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Old 09-17-2019, 08:58 PM
WhydidIdothis2myself WhydidIdothis2myself is offline
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Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Hello,

I have recently closed my solo exhibition that opened up a month and a half ago. I was having issues with one of the paintings that had a deep black background. I use gamblin oil colors and standard linseed oil. My studio was extremely hot when first completing the background of Painting A. that was finished three weeks prior to the install day. It was still somewhat tacky when putting the windsor newton retouch varnish on it the two days before install and that same day I retouch varnished another large black area in another painting, that we will call Painting B., that was completely bone dry. When picking up the work from the show the painting A. was still tacky with a bunch of dust and hair on it. The majority of it isn't immediately noticeable unless extremely close to the painting. Painting B. was tacky, but not as bad with less hair on it, but enough to where it is a problem. For future shows and shipments I don't want to ship these two works for the curator to see them up close with noticeable dust hairs on them.

Is it just time and more waiting that is my solution to the tackiness and then using a Tack Cloth and what are my best options for removing the hairs and other debris? I don't want to try to pick the hairs off if it is still tacky with the worry that the hairs will only be pressed and permanently stuck in the painting (a concern that I think has already happened in a few areas). The hairs are not large, but very small and tiny. I have heard horror stories where retouch varnish was still sticky and a dust and hair magnet for years and years with no resolve. Now with the work back in my studio I have my no stick plastic slightly tented over them to stop any future hairs, but enough air to dry more. Any answers or similar instances and their resolve would be greatly appreciated it!

-NP
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:08 PM
contumacious contumacious is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Have you tried removing the retouch varnish?
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:24 PM
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Delofasht Delofasht is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

I would remove the varnish and allow the painting to dry completely before trying a varnish again. To accelerate drying you can try increasing the temperature and reducing the humidity in the area where it is drying. After it is well dried to the touch and no longer feeling tacky, you should be fine to use whichever varnish you like.

Accelerated drying methods work wonders for short term, but the dimensional changes of oil paint will persist for years to come. With this in mind, removing and revarnishing in 3 to 5 years would be advisable.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:09 PM
WhydidIdothis2myself WhydidIdothis2myself is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Thank you.

Quick question, what is the best method for removing retouch varnish?
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:10 PM
WhydidIdothis2myself WhydidIdothis2myself is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

No I have not, I have not tried that method before with fear some of the black paint will come off. What is the best method for removing retouch varnish?
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:43 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhydidIdothis2myself
No I have not, I have not tried that method before with fear some of the black paint will come off. What is the best method for removing retouch varnish?

It depends upon its composition. If it is true, bona-fide Damar Resin Varnish, you must use Turpentine to remove it.

If it is something like Soluvar, a synthetic resin, you will also need to use Turpentne to remove it. (I found that out after trying to remove Soluvar with Odorless Mineral Spirits, and it turned into something like rubber cement.)

If it is GamVar, another synthetic varnish, it can be easily removed with Odorless Mineral Spirits. It will dissolve, and you can then wipe it off.

The use of Turpentine is always a crap-shoot, because it is strong enough in its solvent action that it can remove some of the paint, as well, especially if the varnish was applied before the painting had cured thoroughly. But, the removal of SOME paint is almost always inevitable, but is is often quite slight.

I once varnished a painting, it dried, I framed it and put it into a show. Months later the varnish became sticky, and tacky for no apparent reason. Go figure. I removed the varnish, and re-applied the same varnish. It dried, and stayed that way. I blamed it on my use of Galkyd Lite as a painting medium, but the alkyd enthusiasts claimed that I was nuts. Still, it is the only painting that ever did that drying, sticky thing, and it was also the only painting I ever did for which I used Galkyd Lite.
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Last edited by WFMartin : 09-18-2019 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:35 PM
WhydidIdothis2myself WhydidIdothis2myself is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
It depends upon its composition. If it is true, bona-fide Damar Resin Varnish, you must use Turpentine to remove it.

If it is something like Soluvar, a synthetic resin, you will also need to use Turpentne to remove it. (I found that out after trying to remove Soluvar with Odorless Mineral Spirits, and it turned into something like rubber cement.)

If it is GamVar, another synthetic varnish, it can be easily removed with Odorless Mineral Spirits. It will dissolve, and you can then wipe it off.

The use of Turpentine is always a crap-shoot, because it is strong enough in its solvent action that it can remove some of the paint, as well, especially if the varnish was applied before the painting had cured thoroughly. But, the removal of SOME paint is almost always inevitable, but is is often quite slight.

I once varnished a painting, it dried, I framed it and put it into a show. Months later the varnish became sticky, and tacky for no apparent reason. Go figure. I removed the varnish, and re-applied the same varnish. It dried, and stayed that way. I blamed it on my use of Galkyd Lite as a painting medium, but the alkyd enthusiasts claimed that I was nuts. Still, it is the only painting that ever did that drying, sticky thing, and it was also the only painting I ever did for which I used Galkyd Lite.


I used windsor newton retouch varnish. What would be the best option? Also, Any good advice for removing the hairs that are stuck on the canvas ? Some have told me a standard tack cloth, but would they just be pressing the hairs into the tackiness more or would it sufficient raise them right off?
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:45 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhydidIdothis2myself
I used windsor newton retouch varnish. What would be the best option? Also, Any good advice for removing the hairs that are stuck on the canvas ? Some have told me a standard tack cloth, but would they just be pressing the hairs into the tackiness more or would it sufficient raise them right off?

Yes, a tack cloth works well for removing hair and dust that are not imbedded into the surface of the varnish, but it won't remove anything that is not relatively loose.

I have no idea of the ingredients in Winsor & Newton Retouch Varnish. However, if it is related to Winsor & Newton's "Artists Varnish", now THAT is a synthetic varnish, and it can be easily removed with Odorless Mineral Spirits, without harming the painted surface beneath it. My guess is that it probably IS a dilute version of "Winsor & Newton Artists Varnish".

The procedure would be to try removing the varnish with a bit of OMS very discretely at one corner of the painting, first. Notice whether the solvent is actually dissolving the varnish to the point where it can be wiped off of the painted surface cleanly, and completely. If it seems to work, then gradually work your way out toward the remainder of the canvas.

The secret is to allow the solvent to do the dissolving, and refrain from employing much rubbing, or scrubbing in the process. Lay a solvent-laden piece of lint-free, cotton T-shirt material on the surface, and allow the solvent to work; then gently wipe the varnish off until you are down to the painted surface. That has worked for me a couple of times when I had to remove varnish because of some damage to it.
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Last edited by WFMartin : 09-19-2019 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:40 PM
WhydidIdothis2myself WhydidIdothis2myself is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Quote:
Originally Posted by WFMartin
Yes, a tack cloth works well for removing hair and dust that are not imbedded into the surface of the varnish, but it won't remove anything that is not relatively loose.

I have no idea of the ingredients in Winsor & Newton Retouch Varnish. However, if it is related to Winsor & Newton's "Artists Varnish", now THAT is a synthetic varnish, and it can be easily removed with Odorless Mineral Spirits, without harming the painted surface beneath it. My guess is that it probably IS a dilute version of "Winsor & Newton Artists Varnish".

The procedure would be to try removing the varnish with a bit of OMS very discretely at one corner of the painting, first. Notice whether the solvent is actually dissolving the varnish to the point where it can be wiped off of the painted surface cleanly, and completely. If it seems to work, then gradually work your way out toward the remainder of the canvas.

The secret is to allow the solvent to do the dissolving, and refrain from employing much rubbing, or scrubbing in the process. Lay a solvent-laden piece of lint-free, cotton T-shirt material on the surface, and allow the solvent to work; then gently wipe the varnish off until you are down to the painted surface. That has worked for me a couple of times when I had to remove varnish because of some damage to it.


thank you for this extremely helpful response. I will give it a go. If I am in the situation where paint begins to come off, should I keep going and just let the paint fully dry and then do a new layer of retouch varnish over it once it is bone dry to see what the results are?
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Old 09-20-2019, 06:03 AM
Antonin Antonin is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhydidIdothis2myself
thank you for this extremely helpful response. I will give it a go. If I am in the situation where paint begins to come off, should I keep going and just let the paint fully dry and then do a new layer of retouch varnish over it once it is bone dry to see what the results are?
Throw out that retouch varnish.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:04 AM
budigart budigart is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Something to think about for future work . . . instead of black, you can mix a black using burnt umber and ultramarine blue. You'll get the superb, almost instant drying action of the umber. You can mix some darks/blacks that are very interesting as opposed to a large, flat passage of dead black.

I'm not one of those anti-black guys. I use lots of it, but I use it in small amounts, usually in tempering other colors. Thus, the amount of black I use is rarely more than a tiny bit, and that amount is almost always mixed with cremnitz white, which gives me the super drying of lead
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Old 09-21-2019, 11:40 AM
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AnnieA AnnieA is offline
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Re: Hairs, still tacky after 3 Months

Before you start, it might be wise to contact W&N to inform them about the problem, and ask for advice on what removal method they would recommend.
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