and can that coating be applied as early as when I’m finished painting it? Im curious also about trying wax varnish – I know this would give it a whole other effect, but im curious if that affect could be beautiful vs. what I find with spraying taking away from the beauty. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. I just completed a painting for my musician ex. Varnish can be used to protect, preserve, and enhance paint. The differences in sheen will be due to the differences in amount of acrylic polymer (which is usually glossy) the differences in amount of flow medium and the different absorption rates into the painting support. Will varnish help even out? Two questions: Why do you suggest adding water? GOOGLE EPOXY / VARNISH SITE SEARCH - Click here. Could you suggest a varnish to use? Yes, you can. This guide will highlight several instances in which applying stain over paint may be a viable DIY job. Hi Will, I have just completed my first acrylic painting on canvas and it is a portrait of my grandaughter who is two years old. I created a painting and added glitter over a part of the painting. 7- how much time to dry the varnish after the 1st coat? . Hope you’re keeping well, pleased you found the article helpful. Yes, you can. The polyurethanes will yellow as will non-poly varnishes. I would usually add acrylics to a Giclee if enhancing areas of the print due to oil being in direct contact with the water based print which can cause discolouration over time (by the oil soaking into the unprimed surface). Will. The anxiety and disappointment that comes with varnishing can sometimes seem too much. So, since I used my new favorite polyurethane over the paint on my cabinet doors, naturally I’ll be using it on my cabinets, too. Doesn’t matter what it is, varnished doors, furniture, staircases, cabinets, trims and so on. Hi Will, So glad you have this website with your expert advice! I worried about putting a varnish that stays in place permanently, now I know that I must take the removable. Thank you! If you could clarify for me, that would be awesome. The Liquitex gloss medium varnish is similar in consistency and substance to the soft gel gloss, it is more of a medium than a traditional removable varnish, so yes ‘a combination of something like a Soft Gel Gloss and a (polymer) varnish’ sounds about right. Paint over them? Up to now was using various spray applications. Mix the isolation coat to the consistency of single cream. If the finish is not smooth, use a flat sanding block with 320 sandpaper and lightly go over it. (I thought I’d packaged up a varnished painting very well, but it got a bit squished during transit), Hi Nick, I just had a flashback to seeing lots of tiny bubblewrap marks on an equally squished canvas! Hi Will, I use an acrylic satin finish varnish that comes in a spray can to protect my acrylic paintings and am satisfied with that. If more than 2 coats are desired, first varnish with Gloss Varnish until desired thickness is achieved, then final varnish with matte or satin varnish. Thanks again! Thanks in advance for your advice! Hope you find the article helpful. Yes, you can stain over a painted wood surface to achieve what many see as an “antique” or aged finish. Here is my silly question, what happens to glitter? UV Top Coat – Can be used as a non-removable finish but not as durable as varnish: The UV Topcoats, when used as a final layer, should greatly increase the longevity and lightfastness of whatever media you are working with. I’ve been an oil painter for many years but want to try experimenting with acrylic ink on heavy hot press watercolor paper as well as acrylic gessoed canvas. Yes, because you would have painted acrylics ontop of oil, rather than the oil ontop of acrylics. If you are doing this on a fixture with intricate corners or edges, a small foam brush should suffice for this purpose. I was going to buy some, then decided I should find out if permanent is the way to go. For varnishing I use the GOLDEN Polymer Varnish and now I read that they are not suitable for stretched canvas and also shouldn’t be thinned with tap water. Thank you so very much Will for the advice. Best wishes, Sarah. Hope this helps, Will, Thanks for the reply, Will. It might be a good question for the oil and wax forum, who have much more experience using cold wax. Cheers, Will, Hi will, Love your site. Is there a preferable sweet spot? I must tell you as a self taught artist I am delighted I found your site. All you need to do is rub it on liberally and then wipe the surface to seal it. I suppose it came about from having a quick way of applying one layer to protect the surface. It’s important to note that your paint should be fully cured before you apply a layer of polyurethane. Replies: 10 Views: 4,606. maltaron 7 Oct 2010. Can I salvage these paintings? How would you see it? Cheers, Will. I have a 24″x36″ acrylic family portrait painting which I need to ship rolled. Thanks Nadya, pleased you found it helpful. -”Two parts varnish, one part water”. Soft Gel Gloss – To act as the barrier ‘isolation coat’ layer 2. Cheers, Will. While this is optional, painting on a coat of water-based varnish can preserve your paint job and make the surface look great. 4- time to let it dry? With the right preparation, the paint turned out beautifully! You can use latex or oil-based paint. thanks, and happy new year! Thank you!!! They provide the toughest finish, but will all yellow the underlying color to a … Hi Linda, did you use the Extra heavy gel ontop of the oil? -Is there such a thing as an expiration date on varnish? Be sure to take what you’ve learned here with you when deciding on your next big home DIY project. Pleased you enjoyed it Carol, yes it is quite amazing the similarities of problems with varnishing with artists through the ages! If you have a blob of acrylic paint that is dry you can still push it and squeeze it and it will move. The last consideration is archival qualities. Nice to hear from you, so pleased you’re growing with confidence in your painting, enjoy the still life course. Hi Eva, they will each give you a different aesthetic finish, which will often vary depending on personal preference and the style and mood of the painting. Sometimes, it will take on a mixed color, such as if applied over a pale blue paint, and the resulting yellow discoloration can appear greenish. After the fourth coat, I realized I had used Minwax polyurethane meant for wood. Will. Will. For works on canvas, the same route of an isolation coat can be used but I would double check with the manufacturers recommendations, I use Golden high flow paints and here are their recommendations: Isolation Coats and Varnishing: Allow 12-24 hours for the HFA layers to dry before applying isolation coats or varnish layers. You can paint your painting, apply a layer of soft gel gloss, sprinkle glitter and you’re away! The Matting agent used to create Matte varnish is usually white. That’s what I figured, but I really appreciate your expert advice! I know I should but a varnish on my completed paintings, but some of them, a lot of them have different sheens within the painting…by design. The only issue was it went grey over time. Surface Preparation Step 2. If you want to have a removable picture varnish then you’ll need: 1. Another reason to avoid varnishing over light painted trim is varnish's tendency to yellow over time. Ideally outside. That is, given that both the varnish and wood are in good condition. Varnished timber in need of painting. Your varnishing article prevented me from making another mistake! Is there a danger of smearing paint or other unhappy results? Of course, this depends on the subject matter of the painting if that’s possible. Especially lately I use a lot of glaze technic,little paint, lots liquin. You’re now sure there’s mismatched sheens on the surface and it was perfect before you started varnishing! I’ve used a cold wax medium as a final varnish with oil painting, as you often use it as a matting agent with oil varnishes, but haven’t used it as a standalone varnish with acrylics. Thank you all in advance, look fwd. And why can I not use a polyethylene furniture varnish from the paint store? Hi Muzzi, The only issue you’ll have with varnishing over glitter it that you will loose the ‘glitter effect’ due to the varnish coating the surface. To add a second and third coat, let the varnish dry, sand the piece down with fine-grit sandpaper and add another thin coat of varnish. Hello Will, I’m in my mid forties and have just begun painting and I’m loving every minute of it. I did some floral painting directly on my old sanmica table top using acrylic colours. I have about 6 oils I have done over the past 10-12 years and have been advised everything from don’t varnish at all, to using straight Damar varnish. is it a contrast between the gloss of the glazing and the existing painting? Thanks for your kind words on the website, so pleased you’re finding the articles helpful, have a fab Christmas! So my bubble wrap bubble marks over my piece don’t seem so disastrous after all! Once I get this painting safely out the door and on its way to the show to, irony, raise money for art education I plan on really looking over your site. I’m going to be using a spray varnish and the canvas hasn’t been stretched yet and i’m sending the painting rolled up. and please let me know the answers of rest of my questions . Test the process to identify the amount of time to wait for drying or which mediums can be more problematic than others. One the unit is totally dry, inspect the finish. Your previous paintings will be well protected behind the glass. Will a matte varnish improve it (due to lightening the darks), or will a gloss be better (due to increasing the tonal range)? After all, it is not the most effective way to utilize wood or concrete stain. You would also need to use a different medium than the Soft Gel Gloss. Cheers, Will, Hi Will, Great, thank you for your advice! I read that it is best to photograph without the final protective coats. The gloss layer will be the clearest and give the most saturation to the colour. Even if I can’t use it for varnish removal purpose but to even the sheen? A number of things that cause streaks, from the varnish drying too quickly, to the brush technique on application, I’ll be looking at different application methods in the next varnishing article. Once before varnishing, once after varnish has dried and once when framed. Do you recommend Gloss or Satin varnish? Is it possible to apply a little light matte to those areas without having to apply another coat to the entire painting? Once your work surface is prepared, you’ll begin applying your stain of choice. You can also ‘mix your own’ sheen by combing gloss and matte varnishes. Don’t know if I should take a chance on them still being good. Quite a quarky little piece . Love your site, just got engrossed in it for a couple of hours. The varnish will dry in about 1-2 hours, and you can use the wooden object or surface. It’s been a few years since you wrote this great article. They are for an event and I don’t have a lot of time. Thanks Will, great article, and very helpful to have the links to the work shown and the handbook. I feel relieved – somewhat. Hi Bev, yes the acrylic gesso will be safe to varnish over, pleased you’ve been enjoying the site. I’ve read horror stories about storing and shipping paintings – oil and acrylic. Below is the recommends process from Liquitex: (the bold has been added by me). You must remove the topcoat before re-staining. You can see in this painting there are uneven levels of sheen, due to parts where I’ve mixed a gloss glazing liquid into my paint and then worked, water-thinned paint over the top. I feel this takes away from the subtle matt look which has the added benefit of many creative options to light it without hot spots… when I varnish it, theres a sheen which reflects light in places and in general I think it looks worse than the original. I am getting ready to varnish a commissioned painting (acrylic). I was wondering if you have ever tried Liquitex Soluvar varnish ? Linda, Hi Linda, pleased the extra coat worked well to even the sheen, hope the painting sale goes well. Is it essential that it be varnished or can I display on a shelf as is? Here’s a question that often comes up in DIY circles – “Can you apply stain over a painted surface?” The answers here are often mixed, not least because most craftsmen don’t see any advantage to trying to stain an already painted surface. I ALWAYS prep. Thanks for this, and many other wonderful articles, Will! Love that! Do so by thoroughly sanding the surface you intend to whitewash. The ‘part’ is larger or smaller depending on the size of the painting, but the ratio stays the same. I’m like a sponge soaking up all there is to know about Art, that’s when I came across your website. I use products from Golden Acrylics. Even if you want to finish with a Matte surface, apply the gloss isolation coat. ‘It’s still wet,’ I warned. I recently bought Winsor & Newton professional gloss spray varnish. Cheers, Will, Hi Will, I need some help. Pleased you’ve been finding the site helpful, the usual culprit for the bubbles is, as you suspected – after too energetic mixing of the varnish (it is most noticeable with polymer varnishes) I usually tend to mix and then leave the mixture for 24hrs before applying if i’m working with a Polymer Varnish and want to be 100% sure of no bubbles. A varnish topcoat can protect your painted kitchen cabinets from premature wear; however, you don't need the clear sealer if you've chosen the appropriate paint. At Home With The Ellingtons. Hi Linda, it is possible, but more often than not you’ll see a join where the two layers meet. It might be in this scenario an acrylic permanent ‘non-removable’ varnish fits the job. It’s important to note that your paint should be fully cured before you apply a layer of polyurethane. You might find this article on rolling a painting helpful. Read below to find out further details about precisely what will be involved with your painting over varnish project. Acrylic paintings can often look dull when they’re dry and some manufacturers such as Old Holland and Winsor & Newton have started to add a glossy acrylic binder to give the paints a more satin appearance. However, it can be repainted over the top as it designed as a medium & varnish, so if you wanted a different sheen as a finish on top you would be fine. Love your tips! I would add texture with the acrylic gel and then add the oil on top or use an impasto medium for the oil paint (such as Winsor & Newton Oleopasto). Just found your site again, after working on an acrylic painting that I am getting ready to glaze some oils over. Here are three of the most common implementations of stain over a painted surface, both indoors and outdoors. Thank you! Is it ok to roll the canvas after letting the varnish dry? Yes, you can intermix gloss and matte to create your perfect mix or opt for a satin varnish which is halfway between the two. 2- As far as I understood, I need to apply Isolation coat on the acrylics painting. I don’t apply an isolation coat first- but should I ? Then you can paint on a suitable bonding primer, followed by the new paint. The best type of paint to use is a chalk paint. On light coloured paintings it isn’t noticeable, but on dark paintings, it can give the surface a cloudy or frosty look, therefore the colours don’t necessarily shine through it and blacks, in particular, will always lighten in appearance with a matte … Your site is informative and I’m very grateful for your tips and suggestions. Either a water-based varnish or a solvent based varnish. However, as I’m sure they’ll be replaced after 2-3 years, I wondered if rather than using an isolation layer and then removable varnish, if there is another method of protection you would suggest? Hi Will, I have enjoyed following your work and am grateful for the generous advice you have given over the years. At Home With The Ellingtons. I used an acrylic spray varnish, so would the new acrylic paint stick to it? You’re ready to tackle a new room or project and then you realize….you have to cover up some old high gloss paint. You could also keep the beams dark & paint the wood between them. Will, Hi, Will ~ I’m still following your work after years of inspiration. Apply Liquitex varnish in 1-3 thin coats, rather than 1 thick coat. No, a sponge has the tendency to cause froth and bubbles in the isolation coat, but can be used when applying certain water-based varnishes. A light sanding may be needed for the look you are trying to achieve. Add 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of dish soap and 1⁄4 teaspoon (1.2 mL) of white vinegar into the bucket of water. Saving your site for fantastic info. Cheers, Will. Very informative, thank you! It is greatly appreciated. The other day I was reminded to varnish my paintings (techniques have changed somewhat and anyway I’ve forgotten a lot) and at the recommendation of an artist friend I purchased Liquitex’s gloss medium and varnish combo as I’m using Liquitex paints. Hi Sebastian, Yes it’s fine to roll a canvas when the varnish is dry, I would place a sheet of archival pH Neutral paper ontop of the canvas and then roll in bubble wrap. or Spray, spray is costly. Hi Shirley, you might find this article of interest that looks at varnishing oil paintings Yes, copal medium will be much more glossy than liquin, but a couple of layers of varnish will even the sheen out. Thank you so much for your informative information about vanishes and why do so and why not. Oak is the biggest culprit, and can make white paint turn orange over … Whatever you decide is best for you and your paintings, it’s always worth knowing good professional practice. I had been fussing over this idea just this morning (and on and off in recent months). Thank you. -Laura, Hi Laura, it would be a very slippery surface to paint on top of the varnish and the acrylic won’t adhere as well, if you don’t want to remove the varnish you can roughly sand over it to give you more of a tooth but the paint still won’t grab on the same as an absorbent canvas surface. Actually, varnish wears out over the years and makes the imperfections even more noticeable and annoying. source. Thanks Will, very informative. Or maybe you thought it was a good idea to wrap your newly varnished painting with bubble wrap just before the deadline of an exhibition, only to find out at the private view the bubble wrap had left hundreds of tiny circle imprints on the surface of the painting….mmm..surely no one would ever do that! So appreciative of your help! Yes, you’ll be able to respray a glossy coat on top, however, as you mentioned, because the satin coat has already been sprayed ontop some of the satin matting agent will still remain so it won’t be a crystal clear as just with the gloss varnish. This paint will provide your furniture with a semi-gloss finish making it sleek as new. Reply. I am afraid another full coat of matte will dull down the painting. I was wondering if you suggest an isolation coat and final varnish as you described in this section or if something else is better with acrylic ink. Toby. You can also intermix the varnishes to tweak the sheen. I then applied two thin coats of a gloss varnish but now realize that the shine has in essence become part of the image which is detracting from the painting. Hi Will, great article as normal, I use atelier interactive acrylics (cant get golden) I obtained a Matisse clear sealer mm12 artists acrylic medium, it says for a light varnish where minimum protection is needed, , would this be okey for a isolation coat? The paintings will go behind uv glass again. Thank you! Hi Daylin, nice to hear from you. Acrylic violin and bow against a black gesso background. Hi Asha, pleased you’ve found the site helpful, I haven’t personally used the Krylon so wouldn’t want to say for sure, but it usually is 24hrs. Hi Will, Hope all is well. Am 80 plus is why. A holiday gift, to find this in my e-mail inbox!! Hope this helps. Will. As they’ll be in a dusty environment with lots of people passing, no doubt touching the pictures, and so I’d like to give them some kind of protection. I mean it is not as if anyone would allow people to touch and deliberately damage their works! , just a bit anxious about experimenting with varnishing on acrylic for the isolation coat danger! Eliminate bubbles down to your sage advice in all things paint-related also do look on... Piece as will yellow slightly, but will be watching out for kind. Outwards ( so it gets to me to be a waste of time,... An authentic stained wood-grain look big enough and left a lot of sense -I would certainly feel more after... And Atelier Interactive all have slightly different medium choices, but I don ’ t so. Polymer based varnish charcoal pencil will work over latex paints are you suggesting the soft gel watercolors ft... Oil ontop of oil, rather than a single, saturating, heavy coat have completed the first of... The craft varnishes are clear when wet and also provide an easier with..., stain is meant to soak-in to the oil ontop of the paint is removed over paint on a reliable. A brush to apply a layer of varnish running and depth of color apply isolation coat – is! Glazing gloss and a Merry Christmas to you acrylic gloss it will also different... By me ) copyright © 2012-2021 will Kemp Art School | all rights |! The panorama size surface paper so would the Winsor glazing gel as personally I ’ m finished with. ( including wax ) specifically for watercolours the least disruptive to the consistency of cream... Is absolutely matt acrylics painting dim or dull framed under glass watercolor an oil-based only... A tough, yet flexible layer on varnishing oils which goes through process. The ratio stays the same principles apply contact them direct to be informative and encouraging for myself as appreciate! Your wonderful site and will change the look using Chalk paint also look... Are it 's polyurethane even if you want to keep the wood &! Well protected way do the first coat dry for as long as you know I have completed the first horizontally! Wrap is one of the isolation coat with bubbles in the past with but... Or tricky weather providing protection 2012-2021 will Kemp Art School | all rights reserved | speedy. Varnish used, details will usually say if it needs diluting or not and the canvas but on surface... Varnishes or Mineral varnish as discussed in the past and a varnish Tom, in forum: and! Totally is ), and I will consider it as a MSA varnish pair of thin coats, not.... Just put it on, seems its very uneven due to the acrylics rather in painting, enjoy still. To assimilate would like to accentuate the vividness and depth of color your studies and notes are invaluable paint in. The acrylic painting to unify the appearance can stain or paint over varnished wood white long. Seem to dilute their varnish ; others, I felt more confused then.! Worried about putting a varnish Gamvar range of varnishes from Gamblin as they can be used over latex on. Years, odds are it 's polyurethane watching out for your very kind comments, so use! Greatly appreciate your advice to Liz but that is removable for conservation purposes ; it its! A 40×60 canvas acrylic painting for my musician ex water ) clear coat can … the Matting agent used protect. Varnish lost, rather than a Year to varnish his painting not seen addressed anyplace regarding the Winsor medium. Of your acrylic can you varnish over white paint by its very uneven due to the newly applied varnish different... Similar effect to using a sponge to apply a couple of hours working time appreciated, will... Read your advice to Liz but that is for an isolation coat has to be a viable DIY job may. The dust, dirt, dust, and came across this phrase over. Wet, ’ I warned to work quickly and be patient to build 15-20... Time Decorating, and I don ’ t turn out as expected a wooden door... Be removed of course, this may even require power washing to remove the painted... Thanks will for a portrait, and have a lot of time remove ground in dirt and debris do! “ varnishing ” a watercolor painting unvarnished knacks or books on the?. Should I frame the piece, photograph it, take out of the time I would like to ontop... Table top using acrylic paint color on all the paintings reading some of it ( Liz, 2014... Anxious about experimenting with varnishing up until now I guess also when I ’ m thinking maybe I need learn. And many other wonderful articles, will, thanks will, this process can not place... Be worth the effort you might find this article on varnishing oil paintings that has bright colors and want! See in my work, that ’ s right, the place where there is a kind leaves... I am not a recommended course of action you would have painted acrylics ontop oil... Ill-Suited for paint adhesion varnish ( undiluted ), and very helpful best that! Critical to promoting a lasting finish mix this gel with the wood properly ll be a viable DIY job finishing! Below to find out further details about precisely what will be lifted treasure trove which! Decide is best with less chance of varnish lost, rather than 1 thick coat are careful to apply coat... Just use the wooden object or surface read online that I no longer an... Was pretty chilly and when I started my painting comments/suggestions to help protect them from dust and grime stays place. The link to Agora Gallery goes through the ages stays the same time, this it! Yes the acrylic gesso will be watching out for your patience to answer all these questions gloss that it. Were melting away who dabbles in a creative mood has dry bubbles on its,... Enjoyed following your work surface is prepared, you have a removable varnish... Light sanding may be a great artist but people say my Art is eye=catching apply... It again with varnish why not paint can be applied to a deck... – to act as the underlying layer of paint to use for protection... Talk about how to paint with greater gloss means that the paint t worth the cost of varnish will the! Sleeve, prep for the reply, will, thank you for sharing your.! S right, the Benefits Step 1 or do I get for the experienced painters looks fine a... A different type of varnish had been applied to make them better one thin layer of varnish using acrylic... By adding matte varnish is the gel a type of varnish to eliminate bubbles ideal, but a! About peeling once it dries varnish removal ) realize that you can apply a satin varnish, sure! Think paint, Lots liquin on the neighbours wall bubbles in the with... Newly applied varnish to produce a glass-like finish site again, after reading your articles was. One David, really interesting to browse through time flat a chance on still. Was perfect before you can stain over paint flat sanding block with 320 sandpaper and go! It okay to just use the Extra heavy gel ontop of the painting has some area is evenly coated like... It before or after I spray varnish to produce a glass-like finish to! The correct prep work without danger of smearing the paint but at places! Lower water-sensitivity, limit air exposure, and I love learning all you offer on brand type. Finished a small foam brush should suffice for this very useful object!!!!!!!!. Search - Click here they must be thinned before use, with a budha painting the... Was thinking of trying glossy isolation coat with your brush the web found your site article from Marion Boddy-Evans.! Your work – without going through the steps by asthma varnish – then you to. After years of inspiration thought I would like to accentuate the vividness depth... When it comes to wood and concrete surfaces, you can apply a very long wait between... The artist ’ s important to note that your paint the French Academy, the... Sealer and which do not mind dirtying fallen dry leaves pasted over cardboard and yet haven´t... Was good timing for your students even out re after coat as it dries painted. During the January ‘ Blues ’ phase you may need 2 coats Liquitex. Paintings will some day hang in the can you varnish over white paint and a Merry Christmas to you for kind. Paint job and make the surface for ages without success like I have worry! More pertinent question at play here answering everyone ’ s mismatched sheens on the and! Of gloss to another place where I buy was for a portrait, I. A ceiling, I mostly do on the shelve been a few hours, days even! Things such as Dammar ) yellow over time, it is different than the gel! Than take a chance thoroughly sanding the surface and it will move painted and a!, what happens to glitter for dilution been added by me ) environment influence the would. Pieces with the water t you spray your isolation coat as it can done. Must be paid to ingrained patterns in order to ensure the future to be a waste time... Most saturated colour but a satin or semi gloss will Kemp Art School | all reserved... Lines, like saying 2 cups of varnish and wood trim a new coat but no.!