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How To Varnish an Oil Painting

Scott Hutchison Varnishes one of his paintings

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Below is a quick no nonesense varnishing demonstration by Scott Hutchison. Watch as he varnishes his painting called "Plastic".

Basic Tips:
  1. I suggest waiting 6 months to a year before varnishing an oil painting. That way you are certain the thicker oil layers are dry.
  2. Use a large 2.5" - 4" smooth brush that won't shed hairs while you brush on the varnish.
  3. I like to use a modern varnish like Gamblin's Gamvar, instead of Dammar varnish.  (I find that Dammar dries slower, yellows over time, and contains highly toxic vapors)
  4. Pour a small amount of varnish onto the painting and brush in one direction.  While you brush it on, look at the paintings from an angle so you can see if your piece is fully covered.
The items I used to varnish my painting in the video are:
  • Brush:
    Liquitex Freestyle 4 inch Varnish and Mural Brush
  • Varnish:
    Gamvar Gloss Varnish
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