Is Varnish Necessary [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Is Varnish Necessary

02-05-2015, 07:29 AM
I was told you need to wait at least 4 months before varnishing an oil painting. Seems like many artists sell their paintings before it's been 4 months, so do they just not varnish them?

I have a friend that would like one of my paintings and I told her that she needs to wait until the summer because I have to varnish it. In acrylic I would varnish it the day after I painted it.

02-05-2015, 11:25 PM
I don't varnish my acrylics, I didn't varnish my oils either. Why do you want to use varnish anyway?

02-06-2015, 08:05 AM
Hi Liz, I read and heard that varnishing preserves the color and it gives that 'finished' look to the picture. Some use matt varnish, but I like the gloss varnish. I always thought that it must be necessary because I heard it many times from different sources. But now I'm thinking maybe it's not really necessary, maybe I'll only varnish the best ones that I want to keep for a long time.

02-09-2015, 09:30 PM
I didn't think that varnish would yellow the colors. That's something I don't want. One reason I switched from acrylics to oil because I didn't like the darkening of the colors. I'm really into keeping the colors in the pictures.

Thanks for your advice. I'll check that spray out.

02-09-2015, 10:00 PM
I'm sold on oils right now. I've been able to paint much nicer pictures with it than I could do in the acrylics. But yes having to wait for months to varnish it can be annoying. I only started with oils about a month ago so far none of mine are varnished. I've managed to sell one of them, and another one was just requested by a friend of mine. So it's kind of tug on my conscience to decide if it's really necessary to varnish them.

02-27-2015, 09:55 PM
Hi Terry! Thanks for the welcome. The first time I varnished it frightened me. Now I'm comfortable with it. The one question I've been trying to find an answer to is what will happen if I add just a touch of color to gloss varnish. I want to get a slight yellow tint over entire painting. Have you ever done this? My painting is in acrylics.

02-28-2015, 01:47 AM
Nope never tried that. If you do it be sure to let us know how it goes.