Understanding the Basics of Varnishing Acrylic Paint
Acrylic paints have gained immense popularity in the art world for its quick drying time, versatility, and durability. However, to preserve the longevity and appearance of acrylic paint, it is essential to apply a protective coat of varnish. Varnishing not only adds a sheen to the painting but also protects it from dust, fading, and yellowing. In this article, we will discuss the best way to varnish acrylic paint to ensure the best possible outcome.
Choosing the Right Varnish
The first step to varnish acrylic paint is choosing the right type of varnish. There are two types of varnishes – solvent-based and water-based. Solvent-based varnishes are highly toxic and release harmful fumes into the environment, making them unsuitable for indoor use. On the other hand, water-based varnishes are eco-friendly, non-toxic, and easy to clean up with water. It is recommended to use a water-based varnish that provides UV protection to prevent fading.
Preparing the Painting Surface
Before applying varnish, it is crucial to ensure that the painting surface is clean and dust-free. Use a clean, dry cloth to remove any dirt or debris from the surface. If there are any stains or marks on the surface, use mild soap and water to clean it thoroughly. Wait for the painting to dry completely before applying the varnish. It is advisable to test the varnish on a small, inconspicuous area of the painting to ensure compatibility with the paint.
Applying the Varnish
Apply the varnish in thin layers, using a soft-bristled brush or a foam brush. Avoid using a synthetic brush, as it may leave brush marks on the surface. Begin by applying the varnish in vertical strokes and then in horizontal strokes, following the pattern of brush-strokes used in the painting. Wait for each layer to dry completely before applying the next layer. It is recommended to apply at least two layers of varnish for best results.
Drying and Curing
After applying the final layer of varnish, allow the painting to dry and cure for at least 24 hours in a dust-free environment. Avoid touching the surface of the painting during this period, as it may cause smudges or fingerprints that can ruin the appearance of the painting. Once the painting is completely dry, it is ready to be displayed.