To ensure your finished oil or acrylic painting to stay looking its best then adding the proper varnish in the right way is going to be a sound investment. Varnish protects the painting from dirt and dust and evens out of the painting’s final appearance, making it all equally glossy or matt.
Through the years dirt and dust will stick to the varnish as opposed to the painting and when it’s high time, the varnish itself could be removed therefore the painting re-varnished to check just like new.
Fixing dull paintings
- If for example the painting is dull, you can easily confuse the requirement for varnishing because of the dullness made from colour which has sunk into the surface. In the event that colour has sunk then varnishing must be avoided, additionally the thing to do is ‘oil out’ those sunken areas using Artists’ Painting Medium (see our Tip & Technique from the ‘Oiling out Technique’).
- Sometimes artists varnish their strive to help stabilise surfaces with added texture or damaged layers, however, while varnish will definitely help, once the varnish is on it can’t be removed without damaging the task. When you have pictures similar to this, we recommend you keep the varnished work behind glass and think about simple tips to improve your technique for the near future.
What kinds of finished surfaces can be varnished?
- Varnishes work very well with oil and acrylic because the paint films are relatively thick and separate from the surface. Varnishes usually do not work well with Gouache, water colour and drawings considering that the varnish should be deeply absorbed because of the paint and/or paper, becoming a fundamental element of the image and might cause discolouration. In addition, varnishes on works created using Gouache, water colour and drawing can not be removed.
Generally, artists choose varnishes for the sheen they provide and also if they have been employed by their favourite painters.
Listed here is a brief history for the different types of varnishes:
- Dammar remains probably one of the most popular varnishes despite the fact that newer varnishes have been introduced since its development.
- Gloss varnishes are chosen simply because they supply the brightest, deepest colours but works with gloss varnish have a great deal of reflection.
- Matt varnishes avoid reflections but the colours appear duller.
- All Winsor & Newton varnishes can be used on oil, alkyd, Artisan or acrylic paintings, however, each is fashioned with specific kinds of colour in mind.
The Winsor & Newton varnishes
For Oil Colour
- Dammar Varnish: the oldest liquid varnish, this gives an extremely high gloss. Winsor & Newton is the traditional 5lb cut should you want to put it to use for mediums (which we usually do not recommend but millions utilize it). As a solid varnish, we recommend using Distilled Turpentine (our strongest solvent) when it needs to be removed.
- Professional Gloss Varnish: The preferred varnish, it provides an extremely high gloss finish. Stronger solvents are going to be necessary to take it off as time goes by.
- Professional Matt Varnish: One of the most modern varnishes, it really is readily removable and gives a medium matt sheen. Professional Matt and Gloss varnishes may be intermixed for varying sheens in between. We suggest about 50:50 to realize a Satin finish.
- Professional Satin Varnish: A superior quality UV resistant satin varnish, removable with Artists’ White Spirit or Distilled Turpentine.
- Re-touching Varnish: A UV resistant gloss varnish which provides temporary protection to recently completed oil paintings. It really is quick drying and should be used in thin layers.
For Water Mixable Oils
- Artisan Gloss, Matt or Satin Varnishes: These varnishes are formulated avoiding conventional solvents, perfect for communal studios or those needing to avoid hazardous solvents. These varnishes may be used on conventional along with Artisan oil paintings.
- Aerosol Varnishes: Aerosol varnishes are really ideal for paintings with rough brushwork as a thinner layer can be applied. They are preferred if you discover applying with a brush more challenging.
- Artists’ Acrylic Gloss, Matt or Satin Varnishes: These varnishes are uniquely formulated to be removable and contain UV resistance aided by the Satin Gloss being mid-sheen with regards to the Matt and Gloss varnishes. The Galeria acrylic range also has its own array of gloss, matt and satin varnishes.
Top ten tips when applying varnish
- Hold back until your painting is totally dry.
- Choose a dust free area to focus in, keeping doors and windows closed.
- Use a flat wide, soft, tightly packed varnishing brush for instance the Winsor & Newton Monarch glazing and varnishing brush, ensure that it it is neat and utilize it only for varnishing.
- Maintain the strive to be varnished flat on a table or work surface – avoid working vertically.
- Stir the varnish well and pour it into a clean flat saucer or tin and load your brush. Wipe it on the side of the saucer so it’s not dripping.
- Apply the varnish in 1 to 3 thin coats rather than one thick coat.
- Use long even strokes from top to bottom while moving from a single side to another, and take away any bubbles.
- When you leave an area, avoid going back over areas which you have done. For all those areas which you have missed, simply allow to dry completely and re-varnish.
- After you have finished, shield from dust with a protective plastic film (referred to as a ‘tent’).
- Leave to dry every day and night and when an extra coat is necessary, apply at right angles to your first.
Handling and hanging
- It is advisable to avoid leaning varnished paintings together as they may stick.
- If you use bubble wrap around your varnished painting or pick it up with your fingers touching the varnish, you may get impressions showing in the varnish. Avoid hanging pictures in bathrooms or kitchens, above radiators or open fires as they will certainly get dirty very quickly.