How To Varnish A Watercolor Painting
Contributed by Kathryn Ragan
There are two basic approaches to varnishing. In the first, you complete the painting and then fix it to a prepared frame, finally spraying with an archival varnish. The second involves gluing your watercolor paper to a prepared frame, and then painting it. Because of my style of work, I prefer the first method.
I ﬁrst prepare the cradled frame, sanding the top, sides, and exposed bottom rim.
Then I apply at least two coats of the wood stain.
I then apply a smooth coat of gesso to prepare the surface for the gel and paper.
I apply gel medium to the frame surface, then carefully place it on the frame.
I cover it with acid-free paper, and gently use the rolling pin to ﬁx the work to the frame.
When dry, (and it dries quickly), I trim the edges with the exacto knife. When set, I apply the varnish treatment. The entire procedure takes about three days