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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • medium/oiling out/varnishApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2018-08-27 22:34:54 ... Most recent comment 2018-08-31 22:34:26
    Varnishes Oil Paint

    ​This is a great resource! thank you for the support.

    A long winded question:

    I have looked at the reasons for the issues of sinking in.

    I have looked over the technical docs. around vasrnishes and I have corrected my process to (hopefully) avoid the following problems in the future.

    However I have a few older paintings that I need to "correct'" as the Gamvar varnish I have applied has been beading, uneven, spotty and dripping.

    I want to try and carefully remove it or somehow even it out.

    Here is the lowdown

    I use a generous amount of chromatic black. My mixture is a combo of Aliz Crimson, Prussian Blue and Raw Umber.

    Because of the dose of Raw umber, and the fact that I was using too much thinner, I consistantly had areas that "sunk in."

    As a result I was correcting this issue by oiling out using WN Artists' Painting Medium as I painted to bring back the details and rejuvinate the work. Occassionally, I would apply this over the entire work when I was finished to create the most even appearance. Sometimes this worked well.

    However, after letting the paintings dry for 6 months I tried to apply, (2 coats thus far), of Gamvar as a varnish and it failed to sink into the work and beaded and ofter dripped as mentioned.

    My question: Is the non adherence and innefectiveness of the varnish a result of oiling out with the WN medium? Can I remove this with OMS or mineral spirits? and what is your opinion about the WN medium? 

    Also looking for expert help in and around the Hudson Valley if I do have to remove the varnish...

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    ​Before removing the varnish, you might want to consider whether the existing, flawed coat will re-wet with another layer, applied with the painting placed face-up on a horizontal surface. It might not work with large drips, but sometimes minor flaws absorb into another coat of the same varnish. 

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2018-08-28 20:31:17
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ​ok thanks would i use OMS ? any feedback on the WN product?

    2018-08-30 21:20:05
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    I would caution against applying W & N Artists’ painting medium over any areas of a painting that will not be covered by more paint. This medium is simply stand oil thinned in a solvent. This means that any yellowing, which will certainly occur, will not be removable. Please do a search for “oiling out” to get more on this topic. I have found that Gamvar, which is a solution of Regalrez, does tend to bead on paintings that have a fatty surface. This is likely a function of the very non-polar, non-aromatic solvents that it is soluble in. These appear to whet out poorly on greasy surfaces. The added medium likely exacerbated this effect due to its oily nature. One trick that I have used in conservation is to continue to brush the varnish until it begins to set. This cuts the gloss slightly and helps to diminish any beading.

    If you want to find a conservator to remove the varnish you should try search in your area on the American Institute for Conservation’s “find a Conservator” service. The site is here:

    I am generally vehemently opposed to giving out any DIY hints about treatments, they usually do more harm than good, but these are your paintings so you have the right to try. You also have to accept the responsibility if things go awry. Regalrez is easily resolubilized, so you may be able to fix the problem by gently brushing the surface with a brush whetted with odorless mineral spirits. Continue to gently brush across the whole surface, vertically, then horizontally, and repeating until the varnish starts to set. This is risky, though. Even though you waited 6 months, these are new paintings in the scheme of things and you could easily bite into/dissolve your paint.

    Brian Baade
    2018-08-31 22:34:26

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