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MITRA Forum Question Details

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  • Final Varnish over Retouch Varnish?ApproveRejectUn-ApproveSubscribeUn-Unsubscribe
    Question asked 2018-10-29 12:12:45 ... Most recent comment 2018-10-29 11:59:00
    Varnishes Oil Paint

    Couple of years ago i have heard about this practice that is ok to put a coat of Retouch Varnish over a painting after a month/two months and then after a year-year and a half to put a final varnish on top of that.  

    I heard that is especially ok to put retouch varnish  if the one needs to have a exhibtion, or has done commission and doesn't have year-two years time to let the painting dry.

    Year ago i have contacted few companies and asked about this, and got the answer that is totally ok to put retouch varnish after a month/two months and after a year-year and a half to put final varnish on top of that, and that i don't have to remove the retouch varnish before applying the final one.

    Also i have read that some conservators/restorators disagree, and that they think that the retouch varnish should be avoided, and that is best to put just a final varnish on a painting. If one needs to put a retouch varnish, then when he wants to put the final one should actually remove the retouch varnish before that??

    What are your thoughts about this and what do you think is the best way to varnish a painting, and how to protect it if one doesn't have enough time to let it stay unvarnished for a year-two years?

    Thank you in advance!

    All the best!

    Marko Karadjinovic  

Answers and Comments

  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    In my own work, once the paint has dried to the touch completely across the entire surface, I feel comfortable applying a light coat of retouch. In particular, I choose a synthetic resin solution varnish that is recommended for use both as retouch and final varnish. That way, a subsequent coat will redissolve the retouch layer without the need for risking removal.  If you can't use the same product for both applications, at least make sure they use the same type of resin and solvent, and avoid layering dissimilar products. ‚ÄčI would advise caution relying on any prescribed interval of time as the green light to varnish- 4 weeks is not very much time for a typical oil painting to dry. If the paint is still soluble in passages, it could fuse with the retouch layer. 

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2018-10-29 19:42:39
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    Thank you Matthew! I always use the retouch and final varnish from same company.  For example i used Schmincke Retouching Varnish in spray and this is one of information that is writen  for it:  

    "  The dried varnish layer remains soluble in turpentine substitute 50019 over a long period. It is possible to overpaint it with oil colours or add a final varnish based on mineral spirit. "

    The Retouch Varnish is based on mineral spirit.   

    After that i applied final varnish, Schmincke  Universal Satin Varnish which is also based on mineral spirit. 

    I guess everything is ok then, it is ok to put final varnish over retouch, and there is no need to remove the retouch before applying final one if they are on the same base (for example mineral spirits) ?   

    2018-10-30 16:12:06
  • EditDeleteModerator Answer

    In my opinion, that sounds fine in terms of layering final varnish over retouch. Personally, I would avoid overpainting retouch with additional oil paint, however.

    Matthew Kinsey, Utrecht Art Supplies
    2018-10-30 18:59:40
  • ApproveRejectUn-ApproveUser Comment

    ‚ÄčThank you very much for your help Matthew! 

    2018-10-30 21:31:23

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