Do NOT varnish acrylic ink paintings!

I recently painted a really pretty little box canvas using my FW acrylic inks

Based on a sketch of a still life, set up by a friend of mine.

Today, 10 days later, I tried to varnish it using a gloss acrylic varnish and a large flat brush.

And now I am sad.

The varnish has dissolved the inks and caused all the colours to mix together and turn muddy.

It might be possible to get away with using a spray varnish (I haven't tried it) but please please please don't use a brush!

Meanwhile, I'll give this one a few days, remove the varnish (using varnish remover), re-gesso the canvas and start again with a more durable medium.


  1. Aw how gutting :( I suppose you never know if you don't try but all the same! Hope the next one's more successful x

  2. Oh that's such a shame, it was so pretty too. Sometimes making mistakes is the best way to learn though, you won't do that again!

  3. How right you both are Kathelle and Margaret. We're all learning all the time!

  4. That is frustrating, such a lovely painting too.

  5. It has a misty soft focus effect. Someone might like it that way.

  6. Oh Stephanie what a shame. I am finding glazing a problem too in my art journals. Brushes are useless. Have you tried applying with a credit card. Though perhaps it could be the varnish too. Trial and error I suppose sadly. I am going to get some gel medium which people keep mentioning but I don't know how it works on paintings. I know it works for mixed media art journaling. Good Luck with the next one.

  7. Awww... poor you. I quite like its softness, but I can see that you would be pretty fed up about this! I once spent a lot of time printing Thomas the Tank Engine pictures, cutting them out with care, then using them to embellish a play-table, on which I had drawn railway tracks with a marker pen. Once I had finished, I started to paint on some varnish... which dissolved the marker and smudged it everywhere, ruining my table.
    So I know just how you felt!
    The only comfort could be that you didn't try this on a big piece, that had taken you days and days of work...
    Show us the re-done version when you finish? X


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