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Why Oil Paintings Need Varnishing

Varnishing unfinished oil painting is an essential rather than anoption, and that for at least three reasons:
1. to protect the paint and surface of the picture ;
2.to prevent dirt and other atmospheric pollutants degenerating the image.
3.to help in drawing the various elements of the oil painting together;
4. to protech them fromultra violet light.
1. Oil paintings may accidentally be damagedif people tend to be careless in handling them. Vanish will not protect against everything but it will provide a limited barrier against lighter damaged . Relatively superficial scratches, for example, may affect the varnish but not the oil paint underneath.
2.Elements in the atmosphere can inflict longer term damage to an oil painting . Tobacco smoke, for example, will this colour the appearance, as mayother atmospheric pollutants such as dust and (perhaps to a lesserextent today) sort but also other airborne particles.
It will often be possible to rescue an oil painting from such damage but it may needan expert to do it and experts usually require expert sees.
3.When an artist paints a picture in oils he will typically use a variety ofcolours, types and even makes of oil paints . These paints will tend to vary in their finished appearance. Some, for example, have a greaterdegree of gloss than others, while some will have more of a matt finish. Applying varnish will impose a uniformity across the whole picture which tends to draw its different elements together and give it a more attractivefinish.
4. The pigments used in oil paintings need to be protected from any damage or fadigng which ultra violet light might cause.
The cost of varnishing an oil painting is quite small, even when using one of the better quality varnishes. This cost assumes an even smaller relative value when you consider all the time and effort you have put into it. It is notonly a finish which, for the above reasons, should be regarded as highly desireable, but varnishing ought really to be seen as an essential part of completing the painting.


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