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Oil painting is a characteristic medium of traditional painting. What many people don’t know is that oil painters need more than just a tube of paint to create a work on canvas. Oil paint pigments are activated through a variety of media; the three main ones are linseed oil, turpentine and damar. When mixed with oil paint, linseed oil increases viscosity and decreases drying time, while turpentine thins the paint and also decreases drying time. Damar is a resin-based varnish which, when mixed with oil painting mediums, dilutes the paint, increases its transparency and speeds up drying time. Used alone as a topcoat, it seals paints and adds a glossy finish. Make sure, however, that your paint is completely dry before applying it as a final varnish. Here is our selection of the best damar varnishes to meet your oil painting needs.
1. Damar Grumbacher varnish
Grumbacher Damar Varnish provides a protective topcoat for oil paints. Apply one coat to protect artwork from dust, dirt, smoke, scratches, and moisture. This varnish deepens the pigmentary colors and gives a shiny finish to the final compositions. Note: Wait at least six months after the paint has completely dried before applying it as a final varnish.
2. Varnish Dammar Winsor & Newton (Satin)
The 75ml bottle of Winsor & Newton Damar Varnish is a high quality substance that dries quickly with a satin finish. Opting for satin rather than gloss ensures that your final paint will not be dazzling.
3. Grumbacher Damar gloss varnish spray
Artists looking for an easy-to-use product would do well to choose Grumbacher’s 11-ounce spray can of Damar Gloss varnish. The spray format allows easy application. Specially designed for touching up oil paintings in the intermediate stages, this varnish revives dry areas and protects paintings before their final varnishing. It can also be used to even out the finish of completed jobs. Apply this product sparingly and in thin layers.
4. R&F Encaustic Damar Resin Crystals
This strong damar resin is specially formulated for encaustic painting. R & F’s damar resin mixed with beeswax produces a paint film with a high level of refraction, making colors bright. Grind and melt these crystals with wax to produce a high performance encaustic medium.
5. Eco-Maison Damar Medium
Eco-House’s 4-ounce bottle of damarwood serves as both a medium and a polish. When used as a varnish on finished works, it enriches the colors and protects the works against dust, scratches and fading. As a medium, it adds a glossy finish, thins paint, and speeds up the drying process.