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I am new to painting with oil paint. And before i knew everything i made a mistake varnishing my painting only a couple weeks after i painted it... is there any way of fixing it? What can happen? 
I really need your help.


  • dencaldencal -
    edited August 24

    Welcome to the Forum.

    The varnish has a solvent that would have softened the semi-dry paint and allowed the resin in the varnish to bond with the paint pigment. I do not know of any undo technique.

    Suggest you love it as it is. Title your painting “ Six Months Too Soon”.


  • edited August 24
    If the painting was not completely dry when you varnished it (unlikely after just a couple of weeks) the varnish may bond with the paint layer and make it impossible to remove the varnish (if that ever becomes necessary) without damaging the painting. 

    Also, varnishing a painting that is not completely dry will hinder further drying and will likely lead to bubbling and cracking. 

    I don't know how you would remedy this. @Dencal will probably have some insights.
  • edited August 24
    What type of varnish did you use? Was the paint dry to the touch and firm under pressure from a thumbnail? 

    What you might want to do about it depends on the type of varnish you used and how dry it was when you applied it. Two weeks could actually be plenty of time to apply Gamvar for example, if it was a thinly painted piece on an absorbent ground and you used some type of fast drying medium and or fast drying paints. Gamvar isn't going to cause problems by preventing the paint layers below from continuing to cure normally anymore than adding another layer of paint would. The quite weak solvent in Gamvar (Gamsol) is also much less likely to cause any cross linking of the paint layer and the varnish. 
  • I used Gamvar and medium drying paint, also the problem is that the varnish is not drying...
  • edited August 26
    Gerda said:
    I used Gamvar and medium drying paint, also the problem is that the varnish is not drying...
    You might try removing the Gamvar with Gamsol. Use a soft cloth and be gentle. Start in a less detailed area that would not be hurt much if you lost some paint. If you see paint coming up too much, stop and just wait for it to dry. The Gamvar being on there isn't going to hurt anything anymore than it already has, so the safest bet is probably to just wait for it to dry. To dry it faster put it in a warm area such as a room that receives lots of sun during the day or in a garage. Putting it in direct sun will speed things up as well but is not ideal due to the high UV light. 
  • I've been varnishing my paintings a single week after I'm done with them. the world still hasn't come to an end
  • Love Varnishiong.
    Try a Spray Gloss Varnish, after your art is dry..
    I used both spay and puring  varnish and my art looks  pleasing, if you have some old art you  do not really need or plan to show, Practice with varnishes on old art you have lying around.. 
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