Varnish?

Donna T

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I have an oil painting that I need to varnish and I'm wondering what most of you use - if any. I was planning to buy Gamvar Satin but some of the reviews I read said that the formula has changed and it is drying unevenly or worse, leaving white spots. A super glossy finish is not something I want either. I want to avoid Damar because it yellows with age but other than that I know nothing about varnish.
 
I have used Gamvar, both matte and gloss. I dont like a glossy finish either. The best results i have had is by mixing those two to get a “satin”. Experiment on small areas prior to final. Good thing about Gamvar is the ability to remove it with Gamsol after its dry.
I have not tried the Satin Gamvar.
 
That's also good to know, Arty. The painting I'm going to frame doesn't seem to have any dull areas of color where the oil dried unevenly so I'll consider whether I should leave it alone or not. There are horror stories about varnish ruining paintings!
 
Yes, I don't like it because it yellows the work at times, even the matte finishes. I could never find one I liked. I've never had any issues with them being unvarnished. I do fix watercolors and drawings with low odor fixative, but I leave oils alone.
 
I don't varnish either. I use Dorlands Cold Wax and it turns your oil paint to a matte finish. Different amounts of the wax has different effects.
 
That’s interesting, Wayne. Is this the same kind of wax that is mixed with oils to enhance the texture?
 
It behaves that way. It sort of takes the oils and hardens them if that is the proper way of explaining it. Wax has been used since the oldest of times. They say it should be used or a rigid support but I have been using it on 136 pound pretreated paper. Unfortunately I have not used paper for a long enough time to see what effects if any would happen over a lengthy period of time. It dries your oils in a few weeks. I use more than they recommend but I don't care about archival crap. They say it softens your finish so the paint might be exposed to scratching. I have works that are 20 years old and they look good to me. You can contact Dorlands and they answer questions. I think they are called Jaguar something or other. Google will find it. Williamsburg has one but it has more oil in it and it leaves a satin shine. Hope that helps in some way. Gamblin is the same as Dorlands.
 
Thanks for the info, Wayne. I had no idea wax could be used like that and I do like the idea of not messing with traditional varnish. Maybe if my painting had dull spots that needed to be evened out I’d brush something on but it’s just a little painting and maybe a thin coat of wax would give a layer of protection.
 
Donna. It can be used as a wax by rubbing it in. The painting must be dry. I use the wax as a medium and put it into the paint.
 
I'd love to try mixing it with oil paint, Wayne. You get some great texture in your work. I watched some You Tube videos and learned that cold wax can be used on acrylic paintings too. Two coats of wax supposedly gives a nice sheen and protective finish.
 
I love it. Brings my paint to a nice fluff and makes it spreadable without the oil. Enjoy
 
I didn't know you could put cold wax medium into acrylic paint. Good to know! :)

That is, if I would ever make a real effort at acrylics! LOL.
 
Hey Arty, the video I watched had the lady putting cold wax on top of finished acrylic paintings instead of varnish. Maybe it can be mixed into acrylics but I would check on that first. Wouldn't want you to find out they don't mix the hard way!
 
No problem. I'm also not going to use acrylic paint anytime soon. :ROFLMAO: Thanks for the heed. :)
 
Acrylics don't need varnish unless you wish to create some kind of special effect. Golden makes matte acrylics that can be mixed with their gloss acrylics to get any kind of sheen you want, or used alone if you want a true matte.

Enyaw is right on about wax; its use is very old, though the trad wax is bee's wax mixed into a medium with turps (not liquified). Kremer Pigments has bee's wax pastilles that contain no impurities.

Kremer also sells several UV resistant synthetic varnishes, but they're pricey.
 
Acrylics don't need varnish unless you wish to create some kind of special effect. Golden makes matte acrylics that can be mixed with their gloss acrylics to get any kind of sheen you want, or used alone if you want a true matte.

Enyaw is right on about wax; its use is very old, though the trad wax is bee's wax mixed into a medium with turps (not liquified). Kremer Pigments has bee's wax pastilles that contain no impurities.

Kremer also sells several UV resistant synthetic varnishes, but they're pricey.
Does Kremer have anything that's NOT pricey ! ha ha
 
Thanks for the info, musket. No wonder I'm confused! I have varnishes made specifically for acrylics but then again, of course the company wants me to think I must use them! :rolleyes: Kremer is a new name to me. There is much to consider and choose from in waxes!

Trier, I hope you are using top-of-the-line stuff for your work. We want it to last forever!
 
Thanks for the info, musket. No wonder I'm confused! I have varnishes made specifically for acrylics but then again, of course the company wants me to think I must use them! :rolleyes: Kremer is a new name to me. There is much to consider and choose from in waxes!

Trier, I hope you are using top-of-the-line stuff for your work. We want it to last forever!
Gosh Donna, that's a real compliment, I feel humbled and grateful; Thank you most sincerely !
 
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