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Old 01-05-2018, 09:34 AM
skichick33 skichick33 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Help with Scratchboard varnish?

Hello everyone.
Am new to scratchboard and after finishing my first piece, I wanted to varnish and protect it. Looking at various websites I finally decided on Golden’s Archival Satin Spray varnish. Even though I followed all the advice, I still ended up with spray dots appearing all over my work & just wondered if anyone would recommend a better matt or satin varnish - either spray on, or brush on - that I could try instead on my next piece.
Thanks so much. I am in awe of everyone's work that is posted here so would be grateful for any pointers.
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Old 01-16-2018, 10:30 AM
contumacious contumacious is offline
Lord of the Arts
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 2,253
Re: Help with Scratchboard varnish?

An airbrush or an HVLP spray gun have been the only way I have been able to consistently get smooth applications of varnish, fixatives and other stuff. They also give you the ability to use a much wider range of varnishes. Rattle cans sometimes work and sometimes they don't but when they don't they can ruin stuff, so I don't use them anymore if I can help it.

Airbrushes and HVLP spray guns start at $10 to $15 and go up from there. On the airbrush make sure it is a dual action and comes with several different sized tips and needles. If you don't already have a compressor that is going to be the biggest expense, but they are a great tool to have for an artist and around the home. Make sure that the compressor is rated to match the spry gun or air brush you get and do get an inline water trap for it, particularly if you live in a humid place. There are plenty of videos on YouTube to show you how to use it to spray varnish.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:25 AM
skichick33 skichick33 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 2
Re: Help with Scratchboard varnish?

Hi Contumacious & thanks for such an informative reply. I hadn't thought of an airbrush/spray gun option before, only using a can or traditional brush-on product.

I don't have a spray gun but I have considered purchasing one for use in artwork so do have a few additional questions when considering this method for varnish, namely:

- Is there a particular type of varnish you would recommend for use in a spray gun for good artwork protection. I realise that I need an archival varnish – i.e one that won’t yellow with age or in UV light.

- Is clogging a problem? Do I need to thin it down to make sure it flow through the nozzle? And if so, is that with water?

- Is cleaning out the varnish afterwards a problem?

- Presume you should keep the airbrush for the varnish only or can you use it both for varnish and for inks?

Sorry for so many further questions and if they are a bit basic. Haven't used a spray gun before and you've definitely given me food for thought.
Thanks again for posting.
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