An oil painting can take a lot of hard work, love and patience to finish. If you want to protect it from the elements, consider varnishing it (FYI, some people don't. But I do.)
YOUR PAINTING DESERVES PROTECTION
The problem: Traditional varnishes like Dammar could only be used on oil paintings that were completely dry or cured. This can take up to 6 to 12 months. Frankly, I don't have time for that.
The solution: Gamvar Picture Varnish by Gamblin is a new synthentic varnish which can be applied to an oil painting when it is dry to the touch and still not completely cured.
Not only can I varnish my painting sooner - when I feel like the thickest parts of it is dry to the touch - I also like Gamvar because it doesn't stink, has a watery consistency and doesn't leave brushmarks. It can also be removed at a later date if needed.
What are the perks of varnishing?
- It will protect your painting from dust and dirt.
- It will unify the sheen of your painting. You can choose to go matt or glossy. I choose glossy.
- It will freshen up your colors.
These are the two things I need to varnish:
STEPS ON HOW I VARNISH MY PAINTINGS
- Lay your painting on a flat surface, so that your varnish doesn't run!
- Make sure your painting is dust and dirt free.
- With a soft nylon brush, dip it in a container of Gamvar (I pour the some Gamvar in a little bowl.) I use a flat brush (size 12) by Princeton.
- Brush the watery varnish onto your painting, making sure your strokes all go in one direction.
- One layer will give you a semi-gloss finish. I usually do 3 thin coats of varnish (if your strokes were top to bottom on your first coat, alternate to side to side on your 2nd coat, etc.)
- Wait for it to dry and try to protect it from dust!
In order to protect a piece you've worked on tirelessly, it is a good idea to varnish your final product. Choose a varnish that works for your painting and your lifestyle.
Are you a beginner who wants to explore oil painting via skype? Email me if you're interested: micbstudio (at) gmail (dot) com