What finish is best/safe to use over artists oils?

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What finish is best/safe to use over artists oils?

Postby Tony Brown » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:51 pm

Hello,
I am new to this forum. I hope to find my answer here as I have not been able to find it anywhere else. I am a hobby builder, and I am currently working on a custom telecaster Merle Haggard tribute guitar. I just got the body back from paint and it looks fantastic. It was painted with Winton oil by Winsor & Newton mixed with linseed oil. My question is, what is the best choice of finish that is durable enough for regular play, while not adversely affecting tone, and will not harm the artwork during application? I have never attempted this type of finish before, and apparently neither has anyone else that I can find. :D The paint dose have some texture to it which is ok as I am going for a somewhat aged, preferably satin finish.

Can anyone help me?
Tony Brown
 
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Re: What finish is best/safe to use over artists oils?

Postby Clay Schaeffer » Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:27 pm

You might consider using an "oil" varnish. I think some people like Pratt and Lambert #38 while others like Epiphanes. Whatever you do, test it on scrap first and limit brushing when applying the first coat so as not to soften and move around the painting underneath.
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Re: What finish is best/safe to use over artists oils?

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:38 am

Yep, they used to coat oil paintings with oil varnish. It should be compatible. And it does come in semi-gloss.
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Re: What finish is best/safe to use over artists oils?

Postby Ed Minch » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:09 pm

My fall back for a long time has been shellac. Shellac sticks to everything and everything sticks to shellac. (I have never used any high-tech finishes other than water based varnishes).

Ed
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Re: What finish is best/safe to use over artists oils?

Postby Tony Brown » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:55 pm

Thanks Ed,

Yes, so far Shellac seems to be my best bet. I found a product called "Royal-Lac" ( http://www.shellacfinishes.com/product- ... royal-lac/)which is a shellac based product which gives the warmth and adhesion of shellac, but also has the superior protection qualities of lacquer, polys, ect. I think I am going to give it a shot on this project.
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Re: What finish is best/safe to use over artists oils?

Postby Alan Carruth » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:43 pm

The basic painter's rule is 'fat over lean'. That is, you always want the coat you are putting on top to have more oil and less resin/pigment. A stiff coat on top of one that's more flexible will crack as it tries to move with the stuff under it.

I would not use just a drying oil, though. For one thing they don't really form an impervious film, so they might not protect the paint all that well. Worse, though, is that drying oils never really stop drying; they keep shrinking and getting harder forever. Painters actually go to some lengths to isolate the canvas from the oil in the paint to stave off 'rotting' of the cloth. Eventually the oils do deteriorate the canvas, and it has to be replaced; a process they call 're-lining'. I'm glad I'm not the guy who has to re-line a Rembrandt....

'Spar' varnishes have about the minimal amount of resin required to stabilize the oil, more or less. That makes them more flexible, but can also contribute to becooming sticky in humid weather.

Shellac is the toughest and most flexible resin, thanks to the way the lac bugs process it. There are softer resins that are often used to protect paintings, though, with Damar being more or less the standard. I've even seen 'Damar varnish' in spray cans. You might see if you can get some of that.
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