Where we talk about Oil Varnish.

We’ll talk about Watercolour Varnish in an upcoming episode.


Merpy Murp:

Hi and welcome to Art Answers & Ampersands or Art A&A with Lezley Davidson and Peeling Onions.

Today were going to get back to our varnish question with Sheila in Newmarket. We’re going to talk today about oil varnish.

Now oil is a special case. With oil it takes six months to cure before you can varnish or put a final varnish on it. Traditional oil varnishes are made of dammar resin. Krylon has a spray called Kamar, specifically for oil. If you’re going to use the sprays you should read the can because the majority of them are actually not suitable for oil. They will work on acrylic and craft but not on oil. Kamar and Dammar varnishes are specifically formulated for oil paintings.

Golden has a brush on varnish that is a mineral spirits-based acrylic. It’s thinnable with turpentine and they’ve somehow  joined the turpentine of the mineral spirits with the acrylic polymer. Not sure how it works, its magic! Doing some chemistry there in the lab however you can use it on oil paintings. It’s a great varnish, thins down with some mineral spirits and you can get a nice gloss or a flat finish. It’s actually the only oil varnish I know that has a flat finish. All of the Winsor Newton oil varnishes are glossy. Most of the oil varnishes that I know of are glossy. So if you want a matte varnish you’ll have to go with a Golden mineral spirits soluble acrylic called an MSA.

Most of Golden’s varnishes also have UVA filters in them which is like sunscreen for your painting and it cuts down on the fade that can happen when your paintings are in sunlight. Never put your paintings in direct sunlight. Never put any of your art in direct sunlight –  that bad, bad artist.  I’ve done it I had a sign up in a hairdressers’s promoting seniors day – it was a painting that I had done and I used fluorescent paints which totally faded until they disappeared. No more discount for seniors. Sad, just kidding.

Yeah, so with oils it’s interesting you can clean an oil painting with turpentine once the varnish is cured once a varnish has cured it is no longer soluble in turpentine ‘kay. Oil paints oxidize the varnish oxidizes, which means there is a chemical reaction happening with the air and it changes its properties to the point where it hardens. And once it hardens then you can varnish and that’s about it.Most varnishes can be removed so it better if the environmental factors and the room or building are falling on a varnish that can be removed or vigorously cleaned than on your paint film.

Okay so if you like this podcast head on over to iTunes and subscribe or leave us a comment or a rating or go to the website Peeling- or and submit a question for the podcast and I will get around to answering it. Okay, thanks for listening we’ll see you guys next week.

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