Hello everybody, I hope you had a great weekend. It’s been unusually snowy in my neck of the woods, so I stayed in mostly. I decided it was time to do some varnishing of my previous paintings.
I’m sure there are varying opinions when it comes to vanishing paintings. Some say that you don’t need to and some swear by it. In my work, I noticed some paintings need it more than others. But, I am all for maximum protection when it comes to paintings and any other works of art. In addition to the protection that varnish provides, is its ability to re-saturate the colours, even out the painting and provide a way remove it for cleaning in the future. The varnish is removable with odorless mineral spirits.
I have varnished acrylic works before but never oils. So I was apprehensive when it came to varnishing oils, just because my lack of experience. After much research online, I decided to try it out. Traditional oil varnishes, (usually Damar) should be put on after the painting has been oxidizing of 6-12 months or more. So we are lucky that we have picture varnishes such as Gamblin’s Gamvar that you can varnish after the painting is touch dry. I decided to wait over a month anyway to make sure.
Below is one of my paintings before and after the varnish. On the left, you can clearly see the difference after the painting has “dried” some parts have sunken in and uneven levels of haze and gloss. On the right, after the painting has been varnished, the colours are resaturated, painting is more uniform and overall clarity is restored.
I used the gloss version of the varnish but there are different finishes as matte and satin as well. The varnish is touch dry in a couple of hours but totally tack-free in 24 hours. I think the trick is to get it on as thinly as possible. After doing a few, I think I’m getting the hang of it. The worst thing about the whole procedure is avoiding dust and loose brush hairs.
I hope this has been informative to those who are interested.
Have a great week and thanks for stopping by,