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tsita
10-04-2009, 10:31 PM
I know the traditional finsh is varnish, but a friend told me that Krylon Acrylic spray could be used right away, instead of waiting 6 months to varnish. Has anyone used this product and had any success with it? Thanks, Terry

KennD
10-05-2009, 05:40 PM
Ohoh. I think using a plastic spray over an oil painting of any age is a terrible idea. Tip from me: Don't Do It. If you are fortunate enough to have a buyer within the one-year waiting period, go ahead, sell it, and include a bottle of damar (or whatever you prefer) and instructions as to when to use it.

Plein-Aar
10-06-2009, 07:27 AM
I too use an acrylic spray varnish, but I make sure it specifically says for use with oil paintings.
I was told that an acrylic varnish is actually easier to remove from an oil painting than a traditional damar, and thus better... and also that it does not darken and collect dirt as much. This person recommended Soluvar.

Although, I still think it would be a good idea to wait until the painting has dried.

tsita
10-07-2009, 07:39 PM
Thank you both for your advice, though the two opinions are conflicting and I still don't know for sure if I can use it, so I will wait and tell my client to have it varnished in 6 months to a year. I don't use a really heavy application of paint so I am usually allright with 6 month. Terry

Grandis
10-07-2009, 09:48 PM
It all depends on what your painting style is like and whether you use a fast drying medium mixed with the paint like stand oil or liquin.

You can varnish after 3 weeks quite safely if you always add even the tiniest drop of liquin to all your color (the alkyd catalyses fast drying) and you paint on a textured medium like canvas and do not have thick impasto effects.

If you have thick impasto effects, have painted on canvas and you have used liquin then I find its ok after 5-6 weeks. A good test is to gently press your fingernail into the thickest part of the paint (I try to arrange a suitable out of the way bit in a corner of the painting). Wait an hour,if the nail mark is still there leave longer, if it springs back totally or mostly then you have a thick skin of dried paint and you are fine to varnish. The solvent will have totally migrated via microcracks in the gesso after 12 months.

Without liquin its 6 months for normal painting or 12 months impasto.

Personally I will never let a client varnish a painting. I had a couple of bad experiences early on. One was with a 'professional' framer my client used who put so much GLOSS varnish on that the painting was unviewable without reflections from any angle, I wound up painting it with matt varnish following my own brushstrokes. The other was with a client who thought that any old varnish would do and applied a polyurethane 'old pine' effect varnish themselves (try it if you dare!) and I could not rescue that one.

Sometimes clients are impatient and what I do for them is get a high res photo taken by a photographer friend and then if they wish they can get a canvas print produced that they can hang. They can pop it out of the frame and replace with the real thing when its properly dry.

KennD
10-09-2009, 03:38 PM
Hello Grandis, and tsita again. Grandis's suggestions are good, and explained in a professional manner. I can see where a "framer" might have problems, and assuming that the painting's new owner is smart (?) enough to learn a little bit about varnishing would be too much to ask. I like the idea of making a same size copy, and then replacing it ... but what if the painting is 6 feet by 4 feet? LOL.

Freesail
10-09-2009, 08:24 PM
I used retouching varnish on a 16 x 20 painting today. If it took me 5 minutes to varnish the painting, it took me a long time to do it. The smell was very strong and I was happy that I had opened a window.

willpaintforever
10-15-2009, 10:33 AM
excellent discussion point.

I would love to say that patience produces a better outcome

willpaintforever
10-15-2009, 10:42 AM
I follow the theory that you should wait for 12 months before varninshing with damar.

This works for me because I glaze over and underpainting in oils, and the layers must be properly dry before the next is commenced.
Although this takes time, the paintings dont crack in th future. Patience will produce a better outcome. I have been doing this for 35 years

Of course this procedure really does depend on what you have used in the formation of your painting


attached - my copy of Vermeer Lady with a pearl earring done in this manner 33 years ago. No cracking no yellowing etc.

LGHumphrey
10-15-2009, 03:12 PM
Beautiful copy, willpaintforever. I saw the original a few weeks ago--if anything, yours is perhaps a tad more colourful.

willpaintforever
10-16-2009, 05:04 AM
Thankyou for your compliement Lawrence

When I was very young I wished to understand what the old masters works may have looked like when they were fresh.

It was a funny fantasy that begen the most rewarding journey that still continues.

I love this website. To find others who share this fascination for the skills of those who went before.

MissVermeer
11-12-2009, 02:24 PM
Hi Grandis,

I have a question for you.
I started a painting in acrylics, only the top layer will be oil (Artisan watermixable) It is really just a thin layer. I used the fast drying medium from Artisan for the whites. Touch dry within one day.
It will be a christmas present, I am nearly done, so I would need to varnish four weeks after finishing it. I use Liquitex Soluvar. Is that OK or too early?
An alternative would be to use retouch varnish, but I have no experience with that.
I definitely need to put something on the painting cause it is very mat right now.

Thanks!!!

Biblioscape
11-13-2009, 01:46 PM
If it's touch dry, you can use retouching varnish. You can use the spray or brush on kind. It should bring the colors back up. I've also used Galkyd Light with good results. It's really a medium, but I use it as a varnish when I don't want to wait so long.

DaveMak
11-13-2009, 01:57 PM
Retouch Varnish is not a final picture varnish nor is Krylon Crystal Clear. There is quite a bit of misinformation in this thread. I'd suggest that anyone really interested in boning up on varnishes, their purposes and their intended uses read this link. Your art will thank you for it.

http://www.winsornewton.com/main.aspx?PageID=406#o11

or

http://www.si.edu/MCI/english/learn_more/taking_care/painting_varnish.html

Side note... I realize that this thread is in regards to oil varnishes but I thought I'd include some info on current thought on varnishes for acrylics for those interested.

Even though Winsor & Newton still supports varnishing acrylics, there is much debate among conservators whether acrylics should be varnished. It is safer to glaze them when framed with glass or acrylic. Varnishing acrylics can be problematic.

Here is an excerpt from the website below regarding varnishing of acrylic paintings...

Removal of the top most dirt layer is perceived to be easier on a varnished painting. Unfortunately, varnishing an acrylic painting is problematic because the dried acrylic paint layer is soluble in the solvents used to make most resin solutions. Cleaning an emulsion paint with no varnish is also problematic because water may remove water-soluble additives and could make the pigment/polymer-binder interface less intimate causing colors to appear less saturated. Cleaning may also swell the thickener additives, disturbing the paint layer. Presently, there is no completely acceptable resolution to the problem of cleaning acrylic paintings.

http://www.si.edu/MCI/english/learn_more/taking_care/acrylic_paintings.html

By the way, I am one of those "framers". Many framers do continually study up to date thinking on conservation practices. Unfortunately, most don't. The best way to preserve your art for future generations is to understand the materials and time tried methods in your particular media yourself.

Grandis
11-13-2009, 08:51 PM
Hi Grandis,

I have a question for you.
I started a painting in acrylics, only the top layer will be oil (Artisan watermixable) It is really just a thin layer. I used the fast drying medium from Artisan for the whites. Touch dry within one day.
It will be a christmas present, I am nearly done, so I would need to varnish four weeks after finishing it. I use Liquitex Soluvar. Is that OK or too early?
An alternative would be to use retouch varnish, but I have no experience with that.
I definitely need to put something on the painting cause it is very mat right now.

Thanks!!!

So long as you are spraying the varnish on that should be fine. If brushed on there is a slight risk of color bleeding from any reds. this is because the brushed on version is thinned differently not because of the physical characteristics of the brushing.

truck driver
11-14-2009, 03:01 PM
o.k. Flat out you guys scare me. Do you know what your materials are made of? how about the oils you are using? why in the hell would you put an acrylic spray over oil??????????????????????????????????????????????????

if your painting is worth varnishing.. some arent..... please, please, please...

Do some research and get it right.

RG

Grandis
11-14-2009, 06:13 PM
o.k. Flat out you guys scare me. Do you know what your materials are made of? how about the oils you are using? why in the hell would you put an acrylic spray over oil??????????????????????????????????????????????????

if your painting is worth varnishing.. some arent..... please, please, please...

Do some research and get it right.

RG

Dear Truckdriver.
Perhaps you should do the research too.

Firstly Oil over Acrylic is a well established and tried and tested technique. Many artists use acrylic gessos or apply oil over an acrylic underpainting. It is Acrylic over oil that should not be attempted with standard paints. Paint binders do exist that will do even this however.

Secondly Liquitex Soluvar is especially formulated for use over Oil OR Acrylic. The instructions on use that come with it are quite plain. Please see http://http://www.liquitex.com/Products/varsoluvargloss.cfm (http://http//www.liquitex.com/Products/varsoluvargloss.cfm) if you do not believe me.

MissVermeer
11-14-2009, 06:47 PM
Yes, I have worked with Soluvar Liquitex Varnish over oil before and it works fine. I also trust it because a very good and experienced painter recommended it to me.
Same for "oil over acrylic", many artists do that to safe some time and I am pretty sure the old masters would have done it, if they had acrylics back then.