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Author Topic: Varnishing
Nazarena
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Good, George - I'm glad Iconofile has Copal now.

I avoided excessive gloss by wiping quickly (perhaps stroking quickly is a better phrase)with the side of my hand as the olifa dried. However, because I used lead paints (red and white lead) I wanted a substantial protection over the surface since people will be venerating the icon.

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George
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I have a variation of the recipe provided by Nazarena. We just received Copal Medium from from Studio Products and it is an excellent copal medium that can be made into a copal oil- varnish thusly:
1 part Stand linseed oil
1 part Refined linseed oil
1 part Turpentine
1 part Copal medium

You can reduce the final gloss of this varnish by adding a small amount of white beeswax. All of the above ingredients are available from the Iconofile online store. (Note: If you do not see the Copal medium in the store now, you should be able to find there it on Monday.)

As always, test any new varnish recipe on test panels before applying to finished paintings.

--------------------
George O'Hanlon
Executive Director
Iconofile, Inc.
A nonprofit educational organization about sacred art

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Marina
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Dear George and all,

Thank you very much for your hints.
I'll do my experiences and tell you later.

best regards,

marina

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George
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quote:
Originally posted by Janet Pedersen:
Generally, when I've mixed olipha, it's about 50-50 stand oil and linseed oil. If, for example, I were going to make one cup of this mixture, how much drier should be added? And does Japan drier work as well as cobalt?

Follow the directions in issue 2 of the Iconofile Journal for mixing the right amount of cobalt drier to linseed oil, even if this is a mixture of stand oil and linseed oil. Do not use Japan drier in this mixture, becuase it will not have the same drying qualities.

--------------------
George O'Hanlon
Executive Director
Iconofile, Inc.
A nonprofit educational organization about sacred art

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Janet Pedersen
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quote:
Originally posted by George:
quote:
Originally posted by Marina:
[qb]1. The cobalt drier for preparing olifa is just the same as used to dry oil painting? I mean, the common one?

Yes, you can use cobalt driers available in many art supplies stores. We have two brands in the Iconofile online store for your convenience.
Generally, when I've mixed olipha, it's about 50-50 stand oil and linseed oil. If, for example, I were going to make one cup of this mixture, how much drier should be added? And does Japan drier work as well as cobalt?

Thanks.

Janet

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Nazarena
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Dear Marina and all,

The ingredient in the oil I now add to olifa is COPAL, not Cobalt drier. I had problems with simply linseed oil olifa drying and it was difficult to keep dust off the surface.

The two kinds of linseed oil are rather cheap and the mineral spirits definitely is. The copal varnish was US $1 for the amount for the recipe. So, the cost of the olifa is quite reasonable.

Copal might be available for you locally as well, I just included the Kremer number for the sake of clarity.

I have never used cobalt, so can say nothing about how it works.

hope this may help.

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George
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quote:
Originally posted by Marina:
1. The cobalt drier for preparing olifa is just the same as used to dry oil painting? I mean, the common one?

Yes, you can use cobalt driers available in many art supplies stores. We have two brands in the Iconofile online store for your convenience.

quote:
Originally posted by Marina:
2. And the refined linseed oil, we should use the raw or cooked one?

You should use refined linseed oil. It is not the same as raw linseed oil, but neither is it cooked linseed oil. It is hot-pressed linseed oil that has been refined with alkalines and filtered. The Iconofile online store also has refined linseed oil for this purpose.

quote:
Originally posted by Marina:
3. What do you think about the use of a varnish after the olifa is dry, with the purpose of reducing the shining of the icon? In italian, we call it "vernice tampone", and we use here as "tampone" shellac or wax varnish.

Olipha is varnish, so there is no need to apply another varnish over it, in fact, this is not recommended at all. You can control the glossiness of the olipha by using less olipha or by controlling its drying time. The article has more details about this.
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Marina
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Dear Nazarena,

Many thanks for your reply. I am not sure I can find this "oil Kremer Flat #79030" here in Brazil, but I'll look for it. What I enjoyed on the recipe of the iconofile Journal was its apparent simplicity, with ingredients that can be easily found anywhere. But it seemed to me so simple that was in doubt if they were just the common cobalt drier and so on.

I paint icons since 2000, but we have many problems with varnishing. Then we imported from Zecchi, Milano, a Olifa, and following the instructions of the article on the Iconofile Journal plus our previous experiences and errors, we had success. But the point is that we cannot depend on importation, for it is too expensive for us. So, we must do our own Olifa.

We prepared a microcristalyne wax varnish, very similarly to the formula given for the dammar varnish, and applied to the icon 15 days after the olifa. Then after a week the surface was polished. It gives a smooth, non brilliant appearance. And as we here have some places with very high humidity, we think that it may also help in protecting the icon.

many thanks,

marina

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Nazarena
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Dear Marina,

What I have found to work well is the following:
2/3 Cup Stand Linseed Oil
2/3 Cup regular refined linseed oil
2/3 Cup white mineral spirits (paint store quality)
1/3 C (or 75 ml) of Hard drying oil Kremer Flat #79030 (which is a mixture of copal resin, linseed oil and trimethylbenzol. The number is important because there is another formulation of this which dries with a high gloss).

This dries relative quickly ( 3 days in warm climate) to a soft, gloss - hard to describe, but one which is lovely on egg tempera. I cover it with a cardboard box to keep dust off the icon's surface while it dries. The Stand oil is, as you most likely know, naturally thickened linseed oil. So this olifa really is mostly oil.

I watch it, scraping off the excess with my hand. One does have to treat it as traditonal olifa = it just dries more quickly.

Hope this helps some.

Nazarena

P.S. I have oome to this after ruining halos with just linseed oil when I have been wiping excess off that is still tacky... and it takes gold as well.

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Marina
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First of all, I would like to tell you that the article on the Iconofile Journal on varnishing with olifa was of a big help for me. Thanks indeed.
Now some questions:
1. The cobalt drier for preparing olifa is just the same as used to dry oil painting? I mean, the common one? (which is the only one avaliable here...)
2. And the refined linseed oil, we should use the raw or cooked one? (Sorry, I don't know if the word "cooked" is the right one in English).
3. What do you think about the use of a varnish after the olifa is dry, with the purpose of reducing the shining of the icon? In italian, we call it "vernice tampone", and we use here as "tampone" shellac or wax varnish.

Many thanks,

Marina

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George
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Apparently an excess of oil varnish remained on the icon and it is not drying properly, although it should completely dry in time. Wrinkling of the olifa may be caused by an excessive amount of drier added to the oil, or the drier was not evenly mixed with the oil. Cobalt driers are surfaces driers, so that if the film is very thick, the surface dries faster than the underlying film causing it to wrinkle.

You may try carefully scraping the surface to remove some of the olifa. Fine steel wool can be used for this prupose, too, but with any abrasion or scraping on the surface of the icon you must proceed with caution.

--------------------
George O'Hanlon
Executive Director
Iconofile, Inc.
A nonprofit educational organization about sacred art

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SEG
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Help part 3
To give you as mch information as possible... the icon is still in a slightly tacky state.
Can one use a super fine steel wool to take these areas down such as you would on wood varnish?

I have a friend who tried to peel off the oil and ruined her icon as the gold lifted off.

It seems if you lighty sanded the surface you could take it down and then re-oil.

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SEG
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Help part 2
Added information is that the icon is 6 months old so the paint waas dry. Also the second oiling was thin as well as the first so the wrinkles are not raised high but still noticable.

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SEG
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Help.
I oiled my study icon according to the new Journal . I used the method of a light oil first, dry overnight and re-apply oil. It turned out great.
My main icon a much larger one I did the same way.

It is getting wrinkles on part of the surface. What can I do to fix this??
Please help.

This one took me a great deal of time and I waited to oil to get your journal and as much info. as possible. It is for our church.

I don't know what to do now?

Thanks

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George
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quote:
Originally posted by SEG:
Does the color of Cobalt Drier change the colors of the icon? The Cobalt Drier I have from a local store is deep blue and when I mixed it with oil it became lighter. On my test gesso board it seems to be a mauve shade.

Cobalt driers do not alter the color of olifa significantly if used in the proper amounts. Of course, cobalt is dark blue, but in the amounts you should add it will only slightly change the color of the oil. You should never add too much, as this will cause other problems, such sa causing the film to wrinkle. You may also want to "age" the olifa once it is mixed in sunlight. This tends to bleach the olifa and make it lighter.

--------------------
George O'Hanlon
Executive Director
Iconofile, Inc.
A nonprofit educational organization about sacred art

Posts: 911 | From: Northern California | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged



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