After months of working on a large painting that is very dark, (a night time scene) I brushed on a coat of acrylic gloss varnish. The container says, "Non-removable". No, it didn't dry cloudy, but now that it is dry, you can clearly see the brush strokes of the varnish. They reflect the light depending on where you stand to view the painting. I'm very unhappy about it. I have never had this problem before, but I think it is because the entire painting is so dark, it shows the varnish brush strokes. What should I do to lesson the visibility of the strokes? Should I go over it with a spray varnish? Will that just leave another problem: Visible spray strokes? Any suggestions?

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Gosh, Justine, what a blow! I have had this happen twice in the past - the first time the varnish was probably too old, so it didn't flow as well as it would have when new. The second time I used a brush with bristles that were too thick and hard, so they left streaks. My varnish tin said that the product was able to be sanded when cured, so in both cases I added another layer of varnish (brushing across the grain of the previous strokes) and I lightly sanded the varnish, then resealed with a new, free-flowing varnish using a softer varnishing brush. The varnish had to be weel cured before I could sand though.

It might be worth seeing if your varnish is sandable. I don't know of any other option that wouldn't result in your paint being ruined. Perhaps others will have suggestions. It might be worth ringing your local art supplies store for suggestions.

Have you considered using a matte varnish over the top of the gloss. I did this with a couple of mine and the result was outstanding.

If it's not too late for my suggestion can I point you in the diection of either a small roller or a handled craft sponge(the second option is my prefered method) The handled sponges are available from many craft and diy shops.They are smooth and come in various sizes. It does'nt matter if your painting has existing brush strokes as the sponge simply fills the gaps!

Hope this helps,Stephen.

Sylvia Luscombe said:

Have you considered using a matte varnish over the top of the gloss. I did this with a couple of mine and the result was outstanding.

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