Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Isolating varnish

Isolating varnish

From: Walt Halstead <walthalstead>
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2001
I am wondering if anyone on the list would know of a formula for the
making of a good alcohol-based isolating varnish. I have developed a
painting technique involving multiple layers of transparent color
glaze over a monochrome base, each separated by a coat of varnish.
Since I need to manipulate, and at times, remove areas of glaze
(with turps or mineral spirits), the varnish beneath the glaze
serves to protect previous layers of color.

In the past, I was using Magna Varnish made by Bocour Artist Colors,
a company which is no longer in existence. My remaining stock is
quickly coming to an end and I am attempting to perhaps make this
myself or find an equivalent. I had considered MSA varnish made by
Golden, but alas, it is miscible in mineral spirits. I am also
considering the use of an extremely light, clear Shellac made from
ethanol and Sandarac; however, I am unsure of the suitability of
this for fine art work, and I am suspicious of the possibility of

My glazes consist of mostly Windsor Newton Liquin with small amounts
of oil pigments. Each layer of glaze takes approximately 24-36 hours
to dry. After heating the surface slightly with a hair dryer to
remove any surface moisture, the varnish is air-brushed on--drying
very quickly--and a new layer of glaze is applied. Thus far I have
experienced no problems with this technique.

I had hoped to learn the name of a vinyl or acrylic resin (crystals,
powder or liquid) which could be dissolved in ethanol, in the same
way a simple Damar varnish can be made. If anyone has knowledge of a
recipe, or of an existing alcohol-based product suitable for this
application, it would be greatly appreciated.

Walt Halstead
Coordinator, Exhibit Graphics
Hargrove, Inc.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:25
                Distributed: Friday, September 21, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-25-011
Received on Thursday, 20 September, 2001

[Search all CoOL documents]

URL: http://