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Liquitex Gloss Medium and Varnish is an all purpose medium, formulated to be mixed into all acrylic paints and mediums. Mix into any acrylic paint to enhance the depth of color intensity, increase transparency, gloss, ease flow of paint and add flexibility and adhesion of paint film. It can also be used as a non-removable varnish to protect painting and establish gloss sheen surface. It is translucent when wet, but very transparent when dry. It dries to a non-tacky, hard, flexible surface that is resistant to retention of dirt and resists discoloring (non-yellowing, non-fogging) due to humidity, heat and ultraviolet light. depending upon substrate, it is breathable (allows moisture to pass through). It will not crack as surface expands and contracts during temperature and humidity changes. Applicable for any surface (flexible and inflexible) suitable for acrylic paint and mediums, such as canvas, paper, wood, Plexiglas, etc. Not for use over oil paint. (see additional technical information at bottom of page)
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Liquitex Gloss Polymer Medium 8 oz
Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish - 8 oz
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Liquitex Gloss Polymer Medium 16 oz
Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish - 16 oz
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Liquitex Gloss Polymer Medium 32 oz
Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish - 32 oz
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Liquitex Gloss Polymer Medium Gallon
Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish - Gallon
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APPLICATION AS A MEDIUM

As An Extender:

  • Mix with Soft Body Concentrated Artist Color to extend volume and increase transparency, while maintaining paint viscosity.
  • Mix with Heavy Body Artist Color to extend volume and increase transparency, while decreasing paint viscosity.

As A Fixative:

  • Use as a fixative over artwork (acrylic paint, pastel, graphite, chalk) to increase gloss or shine. Mix 1 part Gloss Medium & Varnish to 1 part distilled water. Apply with atomizer or airbrush.

As a Binder / Adhesive:

  • Powdered pigments or aggregates may be mixed into Gloss Medium & Varnish, however they must be compatible with acrylics.
  • Collage material may be glued using Gloss Medium & Varnish as a liquid glue.

As A Ground:

  • Use as transparent ground for acrylic paint instead of gesso. Allows substrate to be seen. To prevent Substrate Induced Discoloration, wash cotton or linen canvas before use. 

With Powdered Pigments:

  • Use as a binder with powdered pigments to make an inexpensive student grade Soft Body gloss paint.

APPLICATION AS A VARNISH

  • Gloss Varnish for flexible surfaces is recommended as the best varnish for acrylic paintings.
  • Apply Gloss Medium and Varnish as a final permanent varnish over dry acrylic paint.
  • Varnish surface and environment must be clean, dry and dust free.
  • Acrylic paintings must be completely dried and cured for: 48-72 hours before varnishing.
  • Dilute Gloss Medium and Varnish up to 20% for better brushing and leveling.
  • Application may be done by brush or spray. Generally a sprayed application will be thinner, smoother and more even. Rolling or sponging application is not recommended.
  • Caution: Acrylic paints and mediums become increasingly brittle in cold weather. Do not apply below 60 degrees.

Brush and Paint Pad Application

  1. Use a wide, soft hair brush or paint pad (vacuum pad prior to use to remove lint). Size of area to be varnished will determine the size of the applicator. The smaller the surface area, the narrower the brush. Generally, a 1-4" flat brush is used.
  2. Apply varnish in 1-3 thin coats, rather than 1 thick coat. A thick coat will take longer to dry, may dry cloudy, may drip or sag during application and has a greater chance of showing brush strokes when dry.
  3. Horizontal surface application is best with less chance of varnish running. After varnishing, the surface should be shielded with a protective "tent". This will prevent any dust or airborne particles from settling into varnish as it dries.
  4. Apply varnish in slightly overlapping pattern that covers entire artwork. Apply in horizontal and vertical brush strokes, so that entire area is evenly coated.
  5. Do not rework areas you might miss, as the brush could pick up partially dried varnish and cause clouding. If areas are missed, wait until the varnish is dry and apply another coat.
  6. When applying Liquitex Permanent Matte Varnish or Satin Permanent Varnish, apply no more than 1-2 thin coats. A thick application may result in cloudiness when dry. If more than 2 coats are desired, first varnish with Gloss Medium & Varnish until desired thickness is achieved, then final varnish with matte or satin varnish.

Spray Application

  • Refer to Techniques and search on "Airbrushing" for more detailed information.
  • Most even application method.
  • Use for textured surfaces (thick impasto, thick textures), where brush application may result in foaming and fragile surfaces (watercolor, tempera, graphite, pastel, gouache), where brush application may disrupt drawing or painted surface.
  1. Select air pressure (PSI) depending on air gun used and viscosity of varnish. Greater PSI permits thicker varnish to be sprayed, but may affect fragile surfaces.
  2. 2-3 light even coats are better than 1 thick coat.
  3. Spray a continuous film by moving the spray gun in a smooth motion from one side of the painting to the other. First coat horizontal, second coat, third coat horizontal, etc.
  4. During spray application, maintain same distance across the surface of the artwork. Move your body as well as your arm to avoid "arching" motion and uneven application.

Varnish Thinning

  • Thinning increases penetration and can make it easier to apply varnish.
  • Over thinning may result in weak varnish film, poor adhesion, running and soaking into substrate.
  • You may thin Gloss Medium & Varnish with water up to 25% for better flow, leveling and for spray applications.
  • Thin with small amount of Flow-AidTM/water to reduce brush marks or spray apply. Refer to Liquitex Paint Additives: Flow-Aid Flow Enhancer.

Varnish Removal

  • Not removable. Do not attempt to remove these varnishes with harsh solvents.