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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default Uneven Varnish - Help

    What is the best way to fix uneven varnish on a painting that is causing non-uniform glare?

    Medium: Oil (Dark Colors)
    Varnish: Damar - High Gloss

    Problem: Initial layer brushed on too thick and at an angle, some varnish 'ran'

    I want to be able to even out the glare and maybe go to a flat varnish since the picture is a portrait and there is a lot of dark areas, some appear flat, some appear shiny.

    Can the varnish be sanded down evenly with a light sand paper and then re-varnished with a matte spray?

    Help please

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    Posts
    1,362

    Default Fixing uneven varnish coatings

    Quote Originally Posted by Artrookie1962 View Post
    What is the best way to fix uneven varnish on a painting that is causing non-uniform glare?

    Medium: Oil (Dark Colors)
    Varnish: Damar - High Gloss

    Problem: Initial layer brushed on too thick and at an angle, some varnish 'ran'

    I want to be able to even out the glare and maybe go to a flat varnish since the picture is a portrait and there is a lot of dark areas, some appear flat, some appear shiny.

    Can the varnish be sanded down evenly with a light sand paper and then re-varnished with a matte spray?

    Help please
    Artrookie1962,

    Thank you for moving this post from another site to AMIEN.

    Sanding this varnish could ruin the painting. The only way to entirely "fix" it would be to remove the faulty varnish layer and start over, which would probably be a job for a paintings conservator: Using strong enough solvents in this manner would endanger your health unless you have exhaust ventilation and are prepared to wear protective clothing and gloves.

    You could add another thin coat of a reduced damar to the matte-appearing areas, to bring up the gloss to match the glossier areas. Then, you could possibly try a matte varnish, brushed on. We do not recommend spraying anything unless you have a robust exhaust system in your studio -- including a spray booth.

    You might have to also reconsider your varnishing technique. Paintings should be varnished with a brush when they are lying flat on a surface, with a thinned varnish. Depending on the type of varnish, you will have to wait about 30 minutes for the varnish to set before moving the painting -- this will avoid drips and running.

    It might also be good to reconsider the kind of varnish you use: damar and the other natural resin varnishes turn yellow and get brittle relatively quickly, and can transfer their brittle nature to the oil paint films. Acrylic solution varnishes and the new styrene resin varnish are better choices.

    We hope this helps, and that if you have further questions you will write back!
    The AMIEN Staff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thanks Mark.

    I have succcessfully varnished some of my other paintings with them lying flat. I am not sure why I chose to do this one at an angle, I think because I was doing it in a poorly lit area and I wanted to see the varnish coverage.

    Anyway, thank you for the advice and tips for future work! I won't soon forget this lesson!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    Posts
    1,362

    Default Varnishing techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Artrookie1962 View Post
    Thanks Mark.

    I have succcessfully varnished some of my other paintings with them lying flat. I am not sure why I chose to do this one at an angle, I think because I was doing it in a poorly lit area and I wanted to see the varnish coverage.

    Anyway, thank you for the advice and tips for future work! I won't soon forget this lesson!
    Artrookie,

    It's a pleasure to be able to help.
    The AMIEN Staff

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