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Acrylic Paintings >> Acrylic Discussions,  Q.A. >> Polyurethane as a final coating

Message started by Admin on Oct 13th, 2007 at 8:54pm

Title: Polyurethane as a final coating
Post by Admin on Oct 13th, 2007 at 8:54pm
From: Don Jusko []
Sent: Friday, October 12, 2007 8:31 PM
To: Larry Dobbs
Subject: Re: Polyurethane, Larry, Don

Larry Dobbs wrote:

> Don - you told me about the poly. but do you have to put polyurethane or any varnish on every painting or can you not use anything at all and leave it as it is? Is there a downside to leaving it as is? thanks, Larry

Hi larry, you can leave it as is, but a clear coating of water based polyurethane as a final coat will not yellow and will bring out the richness of dull areas and colors and afford extra protection. I never go without it. Plus it's not sticky like what the others are selling. they are dry to the touch but will stick togather if stacked.


Larry Dobbs wrote:

> Don - I saw this one on Blicks?
> Jo Sonja's Water Based Polyurethane Varnish provides a protective finishing coat of exceptional toughness and flexibility, a coating that resists chemicals, heat, and abrasion. Cleans up with water. Can be used for exterior use by applying at least 6 coats.
> Clear and non-yellowing. 8 oz (237 ml) bottle.

Don: I'm an innovator, every manufacture comes to my site. This is the latest, transparent yellow was the first. Jo Sonja's can copy and sell it, but, like I said, go to your hardware store and get it a lot cheaper :) The idea is to get the best for our living artists. In history it took 200 years after a two generation war to get the artists up to High Art Standards. We have been at war since 1890, but we have the internet now so information can get passed on a lot faster. Charging for the information would slow the process down, I think. That's why I give it away free.

Title: Re: Polyurethane as a final coating
Post by RobertG on Nov 10th, 2008 at 3:30pm
Hi, Don, let me say 'thank you' for adding me to your wonderful forum.

I have noticed your use of water-based polyurethane as a finish coat for acrylics - I think I saw some of your paintings where a coat of polyurethane was used as an 'initial' coat, over a pencil/charcoal initial drawing.
I like that idea! No more smeared drawings and muddy paint!  Do you use both methods, or did I imagine it?
(There are so many great example paintings on your site, I sometimes lose track of a particular technique. ) *s*

;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

Title: Re: Polyurethane as a final coating
Post by Admin on Nov 10th, 2008 at 10:53pm
Hi Robert, you're welcome and thanks for posting.

Yes I did a water based poly on a few drawings before they bacame paintings. I did it because I liked the fact that if I painted a layer of white acrylic on the panel and let it dry the next layer painted smoother. The poly did seal the support but didn't add any white for a cleaner surface to show through. I couldn't use the open background as final paint while I was painting so I didn't really save any time.  The method I eventually ended up with is a white layer of acrylic before the drawing. Than drawing with charcoal because it wiped off so cleanly. Replaceing the charcoal with a thin line of blue acrylic with Liqutex clear thin medium added to the thin blue color for added streanth. Now when I wash the board clean it's really clean and ready.

I'm really glad you posted. While I was thinking of a reply, two photos I took of my last painting shows exactly what I am talking about and I had not finished posting them on my web site. In fact I had not finished the whole page, it was just sitting up there with no photos. No telling how long that would have gone on if you didn't bring it to my attention..

Here's the finished web page. Notice on day four how I used white chalk on the painting where I wanted to make changes the next day.
And here are the two photos showing how I start a painting today.

Charcoal Drawing on acrylic white over gesso.

Blue Lines over charcoal washed clean with water. Lousy photo, it was burned out because of the bright white, I had to really bump it up to see the lines and now the white background doesn't look white.

Title: Re: Polyurethane as a final coating
Post by RobertG on Nov 12th, 2008 at 3:23pm
Don, thanks so much for the detailed explanation using polyurethane!

My first thought was, if you use it to cover an initial pencil drawing, does acrylic paint tend to 'slide off' the slick surface?

Title: Re: Polyurethane as a final coating
Post by Admin on Nov 12th, 2008 at 8:36pm
No, not at all. Oil won't stick... acrylics will. The nature of the beast.

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