Adding an isolation coat to an Acrylic painting

by Will Kemp

in acrylic painting

golden-soft-gel-gloss

What is an isolation coat?

An isolation coat is the coat between your finished painting and the varnish, it is transparent and creates a physical separation between the varnish and your painting.

This is key because otherwise the varnish will stick to your painting and be a nightmare to try and remove. Varnish is not permanent, it just acts as a dust collector that you can remove and replace, every 5 to 10 years depending on how dusty the environment your painting is kept in.

To make an isolation coat I use GOLDEN Soft gel gloss. This medium is off the hook, and I highly recommend you buy it along with an Acrylic Glazing liquid gloss if you are starting acrylic painting. These bad boys are all you need.

A full gloss finish can do amazing things to your paintings…

Step 1: How to apply an isolation coat to an Acrylic painting

Checklist before applying an isolation coat:

  • Make sure the painting is 100% dry, ideally leave at least 24hrs before applying isolation coat.
  • Look over the surface of the painting up close to see you don’t have any rogue brush hairs on the surface.
  • Photograph your painting. It is soooooo much easier to photograph a surface with a matte finish. The gloss of the isolation coat will reflect everything and if you can’t turn off the flash on your camera, the light from the flash will bounce off the reflective surface.
  • Sign your work, a signature under gloss just looks lovely.
  • Use a clean brush and then only use this brush for varnish, it will be tempting if you are in a rush to use another brush that you ‘think’ is completely clean. I’ve done it before and the polyurethane loosened off dried on acrylic paint and went over the painting, not a good idea.
  • Find a clean jar, same reason as the brush, clean is good for isolation coat or varnish.
  • A flat, dust free area. You need to be able to leave the painting in this position for an hour or two

Pro tip: If you are coating the sides of a canvas you can slightly raise each corner with a small piece of wood so the painting doesn’t stick to the surface below.

Pro tip: If you want a matte finish and have used an absorbent ground (such as ground for pastels) it is important to add an isolation coat. Even though it seems counter-intuitive to put a gloss isolation coat down first then put another matte varnish coat on top. If you left it without the isolation coat the matting agent in the varnish would remain on the surface, the solvent would be absorbed into the ground resulting in a white residue.

Step 2: How to mix your isolation coat

1. Mix two parts soft gel gloss to one part water - Mix more than you think you will need, trying to match the exact consistency if you run out is not fun!

2. Add the water – little by little as it will mix in better.

3. Do not be tempted to add more water

4. Re-read point 3 – the mixture will appear too thick, too white, and just a little scary, it isn’t.

5. Get a clean, wide brush – I usually use a 2 inch flat nylon brush, you can use a ‘varnish’ brush but it is not essential. I wouldn’t recommend a decorators brush as it will show too many brush marks, you want a brush that is smooth to the touch so you can just glide it over the surface.

6. Lay your work on a board -I use a piece of mdf, or newspaper, you are bound to get some overspray and/or drips.

7. You need to work quick – paint the soft gel gloss over your painting in all directions to make sure you don’t miss a bit.

8. Work side to side, left to right, slightly overlapping each stroke – you are aiming to have no visible brush-marks

9. Squeeze out excess soft gel gloss from your brush so it is practically dry, smoothing out any raised areas of soft gel gloss.

10. Gently brush over the surface – check the sides for any overruns, get down to eye level with the painting and look at the reflection at an angle, this helps you to see if you have missed any bits.

11. Leave to dry

12. Admire

An uneven finish to a painting, some parts matte, others gloss can be very off putting to the viewer.

A unified finish both enhances the colours and it can be a great way to add a professional finish to your paintings to add dollars to the sale price.

If your not sure if the painting is finished, or you are nervous about varnishing you can leave it with an isolation coat for ages, and then repaint on top if need be. Just bear in mind the surface will be super slippy and won’t soak up moisture (see: How to paint over an acrylic painting) so paint thick.

You might also like:

1. How to apply a varnish to an Acrylic Painting

Resources:
Golden 236ml Soft Gel Gloss

 

 

{ 136 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel August 8, 2012

Hi Will, I found this informative blog and I have a problem I would like to run past you.
I have applied an isolation coat to a large painting, but didn’t realize it should be a gloss medium. I have applied a matte medium. Is this a disaster? Can I varnish over it or will there be issues?
Rachel

Reply

Will Kemp August 8, 2012

Hi Rachel, this will be absolutely fine, the basic medium is exactly the same, just the matte medium has added matting agent added to it.

I recommend using the gloss medium because you can achieve a clearer film. Sometimes (particularly if the painting has very dark areas) the matte medium can give a slightly milky appearance. But there won’t be any technical issues with adding a varnish ontop, it’s just more of an aesthetic.

Hope this puts your mind at rest!

Thanks,
Will

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Jacklyn Young August 15, 2012

Hi,
I use acrylics in my art journal. Would varnishing the pages as you describe stop the pages from sticking together?
Thank you for your time, Will!
- Jacki

Reply

Will Kemp August 15, 2012

Hi Jacki,

It depends how heavy duty the paper of your journal is, the Soft Gel gloss might be to liquid for your artwork and you run the risk of it buckling your paper or it running over the edges.

Have you ever tried a spray varnish? Winsor & Newton, along with other manufacturers, make an ‘Artist all purpose Spray Varnish’ that can be applied to all sorts of craft work including paper and acrylics, it is non-removable but the benefits are, it be applied in fine layers (so it doesn’t get too wet) and it’s more controllable. This should help prevent pages sticking together (a gloss finish would be the most suitable for non stickiness but it depends on the aesthetic finish you’re after.

I would try it out on a couple of test pieces first, (it’s rrp in the u.k is around £10)

Let me know how you get on,

Will

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Amrita August 30, 2012

Hi Will,
I have just completed my first ever acrylic painting and I wanted to apply an isolation coat on it but I am not sure where to buy it from. Any advice? Also please do let me know if I am to apply it directly on my dried painting or is there any catch here?

Reply

Will Kemp August 30, 2012

Hi Amrita,

Firstly, congratulations on completing your first acrylic painting! You can find the soft gel gloss on Amazon, dickblick in the US or any one who stocks ‘Golden Artist colors’. You will be able to apply the isolation coat directly onto the painting, no catch!

Good luck,
Will

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Jo Ann September 9, 2012

My first foray into acrylic and it is on a plywood 34 x 56. I used the spray varnish a couple of times and I am not happy with the results (Golden Archival Satin). Can I use this as an isolation coat and revarnish with a brush product. help!!

Reply

Will Kemp September 10, 2012

Hi Jo,
As you have already applied the Varnish the isolation coat wouldn’t make much of a difference, you could still revarnish on top with a brush though. (some Old master paintings have as many as 20 layers of varnish)
Thanks,
Will

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michijo September 27, 2012

I read that this gel protects from UV damage. Is this really true?

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Will Kemp September 29, 2012

Hi Michijo,
Yes it does, it helps to protect from ultra violet light filters and stabilizers for protection against fading.
Thanks,
Will

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michijo October 11, 2012

I just tried this gel coat. It was scary, and seemed to have milky brush marks, but I refrained from touching it, hoping it would at least dry clear and have brush marks as a flourish, but the brush marks sunk away and it dried perfectly. I mixed the water solution and let it sit overnight as per the instructions on the golden website.

Reply

Will Kemp October 16, 2012

Hey Michijo,

Good one! Sounds like you got the perfect result.

Will

Reply

Sally October 22, 2012

First, I want to tell you that I love your site, since jumping headlong into painting, you’ve given me so much practical advice…thank you!

I’ve just completed a 2 foot x 4 foot acrylic, I’m pretty new at this all around, but this is my first big piece…and one that I want to preserve properly…I’m nervous about doing an isolation coat on a piece this big! Do you have any special tips?

Reply

Will Kemp October 22, 2012

Hi Sally,

It should be no problem as I often apply an isolation coat to paintings size 4 ft x 6ft and it works fine. You do have to work quite quickly though and one tip I use is to pour the isolation coat mix onto the canvas ( when the canvas is flat on the floor) and then paint the mixture as per instructions above. By pouring the mixture it saves time dipping the brush back into the pot and gives a nice even finish. But, when you first pour it on you might have a slight panic attack as it looks too opaque, this is normal.

Hope this helps,
Will

Reply

michijo January 13, 2013

Will this gel, say over many years, ever crack like over-dried glue? Especially if I add an isolation coat, then add more details over top, then another isolation coat? I know the shelf-life of acrylic has not been tested over long periods due to it’s newness. I feel a nagging suspicion about whether this soft gel wont reach a point of entropy of dryness.

Reply

Will Kemp January 17, 2013

Hi Michijo,

I highly doubt that the Gel will crack over time but you can always email Golden technical support as they’ll have more details on the lab tests to help reassure you.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Crumplehorn February 26, 2013

I have just put an isolation coat on three paintings. When it was first put on I checked against the light and they seemed evenly covered. Now that they are touch-dry they seem more patchy, with a few streaks looking quite matte. I assume this is because some parts of the painting are more absorbent than others (?). What can I do? Should I cover the entire paintings in another coat, or would it be better to just touch up the matte areas? I want to apply a gloss varnish on top.

Reply

Will Kemp February 26, 2013

Hi Crumplethorn, this can happen when, as you thought, some areas are more absorbent than others. I wouldn’t try to touch up the matte areas as it can be very hard to achieve an even sheen, and can make it worse.

I would just go straight on with the gloss varnish and you’ll be fine.

Cheers,
Will

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Crumplehorn February 26, 2013

Thanks for the quick response :-)

Reply

Will Kemp February 26, 2013

You’re welcome!

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Tatiana March 8, 2013

Hi, can i use OPEN Acrylick Gell (Gloss) for the isolation layer?

Thanks.

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Will Kemp March 10, 2013

Hi Tatiana,

I personally would only use the Soft Gel Gloss, as the ratio with water makes the perfect consistency, however it might be worth an email to Golden Technical support to double check,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Orla March 20, 2013

Hi Wil,
Firstly may I say that I just subscribed to your web blog a couple of days ago and I am finding your website most informative and I’m enjoying your video tutorials. They are so helpful.
Three questions for you…
1.
You suggest that Golden is the best that you use as an isolation coat. I am due to buy some gels and mediums in the next couple of weeks ( never having used them before) and I had in my mind to buy Winsor & Newton. But after reading your thread here would it be a better option for me to try and find somewhere that sells Golden or is W&N just the same?
2.
If I use any impasto texture effects in my acrylic painting how is it best to apply the isolation coat and varnish so that it doesn’t look blotchy with an uneven shine due to the texture bits sticking up and catching on my brush?
3.
If I use a gloss glazing medium on only a few parts of my painting will there be an uneven shine-to-matt blotchy appearance across my canvas that will end up being difficult to photograph prior to isolation coat?
Regards,
Orla :)
(in Dublin)

Reply

Will Kemp March 23, 2013

Hi Orla,

Pleased you’re finding the videos helpful, to answer your questions:

1. You suggest that Golden is the best that you use as an isolation coat. I am due to buy some gels and mediums in the next couple of weeks ( never having used them before) and I had in my mind to buy Winsor & Newton. But after reading your thread here would it be a better option for me to try and find somewhere that sells Golden or is W&N just the same?

They will be pretty similar, I just personally prefer the Golden, but Winsor & Newton are a great brand.

2. If I use any impasto texture effects in my acrylic painting how is it best to apply the isolation coat and varnish so that it doesn’t look blotchy with an uneven shine due to the texture bits sticking up and catching on my brush?

It would have to be extremely textured for the isolation coat to pool, for Varnishing you can use a spray aerosol varnish in thin layers to hit all the difficult spots.

3.If I use a gloss glazing medium on only a few parts of my painting will there be an uneven shine-to-matt blotchy appearance across my canvas that will end up being difficult to photograph prior to isolation coat?
Regards,

I’ve found the Golden Gloss Glazing medium isn’t massively glossy, but yes, it will give an uneven shine over the painting. I’ve known other brands to be glossier, so a more pronounced difference, but it hasn’t ever been a problem photographing the work.

Hope this helps,
Cheers,

Will

Reply

Orla March 25, 2013

Thanks for that Will. ….and I forgot to ask, is an isolation coat needed for an oil painting or do I just varnish the canvas when the paint has dried?
Cheers,
Orla :)

Reply

Will Kemp March 28, 2013

Hi Orla,

That’s right you only need the isolation coat for Acrylic painting, not for Oils.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

cara April 13, 2013

Hi Will,

I mixed some isolation coat about a week or so ago, how long do I have to use it? Is it better to use it quickly after the 24hr ‘settling’ period? I’d rather mix up a new batch if there’s a chance the stuff from last week wouldn’t have good consistency. I’ve got a couple large pieces I’m so nervous about coating!

Thanks,

Cara

Reply

Will Kemp April 15, 2013

Hi Cara, I’ve had a tub of isolation coat mixed for a couple of months and its been absolutely fine. Just check the air bubbles have settled and you’re good to go. If the consistency has changed at all just add a touch more water.

Cheers,
Will

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cara April 15, 2013

Thanks, Will!

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Susan April 13, 2013

On the side of the Golden soft gel medium it says DO NOT USE AS ISOLATION COAT. Can you explain why it says that vs what you are recommending?

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Will Kemp April 13, 2013

Hi Susan,

In this article and on my website, I recommend Golden’s Soft Gel Gloss, as an isolation coat. This is taken from Golden’s website:

Soft Gel Gloss is useful as a non-removable isolation coat, applied over an acrylic painting prior to varnishing (must be thinned with water – 2 parts Soft Gel Gloss to 1 part water

But you bring up a good point, as they don’t recommend Soft Gel semi- gloss or matte for this purpose, as you lose clarity in the picture film.

Which soft gel are you using?

Hope this helps,

Will

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Susan April 13, 2013

I do have the semi-gloss not gloss so that is no doubt why. Thanks

Reply

Will Kemp April 13, 2013

Cheers for letting me know Susan,
Will

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ColorWonder May 22, 2013

What happens if you do not do anything to your acrylic painting- no isolation coat and no varnish? I have read that varnishes can yellow and that they are removable and should be removed and reapplied every 5-10 years. I do not want to have to do that. (Oh, and thank you for your answer about the soft gel semi-gloss. I had the same question)

Reply

Will Kemp May 23, 2013

Hi ColorWonder,

If you don’t do anything to your painting the actual physical structure of the paint will be fine, its more a protection for dust and grime over the years. Also, depending on the pigments you’ve used, some acrylic colours are more susceptible to fading if exposed to sunlight. Most modern varnished have UV protection helps to keep the colours as you intended them, so it depends where the final painting will hang and the atmospheric and aesthetic conditions surrounding it.

Cheers,
Will

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Mararty May 29, 2013

Thank you so much, Will Kemp, for your site and your very clear and full explanations, BUT please tell me what does “off the hook” mean in your sentence :”To make an isolation coat I use GOLDEN Soft gel gloss. This medium is off the hook.”
Also, I have just finished an acrylic painting which has very “dry-looking parts, and crumbly-looking parts, and has lots of scrapes and bumps (deliberate!) and is very very matte indeed. I wish it to keep this appearance so can I use the Golden Soft gel gloss as an isolation coat without ruining this appearance? If I can, please tell me the name of the ideal matte varnish I should use after the isolation coat. Thank you very much indeed for your help.

Reply

Will Kemp May 29, 2013

Hi Mararty, pleased you’re enjoying the site. ‘Off the hook’ is slang for ‘really very good!’

The soft gel gloss, is exactly that, very glossy, but will remain clear when dry. So when you apply the matte coat the varnish will brush on smoothly.

The quote below is from the Golden acrylics website explaining the importance of an isolation coat if applying a matte varnish:

“The isolating layer is of critical importance when applying a matte varnish over an absorbent surface to prevent a cloudy or “frosted” appearance from occurring. This frosted appearance results from the varnish and solvent being absorbed into the support, while the matting agent remains exposed on the surface. While we have carefully selected the matting agent that is in Golden varnishes to be as transparent as possible, it is still a dry particulate material. When the matting agent is deposited onto the surface, and is not a part of a continuous varnish layer, it appears as a white solid.”

The Golden polymer varnish Matte (brushes clean with water) gives a nice matte finish.

Hope this helps,

Will

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Mararty May 30, 2013

Thank you, Will.

I have heard somewhere that Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish can be used for the isolation coat. Do you agree? I have some here so instead of buying yet another product, if it is OK, I would like to use it. It says on the label : Vehicle: Acrylic Polymer Emulsion.
Thank you in advance.
Mararty

Reply

Will Kemp May 30, 2013

Hi Mararty,

On the Liquitex website they recommend creating an isolation coat using Liquitex Gloss Varnish:

“Apply 1-2 coats of Liquitex Gloss Varnish as an isolation barrier. The barrier coat physically separates the acrylic painting from the Liquitex Soluvar Varnish and seals the surface. This aids in a more even application of Liquitex Soluvar Varnish and protects the painting if the Liquitex Soluvar Varnish needs to be removed. Allow to dry for 3 days.”

The same principle applies as the Golden soft gel gloss- a clear gloss finish that you can apply a varnish on top of so that final varnish can be easily removed and replaced in the future without damage to the picture surface.

Cheers,
Will

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Krista July 28, 2013

I have a question, one I couldn’t find anywhere else:

I use gold leaf and silver as well as crystals in my paintings. Well, it’s more a three part question lol. 1). Can I use the isolation coat and varnish over gold/silver leaf? 2). Can I use an isolation coat and a varnish over crystal without them frosting or losing their luster? 3). How would I apply an isolation coat in order to not disturb the gold/silver leaf that is loosely embedded in my painting?

Thank you so much! I’m hoping you have the knowledge!

-KDBear

Reply

Will Kemp July 31, 2013

Hi Krista,

To amswer your questions:

1). Can I use the isolation coat and varnish over gold/silver leaf?

I would only really suggest a spray application over gold leaf as with a brush you run the risk of disturbing the gold leaf, so would be tempted to apply the varnish without an isolation coat in this instance. If you’ve got a test piece and it can handle the brush application then this would also work.

2). Can I use an isolation coat and a varnish over crystal without them frosting or losing their lustre?

I personally haven’t varnished over crystals, but again, just test painting or spraying varnish over a couple of crystals and judge the effect on the frosting. Gloss varnish will be the clearest.

3). How would I apply an isolation coat in order to not disturb the gold/silver leaf that is loosely embedded in my painting?

Same as answer 1) I would only use a spray application not to disturb the surface.

Hope this helps,
Will

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Krista July 31, 2013

Thanks Will! This helped a lot! :) I’ll try it out and let you know how it goes (with the crystals at least)

KDBear

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Will Kemp July 31, 2013

Good one Krista, I’ll be intrigued to hear how the varnish affects the crystals.

Cheers,
Will

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deborah franklin July 30, 2013

“To make an isolation coat I use GOLDEN Soft gel gloss. This medium is off the hook, and I highly recommend you buy it along with an Acrylic Glazing liquid gloss if you are starting acrylic painting. These bad boys are all you need.”

Hi Will, I was wondering what we use the Acrylic Glazing liquid gloss for?

Thanks,
Deborah

Reply

Will Kemp July 30, 2013

Hi Deborah, the Acrylic glazing liquid gloss is for blending colours and applying thin glazes of paint, it’s not used in the varnishing process but is a very handy medium to have in the rest of your painting.
Cheers,
Will

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Remya Kumar August 4, 2013

Hi Will, thanks for your very clear instructions, they’re most helpful!

I make fairly large paintings these days, around 3ft x 4ft, and I have them taken off the stretcher and rolled into a tube for delivery to my buyers. I was wondering if an isolation layer and several layers of varnish will inhibit the “roll-abilty” of the canvas. I worry about the protective layers being brittle. Do you know if this is the case?

Thanks!

-Remya Kumar

Reply

Will Kemp August 4, 2013

Hi Remya,
Thanks dropping by, pleased you’ve been finding the tutorials helpful.

Brittleness of varnish is usually most apparent in natural resins used in oil painting. With modern acrylic polymers there is an inherent flexibility in the material, so both the isolation coat and the acrylic varnish should be absolutely fine for a gentle roll. Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Will

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Krista August 5, 2013

Hey Will,

So I experimented with the varnish coat on the Swarovski crystals and my results were as follows:

1. No frosting occurred, but the sparkle of the crystal was dulled with each layer of varnish, resulting in a dew-drop like appearance as more layers were added.

2. By removing the varnish from the crystal, it allowed the crystal to sparkle while leaving the painting protected (A VERY time-consuming and tedious task, though.)

I did not experiment with an isolation coat. I wonder if I were to spray the painting with a layer of varnish first (in order to hold the gold/silver leaf in place) then go over it with an isolation coat and finish with the varnish if that will work? Again, if I find anything out I will be sure to let you know. :)

-KDBear

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Will Kemp August 5, 2013

Cheers Krista, thanks for sharing your varnish experiments with the Swarovski crystals, I personally wouldn’t try to varnish, then isolation coat, then varnish, as it defeats the purpose of the isolation coat.

Thanks again,
Will

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Krista August 5, 2013

Adding to my comment:

It is best to apply the crystals AFTER varnishing (and possible isolation coating should it work). :) (I just had a few paintings that I wanted to protect, so sadly they won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of an isolation coat AND I will have to spend time de-coating the varnished crystals… :( )

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Krista August 6, 2013

Okay, I’ll take your word for it :) Love your stuff, btw, it’s absolutely beautiful :)

Best wishes!
-KDBear

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Pat August 25, 2013

Hi,

Can we use the liquitex permanent varnish instead of a medium mix solution for isolation? Iv’e got white residue on my painting with a gloss medium and water mix. Maybe it’s the quality of the medium, it’s not Golden, but maybe there is another way to do an isolation coat… Less risky? I work a lot on my paintings, I don’t want to blew it with a milky coating right at the end.

Thank you

Pat

Reply

Will Kemp September 7, 2013

Hi Pat,
I personally haven’t used the liquitex permanent varnish as an isolation coat because if you then applied another layer of varnish on top, when you wanted to try and remove the top layer of varnish for cleaning in the future, you would run the risk of disturbing the first varnish layer.

The white residue usually comes from the matting agent in medium, so I’m not sure why it was in the gloss medium you’re using, most gloss mediums dry to a clear finish.

I appreciate not wanting to ruin your painting, so the best thing to do is to just try a trial piece on a similar colour canvas, and then you can judge how the effect works for you.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Will

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Mary Mellen September 17, 2013

Can I use Golden regular gel medium (gloss) over the Golden Archival Varnish?

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Will Kemp September 19, 2013

Hi Mary, nice to hear from you. The only issue I can see with applying the regular gel over the varnish would be of the gel actually sticking and adhering to the varnish to create a solid film as the Varnish is often a shiny, glass-like finish. You could check with Golden technical support to be doubly sure as I personally have never tried the Gel medium on top of a Varnish layer.
Cheers,

Will

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Mary Mellen September 19, 2013

Thank you. I did call Golden technical support, and they said that it’s fine to do so!

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Will Kemp September 19, 2013

Brilliant stuff Mary, thanks for letting me know.

Cheers,
Will

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deborah franklin October 2, 2013

I am just learning to paint and have done a couple that friends want. I know these people would never go to the trouble to remove varnish to clean the painting in 5-10 years or ever. Do I still need to do an isolation coat or can I just varnish? Thanks!

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Will Kemp October 3, 2013

Hi Deborah, It’s a personal choice, you can apply the varnish straight to your canvas knowing it’s a permanent finish to the painting and can’t be removed.

Cheers,
Will

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deborah franklin October 4, 2013

Thanks, that is what I was thinking.

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Deborah Carroll October 5, 2013

Hi Will, I’m so happy to find your site. I finished a commissioned 4′ x 5′ landscape painting with a 2 1/2 deep profile, which has already been delivered to the buyer. They didn’t want to wait for the varnishing and agreed to let me come over and finish it when it had cured. I am so nervous to do this. I tried some samples and always got brush strokes from the isolation and the varnish coats (matte, semi-gloss, and gloss). However I used the Liquitex gloss gel so I see my first mistake. I have ordered the Golden soft gel. I read in another article where a sponge was used to make it smooth. My clients liked the 50/50 matte and semi gloss sample but because I didn’t use the right isolation coat I feel it was not a good representation. Also I didn’t shake the semi-gloss and I have since learned that this is important because the matte settles to the bottom and the gloss on top. I will make more samples. But what do you think about using a sponge on such a large painting? And in your opinion, what varnish, semi-gloss or gloss would be good for a landscape?

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Will Kemp October 7, 2013

Hi Deborah,

So pleased you’ve been finding the site helpful, in terms of semi-gloss or gloss finish, it really is a personal preference and dependent on the lighting/subject matter/ viewing position of the painting.

A gloss finish will bring out the colours more than the semi-gloss but under a direct spot lighting can sometimes be too reflective. When you apply the isolation coat (which is a Gloss finish) you can then judge ii that is the appearance you prefer, or if a semi-gloss or matte finish would suit the painting.

For larger scale paintings avoiding streaks with the brush application can be harder due to the varnish drying out as you paint, personally I would opt for a spray Varnish application for the smoothest finish, although it is more expensive, and you need a well ventilated space to work within.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

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Gabriel October 5, 2013

Is the acrylic glazing liquid gloss the varnish? If it is not what varnish do you recommend?

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Will Kemp October 6, 2013

Hi Gabriel, no the acrylic glazing liquid is exactly that, a glazing liquid, for applying thin layers of paint. I use Golden brand of varnish for Acrylics.

Cheers,
Will

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Judi October 5, 2013

I isolated with Winsor Newton hi gloss and probably used an incorrect brush, so have a lot of brush marks showing. Can I re-isolate with a better brush? How long should I leave the first application to dry?
Great site!

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Will Kemp October 7, 2013

Hi Judi,
The first application should try relatively quickly within an hour or two. When adding varnish layers you can often takeaway any brush marks left from the isolation coat as you can build up many layers of varnish on top of the isolation coat. If the brush you have is still too hard you can use a spray varnish to build up smooth layers. However, the relative cost of spray varnish it would probably easier to invest in a softer varnish brush.

Hope you achieve an even sheen!

Cheers,
Will

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Lorrie October 22, 2013

I am specifically looking for “drying time” between Isolation coats. “Leave to dry” does not cut it… I like to put about three coats on, so do need to know how long to dry between coats.

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Will Kemp October 23, 2013

Hi Lorrie,

When building up multiple coats, allow for 3 – 6 hours in between coats.

Cheers,
Will

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rahi October 24, 2013

Hi will i just completed my first wall mural and I’m just an amateur. I’m just curious that is it okay to not apply any isolation coat and just apply the matte varnish.

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Will Kemp October 24, 2013

Hi Rahl,

It depends on the absorbency of the wall surface, an isolation coat provides a glossy surface so when the matte varnish is applied it doesn’t leave any of the white matting agent on the surface.

Matte varnish can leave a cloudy or “frosted” appearance.

This frosted appearance results from the varnish and solvent being absorbed into the wall, while the matting agent remains exposed on the surface – the matting agent is usually white.

If there is any area of the wall you can test on to judge that would be the best method, to prevent the final matte varnish hiding all your hard work.

Hope this helps,

Cheers,
Will

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Melissa October 27, 2013

I am not an artist, and can’t paint. But I do enjoy a multitude of crafts. Lately, I’ve been experimenting and having fun with alcohol inks. I have been painting on dominoes and small clear glass tiles. I read that these can be sealed with an acrylic sealer. I did this and the inks smeared, and actually came off the pieces. I was surprised because I gave a gentle light spray. Before spraying, the pieces were water proof, but rubbing alcohol, perfume, or hairspray would remove the alcohol ink from the piece. I want to make jewelry and barrettes, so it’s important that the final piece be not only water proof but chemical proof too. I bought some Golden Soft Gel (Gloss). Can this be used as a final, permanent sealer on my dominoes? I also bought some Minwax Polycrylic (water based) clear protective finish. Although it’s supposed to be used for wood, I thought I would try it on the plastic dominoes and the glass tiles. The label says it ” resists damage from water, alcohol and other
common household chemicals”. Any advise is appreciated. I’ve been researching for days, and am totally confused. Thanks.

Reply

Will Kemp October 27, 2013

Hi Melissa,

Sounds like quite a specific requirement for the dominos, I wouldn’t want to say 100% with the Golden soft gel gloss, as it is usually used as a layer before you add the final varnish to it, and varnish often has a harder finish to it once dry than the Soft Gel gloss.

Some of the topcoats from Golden can be used as a final finish, but I personally wouldn’t use the soft gel gloss as a final varnish.

Golden technical support will be able to advise on another varnish that would be more specific your your needs.

Cheers,

Will

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Erin November 1, 2013

Hi,

If I put down a gloss isolation coat can I apply a satin spray varnish (Golden brand) after?

Also, I read on the can of spray varnish that it makes the color less saturated. Is there a way to achieve a satin finish without compromising the color?

Thanks,
Erin

Reply

Will Kemp November 2, 2013

Hi Erin, yes that’s right, apply the isolation coat first, then spray the varnish.

Satin will always make the colours slightly less saturated than gloss.

Satin varnish is a mix of gloss varnish (clear) and matte varnish (very slightly cloudy due to the matting agent used in the varnish being white) so there is a slight compromise in the colour saturation, but only slighty.

The best thing to do it buy some gloss varnish and matte varnish, then you can mix different ratios and test the finish to achieve your own perfect satin mix of varnish finish vs colour saturation.

Hope this helps,

Will

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Tony Kalemba November 5, 2013

Hi Will,
Hope all is well. Just wondering if you could possibly do a how to video on you tube in regards to pouring your isolation coat onto the surface of the painting and subsequent actions of spreading it around said painting? It would be good to see this done as it would eliminate possibly doing something wrong etc.
Cheers

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Will Kemp November 5, 2013

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the suggestion, here’s a video from Golden paints on how to apply an isolation coat that might be on interest.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Tony Kalemba November 6, 2013

Thank you Will, very helpful.

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Mararty November 15, 2013

Hi Will
Is it possible to do JUST an isolation coat and NOT put any varnish on? Especially if the painting looks OK after the isolation coat. If this is not a good idea please explain why! (I’m sure that it is not necessary to ask this last, as you are so patient and explain everything so clearly and thoroughly.) Thank you very much.

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Will Kemp November 15, 2013

Hi Mararty,

Yes, is is possible to do this, as it will offer some protection to the painting surface, but a varnish is intended as a removable finish, an extra layer that any dust etc from the atmosphere can adhere to and then in the future can be removed, and then a fresh coat of varnish applied.

The isolation coat is a smooth surface so the varnish is painted on easily, and when the varnish is removed and replaced in the future is an easy surface to remove the varnish from without risk of damaging the actual paint on the surface.

So you can just apply an isolation coat as this as it will offer some protection, but not the most protection.

It depends on the particular painting, if it’s a portrait to be passed down from generation to generation I would 100% varnish the paining.

Hope this helps,

Will

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beth November 15, 2013

Hi Will,
Thank you for your website. I refer to it often. My question is (I can’t see that anyone has asked this yet), what’s wrong with using the Golden Gel Semi-Gloss as a protective coat? Why only the Gloss?
Beth

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Will Kemp November 15, 2013

Hi Beth,

Pleased you find the website helpful in your painting, the gloss is used because the gloss varnish has the clearest finish and doesn’t contain any matting agent.

Semi-gloss is a mix of gloss varnish and matte varnish.

The Matting agent is white, and can sometimes leave a white residue on the surface of the canvas.

This is from the Golden website:

“The isolating layer is of critical importance when applying a matte varnish over an absorbent surface to prevent a cloudy or “frosted” appearance from occurring. This frosted appearance results from the varnish and solvent being absorbed into the support, while the matting agent remains exposed on the surface. While we have carefully selected the matting agent that is in Golden varnishes to be as transparent as possible, it is still a dry particulate material. When the matting agent is deposited onto the surface, and is not a part of a continuous varnish layer, it appears as a white solid.”

So if you want a semi-gloss finish, apply the gloss isolation coat and then apply a semi-gloss (satin) varnish.

Hope this helps,
Will

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beth November 15, 2013

Thanks for your quick response! I’ll give it a try.

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Tom Elden December 4, 2013

Great information on isolation coats. I just finished an important painting. All good except sky a little shiny in a couple places probably from over painting or use of water.
Not major but it has to be perfect. I followed the drill and applied two coats of isolation coat. Glossy. My next step will be a couple coats of matte spray varnish. Do you think the shine will diminish or go away or must I do something more drastic first.

Reply

Will Kemp December 4, 2013

Hi Tom, the isolation coat is always glossy, as it is a Soft gel gloss, so will always have a sheen. Once you apply your matte varnish the sheen will completely disappear and you’ll have a matte finish.

Cheers,
Will

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Mararty December 10, 2013

Hi Will, Most probably this isn’t the right section for this question but, here goes! and thanks for any help. I have bought a certain ready-made mat/mountboard because it really suits a particular painting, but the mat looks as though it is full of acid. As the painting is on beautiful white acid-free paper do you think I could coat behind the mount with something in order to protect the sides of the paper which will be under it. If so, which product would do the job please? Thank you, Will.

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Will Kemp December 11, 2013

Hi Mararty,

Hope you’re doing well, most mount-boards are 100% acid-free, what makes you think it has high levels of acid in the mount?

Reply

Maria December 12, 2013

I was wondering if there was a Golden Product to use an alternative to Liquitex Matt Medium?? Thanks

Reply

Will Kemp December 12, 2013

Hi Maria, yes there is a Golden Matte Medium.

Reply

Mararty December 12, 2013

Thank you for answering, Will, and with an interesting question. The reason for my thinking that there is a lot of acid in this particular mount-board is that whereas GreatArt mentions “acid-free” for almost all of their mount-boards, they do NOT mention “acid-free” for this particular GreatArt Canson coloured bevel 15204244 one. They only say that it is “laid and laminated onto a wood pulp board” .Second reason is that this mount-board is yellowish, compared to their other ones which they say ARE acid-free, and thirdly, I wrote a few lines on it with a Lineco pH Testing Pen (very reliable I have always found) and they have come out a yellowish violet but very pale indeed, almost colourless. Lines drawn on their mount-boards which they say ARE acid-free clearly come out lavender. I am unhappy about this, especially as these mount-boards are expensive. I really am loath to use it without protection of some sort and do hope you can help with a suggestion! and I thank you in advance!

Reply

Will Kemp December 12, 2013

Hi Mararty,

Sounds like you have a great pH testing facility! Definitely sounds like it isn’t 100% acid free.

The only option would be to use a backing paper/card and cut that to the inside size of the mount so it goes in-between the mount and the picture.

This backing card from Hahnemuhle is a good choice, slightly thicker than paper (300gsm) but can also be used for backing other mounts.

Hope this helps,

Will

Reply

Judy December 22, 2013

Hi Will,
Once again thanks for a fab article helping us to get professional results. I have just applied an isolation layer with Golden soft gloss gel but I had problems measuring out the proportions and I’m not sure I achieved the 2:1 ratio. If it’s not a daft question, could you advise me on the type of consistency I should aim for? My gel mix was like thick drinking yoghurt but when I painted it on the pics it seemed to be much thinner than I expected. Is this right? I use a long handled plastic spoon to get the gel out of the tub but it sticks to the spoon and a spoonful of water is a much smaller amount, so hard to judge. Now that they are dry, the pics are “sparkley”, but I expected them to be shiny. I’m tempted to put another layer of isolation coat just in case I mixed it too thin. I would be grateful for any advice these pics are sold and will be hung in a kitchen. Thanks for your kind attention.

Reply

Will Kemp December 22, 2013

Hi Judy,

It sounds like the mix might be a bit too thin, as the finish should be pretty glossy and a consistency like double cream.

I usually decant some of the soft gel gloss into a shallow tray/small plastic pot using a kitchen measuring spoon, often a handy finger can help to grab the last bits from the spoon. Then I measure out the water in the spoon.

Here’s some more details from the How to apply an isolation coat article.

Step 2: How to mix your isolation coat

1. Mix two parts soft gel gloss to one part water – Mix more than you think you will need, trying to match the exact consistency if you run out is not fun!

2. Add the water – little by little as it will mix in better.

3. Do not be tempted to add more water

4. Re-read point 3 – the mixture will appear too thick, too white, and just a little scary, it isn’t.

5. Get a clean, wide brush – I usually use a 2 inch flat nylon brush, you can use a ‘varnish’ brush but it is not essential. I wouldn’t recommend a decorators brush as it will show too many brush marks, you want a brush that is smooth to the touch so you can just glide it over the surface.

6. Lay your work on a board -I use a piece of mdf, or newspaper, you are bound to get some overspray and/or drips.

7. You need to work quick – paint the soft gel gloss over your painting in all directions to make sure you don’t miss a bit.

8. Work side to side, left to right, slightly overlapping each stroke – you are aiming to have no visible brush-marks

9. Squeeze out excess soft gel gloss from your brush so it is practically dry, smoothing out any raised areas of soft gel gloss.

10. Gently brush over the surface – check the sides for any overruns, get down to eye level with the painting and look at the reflection at an angle, this helps you to see if you have missed any bits.

11. Leave to dry

12. Admire

Hope this helps.

Will

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Judy December 23, 2013

Thanks Will, that reply was really helpful. I’m much more confident about the consistency and so pleased with the results now. I will definitely go on to apply this to my other paintings. I really like the way the isolation layer unifies the surface of the picture and adds depth.

Reply

Will Kemp December 23, 2013

Great to hear it Judy, so pleased it helped.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Brenda January 11, 2014

Hello Will,
I thought it would be a good idea to practice my painting on a piece of cardboard.
As I progressed, in the painting, I could see that wasn’t such a brilliant idea. However, I have fallen in love with what has been created just the same and would like to varnish. What will happen? I’m new to painting as you have gathered I’m sure but am so enjoying the process and the creativity that comes with each stroke of color I put down. What a wonderful muse to be lost in.
Thank you for your time and web page it prepared me to go from thinking about painting to trying it.
Brenda

Reply

Will Kemp January 13, 2014

Hi Brenda,

If you use a polymer varnish it won’t damage the cardboard so you’ll be fine.

Cheers,
Will

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Tina Summers February 1, 2014

Hi Will,

I’ve just finished my first painting (touch of oil on acrylic) and I’m really happy with the results… I’m thinking of doing the isolation coat & varnish and your information has been really helpful. To say I’m a bit anxious about varnishing is an understatement (it’s for my Mum and will no doubt be shown off)! I’m trying to get it clear in my head before I begin… my first question, you mention painting the gel gloss in all directions and then say to go left to right, slightly overlapping? I’m a bit confused!

Also, my canvas was one I picked up from a cheap shop and is pre-mounted (is that the right term?) so I’ve painted around the edges because I like that look… how would I go about putting an isolation layer and varnish on the edges?

Thanks for your help, I love the clear way you explain things – a sign of a good teacher!

Tina

Reply

Will Kemp February 3, 2014

Hi Tina,

Great to hear from you and so pleased you’re happy with your results.

If you have a mix of oil and acrylic you don’t need an isolation coat, as the acrylic isolation coat will prevent the oil from drying properly. Have a look at the latest oil varnishing article that talks about the way oil paints dry in comparison to acrylics.

I usually apply a coat to the edges first and then varnish the surface of the painting if I’m working with a thick edged canvas.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Tina Summers February 7, 2014

That’s great Will, thanks so much for the info… and really glad that I asked a few questions!!! I’ll check out that article.

Thanks for the tips!

Tina

Reply

Will Kemp February 7, 2014

You’re welcome Tina,

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Christopher February 12, 2014

Hi Will,

I’ve been painting on canvas shoes with liquitex basics acrylic paint and was wondering what you recommend to protect it. I intend to wear the shoes I paint but don’t want the paint to be easily washed or scratched off. I’ve worn one painted shoe for awhile with no protective layer and it hasn’t been damaged but if there is a precaution to ensure safety I’d prefer doing that.

You’re advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Reply

Will Kemp February 12, 2014

Hi Christopher, nice to hear from you, I would go for a flexible acrylic varnish, you can apply it straight on as you’re looking for a longer protection rather than to remove and replace in the future. This fabric medium is also nice for increasing flow if your need it.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Lindsey February 17, 2014

Hello Will,
I have an exhibition in a few weeks time and unfortunately i have vanished some of my paintings already without an isolation coat. Have I ruined therm? I have used Liquitex soluvar matte varnish straight onto W & N artists acrylics. They aren’t showing any signs of cloudiness as yet, I vanished them about a week ago. Also, I vanished one in a different varnish…Galeria satin uv. Could I go over this with the Liquitex to achieve the same finish? I’m quite worried now. Thanks,

Lindsey

Reply

Will Kemp February 17, 2014

Hi Lindsey, no need to panic, your paintings aren’t ruined at all. Yes, you could go over the Galeria to create the same Matte finish.

Cheers,
Will

Reply

Lindsey February 17, 2014

Thanks Will, that’s great news! And luckily, my paintings haven’t ‘vanished’ either! (Predictive text) I am wearing my glasses this time. I am very grateful for your help…again!

Lindsey

Reply

Will Kemp February 17, 2014

You’re welcome Lindsey.
Will

Reply

Vish February 22, 2014

Hi Will,

Your advice on varnishing has been invaluable :) Except I have had trouble putting isolation coats on paintings done with inks and water (lots of water). Even after the painting drying for nearly two weeks, the ink seems to bleed into the isolation coat :( sometimes when the weather is cold, they ink may have pickets if moisture left, which causes the bleeding…i have been using golden soft gel. Should I try using liquitex gloss varnish medium? Or stick with just solvent based spray varnish ? Bit confused as to what varnish system would be best for ink based painting.
Please help
Cheers

Reply

Will Kemp February 22, 2014

Hi Vish, I personally wouldn’t apply an isolation coat over inks, I only use the technique with acrylics, as if the inks are watersoluble the moisture in the isolation coat will cause the bleeding. It would work if you where using thin acrylic paints such as Acrylic High Flow from Golden.

Cheers,

Will

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cj michaud April 5, 2014

Hi.. This seemed the best place to ask my question. Painting in acrylics. followed your instructions for 12 paintings and worked like a dream. Tried on another painting, small ( 8 x 10) flat canvas,series subject:chinese children, very cute BUT when I tried to put on the isolation coat the black in the hair ‘dragged’…UCK! Would you recommend trying a spray?
By the by, your site is amazing and I love your videos…so motivating with no fear factor! Hope you are financially compensated in some way.

Reply

Will Kemp April 5, 2014

Hi CJ, this only normally happens when the paint isn’t a standard acrylic paint, have you tried a test just with the black paint on its own?

Reply

dave February 22, 2014

How many coats of isolation do you need?

Reply

Will Kemp February 23, 2014

Hi Dave, you’ll only need to apply one coat.

Cheers,
Will

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Marie February 28, 2014

Hi Will
I’m just learning about this ” isolation” technique that you’ve recommended before varnishing. I’d like to start doing that to some old acrylic paintings I did about 20 years ago which were never varnished or protected in any way. I’m sure they are dirty and dusty! How can I clean these before applying isolation and varnish?
I so love your site . Your warmth , enthusiasm and encouragement comes through in all your responses .
Thanks for that!
Marie

Reply

Will Kemp February 28, 2014

Hi Marie,

It depends on the level of precision you’re after, one of the most effective methods for testing the dirt level is by using a cotton bud with saliva. This is from the Golden paint website on cleaning an acrylic painting:

“It involves moistening a clean cotton swab in the mouth and rolling it across the painting’s surface. Saliva is warm and contains enzymes which act upon both lipids and proteins, two common components of “dirt”. It is important to note that the correct procedure is to roll the swab across the surface, as opposed to rubbing it, which could cause abrasion.

The process must be extremely gentle and it is important to keep the moisture on the surface to a minimum. The procedure is started by testing in a small area of the painting judged to be least noticeable. At each step of the treatment, the painting is carefully examined for changes in gloss and color pickup on the swab”

But if this seems a bit extreme, then start with a lint free dry cloth, or a soft haired sable brush and work over the surface and vacuum the dust. Avoid using any household solvents and detergents. The classic spit and polish is the way to go!

Cheers,

Will

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Lo March 14, 2014

I just had the most horrible experience, which I think I can fix. I painted a few canvasses in a combination of acrylic ink and acrylic paint, both in light application. The background is gesso I tinted myself with acrylic paint. I haven’t touched them in at least two days. So today I tried to apply the soft gel as instructed above, and the paint started coming off. I was applying the gel with a sponge brush so as to minimise strokes. I wasn’t brushing hard against the canvas. I don’t know what the heck I did, or what happened. I hope it’s just a matter of having not let the canvasses sit long enough, but two days seemed plenty to me given the thinness of the paint application.

Any advice or thoughts you could offer on this would be greatly appreciated.

I’m hoping I don’t have to scrap the lot of the paintings and start over. Some of them were commissioned.

Reply

Will Kemp March 14, 2014

Hi Lo, oh no! standard acrylics in a thin application will dry within a few minutes, and be able to have an isolation coat applied within 24hrs. The only way you would get a bleed is if the paint (it could be the inks) are watersoluble, or the acrylic you’re using is an interactive acrylic such as ‘Atelier Interactive’.

Try making a test swatch, one just using your acrylics, one using the acrylic inks. Wait an hour and then apply a coat of soft gel gloss to see if the same thing happens.

You will be able to paint over the isolation coat to rectify any parts that have changed.

Hope this helps,

Will

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Lo March 14, 2014

I need to varnish at least three of them, because they’re going into a restaurant. Is there any way for me to put on an isolation coat or varnish so as not to bleed the work, or am I going to have to start over?

Reply

Will Kemp March 14, 2014

You could try spray varnishing, but again I would test a small sample first to see what happens, rather than trying on your paintings.

Reply

Lo March 14, 2014

Turns out the main culprit is the ink. That solved, I can just use something different to paint over the spots that bled. However, the background came up also, and that was just regular gesso tinted with acrylic paint that did NOT bleed during my test. Also, it looks like Liquitex paint markers bleed also. So, as much fun as they are… and so on.

How would it work if I sprayed a watercolour painting style fixative, THEN the gel coat, THEN the varnish?

Lo March 15, 2014

I remembered that one of the paintings had NO ink on it, just paint. So I tried the gel coat on that. Nothing bled. Not even the parts with paint marker. There must have been something wrong with the test piece with paint marker. So, the only culprit is the ink. So, I can hope that painting over those areas with regular paint will seal in the ink and thus I can try a gel coat, or hope that watercolour fixative will seal in the water-soluble ink and then I can put on a gel coat. The background didn’t come up on this painting either, unlike on the first one, even though they’re the exact same stuff. I wonder what’s up with that. Ah well. I feel a little less panicked than I did earlier. The thought of having to redo six canvasses with nightmarish. :)

Jon R. Hallock March 17, 2014

Dear Will, Thank you for all your help. For my isolation coat on acrylic paint can the soft gel be put right over the Gesso? I just sanded, filled and cut in miles of white acrylic areas using Gesso.

Reply

Will Kemp March 18, 2014

Hi Jon, the isolation coat only goes on just before varnishing, the layers would be:
Raw Canvas
Gesso
Coloured ground
Acrylic Paint
Isolation coat (to isolate the paint layer from the varnish layer)
Varnish

Hope this helps,

Will

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Tina March 19, 2014

Ack! Help! I just put an isolation coat on a painting with a very dark background and some of the light areas carried over in the brushstrokes to the dark area! Is there anything I can do to salvage this painting from these ugly smears?

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Tina March 19, 2014

Hi Will,

After experiencing bleeding and smearing when applying an isolation coat and managing to somehow salvage the painting (STRESSSFULLL) I am prepared to seal again. I am curious though, as I do not have access to a spray application of isolation coat, could I spray a varnish on and then use a brushed on isolation coat and then varnish again? I(with lots of drying time in between)

Reply

Will Kemp March 20, 2014

Hi Tina, you can’t apply an isolation coat on top of the varnish, it defeats the object of an isolation coat – which is to isolate the varnish from the paint surface so it’s easier to remove and clean in the future. Hope this helps,

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Dave March 23, 2014

Help please!
I applied the isolation coat, but it left streaks. Is there a way to cover them up or maybe even remove them?
Worst part is I didn’t notice them until after applying the varnish.
So varnish is dry and I’m left with streaks.
Please advise.

Reply

Will Kemp March 24, 2014

Hi Dave, the only option would be to remove the varnish layer, repaint the section and then re-varnish. There shouldn’t be any streaks if you are using standard acrylic paints.

Cheers,

Will

Reply

Orla Cahill April 5, 2014

Hi Will,
I understand that this isolation coat that you recommend is for acrylic paintings but have you any advice of how to seal watercolours?
Cheers,
Orla :)

Reply

Will Kemp April 5, 2014

Hi Orla, you can use a watercolour varnish spray such as this one.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

Orla Cahill April 5, 2014

That’s brilliant. Thanks Will. ☺

Reply

c j michaud April 12, 2014

Asked this before but it doesn’t appear. My black acrylic paint is smearing when I try to apply the isolation coat. Is there a spray isolation coat for acrylic? Or should I just go to spray varnish>

Reply

Will Kemp April 14, 2014

Hi C J,

The only way you would get a smear is if the paint are watersoluble, or the acrylic you’re using is an interactive acrylic such as ‘Atelier Interactive’.

Try making a test swatch just using the black, wait an hour and then apply a coat of soft gel gloss to see if the same thing happens.

Hope this helps,

Will

Reply

Will Kemp March 18, 2014

Hi Lo, pleased you tracked down the culprit! good luck with finishing the commissions.

Cheers,
Will

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Tina March 19, 2014

can I touch up and then add another layer?

This is a disaster :(

Reply

Tina March 19, 2014

Ok. I just saw Lo’s thread above. Thanks. I’m going to try to fix this…. wish me luck:(

Reply

Will Kemp March 19, 2014

Hi Tina, hope Lo’s thread helps, but yes you will be able to paint over any areas that have changed, and I would go through a series of swatch tests to find the culprit! Hope you manage to save your painting.
Cheers,
Will

Reply

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