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Varnish or oil out


(Jen Furness) #1

I would love a fresh discussion on the topic of varnish. I understand the standard it to wait six months to varnish a painting. This technique seems to clash with the DPW style of the daily painter meets quick online sale. What are your methods and how do you work around the issue? I have read in this forum that some simply “oil out” for a fresh look. Others do not wait the six months and varnish anyway. Do some of you wait the full six months before varnish and sale?

  1. What is your method?

  2. What do you say to the customer about this topic? I assume you have a form email that goes out or maybe an insert when you mail the painting?


(Elizabeth Elgin) #2

I use Gamvar retouch varnish which you can use as soon as paint is touch dry. It is removable but more importantly allows the oil underneath to keep drying. Gives nice even finish and you can adjust the gloss factor by mixing with Gamsol


(Andrea Jeris) #3

If my painting has an even sheen whether matt or gloss I don’t bother to varnish. If it is uneven I used to use retouch varnish as mentioned previously, but now I use Gamblin Picture varnish. It can be applied as soon as the paint is “fingernail” dry (your fingernail doesn’t dent the paint). Comes in brush on only. Note: keep your varnish brush in a ziplock bag and you never have to wash it.


(Dave Casey) #4

Like Elizabeth, I use Gamvar. It can be applied as soon as the paint in dry to the touch. I usually wait on the varnish until I see a bid go up on the painting. Once I see that, the varnish goes on, along with the info card that gets glued or attached to the back of the painting. Gamvar dries in about 24 hours, so I have no problem getting a painting out within two days after it’s sold.


(Cathleen Rehfeld) #5

What is Samson?
Post must be at least 20 characters


(Cathleen Rehfeld) #6

Most plein air artists I know, use Kamar spray varnish. It can be used when the paint is wet. Dries evenly glossy, like you just painted it.


(Elizabeth Elgin) #7

Lol. Samson is apparently how my kindle thinks you spell gamsol


(Marnie Bourque) #8

I love these tips, as I’m also looking for a varnish for my oil paintings. Currently I use liquin after my paintings dry for about a week. But I have been looking for an alternative.


(Sunny Avocado) #9

Finally had a chance to try the Kamar varnish, it’s awesome! Thanks.