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Old 05-08-2012, 02:01 PM
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pastelmimigt pastelmimigt is offline
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QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

I'd love to hear what you all use. Product name, brush on, spray on... As well, what your experiences have been. (I.E. what you would definitely recommend NOT to use, lol). ;-)

Thanks!
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:03 PM
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Ramie Leigh Ramie Leigh is offline
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Re: QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

I like Golden Polymer Varnish with UVLS for large works and Krylon Gallery Archival for small. My gold standard is super duper uncomplicated: Does what it says on the tin. Both products do. I've only used the Golden Satin varnish, but it is a nice true Satin, goes on evenly, and gives a coating that feels sturdy. Ditto for the Krylon - I've used all 3 finishes, and again.. the Gloss is is a nice hot shine. Satin is pleasantly satiny. Matte is matte. What more do you want?

I will say this: USE AN ISOLATION COAT!!! I followed exactly Golden's steps for applying their varnish (see link above), which includes putting a clear isolation coat over the entire work before varnishing, and I'm beyond glad I did: I would have been dead in the water otherwise, following a client-requested color change that required me to strip the varnish off and re-work a section of the painting. There were small areas on the sides of the canvas where I'd obviously had a lazy moment and not gotten a good coat of the isolation clear on, and the ammonia stripped the paint right down to the gesso. Lesson learned the hard but grateful way! The VERY LARGE (about 36" x 48") section that I needed to adjust the color on had a good isolation coat, and came through the varnish removal just fine. Since the isolation coat is nothing but a solid layer of clear acrylic medium, it's completely safe to paint over.

I haven't yet had to remove the Krylon varnish, but I still apply a clear isolation coat to all of my works prior to varnishing. The experience of stripping the Golden varnish taught me that a good isolation coat can withstand pure ammonia being applied to it without damage to the underlying paint layers - and I paint extremely thin, with a fluid acrylic technique.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:34 PM
wcjan wcjan is offline
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Re: QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

Great question! I'm wondering if I even need to varnish my paintings - would also like to know how many of you do/do not varnish.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:43 PM
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Re: QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

I don't varnish because acrylics is a sort op plastic itself and most varnishes yellow in time.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:06 PM
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Re: QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

I use Final Coat. You just wipe it on - no streaks, no muss, no fuss.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:11 PM
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Re: QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

I don't varnish because acrylics is a sort op plastic itself and most varnishes yellow in time.
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Not true with modern varnishes - I don't think any polymer varnishes are known for yellowing? And acrylics is a plastic but it is and remains porous and flexible over its lifetime - taking in dust or dirt permanently. Varnishing is highly recommended!
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:54 PM
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Re: QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

Must agree with time lady. I don't varnish if on paper and behind glass but I have been known to varnish those now and again. Anything exposed to the elements, I varnish. I follow the Golden Paints suggested spray methods and find it quite agreeable. I finish with a removable UVLS varnish....just in case.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:20 PM
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Re: QUESTION - what varnish to you use for your acrylic on canvas paintings?

I use Winton and Newton Gloss brushed on, when I want to get an oil look.

Also, once I sign a painting, I am done with it. Varnishing reinforces that. Otherwise, I might be reworking stuff for years.
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