Let’s Talk Varnish

Acrylic paintings should be varnished.  Why, you ask?  Because it seals the painting, brings out the colors in a vibrant way and protects your work from the elements.

Acrylic paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. It is effected by temperature.  There is often a bit of color shift when acrylic paint dries.  Acrylic paints are water-soluble.  The paint will remain somewhat flexible even when fully dry.  There is something about acrylic paint which draws dust and debris to it.  Almost like a magnet.   It’s really quite astonishing.   This is why you want to varnish your paintings.

Here are the two ways I do it:  spray varnish or brush on varnish.  Either works well.  The benefits of varnish cannot be overstated.

If you choose spray-spray on a separate piece of cardboard or something first to make sure the nozzle doesn’t spit.  You don’t want varnish spit all over a painting-it will ruin it.  When you’re finished using your spray, hold it upside down and press the button.  Let it clear the nozzle.  Store upside down.  You want at least two coats of varnish on your painting, whether with spray or brush on.

Liquitex makes a lovely product, Gloss Medium and Varnish.  This works great to varnish a painting.  I love it.  Do not shake this product or any liquid varnish.  You must stir gently so as not to create bubbles.  You don’t want bubbles. Use a soft brush (that does not shed bristles!) and give a light coat to your painting-going in the direction of your brush strokes.  It is better to give a nice thin coat, let it dry and then another coat.  To thick and you will be very unhappy.  If you don’t care for the gloss finish, give the painting two coats with the gloss and a final coat with a matte varnish.  You don’t want to use all matte varnish because it can become cloudy.  You want crystal clear varnish on your work.

The end results are absolutely breathtaking.  The vibrancy of color is just lovely.  It greatly enhances the work you’ve done.  Give it a try and see for yourself.

 

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