Varnish is the last layer that is applied to the hand painted oil reproduction. All experienced painters will tell you that the varnish layer is one of the most important parts of the painting. Any painting that is not framed under glass can be kept clean and protected from dust, pollution and dirt with a protective varnish. But, this layer does more than just protect the painting; it also adds more beauty to the finished hand painted reproduction, as it enhances the painting with a gorgeous gloss, giving it an even more expensive look.
Types of Varnish
There are two types of varnish used on oil paintings, the matte varnish or the glossy varnish. Although, both add a slight gloss to the finished painting the glossy one adds slightly more. This is not a bright shiny plastic like finish. Quite to the contrary, it is a very tasteful beautiful finish adding that perfect finish to a beautiful painting. The type of varnish the artist uses will depend on the type of reproduction you have chosen. Some masterpieces have a high gloss finish while others have a very matte finish.
At WahooArt.com our expert painters need to let a finished piece set for approximately one year before applying the final varnish finish. Otherwise the varnish might crack (not in a pleasing way) causing the painting to become damaged after a few years. Because all of our artists are highly experienced they know when the precise moment is to add this last layer of paint. The last varnish layer is patiently brushed on, as this is not a process that should be rushed. The painter must first inspect the painting for any dust or paint brush particles and remove these before applying this last finishing layer.
When this last layer is applied the painting is placed in a brightly lit area so any imperfections can be seen and removed immediately. Once the painting is inspected and cleared of any debris the final varnish layer is applied.
This is a truly important step in your painting process, as the varnish is more than just a protective layer. It brings out the colors, the hues and the brilliance of these once the varnish is applied. This is why delivery of your painting takes so long as the artist must make sure that the painting is completely dry before he applies this last layer.
The drying time is dependent on the layers of oil paint used and the thickness of each layer. In some cases it can be just a few days of wait time while in other cases it may be as long as two weeks.
Dust Free Environment
The painting must then be completely clean of dust, grease, and dirt and the artist must lay it flat on a brightly lit work surface. Then gently he will swab the painting with a clean cotton wool cloth dipped in a slight amount of water. He then continues with the cleaning process by drying the painting with another cloth made of cotton wool.
Afterwards the painting is carefully inspected for any cotton fibers that got caught in the paint. These are removed and the painting is left to dry overnight. In a vertical position faced against the wall, so it will not be polluted again with dust. The next day the painter uses a flat bristle brush to apply the varnish. If the painting requires a matt finish then he uses matt varnish, but if the original piece has an original gloss, he will use a gloss finish.
The expert painter will apply this varnish starting at the top of the painting and making horizontal strokes from one side of the painting to the other. He will always work the varnish in one direction so as not to get uneven paint strokes.
After the first coat of varnish is applied it is allowed to dry overnight again, then another coat is applied vertically to the first. This gives the entire painting an even coating of varnish, protecting it for decades to come. After each layer of varnish the painting is allowed to rest in a horizontal position for about 15 minutes. This keeps the varnish from running. Once this time period is complete, the painting is propped up again and faced against the wall to keep it protected.
Before the second coat is applied the artist will always check to make sure it is, by touching the outer edge. If he feels the varnish is still slightly sticky, he will allow it to dry for a few more hours. The drying time will differ depending on the painting and the weather where the painting is being completed.
Rest assured that each layer of varnish is applied as a whole to get a complete evenness. This even coating prevents any horizontal or vertical lines from appearing later in the painting.
The same consistency in varnish is applied in each brush stroke, allowing the artist to place equal amounts of varnish over the entire art piece. He also works in a dust free environment, where no particles interfere with the wet varnish.
Because the artists are in house, attention to every detail takes place. There are no animals in the studio and no children which could cause imprints on the finished paintings. Once the final varnish layer is applied the painting is set facing the wall to let it dry thoroughly. Once thoroughly dry it is taken off the stretched board, rolled up and carefully packaged to send directly to you; the entire process from beginning to finish taking just 8 to 12 weeks. Naturally, when you receive your beautiful piece of art from WahooArt.com, you want to be sure to take good care of it as well. Do not place it in particularly damp areas or areas where it can be exposed to high temperatures or other chemicals. A piece such as this is fragile and is one that should be treated as such.