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Old 06-15-2008, 08:37 AM
bronwynbear bronwynbear is offline
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Retouch Varnish - drying time

When can you use retouch varnish on an oil painting? (Going to show soon and painting is 3 months old). How long does it take for retouch to dry so I can wop it in a frame?
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:30 AM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Retouch Varnish - drying time

Quote:
Originally Posted by bronwynbear
When can you use retouch varnish on an oil painting? (Going to show soon and painting is 3 months old). How long does it take for retouch to dry so I can wop it in a frame?

You can apply a retouch varnish when the painting is touch-dry. Longer would be better. Since a retouch varnish is basically engineered to be applied to a painting in progress, there is nothing wrong with using it as a temporary surface varnish for showing and selling. My advice is to brush it on, rather than using a spray can. I get a much more even coating by doing so, and I've had new spray cans of varnish spew all sorts of rusty-appearing junk all over my painting. I avoid varnish in spray cans.

Depending upon what sort of retouch varnish it is, (natural or synthetic resin), my application usually dries in a day or two, well enough that it won't stick to the edge of the frame.

However, the longer drying time you can allow it, the better.

I use GamVar varnish (diluted 1 to 3 with Gamsol) as a retouch varnish. I give it a couple of days before I mount it in the frame. A week would be better.

However the climate here, in Arizona creates much shorter drying times for EVERYTHING than most artists experience. You may need to wait longer, depending upon your temperature and humidity.

Bill
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Last edited by WFMartin : 06-15-2008 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:06 AM
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hone hone is offline
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Re: Retouch Varnish - drying time

I would suggest, if the painting has dried for 3 months and you used just oil paint or a regular sort'a medium (whatever that is), you can apply a final varnish using GamVar.

Here is a message from Scott Gellatly, Product Manager for Gamblin in responce to my question to him:

=============================
This is the most frequently asked question: How long do I have to wait till I varnish my painting, 6 months, 9 months?

The answer is simple and complex. You can safely varnish when the painting is dry. But when is a painting dry? Some paintings are dry enough to varnish in two weeks. Some are not ready for two years. If one paints thinly with fast drying colors using a fast drying medium, in a warm and dry climate, then the painting may be ready to varnish in two weeks. But if the artist has painted using Alizarin Crimson to make a half inch thick layer using poppy oil as a medium then the painting may not be ready to varnish in two years, if ever.

How to tell if a painting is ready to varnish is easy -- just touch it. If there are impasto areas, gently press your fingernail into that impasto. If it is firm underneath the surface the painting then it is ready for varnishing. While waiting 3 - 6 months is best, painters using Gamvar can safely varnish sooner because Gamvar’s mild solvent will not dissolve the glaze layers of paintings and paintings today dry quicker. And since Gamvar is a thin coating the oxidation process continues through the varnish.

If you need to varnish the painting when the layers are only touch dry, consider thinning the Gamvar with approximately 20% Gamsol OMS to create a very thin varnish coating.
=====================

Cheers....
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:24 AM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Retouch Varnish - drying time

Quote:
Originally Posted by hone
I would suggest, if the painting has dried for 3 months and you used just oil paint or a regular sort'a medium (whatever that is), you can apply a final varnish using GamVar.

Here is a message from Scott Gellatly, Product Manager for Gamblin in responce to my question to him:

=============================
This is the most frequently asked question: How long do I have to wait till I varnish my painting, 6 months, 9 months?

The answer is simple and complex. You can safely varnish when the painting is dry. But when is a painting dry? Some paintings are dry enough to varnish in two weeks. Some are not ready for two years. If one paints thinly with fast drying colors using a fast drying medium, in a warm and dry climate, then the painting may be ready to varnish in two weeks. But if the artist has painted using Alizarin Crimson to make a half inch thick layer using poppy oil as a medium then the painting may not be ready to varnish in two years, if ever.

How to tell if a painting is ready to varnish is easy -- just touch it. If there are impasto areas, gently press your fingernail into that impasto. If it is firm underneath the surface the painting then it is ready for varnishing. While waiting 3 - 6 months is best, painters using Gamvar can safely varnish sooner because Gamvar’s mild solvent will not dissolve the glaze layers of paintings and paintings today dry quicker. And since Gamvar is a thin coating the oxidation process continues through the varnish.

If you need to varnish the painting when the layers are only touch dry, consider thinning the Gamvar with approximately 20% Gamsol OMS to create a very thin varnish coating.
=====================

Cheers....


Thank you for that message from Scott. That is interesting to know.

Obviously, the important thing is that you don't apply varnish to a painting that is still in the throes of its drying process. This, of course, can lead to cracking of the varnish layer. Actually, the application of varnish, either retouch or final, in too thick a layer can lead to cracking, whether the painting is completely dry, or not. The only painting I've ever had crack on me was one on which I had sprayed too thick a coating of varnish. One does not have to wait several years for these cracks to happen--they practically happen while you're looking at it.

That is another reason that I don't use spray cans, any more. They provide much, much too uneven a coating.

It is interesting that the directions that came with my GamVar varnish recommended that it be diluted 1 to 5 with Gamsol (their solvent) to create a retouch varnish. That dilution seemed too great to me, because it beaded up on my painting as I brushed it on. Well, just about the time I had decideed to use less dilution, I read someone else's post, who recommended 1 part GanVar Varnish to only 3 parts Gamsol to create retouch varnish, Since that is about what I was going to do, I tried it, and found that dilution to work much better for me.

To prevent beading, it's just a matter of doing some continual brushing over the area in question, while the varnish is still wet. That breaks the surface tension, and discrourages beading.

However, it is interesting that Scott feels that, given the proper climate, a painting might be safely given an application of final varnish long before the traditional 6 to 12 month drying period. And, I must say, I surely DO agree with his evaluation of the situation.

Bill
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Last edited by WFMartin : 06-15-2008 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 06-15-2008, 01:04 PM
Ribera Ribera is offline
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Re: Why Not Just Oil Her Out?!

If you plan to show an unvarnished work soon, and there be not sufficient time to safely varish it, remember:
One Needn't Apply A Final Vanish
Great artists have refrained.

If, rather, you understandably need to eradicate the sunken-in areas right away, why not just oil it out in the short-term? Select specifically the areas that have sunken-in, and paint some extra-lean medium (or oil-out media) over them to lift them to their correct appearance while wet.

For that final varnish, make an agreement with the buyer to come back and apply that when the time's right.
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:03 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Why Not Just Oil Her Out?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribera
If you plan to show an unvarnished work soon, and there be not sufficient time to safely varish it, remember:
One Needn't Apply A Final Vanish
Great artists have refrained.

If, rather, you understandably need to eradicate the sunken-in areas right away, why not just oil it out in the short-term? Select specifically the areas that have sunken-in, and paint some extra-lean medium (or oil-out media) over them to lift them to their correct appearance while wet.

For that final varnish, make an agreement with the buyer to come back and apply that when the time's right.

It has been my understanding, and I agree, that "oiling out" with a drying oil, or a medium with drying oil in it, creates a layer that is bound to yellow as it ages. Granted, a layer of varnish may yellow, in time, also, if it is a natural varnish, but that yellowed layer can easily be removed, whereas a drying oil, such as Linseed Oil cannot.

I used to believe that oiling out was a good idea, because it actually does level out the high and low spots, but have changed my mind, after someone explained this simple fact to me.

Bill
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