5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting 1

5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting

Every artist wants to make sure that their masterpiece is safe and protected from any factor that may damage their work of art. Oil paintings are extremely delicate and need proper protection and some artist varnish their oil paintings to secure them. We give you 5 easy tips to varnish oil painting and preserve their aesthetic beauty for as long as time can take.

What are the things to consider before varnishing your oil paintings? Which varnish works best for oil paintings? Is varnish even safe for oil painting? Will, it does not affect the texture and overall appearance of my painting?

5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting

5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting
Varnishing oil painting – 5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting

Before you go jump with all these 5 easy tips to varnish oil painting, remember that not all techniques for varnishing have the same effect as the rest. It is a matter of what type of varnish will you used and the amount that you will apply. Take consideration of the type of oil paints that you used as well.

Learn more about oil painting varnish and their effect on your masterpiece.

  1. The paint application matters most

Varnishing oil painting is not just about you thought it is. There are a few things to consider and one of that is the amount of paint that is in the canvas. If you have applied thick layers of paint, moreover, it will take time to dry. Just like thin paint application, it dries easier.

The next thing to check is what type of paint have you used. It is the slow drying type of paints? Or did you used colors that dry faster? It all depends not just on the drying time, color type but most especially to the overall paint application before you start with these 5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting.

Note: Do not varnish your oil painting nit unless they are completely dried up. If you will not be cautious about this, your oil painting will get damage permanently. And we don’t want that to happen ever.

Oil paintings are extremely delicate. More than you can just imagine. They may look completely dried up visually but underneath, they still need time to be cured. Using a thin layer or paint application can take a couple of days for the oil paints to be touch but not yet cured. However, if you had used a thick layer of paint application, that may take from two weeks to a month, well, which still depends on the amount of paint and the canvas size that you painted. To be on the safe side, allow more time for the curing process.

5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting
Varnish – 5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting

Oil Painting Drying Time

Oil paints are flexible. They allow an artist to work more on the desired texture and composition by its unique drying time. There are many factors to think over before doing these 5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting. A traditional thin-layered oil painting can take from a couple of months to 6 months to get fully dry. While thickly layered oil painting boozing up from 6 months to 2 years to completely dry.


Thanks to modern technology, there are some artificial varnishes that you can purchase wherein you can apply to a touch-dried oil painting. That way you don’t need to wait months to years just to varnish such oil paintings.

If you happen to varnish an oil painting that is not completely cured, the worst that you can expect is it will cause the painting to get visible cracks. The layers will not be strong and won’t be hard enough like a fully cured oil painting. It is best to always wait for the oil painting to reach its curing time before varnishing. Follow the standard practice for preserving your oil painting and allow curing time properly.

  1. Traditional Varnish or Artificial Oil Varnish

Before getting the next bottle of varnish that you see in an art shop. There is a question about using an isolation coat to oil paintings. The truth is, it is not really necessary to apply them to your oil painting. If the oil painting has reached its curing time properly and fully dried. Then varnish application is advisable. One of the 5 easy tips to varnish oil painting is when it is completely dried up. You might just want to remove the varnish, later on, then you can. It won’t damage the oil painting surface nor the layers of paint that were applied as well.

Take note that varnishes for oil painting greatly differs from other forms of media, like varnish for acrylic paints.

Traditional Oil Painting Varnish

Copal and Amber are considered hard varnishes that were used in the old times. Consist of golden color which give a shiny or glossy and hard appearance. However, they can cause your oil painting to have cracked over time and they are completely hard to remove.

Hard varnishes don’t easily work with solvents that is why to take a second thought if you will use this kind to your oil paintings. If you prefer to keep your oil paintings and have a touch of the old times, then hard varnish is a good choice for you.

5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting
Oil painting – 5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting

Mastic and Dammar are considered softly varnished which are easily dissolve with solvents. Soft varnishes can be removed on your oil painting surfaces.

Artificial or Synthetic Oil Varnish

Synthetic oil varnishes have a lot more good qualities that traditional oil painting varnishes. One good example of that is they can easily be removed without causing any yellowish to the painting surface. A transparent varnish keeps your oil painting as it is. It also protects your underlying oil paints from any damage when removing the varnish over time.

MSA’s or Mineral Synthetic Acrylic varnishes offer a good kind of barrier to your oil paintings. They have elastic quality and is more blooming resistant. The application for oil painting can be up to a year from its drying time.

  1. Sunken and oil out areas

The sunken area of an oil painting is the uneven parts that were not supposed to be. If you noticed areas that are matte or dull and have lighten the colors when the painting is almost dry, those are also sunken areas. It happens when you used quiet much thinner than needed or your ground has absorbent characteristics. Another factor is maybe you have used an inexpensive gesso for primer. No need to worry as you can always retouch those areas before application of varnish takes place.

Applying a small amount of Linseed oil on your oil painting is called oiling out. You have to make sure that the surface of the painting is touch dried before doing so. After you apply the linseed oil to your painting, you can remove it by using a rag or any clean cloth of your preference.

  1. Varnish will sheen your oil painting

5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting
Satin varnish- 5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting

You have seen some little areas of your painting that are glossy or matte. The varnish will help sheen this area out. However, if you have seen a larger amount of areas then varnishing them won’t help. They will just be more visible. The best way is the oiling out process.

  1. Is varnish necessary for oil painting?

There are things to consider before varnishing your oil painting. However, some artist does not open for varnishing their art piece. With these 5 easy tips to varnish oil painting, you will know when and why. It is still your choice if you do so. If you follow all the traditional steps for oil painting and your painting is completely dried up. You don’t have to varnish them.

Varnishing an oil painting is a painters choice. You can preserve the beauty of your art piece and add extra protection to its appearance as well. Varnish can change the overall appearance of your oil painting from matte to glossy or vice versa. The main reason why some artist varnishes their oil paintings is by protecting the outer layer. Some by adding more saturation to the after effect. While other to add a shield barrier for damaging UV rays.

Varnish application varies on the brand you used. Some on the paint application. The thing is, the more varnish you apply, the more it produces a deeper and richer oil paint colors.

More blog post about The Amazing properties of Acrylic Paints here!







One response to “5 Easy Tips To Varnish Oil Painting”

  1. Agnes Chianese Avatar

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