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Using Alcohol Inks with GOLDEN Acrylics and Varnishes

9 thoughts on “Using Alcohol Inks with GOLDEN Acrylics and Varnishes”

  1. Hi Scott,

    I appreciated your article. I have been using alcohol inks on Ampersand claybord. The inks seem to absorb into the clay coating. I have been using Golden Archival Varnish – Mineral Spirit Acrylic Aerosol w/UVLS-gloss
    ( #7731-X ). I have not noticed any migration of the inks. Does this make sense? I would appreciate your opinion.

    Thanks so much,

    • Hello Jaci,

      Thanks for reaching out to us! What we saw in our testing is highly absorbent surfaces like Clayboard tend to quickly pull in a lot of the alcohol leaving a very sensitive or under bound layer of ink on top. We even observed some cracking with one of the brands we tested over an absorbent surface like our Acrylic Gesso. We have not tested the Clayboard with alochol inks, so this is something you might want to test yourself or look out for when you are using these materials together. In general, we would recommend following any specific recommendations made by an alcohol ink manufacturer for what surfaces works best with their products. As far as using the Archival Varnish Gloss to varnish alcohol inks, we had mixed results in our testing. With some brands it seemed to reactivate the inks, with others it seemed to only affect certain colors or more thinner applications of the ink. We would again recommend doing some testing first to be sure this would work for you. We had best results using the Archival Varnish over the alcohol inks by ensuring we were spraying 12 inches away from the surface, but again our results were varied depending on the inks we tested and what surfaces they were applied to. The migration of inks or the bleeding through of inks we mainly observed when we applied acrylics over the inks themselves. We did not observe inks migrating through layers of varnish, we actually saw that it help to stop inks from migrating.

      We hope this answers your questions, if you have more questions please contact us at help@goldenpaints.com or call us at 800-959-6543 we are happy to help!


  2. I really love Golden Products because I find you have a wonderful customer service department and really listen to your customers.

  3. Thanks for this article. What brand of alcohol inks did you test with? Not all inks are created equal. Depending on the brand or colour used, you will get different results.

    • Hello Jane,

      Yes, that is the big take away here. We recommend testing for your application, when possible, since there is such variability between brands. We also observed a lot of variability between colors within a single brand. As you say, not all inks or dyes (colorants) are created equal. Out of respect for these companies, unfortunately, we cannot disclose which brands we tested for the article.


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