Is this the wrong product to be using for this purpose? I had been fussing over this idea just this morning (and on and off in recent months). But there is one in dark background that shows some uneven patches of shine when looking at it from the side. Your site is informative and I’m very grateful for your tips and suggestions. If my painting is going to be hung in a darker space (a bar) with a single spotlight from top. Do not rework areas you might miss as the brush could pick up partially dried varnish and cause clouding. Hi Will, Hope all is well. The work is done and sold, but I need to varnish it. paint is make in several finishes, from dull matt finishes to high gloss, so you can select the amount of gloss that would give you the look you want from varnish. I’m so happy to have found you. What do I do wrong? This is so comprehensive, and I learned a huge amount as usual! To apply it, the painting must be touch dry and I’ve found it is most effective as a spray because you can build up the layers gently, compared to applying with a brush. I varnished it last-minute for an exhibition in London, using the only varnish I had in my studio at the time – Atelier Satin Medium & Varnish – which seemed to go on OK and looked OK. “Sweet, this means it can be done! Try both on a small painting and see which you prefer. Here are three of the most common implementations of stain over a painted surface, both indoors and outdoors. Also, if the work on paper will be framed with glass, is it fine not to varnish it if I’m happy with the appearance as it is? They will give you a nice even finish to your work – without going through the process below. I intend to paint with oil over it….do I have to worry about peeling once it dries? Step 3 Sand each coat lightly with a fine-grit sandpaper before applying the next coat of paint. How could that be remedied? Below is the recommends process from Liquitex: (the bold has been added by me). Virtually any type of varnish will work over latex paint except lacquer. 2- As far as I understood, I need to apply Isolation coat on the acrylics painting. Hello Will, I’ve been varnishing my acrylic paintings for some time, using an isolation coat (golden) and then applying a few coats of gloss polymer varnish with UVLS. I live in Calgary Canada and sometimes its harder to find the full range of the products of these brands, but i will find the ones you recommend. Since it’s so textured, this is not really an option for me because I wouldn’t have the patience to do it! Hi Will, So very appreciative of your time in answering everyone’s questions! Hi Will, I’ve been painting with acrylics for many years, but I still get confused with varnishing.After trying several brands, I ended up using TURNER Acrylic Gouache for illustrations, but also opaque paintings on stretched canvas. (I said I was a beginner) Could you advise me as to how to properly package an acrylic painting? As we explain in the post linked below, if you want the paint to not scratch off with a fingernail, stained/varnish trim needs to be prepared properly. All you need to do is rub it on liberally and then wipe the surface to seal it. ), but stain really sinks well into carved places, giving that punch of depth that makes a piece shine. 6. Hi Will, hats off to you for your patience to answer all these questions. And when I apply the final coats it will also look different. I ALWAYS varnish ALL my paintings, and have never heard of an isolation coat before now! The base black colour is completely dry. 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. is it a contrast between the gloss of the glazing and the existing painting? Use warm water so the mixture fully combines and forms soapy suds that will more effectively lift dirt, dust, and grime. After varnishing, the surface should be shielded with a protective “tent”. 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. Can You Stain Over Paint on a Deck? I’ve read that Golden MSA varnish is the way to go to prevent tarnishing, but can it be painted over with acrylics? Now i paint acrylic on wood, gray scale white to black with a lot of texture brush marks and hard edges, glazing and transparencies due to regular matte gel. Regards, Julia. Decoration Note More Information Further Reading Fantastic to hear Deborah, glad you’re pleased with the satin finish. -”Two parts varnish, one part water”. I am a new painter and I paint using acrylics on canvas. Quick Links Click below to jump to section: Zinsser Paint Woodstain & Varnish Products The Benefits Step 1. Even if you want to finish with a Matte surface, apply the gloss isolation coat. Yes you can. Thanks for the info. I’m wondering though if varnishing is essential? Use a soft-bristled polyester paintbrush that will promote a slick, flawless finish; do not use a nylon brush, or the varnish may dry with ugly marks. Here’s a video of how to soak with the solution. Also, if the painting is in sunlight having a varnish layer will add UV protection to the paint pigments, as some pigments aren’t as lightfast as others. this looked pretty easy to me and I hate breathing in varnish fumes when spraying and the N95 masks always make me wonder if I am adequately protected. It seems a logical way to even out all small imperfections, but I have not seen any mention of sanding in any other articles or videos about varnish techniques so wondered if it was an acceptable method. However, if exhibiting pieces without glass, we strongly recommend also applying one of our removable varnishes to facilitate cleaning and future conservation. That’s what I figured, but I really appreciate your expert advice! And why can I not use a polyethylene furniture varnish from the paint store? 8- how many coats? It is definitely worth considering. Or would spraying be easier? Can I just do a quick isolation coat and be done? Wouldn’t it be okay to just use the isolation coat (gloss medium mixed with water)? Q. Yes you can mix the Wood Classics waterborne varnish or any water based polyurethane with latex but it would be thinning it and wouldn't cover very well. Use a paint brush to add one thin layer of varnish and let it dry. Hi Sharada, the acrylics should dry within a few hours, if they are really thick they might take a couple of days. The solvent based varnish (brush) sounds better because it sounds like I have a larger window of time to apply the varnish. Lacquer will wrinkle and ruin the finish. So far I have made mistakes, but am learning with every attempt. 11 Best Right-Angle Drills to Get in 2021, How to Refinish Hardwood Floors Without Sanding, 10 Best Core Drilling Machines and Bits to Get in 2021. So my problems are dealing with uneven shine and/or using thee wrong medium? It’s worth noting there are many Acrylic permanent ‘non-removable’ varnishes on the market. Are the old paintings safe behind glass if nothing at all was applied over the paint? thanks for this website. The anxiety and disappointment that comes with varnishing can sometimes seem too much. The main reason that you can’t simply paint straight over wood stain or dye is that essentially most wood stains tend to be a coloured or tinted varnish and the majority of wood dye’s, once applied to an object, are then coated with varnish or lacquer to protect them. Painting over gloss paint can be a challenge but with the right painting tips and tools, the job can be completed by almost any determined do-it-yourselfer. Thank you for your answer. -How much does the environment influence the varnishing process? You can use one coat to seal the wood. I’ve been sent a Golden soft gel medium in SEMI gloss. Im not a painter by any means, just a creator. Whatever you decide is best for you and your paintings, it’s always worth knowing good professional practice. Will. Could varnish being effected because I use a lot of liquin? In essence it would be like putting down an isolation coat, and then another isolation coat that you had mixed in some polymer varnish ontop of that. So thank you for solving the mystery. Golden Soft Gel Gloss – it must be the gloss version, the satin and matte version of soft gel are not recommend due to the matting agent in the medium. I have just finished an acrylic painting for a show. Fix Damaged Wood First i think you are thinking of wood stain. You can paint over varnished wood as long as you use the right materials and painting process. 3- The brief method of applying this. 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. (Just a bit anxious about experimenting with varnishing on acrylic for the first time…). They provide the toughest finish, but will all yellow the underlying color to a … I am so disappointed. to hearing your suggestions. 1. Toby. Thanks. Adding an isolation coat and then a varnish layer will even out the surface appearance to an even sheen. First I made Giclee, then I enhanced with oil colors (not painting everything) Next I went over covering all and adding some texture with Golden Gel Gloss medium which is acrylic…Now, do I varnish with acrylic based varnish or oil based varnish? LoL i know that its either too much water (I mixed it 4 varnish to 1 water) or too energetic mixing (i was as gentle as possible). Hi Rey, I haven’t personally tried varnishing leaves but you could try this method of preserving the leaves first with a Glycerin solution (which replaces the moisture in the leaves yet still keeps the colour) and then spraying varnish over the top of that. 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. I’ve been doing graphics for years and I had an old painting that I never finished, and knew I never would, so I gessoed over it and I am nearing completion of a sunset that is renewing my painting days. Typically, an indoor wood stain would be used to alter a wood cabinet’s exterior color (often towards a darker, richer wood hue). Hi Murtaza, thanks for your very kind comments, so pleased you found the articles helpful. Do so by thoroughly sanding the surface you intend to whitewash. 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 am not going to frame it, just put it on an easel. Will, Thank you so much Will for your input. varnish layer (final finish, can be gloss, satin or matte), isolation coat (must be with the gloss medium). Within the French Academy, before the official opening of the Salon exhibition, artists were allowed a varnishing day. For works on paper, I’d tend to go with the framed under glass route as the gloss of the isolation coat will change the visual aesthetic of the matte watercolour paper. Hi Maureen, pleased you’ve been enjoying the website and courses. Sometimes a glossy surface can appear to be ‘more finished’ so may affect a customers perception, but it’s usually more of a case of having one even sheen that brings the painting together so the piece works aesthetically. Would you be so kind as to explain what a “part” is? In order to achieve this result, indoor wood stains usually contain colorants that interact with the wood it covers. Then you can have an edge to edge clean image as once framed (depending on your lighting) you can have shadows from the edge of the frame fall onto the canvas. I used liquitex gloss varnish and after that cured 2 coats of liquitex matte varnish. You need to work quickly and be patient to build up the varnish in thin layers. About a year ago I completed a large acrylic on canvas (120 x 120cm) which also has areas of gold leaf applied to it. I have been trying to search for that type of information for ages without success! thanks How can I be sure it hasn’t been sitting there for three years? A light spray would be easier to varnish the surface without disturbing the glitter, but would lose the sparkle. Thanks Terri, pleased it helped, Happy New Year! For the former procedure, begin by wiping your entire work surface clean. Ideally outside. Is it safe to varnish over the whole painting or will the gesso run? Or would the glazing liquid accomplish the same thing? With more light falling onto the painting I have noticed patches where there’s more shine (looks like a milky layer) at some areas of the painting when I look from the side. Yes, you can. Good one David, really pleased you found it helpful. I’ll start doing it now, but is it a big deal to ones already varnished? Any artist quality acrylic will be good, you can start by investing in an artist quality white and then building up your paints from there. Either way, the benefits, drawbacks, and best practices for apply stain over pain should now be clear to you. I would like to paint over it using acrylic paint. Sign up now to get the latest posts, news about products & art inspiration, straight to your inbox, How to Loosen up your Acrylic Paintings – Impressionistic Apples Tutorial, Acrylic Painting Tutorial – Fishing Boats in St Ives Harbour, New! Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you have some insight. Run the paint over the surface using thin coats. I searched the web found your site and shared knowledge and it was exactly what I needed to know. I’ve read horror stories about storing and shipping paintings – oil and acrylic. I was thinking about varnishing because I have some very visible brush strokes and what not that I want to even out. Over-application is the primary cause for this. If the painting has gold leaf on and a coat of varnish I would be tempted to leave the varnish coat you’ve applied on as trying to remove it and not damage the gold leaf is a tad tricky, also, this particular varnish is a non-removable varnish. Going to read your latest post about varnishing. Cheers, Will, Hi Will, Great, thank you for your advice! Best, Carolyn, Brilliant to hear Carolyn, so pleased you enjoyed it. Painting over old varnish with Chalk Paint. Some folks seem to dilute their varnish; others, don’t. Can I use white color pencil on it? Hi Will, Thanks for your reply! In case you read through the above and still decided to go ahead with the procedure, below is a step-by-step description of the process. You are still at your best, Thanks for the info! I have just finished a small painting of different character houses on a hill. Cheers, Will. Your varnishing article prevented me from making another mistake! A thick coat will take longer to dry, may dry cloudy, may drip or sag during application and has a greater chance of showing brush strokes when dry. A light sanding may be needed for the look you are trying to achieve. In case you are painting something white or off white on a dark piece, then I advise that you apply up to three coats for fantastic coverage. Your articles and Q&As are very helpful. As all of our white pigmented paints are self-sealing and do not require a topcoat, we warn users as follows: CAUTION: Do NOT use any water-based clear coat over bright whites such as GF Snow White Milk Paint, or GF White Poly as it may cause yellowing. The concern with sanding varnish is creating a matte effect when the sandpaper disturbs the surface. You’re welcome Tomoko, yes it’s often just feeling a sense of confidence that can help, pleased you enjoyed the white article. Size of area to be varnished will determine the size of the applicator. Hi Karen, pleased you’ve been enjoying the site. Stupid I know but I am not a traditional painter by any means…. You can get as good a finish with top coat paint, remember varnish/lacquer is only as good as it's preparation and application, if badly applied then you'll gain no additional shine, in fact it could even reduce your existing shine if poorly applied, spray finish is usually best as it applies lacquer / varnish flat and even however you can get really good results with quality brushes and know how. This will prevent any dust or airborne particles from settling into varnish as it dries. Modern painter Robert Motherwell had to accept the aesthetic implications of the varnish. I may give them as gifts, I’m so tossed up if I should varnish or not.. Hi Heather, you could just go straight on with a polymer varnish, the isolation coat is only if you intend to replace the varnish layer in the future. Take a picture with the white paper or grey card every time the light changes and you’ll be able to adjust in a photo editing app. Our 3-step guide below explains how to paint over varnish, preparing and finishing woodstained or varnished surfaces effectively, without all the tedious sanding, using Zinsser products to prime, seal and decorate quickly. You can get specific gold leaf varnishes which are usually shellac based, but I haven’t personally tested what the adhesion of the acrylics to the shellac on top is like. Unfortunately, many amateurs choose less durable paints for their cabinets. Painting drying time Isolation can be applied after 24 hours drying with standard acrylics. Thanks. Surface Preparation Step 2. If you’re using an oil-based paint only use an oil-based primer, not an acrylic one. I’m like a sponge soaking up all there is to know about Art, that’s when I came across your website. Hi Brendan, gloss varnish will give you the most ‘wet look’ to your paintings, you just might need a number of coats to build up the layers. For an isolation coat, it would be a case of painting smaller sections of the painting where is is easier to hide a join/transition. I’ve heard of someone applying a hair dryer to the newly applied varnish to eliminate bubbles. Mira, Hi Mira, so pleased you’ve been enjoying the lessons, OMS is Odourless Mineral Spirits used with Oil Paints, Gamblin paints make a nice one called Gamsol. Hi Sarah, nice to hear from you and pleased you’ve been finding the site of interest. Thanks for sharing Will :) Can I ask will you be sharing similar tips for oil Paintings? I also never heard of an isolation coat before. It’s to lean against a tree on the lawn, then brought indoors at night or tricky weather. I was a student of Frederick Taubes in the 40s -50s and he made me very conscious of the chemical contents of any varnish… Just wondering. Dear Will…. The other alternative is to try water-mixable oils. How to paint floorboards white. Have no idea what the craft varnishes are unless they are waterborne. Oh good one Margaret, great to hear the article was timely for you. This helps fill in coverage gaps and provides a more reliable, durable surface overall. Hi Jo, yes you could do that, it would be similar effect to using a non-removable water-based polymer varnish. I love it and you don’t get that milky look. 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. The result was I had to paint the whole thing in an afternoon.”. Please help! Gloss varnish will be best for high saturation. I have an Amazon Prime membership, so it gets to me within a day or two. This was very informative and very helpful. Instead, you should be using a different type of paint - you can use Minwax Polycrylic. 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