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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    1

    Default epoxy resin over stretched canvas

    I want to create a very high gloss finish on canvas using epoxy resin. What is the most economical way to do this. I know there is a company called artresin.com but they seem expensive. What product will do the same job. I am based in the uk and was wondering where I could get a suitable product. I purchased a 1 litre bottle that was 29 from a fibreglass place. I can only cover 2 medium sized paintings with this. After drying the finish also became a lot duller than when first applied. Can I put polyurathene high gloss varish over this? I rang alot of fibreglass places and they did not think epoxy resin would be suitable for canvas. It clearly is as there is an artresin available as mentioned before, but there must be a product out there that can do the same job. I feel the art resin has just been marketed for an art audience and wont be any different to other stuff, if only I knew what this other stuff is! I have seen alot of work in galleries with very shiny epoxy resin on so I do know that artists are using it alot. Would someone tell me the best and most economical way to do this. Thanks jazman20024u@yahoo.co.uk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    9,067

    Default Epoxy resin over stretched canvas

    Quote Originally Posted by jazman View Post
    I want to create a very high gloss finish on canvas using epoxy resin. What is the most economical way to do this. I know there is a company called artresin.com but they seem expensive. What product will do the same job. I am based in the uk and was wondering where I could get a suitable product. I purchased a 1 litre bottle that was 29 from a fibreglass place. I can only cover 2 medium sized paintings with this. After drying the finish also became a lot duller than when first applied. Can I put polyurathene high gloss varish over this? I rang alot of fibreglass places and they did not think epoxy resin would be suitable for canvas. It clearly is as there is an artresin available as mentioned before, but there must be a product out there that can do the same job. I feel the art resin has just been marketed for an art audience and wont be any different to other stuff, if only I knew what this other stuff is! I have seen alot of work in galleries with very shiny epoxy resin on so I do know that artists are using it alot. Would someone tell me the best and most economical way to do this. Thanks.
    jazman,

    Welcome to AMIEN.

    This is a tough question because the epoxies certainly do make good coatings, fillers and adhesives in some applications. They are not necessarily art materials for painters, and have some serious drawbacks -- even though painters and sculptors have used them. The Art Resin site only glancingly alluded to the problems in its FAQ section when they said epoxies yellow but only slightly and only in sunlight/UV.

    Here are the problems as we see them, based on our research at the Dow Chemical site (Dow is a major manufacturer of epoxies), in some published paper abstracts at JStore (an online scientific journal article seller) and at CAMEO, the Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online.
    1.) The typical catalyst (methyl ethyl ketone peroxide) that makes the polyester portion of the epoxy cure is highly toxic, though there are some epoxies that use a less toxic catalyst. Automotive body workers using such products as "Bondo" are exposed to serious health risks.
    2.) Typical epoxy resins do yellow in UV; and UV is in plain daylight coming through a window, not just in sunlight.
    3.) Epoxy resin coatings can also lose their transparency, depending on the exposure. The effect is similar to bloom -- the coatings can become cloudy. This might be what you have already experienced.
    4.) The dried, aged resins are only soluble in solvents like aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, and alcohols -- all of which will put any paint layers beneath them at risk for complete destruction if the conservator charged with removing the resin isn't well trained. Epoxy resin removal is not a job for artists!
    5.) Some polyurethane varnishes dry clear ... and then yellow.

    Frankly, we think you will get a very high gloss finish on your paintings on your canvases simply using an acrylic solution varnish coating made for artists. Some brands include Liquitex's "Soluvar" and Golden's "MSA with UV/LS." Winsor & Newton makes one, too, and some of them should be available in the UK. They come in gloss versions, they have UV absorbers/inhibitors/stabilizers in them, and they use solvents that are, relatively speaking, safer by comparison with what you'll encounter with the epoxies.

    Now that you are armed with more information about this process, you can make a better decision about what to do, yes?

    We hope this has helped.
    The AMIEN Staff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Gloss finish

    I agree that epoxy resin is not a material for fine art. ...and yes, it has a SERIOUS yellowing problem. Epoxy resin is a GLUE. It is designed to provide strength. That being said, many artists still use it for casting. Duane Hansen is one artist who cast his extremely life-like sculptures from epoxy and/or polyester resin. He also acquired cancer and died from overexposure to this material. So, be cautious with it and try not to make it your primary material of choice. Your best bet is to stop by a professional studio for ideas. I have seen the extreme high gloss you're referring to myself in some exhibitions. You may also want to check in stores that specialize in selling Plexiglas. They sell a finish that is 50x the equivalent of varnish that may work for you. If you're simply doing oil painting and want your paintings to have a glossy finish, then I'd strongly recommend Lefranc & Bourgeois Flemish medium. I won't use anything else. Hope that helps.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    9,067

    Default Gloss finishes, epoxy resins, polyester resins, "Lefranc et Bourgeois Flemish medium"

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveAbbott View Post
    I agree that epoxy resin is not a material for fine art. ...and yes, it has a SERIOUS yellowing problem. Epoxy resin is a GLUE. It is designed to provide strength. That being said, many artists still use it for casting. Duane Hansen is one artist who cast his extremely life-like sculptures from epoxy and/or polyester resin. He also acquired cancer and died from overexposure to this material. So, be cautious with it and try not to make it your primary material of choice. Your best bet is to stop by a professional studio for ideas. I have seen the extreme high gloss you're referring to myself in some exhibitions. You may also want to check in stores that specialize in selling Plexiglas. They sell a finish that is 50x the equivalent of varnish that may work for you. If you're simply doing oil painting and want your paintings to have a glossy finish, then I'd strongly recommend Lefranc & Bourgeois Flemish medium. I won't use anything else. Hope that helps.
    SteveAbbott,

    Welcome to AMIEN.

    We agree that epoxy resins are not for painters, but sculpture conservators do use them (there are many kinds) for repair of certain kinds of outdoor sculpture -- it's very durable, with minimal shrinkage.

    According to his obituary, Duane Hanson contracted a cancer (for which he underwent therapy for many years) more than twenty years before he died; according to another source, the cancer was Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Although the catalysts used in the curing of the polyester resins he used -- and the form of non-linear styrene in the 3M version product -- can be harmful or fatal if the concentrated vapors are inhaled (see the MSDS for "Bondo"), we conclude from all of this that the association of these chemicals with Hanson's death is speculative. On the other hand, we are not doctors.

    Try as we might, we could not find "Lefranc et Bourgeois Flemish medium" at the Lefranc et Bourgeois website. Maybe it's no longer made. We did find a discussion about it at an artist's website -- an amber-colored gel in a tube, made with linseed oil, oil of spike ("oil of spike, lavender"?) and mastic resin. This is a painting medium (not a final coating) which will make your oil paints glossy, and which will also cause them to eventually darken. If we want our oil paintings to have a gloss or semi-gloss finish, we coat them with a varnish resin as in our original suggestion.

    Sorry to be so contradictory to your first post here!
    The AMIEN Staff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    210

    Default

    what about oils on top of epoxy which was used to fill in a seam on a poorly veneered sheet of mdf with birch veneers? planning on using an oil/alkyd primer on top of that.....

    thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    210

    Default

    actually the whole surface will be coated with epoxy to keep absorption even. i hear that if sanded any paint will adhere to the epoxy but thought id check here as well

    thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Pouring medium?

    What about Liquitex pouring medium? Would that make a similar effect like epoxy? Any opinions/experiences with it?
    Here are youtube videos on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AURzEMsBaY4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBAzfxWKMHY
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Biljana33; 02-11-2014 at 10:46 AM.

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