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  #1  
Old 23-09-12, 10:57 AM
markbriscoe markbriscoe is offline
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Default Sticky varnish

I often give my paintings a final coat of varnish by applying damar resin dissolved in turpentine. I usually find that it remains sticky for a long time after applying due to the residue present in the turps. usually after a few days it is more or less dry enough but if I apply pressure to the surface with a finger it is usually still very slightly sticky, and the smell of turps remains for months. If only damar could be dissolved in white spirit (mineral spirits) it would be much easier. Does anyone have any advice/experience on this matter?

Thanks
Mark
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Old 24-09-12, 07:46 PM
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DLH DLH is offline
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I recommenced a low molecular weight synthetic picture varnish rather than Dammar. Their low molecular weight gives them the look of Dammar and not "encased in plastic" look of earlier synthetic varnish. They are not sticky when dry and dissolve in mineral spirits. They are water white when applied and are promised to yellow more slowly than Dammar. More importantly they are removed easily with mineral spirits regardless of age. Dammar is notoriously difficult to remove even with turpentine, which is a stronger solvent.

I use Gamvar made by Gamblin and am happy with it. I don't know if it's available in Spain but Kremer makes a varnish called Regalrez that uses the same basic resin.

http://www.gamblincolors.com/varnishes/index.html

http://kremerpigments.com/shopus/ind...&product=79375

Last edited by DLH; 24-09-12 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 25-09-12, 02:33 AM
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Salamander Salamander is offline
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I'm not sure why you are varnishing an et actually, but are you certaint that it has completely cured before you varnish it? Also, if it is very humid where you are it may take a bit for the varnish to finish off it's drying.
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Old 25-09-12, 10:53 AM
markbriscoe markbriscoe is offline
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Thanks DLH and Salamander for your responses. DLH this varnish sounds interesting… does 'Gamvar' always come in liquid form? and if you dilute it in a jar with mineral spirits does the solution keep for a long time or does it separate after time?

Salamander, in this case it is not tempera paintings I am varnishing but oils. and I do understand that an ET painting's oily content will redissolve with the solvents in varnish if not already fully dry. We live in North Spain so it is not very humid here.

Actually it is not a HUGE problem I have with my current damar varnish (just not fully satisfactory). I was really wondering if stickiness is just part of the course for anyone who wants to use damar.
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Old 27-09-12, 08:25 AM
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GamVar comes in a kit. It has a jar with lumps of resin. and another with solvent. You pour the solvent into the resin jar. As I recall it dissolves more easily than dammar. After its mixed I don't think the resin deteriorates rapidly but they claim added UV stabilizer does. The four year old jar on my shelf looks fine.

I notice the Kremer product is also UV stabilized and yet comes mixed so... Notice how clear.



I have limited experience with dammar but I don't recall that it took too long to dry. The turps smell lingering seems suspicious. Do you use fresh high quality turpentine? Anyway, Gamblin is fanatical about environmental and safety considerations. The solvent in GamVar is odorless.

Last edited by DLH; 27-09-12 at 08:28 AM.
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