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How To Varnish an Acrylic or Oil Painting
2009-4-18 21:27:3 Post:long | Categories:doupine | Comment:0 | Quote:0 | Browse:
Varnish is more than simply a layer to protect your oil painting from pollution in the atmosphere and abrasion. It will also bring out the colors to the brilliance they had when you applied them.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: Depends on size of painting

Here's How:

  1. Ensure your oil painting is completely dry. Allow several months for an oil painting to dry properly. Depending on the thickness of the paint, this could be up to nine months.
  2. Clean the oil painting so it's free from dust, dirt, and grease. Lay the oil painting flat, then dampen a bit of cotton wool with clean water.
  3. Dry the oil painting with another bit of cotton wool. With your fingers, gently remove any cotton fibers that have been caught in the paint.
  4. Leave your painting to dry for several hours, or overnight. Lean it against a wall, face inwards.
  5. Use a flat bristle brush to apply the varnish. If you don't want your painting to be too shiny, use a matt varnish rather than a gloss one.
  6. With the oil painting flat, work from the top to the bottom, applying the varnish in parallel strokes from one edge of the oil painting to the other. Always work in the same direction.
  7. When the first coat of varnish is dry, apply a second coat at right angles to the first. This will give you a good, even finish.
  8. Leave the oil painting flat for at least 10 minutes after you've finished varnishing to stop the varnish running down the painting. Then prop it up against a wall to dry, face inwards.
  9. To test whether the varnish is dry or not, touch the edge of the oil paintings to see if it's still tacky. It should dry within a day or two, depending on the weather.
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