How to Apply a Varnish to an Acrylic Painting

varnishing_an acrylic paintingAn uneven finish in your painting, some parts matte, other parts glossy can be very off-putting to the viewer.

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

No one technique for varnishing suits every situation. The texture of the paint surface, the desired finish, speed of completion, etc all affect which technique is best to use.

On a side note, it’s also the number 1 trick to making your acrylic paintings look like oils…

Varnishing Acrylic Paintings

What exactly is a Varnish?
A thin protective layer between the finished painting and the atmosphere. It should be transparent, colourless and form a good bond with the paint surface yet still be removable without affecting the painting. It is usually a combination of a resin and a solvent and applied to the painting when it thoroughly dry – with acrylics this can be within 24 hrs.

Acrylics attract dirt
Acrylics are different than oils because they are more flexible when they dry leaving a softer exterior than oils.

This makes it easier for dirt and dust to adhere to, this soft skin can make removal of varnish tricky so some tutors advise placing your acrylics behind glass and not varnishing.

However, I have always varnished my paintings following a proper procedure as I prefer the aesthetic without glass.

With the right varnish and technique, it can not only benefit the longevity of the painting but enhance the finish – turning matte to gloss and bringing the colours to a new vibrancy.

Why?

When acrylic paint dries and the water evaporates off, small droplets of the polymer (the binder of acrylic paints is an acrylic polymer) join together to form one mass – this holds the key to the softness.

They also leave very tiny micropores that are left open to the elements and these again collect dust.

If you cover the paint with a harder surface it will help to protect it from extremes of temperature or humidity, it also provides a layer that can be cleaned, rather than trying to remove dust particles ingrained in the paint layer.

If in future the varnish will need to be removed, taking away all the dust and dirt with it, and replaced with a fresh coat you need to be able to wipe the varnish back without disturbing the paint. For this, you need an isolation coat.

What is an isolation coat?

An isolation coat is a transparent layer of a medium that physically separates the underlying layer of paint from the varnish to be applied.

When a solvent is used to dissolve the varnish, the isolating layer will prevent it from reaching the paint layers, where damage could occur.

Golden Soft Gel (Gloss) thinned with water is a suitable isolation coat. It provides adequate levelling and foam release. See (How to apply an isolation coat to acrylics)

Pro tip: The isolating layer is also 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, where it appears as a white solid.

Think of it like a wedding cake.

The cake mix is the paint, soft and moveable. The next marzipan layer is the isolation coat, slightly thicker but still flexible, the final icing layer is the varnish – harder, slightly more brittle but protects the cake inside.

Step 1: Should I choose spray or brush?

I recommend brushing varnish for works that are quite smooth in finish and are non-moveable. i.e acrylics, oils. However, if the surface is too impasto pools of varnish will settle in the nooks.

I’ll always assess the surface and texture to see what is more applicable, brush or spray. If you have delicate multimedia pieces or highly textural works spray varnish will be the way to go.

Pro tip: If you are using pastels or chalk it is advisable to fix them first with a pastel fixative.

How to prepare for varnishing with a brush

  • Make sure you have applied an isolation coat.
  • Wipe over the surface with a lint-free cloth. Make sure it is clean and dry.
  • Place your painting on the horizontal in a dust free room. If you are varnishing 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.
  • Use a clean brush and then only use this brush for varnishing, 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, varnish loves clean!
  • A flat, dust-free area. You need to be able to leave the painting in this position for an hour or two

Step 2: How to apply a varnish with a brush

1. 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.

2. Pour out some varnish into a shallow dish. It is easier to control the amount of varnish on your brush this way.

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

4. You need to work quickly but gently – Apply in long even strokes to cover the surface top to bottom while moving from one side to the other.

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

6. Once you leave an area, do not go back over areas that you have done. If you do, you risk dragging partially dry resin into wet, which will dry cloudy over dark colours. If you missed any areas, allow drying completely and re-varnish. 3 thin coats are better than 1 thick one.

7. After varnishing. I often cover my painting with a board slightly larger than the canvas, resting it on props so it hovers and reduces the amount of dust that could fall on the wet varnish layer. Alternatively, with a large canvas, I will prop them facing a wall when the varnish is semi-dry.

How to apply a spray varnish

  • Wipe over the surface with a lint-free cloth. Make sure it is clean and dry.
  • Place your painting vertically in a dust free room. This is very important, it won’t attract as much dust as horizontally and prevents you from being over heavy-handed – creating runs.
  • Place your painting on top of a board that is larger than the canvas.
  • Shake, Shake, Shake… and then shake some more. This is the bit you read on the back of a can and then shake for 10 seconds and eagerly start spraying. Put a timer on your phone, anything to ensure you shake that can for 2 minutes, it’s worth it for an even finish.
  • Apply the spray at an even distance away from the canvas. At least 30 cms away, it’s a natural tendency to move your arm closer to the canvas, so just be aware of this.
  • Regularly check the nozzle for blockages. It’s the nature of spray varnishes to become blocked really easily but I keep a rag next to me and a practice canvas so I can clean the nozzle, check the spray flow on the practice canvas and go again for real. I find I have to do this several times when I’m spraying a varnish.
  • Shake, Shake, Shake… and then shake again.
  • Overspray the edge. Start with the canvas and finish after the canvas spraying the board underneath. This ensures an even coverage.
  • Work in thin layers. 2-3 layers should be fine but can be as many as 20 – 50 for a super glassy effect. This is personal preference, so experiment.

Understanding the 7 key functions of a Varnish

1. Change the surface finish to gloss
2. Making the surface more matte
3. Provide a more unified finish to the various areas of a painting
4. Increase colour saturation
5. Protection for the paint surface
6. Allow for ease of cleaning
7. Protection from UV radiation

Increase colour saturation & sheen

Have you ever noticed how much better paving look when it’s raining? The reflection of the water on the paving slabs makes them look fantastic, the same is true of colours in paintings.

When a permanent gloss sheen is on a pigment it looks richer and more saturated.

In an Oil painting initially, it is the oil that gives the glossy effect, however, over time as the oil dries out it is actually the varnish that gives the sheen.

Different finishes of the same brand can usually be intermixed within each product type or used sequentially, to achieve any desired level of gloss.

Pro Tip: A word of warning when using a matte varnish, if not correctly mixed the matting agent (which is white) can sometimes leave a milky finish to your paintings. This is particularly noticeable on blacks.

Protection & ease of cleaning the paint surface

As varnish has a harder surface than the dried Acrylic paint it helps protect it.

When an isolation coat and varnish are applied correctly, the painting will be able to be cleaned easily. Used correctly the thinners used to remove the varnish will not penetrate the isolation coat and damage the paint film.

Protection from UV radiation

Ultra Violet Light Stabilizers, which can be found in some modern varnishes disperse UV radiation before they hit the surface of a painting. These varnishes are especially useful if you’re using materials that haven’t got a great lightfastness. It won’t render the surface completely lightfast but will considerably lessen the effects.

If you have any other questions about varnishing leave a comment in the box below.

You might also like:

1. James Bernstein, Conservator of Fine Paintings offers a more technical description of varnishing acrylic paintings on the Golden Acrylic website.
2.How to apply an Isolation Coat to an acrylic painting
3. The 3 reasons why artists varnish their paintings, and why some artists don’t
4. 7 Questions to ask yourself before varnishing an oil painting

 

 

This Post Has 418 Comments

  1. Melanie

    Hi William,

    Quick question. I made the mistake of cleaning a dry area of an acrylic painting with a paper (kitchen) towel, and the texture of the paint grabbed some fibers. Now the paper towel fibers are “stuck.” Is there something I can use to wipe them off? I dried a micro-fiber sponge but it didn’t work. If it were an oil painting, I would try linseed oil. Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much,
    Melissa M.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Melanie, you can just dampen the surface with some water and the paper towel fibres should roll off.
      Will

  2. Annemarie

    Hi Will,

    I paint with acrylics on watercolor paper, sometimes mixed media paper. I’ve got the varnishing down but I heard somewhere that the back of the paper should be coated with gesso either before or after varnishing. Is this true?

    A deep thank you for your generosity, all the information on your website and being available for our questions..

    Annemarie D

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Annemarie, the main preventative method of adding a coat of gesso to the reverse is to ‘even out’ any buckling or bowing that can be caused when using a varnish onto an absorbent paper surface, but it’s much more beneficial when the paper is stretched to a board or hard surface.

      Cheers,
      Will

  3. Cindy

    Hey Will,
    I was just wondering if Varnish is waterproof. For an art school project I will painting an acrylic painting and submerging the entire canvas in a clear acrylic box, for up to 5 hours. I was wondering if I where to submerge it for that length of time will the acrylic mix with the water and basically fall of the canvas? I have read that I should use a gesso primer and afterwards once I’ve completed the painting use a polyhurner (I don’t quite remember the exact name) as a protective coat? It just seems Varnish would be easier.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Cindy, acrylic is a polymer (plastic) so won’t mix when submerging in water, it will stay in a solid form. The canvas and wood of the stretcher bars would be more damaged by the water submersion. A coat of varnish would help to stop water going through the front of the canvas but the back of the stretcher bar will be most exposed.
      Cheers,
      Will

  4. Glenn

    Hi,
    What is the best way seal a coffee painting?

    Thanks,
    Glenn

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Glenn, I haven’t personally varnished a coffee painting, but you would need to use a non-water based coating to start with such as a fixative for watercolours and then finish with a UV protective spray.
      Cheers,
      Will

  5. Kelli

    I applied the gloss gel isolation coat then applied the gloss varnish after it was completely dried the next day. When I was applying the varnish, I had tiny bubbles in the coat I was applying. I’m not sure what was causing this. The directions said to shake the varnish before using but I’m wondering if this was the issue as the jar now had bubbles in the varnish after shaking the jar before my application. I used Winsor & Newton’s Artists’ Acrylic gloss UV Varnish in a jar and applied with a nylon brush. However, I had previously used the same brush for my gloss gel isolation coat application as well. I thoroughly washed, rinsed and dried the brush before reusing for my varnish application. I went over the strokes as best I could to remove the bubbles…I guess I’ll see how it turns out after drying. Do you think I should apply another thin coat as recommended on the product instructions after 24 hours dry time or leave it alone? I’m fearing more bubbles!

    Thanks,

    Kelli

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Kelli, when using a spray varnish you need to really shake it, but if using a varnish in a jar you would need to wait for all of the bubbles to disappear from the surface before applying, otherwise, the bubbles will ‘pop’ when on your paint surface.
      Cheers,
      Will

      1. Kelli

        Thank you Will. I wish they would state that on the varnish instructions on the product. I will know better next time. Maybe it is better to gently stir the varnish in the jar before applying, instead of shaking as it states to do. I will try stirring next time vs. shaking.

  6. Kasey

    I have recently painted an acrylic and chalk canvas painting for a Christmas present. They want to put the painting outside under a covered pool house that is partially enclosed. What would be the best way to varnish it? And the best product to use? Thank you in advance.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Kasey, it’s quite tricky with the chalk paint, but if you don’t mind a little yellowing of the canvas using a polyurethane varnish will be the most waterproof.
      Cheers,
      Will

  7. mike

    Hi Will,

    I have a question regarding brushes. Using Polyacrylic, I have been varnishing some acrylic abstract paintings. The first brush I used was fairly cheap, and although the bristles were fine before I started, while varnishing, a couple of sizable gaps appeared, that would leave a streak. I then purchased a much nicer, finer synthetic brush, and the same thing is occurring. I’m not sure how to fix this.

    Thanks,
    Mike

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Mike, a high-quality synthetic brush should be fine, I haven’t personally used Polyacrylic, but if clean up on the jar is recommended with soap and water then a synthetic bristle brush shouldn’t lose any hairs. If there is a good quality decorator centre near you then Purdy and Hamilton are good brands, also a 2-inch Wooster flawless varnish brush is nice.
      Hope this helps,
      Will

  8. Nikki

    Which Golden Soft Gel Gloss is it you use to do the sealant coat? Does it have the words “UV Topcoat” in the name? I just bought one called “Golden Soft Gel Gloss” but it says nothing of “UV Protectant” on the label, so how can it be a UV protectant if it doesn’t say? I’m getting confused about all this protectant stuff! Thanks in advance!

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Nikki, yes, that’s the one ‘Golden Soft Gel Gloss’. The UV protection comes from the varnish layer you apply on top of the isolation coat, for example ‘Polymer Varnish with UVLS (UltraViolet Light Stabilizers)’
      Cheers,
      Will

      1. katie

        HELP!!!!! I just varnished my acrylic paintings with the oil varnish I always use and for some reason 3 of them dried with lines of bubbles and an uneven glare. How can I fix this by tomorrow!?

        1. Will Kemp

          Hi Katie, oh no, uneven glare can be fixed by another application and really mixing the varnish well or ideally a few light spray applications can even the sheen which will dry quicker, the bubbles are another matter and are harder to remove without replacing the layer.
          Will

          1. katie

            Thank you, Will. I ended up lightly scraping off the bubbles and then re-varnishing with a matte spray. It worked out pretty good. I think I will stick with the spray instead of the brush on from now on.
            Katie

          2. Will Kemp

            Good one Katie, pleased the spray worked out well.
            Will

  9. Gail

    Hi Will,
    I met with a well-known acrylic artist in our area this weekend. He varnishes his work after every daily painting session with Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish. Therefore, by the time he has finished a painting that he has been working on for days, it has multiple layers of the liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish all through the painting. His reason for this is to bring out the color and give it sheen. All of his paintings appear as though they are oil paintings. At the end, he applies the final varnish. Have you heard of this process and what do you think about painting over the varnish with acrylics all through the painting?

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Gail, with that particular medium from Liquitex the process would work fine because of the nature of the product. It’s designed to be breathable through layers. It’s a bit like applying a paint layer, then applying an isolation coat, then applying another layer of paint, then applying another isolation coat. It won’t affect the final sheen of the painting, this would come from the final gloss varnish.

      1. Gail

        Thank you Will.

  10. Karen H

    Hi Will,

    If I would like to varnish a 40×40 stretched acrylic canvas. What product would you recommend me to use/ is there a number of coats I should use?

    I am an amateur, and this will be my first time glossing a piece.

    So appreciative of your response!

    Many thanks,
    Karen

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Karen, is that 40 cm or 40 inches?
      Will

      1. Karen Hwang

        Hi will,
        Thanks for your response. It is a 40x40in stretched canvas on wood bars. The medium I used is acrylic.

        1. Will Kemp

          Okay, that’s quite a size for the first adventures into varnishing, I would definitely practice on some smaller pieces first to get used to applying the varnish. These don’t have to be finished pieces, just test pieces with a similar colour and same surface to your larger painting.

          I apply an isolation coat first which is created from a Soft Gel-gloss, wait for 24hrs for that to dry (it goes on matte but dries clear and glossy) Then you can judge the level of sheen you want for the final varnish and either brush apply or spray apply. You can see more details on this varnishing article:
          Will

  11. Linda Bass

    Hi Will,

    I have decided to varnish after all and will use Golden Soft Gel Gloss for an isolation coat and wait 24 hours after mixing to use. I’m planning to use Golden Polymer Varnish Gloss for the varnish, and it requires the addition of water. Should I also wait 24 hours after mixing before using in order to avoid bubbles?

    Also, is there a problem with using shallow covered containers for storage because of exposure to air in the container?

    So nervous about this! Thanks or your help as always!

    Best,
    Linda

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Linda, sounds like a good plan, usually an hour or two and the bubbles should have disappeared on the Polymer Varnish. You should be okay, but you could wrap some clingwrap over the container just to cut down on exposure to the air just in case it starts to cure over the 24hr period (depending on the volume of the varnish/isolation coat). Have a test piece handy, ideally with the same darkness/lightness of your painting and same surface and apply the isolation coat and varnish to that first just to get your hand in and judge for any potential issues first before committing to the painting. Hope it goes well!
      Will

  12. May

    Hi Will,

    I just stumbled across your website and read the article (plus every single comment since there’s so much to learn!)

    I recently started painting and am finishing up my first commission piece. (so exciting!)
    It’s a fluid acrylic piece but I sprinkled some powdered pigment at the end (jacquard pearl ex powdered pigments to be exact) The pigment fells as clusters in some parts and is raised from the canvas surface (not by much, 1-2mm ish)
    I also sometimes paint with a lot of acrylics (not thinned down) and that creates texture on the surface.

    *My question is, is it still okay to brush on the isolation layer on such textured surfaces?

    *Why would you need to replace the varnish in the future?

    I’m still new to all of this and am overwhelmed by all the information there is to learn. Thanks so much in advance!

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi May, I expect you need a cup of tea after getting through the comments!
      *My question is, is it still okay to brush on the isolation layer on such textured surfaces?

      For that amount of texture, you’d be fine, but I personally wouldn’t before testing as you run the risk of disturbing the surface of the powdered pigment. Also, you will change the aesthetic of the powdered pigment. I would 100% recommend making a small test piece with the powdered pigment and seeing if you like the varnished finish before committing to your first varnished piece.

      *Why would you need to replace the varnish in the future?

      The varnish acts as a ‘dust and dirt’ collector – in this article, there is a before an after on an older oil painting

      Hope this helps,

      Cheers,
      Will

      1. May

        Thank you so much for your reply! I just finished reading the article you linked me to as well. So helpful! Thanks again! Will definitely be bookmarking your website and coming back here for more tips and knowledge :)

  13. Cynthia Coldren

    Will, I’m an acrylic painter. I typically paint on canvas but recently I’ve been using Canson Heritage 640 GSM (300 lb) paper and love it. I gesso both sides, tape the paper to a painting board (1-inch border), then gesso again over the tape (really like the crisp no-bleed line this delivers). Anyway, my real question is about varnishing an acrylic painting on paper. While there are articles about varnishing watercolor paintings, I haven’t found any about varnishing acrylic on paper. Would appreciate your thoughts and recommendations. Thanks!

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Cynthia, nice to hear from you, the same principles of varnishing watercolour (absorbency of the surface and potential buckling of paper) would apply to acrylic works on paper. In terms of an isolation coat its a tricky one due to the added level of moisture it could potentially bring to the painting substrate, depending on how thick or thin the paint application is. A spray varnish would give you the lightest layer of moisture to even the sheen and protect the surface.

      Cheers,
      Will

  14. Aravind Jannu

    Dear Will, I have made a small mistake in my acrilyc painting. I have varnished it. Is there any way I can correct the mistake?

    1. Will Kemp

      For an acrylic painting you should be okay to add the change and re-varnish, just make a note on the back of the canvas if the varnish ever needs replacing in the future.

  15. Deborah

    Hello Will,
    I have completed an acrylic painting using gloss mediums to blend. The shine creates problems and it needs to be photographed. I can put on the isolation coat with the soft gel to even it out but my question is can I use a satin or semigloss medium on top of the gloss medium for the photo then put a gloss coat or varnish on top of that afterwards and reclaim the saturation and translucency? Or is it once you use the satin medium you can’t get the color and translucency back again? I can’t seem to find anything on this and if you use gloss mediums to paint I would think it would be a common problem. Thank you!

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Deborah, if you apply a satin medium then some of the matting agent using to create the medium will remain over the painting so the finish won’t be as clear as just using a gloss medium isolation coat. For photographing works without glare, positioning lights at quite a close angle either side of the artworks can eliminate glare, if you want even better results you can use a polarizing filter on the lights.

      Cheers,
      Will

  16. Tara

    Hi Will,
    I think you are an angel for artists! I have learnt so much reading the posts.
    I have a piece painted on linen that I have varnished and there is a small area with a drip mark. The drip mark is above a part of the linen that I have not painted on. The linen was first treated with transparent gesso and then an isolation coat. It has layers of water based Golden varnish, then 1 layer o f MSA gloss and the unfortunate final layer of MSA satin with the drip mark (bad lighting, my stupidity and tiredness).

    Do you have any suggestions?

    I had 2 thoughts –

    I was wondering if I could potentially sand the drip mark back carefully (and then reapply if need be a coat of satin?)

    Or carefully rub away at the drip mark with solvent and reapply varnish to that area.

    It is a large piece, so the thought of removing and reapplying all those layers makes me wilt.

    Please help! It is due for an exhition …
    Thank you
    Tara

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Tara, pleased you’ve been enjoying the articles. In this situation, due to the scale and the drip being on a section of unpainted linen, I think your suggestion to sand back and reapply the satin would be the best course of action. Hope the exhibition goes well!
      Cheers,
      Will

  17. Yvette Dadon

    Hello Will,
    My first time varnishing a painting and I have some raised drip marks along the upper edge of the painting. I was fortunate the drips didn’t go further down and only affected the background. Unfortunately I used permanent varnish (stupid, I know). I read where another artist asked if sanding was a good idea and that’s exactly what I plan to do. I want to be sure to use the proper grit. What number do you recommend?
    Thanks in advance!
    Regards,
    Yvette

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Yvette, the higher the grit number the smoother the sandpaper (less gritty) will be, so a 220 -320 grit and up would be a good starting point.
      Cheers,
      Will

  18. Mamood

    Hi Will, can a gloss or matte varnish be applied on acrylics painted on paper? Is an coat of gesso required on the paper or its not necessary for the varnish? Can the varnish be applied on paper without a gesso layer.
    Thanks,
    M

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Mamood, yes you can apply varnish on top of acrylic on paper. The varnish is to protect the outer paint layer so would give protection with or without a gesso layer.
      Cheers,
      Will

  19. april

    Hi Will,

    I am just starting out with acrylic pouring and love it. However, i am running into the problem that when i try to seal the paintings, even after allowing them to cure for weeks at a time, i am getting a craze effect. Not a lot of cracking, just the crazing. I am using the minwax polycrylic to seal and bring back the colors that are dull when they dry. Any advice or could you advise on a different sealant? Thank you.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi April, I haven’t used the mixwax polycrylic so not sure if that’s what’s causing the crazing, does it craze when used on thinner paintings?

      Will

  20. Gwynneth Keehner

    Hi Will
    I have learnt so much about acrylics from your website and have avidly read all your advice -thank you for all the help.I find the isolation layer a pleasure to put on and that it gives a lovely clear and shiny surface. I haven’t yet had the courage to apply varnish to it so have given away five paintings with just an isolation layer(2/3 layers on each)and am now wondering whether it will give problems now or in the future and if I should take them back and force myself to apply varnish to them. Can the isolation layer be cleaned, for example with a damp cloth? You say that it’s not removable and protective so can I get away with it as a topcoat? I would be grateful for your advice, please.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Gwynneth, the isolation coat will still protect the surface of the painting more than having the paint exposed directly to the atmosphere and you can wipe down the surface without it damaging the paint layer.
      Hope this helps,

      Cheers,
      Will

  21. rosalyn

    hi Will,
    do you recomend a matt or glossy varnish for acrylics, I’m not sure what to buy, I use golden paints.
    thanks
    Rosalyn

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Rosalyn, it depends on the aesthetic look you’re after, the gloss will deepen and richen the colours, but the matte can work well for more subtle hues.
      Will

  22. janine harris

    Hi
    I’m a mixed media artist and I wondered if I should place an isolation layer when using a spray varnish?

    1. Will Kemp

      It depends on the finish you’re after Janine, but brushing the isolation coat can disturb some multimedia pieces, I’d try on a small scale test piece first that uses the same materials.
      Will

  23. Aura

    Hello Will,

    Just starting painting abstract art and loving it! I was wondering what you think of Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish product? It’s a 2-in-1, medium gloss and varnish.
    Would you recommend using it instead of doing a separate application of soft gel gloss and varnish?

    Thank you!
    Aura

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Aura, the Liquitex gloss medium is a permanent varnish, whereas the soft gel gloss and varnish is a non-permanent varnish, so personally I use the non-permanent method so the varnish can be replaced if needed in the future.
      Cheers,
      Will

  24. Judy Dunning

    Hi Will. I made a poor job varnishing my painting with golden polymer as some parts are cloudy. Very noticeable on the black. How do I easily remove the varnish without destroying my painting. I’m sick about it.

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Judy, sometimes the varnish can be cloudy when its drying, has it been a couple of days after applying?
      Will

  25. Sim

    Hi Will,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge!
    I have varnished my acrylic painting 1 month ago and now some arears have turned yellow. I dont know why that happened. I guess the painting wasnt dry enough before varnishing.
    Do you have a suggestion about how to fix it?

    1. Will Kemp

      Hi Sim, acrylic varnish and paint is pretty stable so shouldn’t have turned yellow, are you painting on wooden board at all? it might have been discolouration from the wood (support-induced discolouration) you can prepare the boards using PVA size of Golden GAC100

      Hope this helps,

      Cheers,
      Will

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