35 PM
That 4-6 month rule is not hard & fast. It depends on how thin the paint layer is. A relatively thin layered painting (as I paint) can be ready to safely varnish in a matter of weeks. I have varnished paintings of 20 years age, varnished in their first month of existence, and they're still fresh and clear; no cracking or crazing.

I've never found matte to dull the colors. They stay true and deepen (as you would want from varnish), and are viewable from any angle, unlike gloss, and sometimes even satin.

I apply only one healthy coat.

I would caution you about your use of Liquin in the manner you describe, though. Time may prove your enemy.

08-05-2002, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by Iconoclast
That 4-6 month rule is not hard & fast. It depends on how thin the paint layer is. A relatively thin layered painting (as I paint) can be ready to safely varnish in a matter of weeks.

Thanks for the info - I had recently posted a question about this. I have a commission due in Nov. and can probably get it finished by the end of august - which doesn't leave me 6 months for varnishing! I do paint extremely thin - my framer thought my oils were acrylics. I can't imagine varnishing with liquin - I have a bottle but the stuff looks so vile I haven't used it yet.

08-05-2002, 09:21 PM
Oh, I agree about the liquin. It's a bit of a crap shoot with that stuff. However, I had an instructor in college suggest it "in a couple of very thin layers" and have some of the pieces in my possession, many many years older now, which are still in amazingly good shape. I definitely don't make a practice of using liquin in that capacity, though.

And, yes. It is some grizzly looking stuff, no? Reminds me of a sinus infection I had a few years back. LOL

Thanks for the info. I suspected the 4-6 months rule was subjective, but I always figured it was better to play it safe. As most of my work is done in very thin glazes, I look forward to varnishing sooner.