Archive for July 23rd, 2016

Varnish: Final Steps

July 23, 2016 in Art,Art Gallery,Fine Art,Oils,Paintings | Comments (0)

varnish a paintingDid you know Artists varnish their paintings as a final step for long-term protection and years of enjoyment by the collector?  The final step to completing a painting after it has thoroughly dried is the protective application: varnish. Just like finishing furniture, a varnish product  is applied to paintings that are not going to be framed under glass to protect them from dirt, dust, and pollution in the environment. Varnish also homogenizes the appearance of a painting, evening it out for a finished look. Depending on the artist’s decision, glossy or matte finishes or something in between can be chosen.
Varnishes are applied either with a brush or from a spray can. Gloss varnishes dry completely clear, but a matte (satin) varnish leaves an ever-so-slight frosted-glass appearance. Because of the effects of a matte finish, some artists opt for the glossier look to enhance the finer details of their painting.
Painters also have the option of using removable varnishes so that it can, at some future date if it has discolored, be removed easily and replaced without damaging the painting. The final step in varnishing a painting is done after the oils have cured which can take anywhere from six to twelve months depending on environmental conditions. Delaying the application of a varnish ensures the application is less likely to crack. Some artists prefer a matte varnish, where they can apply a gloss coat first to seal the surface before a matte or satin varnish is applied. This improves the clarity of the final finish whether it is a gloss or matte. Many artists put their work on the market for sale before they are able to complete the varnishing step. The buyer may request that the varnish be applied after 12 months or more to ensure the paint has fully cured for future protection.
At Hunter-Wolff Gallery we suggest buyers inquire whether their painting purchases have been varnished and if they can be varnished at a later day if it they have not yet fully cured.  Happy Art Collecting!

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