Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Long Do You Wait Before You Varnish Your Paintings?

Someone emailed this question and I thought I'd share this answer here:
How big are the paintings or rather I should ask how thick did you apply paint?
I use Winsor Newton paint and usually spray a retouch varnish (Kamar) when paint is dry to the touch which is usually three or four days. The reds usually take longer, but no more than 2 or 3 days.
Conservators would probably tell you to wait 6 months. I guess you can respray after that amount of time.... Maybe I should respray all the ones I still have here? I'm sure a conservator would be better equipped to answer but that's what I do. I can't wait to see the colors come back to their origins.


Gary said...

Hi Joyce - since reading your wonderful book I have come across so many very well known artists who no longer go through the extended period of waiting some six months or more before varnishing. Reading the backs of varnish bottles can be very scary. Perhaps varnishes and paints have improved a great deal since the initial advice was given? I have a friend who has been known to travel for many miles to varnish a work after the six months is over ... all for free. I am not so sure that people are wanting to keep some of our paintings for a hundred years or more, and as you say - they could varnish them later. People want to buy NOW not in half a years time.

Anonymous said...

I've also been enjoying your book and wondered if you would mind me asking how you store your paintings?

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