Varnishing a finished painting [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Varnishing a finished painting

03-14-2016, 01:24 PM
Can anyone link me to an article on best advice on varnishing finished oil paintings? How long to let the painting dry before you varnish, best varnish to use, how to apply, then how long to let dry again.

Thanks so much!
Linda Alice Dewey

03-15-2016, 12:12 AM
there is one thing i do know you should wait a week or 2 and see if it needs glazing first.

03-15-2016, 09:46 AM
This is something I've struggled with for awhile. Some articles have said you should wait as long as 6 months to a year before varnishing an oil painting. :surprise: That won't work for me because I like to sell my paintings.

What I do is give the paintings a week or two to dry. How long really depends on the thickness of the paint and whether or not I used a medium that helps it to dry faster (which I usually do). Then I use spray varnish. It's easy and for me looks better than when I try to brush on a varnish. The spray varnish will dry in a matter of minutes and I usually put the painting up for sale the next day.

I don't recommend what I do if you are producing masterpieces that you expect to last for centuries. But it works for me and I have had no problems with it at all.

03-24-2016, 08:40 AM
Thanks so much, Terry. This is the painting that blistered away from the older painting I had below it. I fixed the blistered part (why didn't the new paint bond to the canvas?) and it has dried for a few weeks. I will spray varnish and hope that it doesn't blister again. It's going on the market as well. Cross your fingers!