Design Living Rooms

Design Living Rooms

Applying varnish

Varnish should be applied with care to any finished surface. To facilitate drying, the air should not be damp so, ideally, you should varnish on a dry, warm day. Make sure the area you are working in is well ventilated a protect all surrounding surfaces with plas sheeting before starting work.

Many types of brush may be used, inclu ing a standard paintbrush, and it is a go idea to experiment with various differe types until you feel comfortable with 01 Tin ‘Glider’ brushes are used for applyi thin light varnishes; pointed brushes are b for using with shellac; while a chisel-head lily bristle brush will do for most other ty] of varnish application (other than sheila Treat yourself to a good brush and look al it, cleaning it after every use. Never i varnish brushes for painting.

Coat the first third of the bristles w varnish. Take care not to wipe the bn against the rim of the pot as this cau bubbles. Transfer the loaded brush straight the surface of the piece, brushing the vam from the centre outwards. Remove a excess with a clean rag. Apply several co of varnish, as necessary, brushing each one a different direction. The final coat, especi; if using a gloss varnish, will need a lis rubbing down with fine wet-or-dry paper fine steel wool.

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To achieve a crackled surface effect, ‘agei and ‘crackle’ varnish can be bought toget. as two separate bottles one of which cc tains slow-drying oil-based varnish and other quick-drying water-based varni These work against each other to create decorative cracked finish.

First paint the surface of the furniture a pale oil-based paint. When the base coa completely dry, apply the oil-based varni according to the instructions, to the wh of the area you wish to ‘crackle’. Use a fitch to ensure the layer is thin and smoc Leave this to dry for about 45 minutes until it is tacky to the touch. Apply second varnish, also over the whole ai This can be left to dry naturally or aided hot air from a hair dryer. As the top varr dries, a network of cracks will form. A about an hour, when this process is comp! and the varnish thoroughly dry, artist’s paints or tinted oil glazes can be rubbed i


1 When the oil-based base coat is dry, apply the crackle varnish with a fitch. Once dried, apply the second coat.

2 As soon as the varnish has dried the crackle will appear. Using a hair dryer will speed up the drying process.

3 When completely dry, rub tinted oil glaze into the surface of the cracks with a soft cloth.

4 Rub off excess glaze with a clean cloth to leave dark cracks on a light background. Seal by applying a varnish.

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