Zest-it Damar Varnish
How to use the Retouching and Picture Varnish.
Varnishes in general.
The primary role of any varnish is to protect the surface of
the painting. Varnishing a painting is an important factor in the archival life of an oil painting. Damar Varnish (sometimes spelt Dammar) is the traditional varnish for oil paintings and has stood the test of time. The painted surface needs to dry before any varnish is applied, with oil paint this is a slow process as the oils dry by oxidization and need air to do this. Depending on the thickness of the paint this can take between 3 to 12 months. Varnishing needs to be carried out on a dry day with little air flow for best results. It is always better to apply varnish in thin coats allowing drying in-between. Apply with a soft brush and even strokes. Protect from
dust whilst drying. Always test on a small area before applying to the painting.
|Zest-it Damar Retouching Varnish is made for Zest-it and Gum Damar. Gum Damar dissolves naturally in Zest-it in about 2 to 3 days without any assistance, apart from the occasional stir. This type of
varnish is also referred to as a 'spirit varnish' or 'cold cut varnish' in some written works, because heat is not used to dissolve the resin. Once dissolved we allow the solution to rest for 3 more days before filtering.
Filtering is necessary to remove any minute particles that remain in suspension in the solution, the filtered varnish is bright and crystal clear.
The Damar Retouching Varnish is used on dull or sunken parts of an oil painting to give back the 'wet' look. For many people this is important when matching colours, as optically wet and dry paint colours look different. Working on a painting that is optically balanced is much easier and more rewarding.
To use the Damar Retouching Varnish:- first use a soft brush to remove any dust from the painting surface.
Pour a small amount of the varnish into a pot large enough to accommodate the brush you are using. Lay the painting down, face up, on a flat table or surface.
Now take the painting and stand it, face down, angled against a wall. This allows the varnish to dry without dust settling on the surface. Place a pencil or the like between the top edge of the painting and the wall, this prevents the painting sticking to the wall.
Check the dryness of the varnish after about one and a half hours, use your knuckle not your finger tips, otherwise your finger print will be in the varnish surface. This varnish dries to a gloss finish.
When you start work on the painting again, colours will be easier to judge as the painting will be more optically balanced, the colours will be more true to the original oil paint used, the surface film with be integrated and stable.
This is a light varnish that can also be used on wood, stone, acrylic and plastic surfaces to give a protective finish.
Zest-it Damar Retouching Varnish is available in the following sizes:- 50 ml; 125 ml; 250 ml and 500 ml. You can purchase from retailers on the stockist page or online from J & T's Art and Calligraphy or Zest-it Art Products.
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