Home>Acrylics> Drawing Media> Varnish > Varnishing Mixed Media Paintings

Varnishing Mixed Media Paintings

10 thoughts on “Varnishing Mixed Media Paintings”

  1. I had recently observed through the Winsor & Newton Page The application of a conservator varnish over a finished charcoal surface–I believe using it as a spray fixative. This was applied over the course of the demonstrations several times building up a darker tone–with no lift. What is your feelings about this?

    • Hello Dillard, thank you for your comment. Yes, it is certainly possible to apply multiple layers of fixative over dry media paintings and as you observed this can darken these paintings or saturate colors. It solely depends on the artist, whether these visual changes are acceptable to him/her. The advantage, when truly embedding charcoal like that in many layers of fixative is, that the drawing becomes resistant to color lift and it might be possible to show the work without being framed behind glass.

  2. Hello Mirjam,
    I am working with mixed media on multmedia board, prismacolor pencil on top of acrylic or sometime water soluble oil ground. Then sometimes I add surface layer of prismalcolor NuPastel (a hard chalk pastel). I then seal with many layers of archival fixative and then archival spray varnish. Do you know if I still need to protect with glass? I like to avoid glass if possible. Thanks!

    • Hello Ann Michelle,
      we have found that 6 spray coats of GOLDEN Archival Spray Varnish provides good UV-protection, similar to two brush applied coats of MSA Varnish w/UVLS. Therefore it shouldn’t be necessary to protect behind UV-glass in addition, which is also costly. Regular window glass only provides very limited UV-protection anyway.

  3. It’s 2023! But maybe you will see this. I have recently been painting with acrylics and have looked at YouTube videos since I’m unfamiliar with some technical aspects. Following the lead of some professional artists online, I have done canvases where I laid down areas of acrylics, then done scribbling with Sennelier oil pastels, then gone back in with more acrylics on top covering pastel areas with paint and leaving some visible.
    I was planning to use liquitex satin varnish over the paintings at the end, assuming it will all work.
    Now I am panicking! Can you advise? I have a solo show coming up in a month so time is of the essence. I can supply images is you like. Thank you!! Btw canvases are very thick, cannot use glass to cover

    • Hello Christine,
      Thank you for your question. Oil Pastels generally contain non-drying oils and waxes, both of which might cause adhesion issues when acrylics are brushed over the top. We do not have any products we would recommend over oil pastel. However, Sennelier does have a fixative intended for oil pastels which might work as a final layer: D’Artigny Pastel Fixative. It would be good to confirm with Sennelier that it can be applied over acrylics and on flexible surfaces. You might keep in mind, too, that most artists do not varnish their paintings.
      Warm regards, Cathy

  4. Hi,
    I have just started using Acrylic Ink in my mixed media /collages. Usually, I apply an isolation coat (Gel Medium w/ water) over the entire piece. Sometimes I add a varnish on top of this, Is this possible with acrylic ink?

    • Hello Paula, Acrylic Inks are typically thin viscosity or water-like acrylic paints. So you could apply an Isolation Coat to them is you wanted to varnish. You could always test on the side to see if there is any color lift, but we suspect it should be fine. Let us know if you have other questions. help@goldenpaints.com


Leave a Comment