What Happens If You Varnish Oil Paintings Too Early? Real Life Experiment | Summary of Information Related to how long do oil paintings take to dry

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What Happens If You Varnish Oil Paintings Too Early? Real Life Experiment


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An oil painting needs to dry for 6-12 months before you can safely varnish it without negatively impacting your painting, but what happens if you varnish it too soon? Well we are about to find out! I am doing this experiment for the next year where I will be varnishing parts of a test painting at different points in time. We will be able to see what really happens when you varnish too early vs waiting the full 6-12 months. Note that I simply painted a canvas with oils and will then varnish it. I am not doing anything to increase the drying time of the painting. I am using Daler & Rowney Georgian oil paints and Windsor & Newton high gloss dammar varnish in this demonstration.

Results are in! See video here:

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What Happens If You Varnish Oil Paintings Too Early? Real Life Experiment.

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33 comments

C.S Luis 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Is it necessary to varnish?

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WallaceTexas 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Cracking makes painting sell much, much faster. Make them crack, then seal it all in. Buyers love the look of a vintage painting.

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I’m Awesome 08/09/2021 - 07:37

So nearly finished the video and he’s still talking about what he’s ‘going to do’… I just wanted to know what happened 😐

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netsaosa 08/09/2021 - 07:37

thx bro

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CC Arts 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Thank you

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Eddie Valiant 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Lol how can I varnish in a year if I have to ship it in three weeks? "Hey customer, buy me a plane ticket. I'll come by in six months with a bottle of gamvar and varnish real quick then catch a plane back home"… That'll be fun actually.

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Maria Sommer 08/09/2021 - 07:37

What about retouching varnish?

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Jorge The Cloud 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Hello sir, what’s the best way to clean brushes after using this varnish?

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Brianah Ellis 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Hello does this this time frame including fast drying mediums?

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aaron fuksa 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Help.. using 10/15minute dry acylic enamel spray paint, it has solvents. Applying a no solvent breathable acrylic varnish on top. How soon is too soon? Under 1 hour is ideal, or do I need a no solvent spray paint, or no solvent airbrush type paint? Or am i stuck with waiting 24 hours like I have to coat it every time.

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hkk jr 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Can I glaze my paintings after varnishing?

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Zin eddine moh Zendaoui 08/09/2021 - 07:37

i varnished my painting 2 days after finished itt .. now its shit

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Official Anthony Flake 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Great Channel ..I sub

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Paul Flurry 08/09/2021 - 07:37

so… its been 2 years

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森下典樹 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Hey I have an idea that if you want the painting looking glossy without rushing to varnish it,for a show,you can easily achieve it by oiling the surface with normal painting oil. Don't know if it's right to do so.

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ira fajardo 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Sir Chris, Here in Manila the temperature is normally 29 to 32 degrees celcius as of this typing, and hotter about 32 to 38 during summer. I just bought a retouch varnish for my oil painting which is done a week ago. May I know how long do I have to wait. With our hot temperature here, how long will I have to wait for applying RETOUCH VARNISH and how long to apply it with FINAL VARNISH ? Waving from the Philippines, Many thanks, Good day and GOD Bless!

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ira fajardo 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Thank you for this very informative video and your commitment to time. GOD Bless Mr. PainterInYou !

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jricherts99 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Dude awesome video

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Vugmus Galstadt 08/09/2021 - 07:37

well, fuck, i looked this up too late! I think i varnished somewhere between 3 to 6 months. hopefully that's not too bad.

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Araz Haroutun 08/09/2021 - 07:37

good video, thanks for sharing, , can you tell me if I can apply retouch varnish if my paint is dry but in somewhere is a little bit sticky !

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Kirk Williams 08/09/2021 - 07:37

All craftsmen must have patience…. or you are not a craftsmen or artist.

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Pedro Ramos 08/09/2021 - 07:37

dude your experiment is not in this video – you should change your title otherwise this is pure click-bait

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B. Mikhael 08/09/2021 - 07:37

For people like me who paint with acrylics using impasto techniques. How much time do you think or would you recommend us to allow for the paint to be dry and then varnish. Also another question I have is, do you need to have an isolation coat before varnish? Is that a must? And last but not least. Can a medium gel used for keeping acrylics moist be used as an isolation coat? Thanks a lot for the help

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niharika singh 08/09/2021 - 07:37

I recently questioned a painter on instgram about the issue. And her painting were really gorgeous. But when I asked her about the standard time to varnish a painting she said “about a week” and I’s likeee whaaattt… my paints take longer than that to dry.

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Joseph Ososkie 08/09/2021 - 07:37

No information on what the old masters did.

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Jo Standaar 08/09/2021 - 07:37

will be interested to see the follow up but do you actually have any tips for presenting a canvas for a show in a month without varnish? It is certainly dry to touch and hasn't been worked on for a bit.

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Uncle60 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Well is it done

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Raymond Ore Fine Art 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Very interesting experiment, I use Windsor and Newton Griffin fast drying Alkyd Oils and only very thinly, touch dry in 2-3 hours. I use a breathable Re-touching varnish after 2-3 weeks but I would like to give my paintings a final varnish at some point I wonder what the safe time would be in this case?

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Clayton Barnhill 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Where are the results??

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John the human 08/09/2021 - 07:37

well.. here's what happened with me..
I finished a painting 3 days ago,and it was touch dry -apparently not dry enough to be varnished-,I applied a thin coat of Winsor & Newton varnish for recently finished oil paintings ,and some of the color came out ,now i'm left with white patches in my black background and i can't even claim that it was my idea in the first place as an artist to have these patches! xD.

The moral of the story is "even if your painting is touch dry give it at least two weeks to
spare yourself the headache =)".

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Simon Gillmeister 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Good video. I think this problem is easy to solve by using retouching varnish.

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RushBrushSet 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Interesting

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Tallulah Christodoulou 08/09/2021 - 07:37

Thanks for the helpful video 🙂 are there any tips for the best way to store your painting in the mean time before it's varnished, so that it doesn't get damaged?

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