09 December 2016

Varnishing Day

Paintings ready for varnishing

I normally leave my paintings as long as I can before varnishing so that I know the paint surface is nice and hard before I send them, and I usually varnish right before posting. I have a standard 3 day turnaround for sale to allow for that.

Of course, at this time of year there are always last minute orders so today I busied myself varnishing them plus some extras in anticipation... Monday is the last comfortable day to ensure they will arrive in the US/Canada in time for Xmas so the varnish should be nice and dry by then.


I like to use a satin varnish as I feel this gives a nice balanced semi-glossy surface which enhances the texture of my knife paintings. I make up my own mixture usually 1 part gloss varnish to 2 parts matt. My brand of preference is Winsor and Newton and I buy the small bottles which I tip into a jam jar which is the perfect size.

When I painted in acrylics I only used matt varnish which toned down some of the shinyness of the acrylics but nowadays, I find myself more drawn to the more glossy finish. Maybe I shall start using gloss varnish, but I feel that can be a bit harsh when the light shines on it.

What do you use? Do you varnish or not? Leave your comments below.