26 November 2015

Varnish beading on Painting?

The picnic Spot
24x30cm (approx 9.5x12inch)
Gallery wrapped canvas
Varnished and ready to go

I like to let my oil paint dry as long as possible, so normally I don't varnish my painting until they are due to go to their new home. However, in anticipation of the Christmas sales, I've been varnishing some of my paintings so they can be shipped immediately.

I noticed that some of the varnish was 'beading'. Not a lot, but I had never noticed it before. After doing a google search I came across this article which explains that it is the surface oil causing it the varnish to bead.

Well.... I knew I was brilliant and now here's the proof LOL.
The cure is to wipe the painting surface with alcohol or ammonia. For years I have been using a mixture of the two for my general cleaning and I also use it to soften stubborn paint on my pallet. It's a brilliant cleaner and both the ammonia and alcohol are both disinfectants. The ammonia smell is a little off putting but you will never suffer from a blocked nose again! (The Victorians used ammonia in their smelling salts).

Here is the recipe I use if you are interested. You need
Cleaning alcohol
Ammonia
Washing-up liquid
Water

I make mine up in a large liquid washing detergent bottle.
Use twice the amount of alcohol to ammonia and double the volume with water. Add a decent squirt of washing up liquid.

I use this mix for floors (I have ceramic tiles).
For surfaces put some into old spray bottles, add some more water and another squirt of washing-up liquid.

If the ammonia smell is too strong for you, add more water.

It's cheap and very effective.

LET ME KNOW if you have ever had this problem and how you solved it.