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KDS
05-31-2000, 04:14 PM
What is the best way to apply Winsor & Newton
Artists' Gloss Varnish to a dried canvas? What brushes should one use for this? How many coats should one use? What is the best way to clean the varnish brush when finished?
Thank you for your replies.

[This message has been edited by KDS (edited May 31, 2000).]

CarlyHardy
06-01-2000, 12:15 AM
To varnish my acrylics...I wait several days until its really dry...this is because I tend to use rather thick paint in some of my works. Overnight drying is recommended. With an oil...I wait for several months before applying a final varnish. And sometimes I don't varnish the oils at all.

I use a rather wide brush with very soft bristles. Working from top to bottom I apply one thin coat of the varnish...allow it to dry thoroughly...then I turn the painting over and work from top to bottom again with the second coat. Thin layers of varnish are much better than one thick coat. If the varnish is thick..you can thin it according to the directions on the can/or jar. Working in two directions helps me to cover all the area more thoroughly not leaving any bare spots. And I paint the varnish on quickly...not going back over it to keep it from becoming cloudy.

The directions on the can/or jar should tell you how to clean up your brush...with some soap and water is adequate, but with others you may need to use mineral spirits or turp, then wash thoroughly. I keep one brush for varnishing and do not paint with it.

Hope this helps you some, carly

paintfool
06-01-2000, 08:52 AM
I use Grumbacher aerosol Damar Varnish. It dries really fast & so far has performed well for me. Same as anything else though, thin coats are best. Cheryl

KDS
06-03-2000, 05:50 PM
Thank you Cheryl and Carly for your very helpful answers on varnishing. I have painted for a while in oils and have grown sensitive to the spray varnishes. The brush-on kinds do not bother me as much for some reason. When I purchased a bottle of the WN varnish, there were no helpful directions for its application, hence my cyberspace call for help. You all are wonderful and connecting to the WetCanvas website has been one of the best discoveries along the Yellow Brick Road of Art. I think I will love it here. By the way, when do you do most of your chatting at the Cafe Guerbois? I have checked in twice this weekend at the appointed times, but alas, it was only me that talked to myself. Perhaps everyone was out Plein-Air Painting http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif
Au revoir. Karen

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AIGottlieb
06-16-2000, 06:18 PM
The best way to apply Winsor & Newton Artists' Gloss Varnish is by opening the bottle, turning it over so that the open end faces down, and holding it over a garbage can. The only varnish to use is either home-made or bought from Robert Doak (my present day hero). Varnishing should be done thinly (very, very thinned down with rectified turpentine) with a varnish brush. 2 to 3 thin coats. An interesting idea I heard from a fellow student in my school is to hang a wet blanket beside the painting while varnishing (and while it dries) to attract all the dust particles. A.P. Laurie, for all the nothing he's worth, does point out that the painting, as well as the brush, should be 100% dry, or massive blooming can occur. You make the call.

KDS
06-16-2000, 09:38 PM
Hello Al, I love both your WIT (roflol) and your WISDOM. I will take them both to heart. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif And please tell us about your hero, Robert Doak. Does he always dump non-Doakian varnish into garbage cans? What is your recipe for homemade varnish? http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Karen

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AIGottlieb
06-16-2000, 09:59 PM
From the number of times I've been flouting Doak all over these posts, you would think I was his PR agent. As a matter of fact, I think I should be paid for this. Anyway, his info is:

Robert Doak and Associates Inc.
89 Bridge St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 237-1210

Ok. Here it is: how to make varnish.
Ingredients:
a jam jar (minus the jam)
a cubic foot of silk (silk only!)
damar crystals (or mastic tears)
highly rectified turpentine

The crystals and the turps must be able to fit in the jar at the same time, with a little elbow room for the silk. Anyway, the proportions are 50% crystals, 50% turps. Put the turps in the CLEAN jar, and suspend the crystals in the silk inside the jar. The edges of the silk should be trapped through the lid of the jar. The crystals must not make direct contact with the turps, purpose being that the resulting varnish is completely clean. The crystals themselves naturally contain all sorts of dirt and junk, which you don't want. Even with the silk separating the two, the turps will dissolve the damar and you'll immediately see the stuff seeping through the silk and into the turps. Ideally, let it sit for one week. Remove the bag of damar crystals (which will now be sludge), and wearing a rubber glove, squeeze the rest of the varnish into the jar. Voila. Clean, home-made damar varnish. If you want to make mastic varnish, all the directions are the same. For the future add or subtract turpentine according to how thick you like your varnish. Was this clear?

KDS
06-16-2000, 11:11 PM
Perfectly--"crystal" clear. Wow! Have you done this before? And how much damar varnish will a jam jar yield? (it is late and this is starting to sound funny, please excuse my lol) I really do appreciate your taking the time to write all of these crystal clear instructions out. Ciao http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Karen

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AIGottlieb
06-16-2000, 11:31 PM
How much varnish the jar yields depends on how big the jar is. I made my own last year: a jar of mastic for my medium, and a jar of damar for retouching and final varnishes. So far it should last me another year. Whether or not you actually notice the difference between clean and dirty varnishes (as well as oils), the point is that you KNOW that if anything goes wrong, it was your technique that you screwed up, not your materials. My philosophy is that if my materials are superior, then I won't have to think about them. When I'm painting, all I want to think about is the painting, not "Auuuughh! These trash brushes (oils, mediums, etc.) are driving me CRAZY!!"

KDS
06-17-2000, 09:37 AM
"How much varnish the jar yields depends on how big the jar."

Somehow, I knew you were going to say that. Well, if it furnishes a one year's supply, then it is certainly worth a try. Thanks http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Karen

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KDS
06-17-2000, 09:43 AM
I was checking over your varnish "recipe" again and wondered if you can use Turpenoid for the "highly rectified turpentine." Now please don't tell me that Robt. Doaks dumps Turpenoid, too. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Karen

AIGottlieb
06-17-2000, 11:06 AM
Fraid so. Turpenoid is not actually turpentine. It's a substitute for people who are very sensitive to the toxic nature of concentrated turpentine. I own about two liters of extremely rectified turpentine from a medical warehouse in Switzerland, and perhaps you may even find it at a chemist or medical warehouse in the U.S. Turpentine is good for oil painting because you can dilute your paint or your medium with it, and it will evaporate extremely quickly. If it's good, clean stuff, nearly 100% will evaporate, leaving nothing resinous behind. To test the quality of turpentine, put a few drips on pure, white paper. When it evaporates, it should leave absolutely no mark behind. Absolutely nothing. If it leaves a grease stain to any degree, it's not clean enough. Although I've never bought any from Doak, I'm completely convinced that he would also sell highly rectified turpentine. Still, if you can find it, medicinal turpentine would be the best of the best. As for turpenoid or mineral spirits, these are good for cleaning up, and even preferable, since pure turpentine is dangerous to the skin, and its fumes are extremely toxic.

EFA
02-25-2007, 02:00 PM
Hello everybody, i made varnish myself as in recipe 1 part of cristals to 1 part of pure turpentine from Demco, i was warming it up to speed up the process- i put the jar in a hot water, and it dissolved in 24 hours. Everything is fine and clear looking ( i used 2 layers of cheese cloth), but ! my varnish doesn't dry! it supposed to be dry in one hour but it's not in my case. Looks like it has some wet sticky spots( i applied thick, like i apply manufactured varnish). I thought that maybe i didnt' mix it well, so i mixed in a mixer and tryied again, but still it is sticky! what is the problem here? Please help... i got a book 'recipies for painter), there is nothing about varnish being sticky, and the book also says that varnish will be dry in one hour...What is my problem, please , help...Thank you everybody, EFA.

rroberts
02-25-2007, 04:41 PM
still it is sticky! what is the problem here? Please help... i got a book 'recipies for painter), there is nothing about varnish being sticky, and the book also says that varnish will be dry in one hour...What is my problem?

Hello EFA ...

It's ok to start a new thread with your question. This thread is almost 7 years old.

That said ...

What you made is a "base varnish" (Damar Concentrate). You need to thin your base varnish before using it as a final varnish, and you need to thin it even more to make a retouch varnish.

Apply your varnish on a dry day. Inclement, humid weather slows the drying time considerably.

Don't apply a thick coat of varnish! A thin coat is better.

First, read this article on Making Damar Varnish (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/47992/606/)

Here is the important stuff:


==> Making Damar Picture Varnish

For a final picture varnish, thin Damar Concentrate with an equal amount of turpentine : 50-50. (equivalent to 1/2 of concentrate strength)

==> Making Damar Retouch Varnish

For a retouch varnish, thin 1 part Damar Concentrate with 3 parts turpentine. - or 1 part Damar Picture Varnish with 1 part turpentine
(both are equivalent to 1/4 of concentrate strength).

NOTE: In humid climates, you may need to add a bit more turpentine for picture or retouch varnish.

==> Using Damar Varnish In Painting Mediums

Recipes for oil-painting mediums can vary considerably. The medium recipe here, however, is fairly universal and maintains principles of fat over lean.

Damar Picture Varnish : 1 part
Linseed Oil : 1 part
Turpentine : 1 part

Combine the ingredients. May be mixed with tube oils on the palette, or rubbed directly onto the canvas as a couch for glazes. Stand oil or sun-thickened oil may be substituted for the linseed oil.


cheers!

EFA
02-26-2007, 04:54 PM
Hi rroberts,
i was so desperate with my varnish that i even didn't take a look when the posts were done! :)
Thank you, i will try it today. Really appreciate your help...
Will be back tomorrow :)
Elena

EFA
02-26-2007, 08:48 PM
Hi rroberts,
i am already here! i diluted like you wrote 1:1 with pure turpentine. Mixed again in the mixer for better diffusion. Tried on a little canvas, in a few hours checked and it's sticky. It's dry, but my fingers stick to the surface- the surface is tacky - why? it's supposed to be dry in one hour and not to stick... i will dilute again make retouch varnish, maybe it will not be sticky... any ideas? thank you for your help, Elena.

Einion
02-27-2007, 06:51 AM
This thread is almost 7 years old.
That's gotta be some kind of record! :)

Einion

rroberts
02-27-2007, 12:07 PM
Hi rroberts,
i am already here! i diluted like you wrote 1:1 with pure turpentine. Mixed again in the mixer for better diffusion. Tried on a little canvas, in a few hours checked and it's sticky. It's dry, but my fingers stick to the surface- the surface is tacky - why? it's supposed to be dry in one hour and not to stick... i will dilute again make retouch varnish, maybe it will not be sticky... any ideas? thank you for your help, Elena.

Elena, I don't know how to help here because of course I can't actually see what you're doing.

If you applied a thick layer, it will take much longer. If the weather is humid, it will take much longer. If the room is chilly, it will take longer.
Desert climates are different from cold damp climates, and different from warm damp climates.

The recipes are generic. You may find that a somewhat thinner varnish works better for your circumsances.

I don't know where you got the idea that varnish is completely dry in one hour. That's simply not the case. There are too many variables. I allow a couple of days, even after the varnish is relatively dry to the touch.

You may benefit from asking other artists in your area about their experiences.