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Old 05-02-2012, 12:05 AM
googamos googamos is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Top Coat!

Howdy Everyone,

Im searching for a new top coating method for acrylic and wanted to see what your opinions were.
Ive been using Golden Polymer Medium Gloss (2+ coats) as isolation; followed by Golden Polymer Varnish Gloss (each with about 20-30% water mixed in).
Ive also tried the GAC 500/700 (50/50 ratio) as my isolation coat and followed it with the Polymer Varnish.

Each combination has its perks but it ultimately just aint doing the trick. The GAC seems a lot more stable with less adverse effects than the polymer medium but in the end they both can be, and oftentimes are, unpredictable (bubbles, odd striations, leveling issues, hairs and dust, brush strokes etc).

I am looking for tips on medium and application for the perfect high gloss top coat that doesnt involve having to buy an airbrush setup (unless you truly think thats the best bet).

Anyways, look forward to and appreciate any/all input.

Last edited by googamos : 05-02-2012 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:25 AM
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timelady timelady is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Re: Top Coat!

I use the Golden gloss gel medium as my isolation and have no problems. A touch of water in with it (going to guess about 10% as I just brush dip rather than mix it with the gloss gel). Second coat in difference direction to the first. If you're brushing flat with very very thin coats you shouldn't get too many brushstrokes. You could use a sponge if that helps? I've never had bubbles, levelling issues with the isolation layer.

Your varnish mixture sounds fine, just make sure you don't use too much water as that will cause brushmarks and striations. My Golden jar says 1 part water to 4 parts varnish - so that's 20% water max. I also varnish in odd strokes, not straight lines. I've found this helps my problems with brush marks. (my brush marks being much more of a problem since I'm matte varnishing - so it's not texture that shows, just odd lines of gloss coming through from the isolation coat) Varnish layers should be very very thin to help eliminate any texture and help levelling. Super thin. Are you varnishing twice as well? I do two varnish layers to even everything out.

Hair and dust is down to controlling your environment. I used to drape curtains low across my studio ceiling when I was varnishing - about 2 feet over the flat paintings. Once varnished I leave the room and do not disturb it for at least a couple hours.

To be honest I actually had MORE problems with bubbles, odd marks, dust and uneven application of varnish when I tried Golden's spray version.

Varnish is my nemesis. But with practice and honing your procedure it can get better.

Abstract coast and geology art: www.tina-m.com | Art/Science gallery: www.grejczikgallery.com
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:43 PM
googamos googamos is offline
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Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 4
Re: Top Coat!

Thanks for your help Tina. Ill give it a shot. Im new to this site so I cannot put up links or images yet (or so im told by the disclaimers) but once i can i will. I like sharing and seeing work. I liked the images on your site.
Also: Im originally a Chicagoan too.

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