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Mixing oil colour and varnish


luthierwannabe
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Hi,

Is there a correct way to mix artists oil colour with say spar varnish? Should it be mixed then heated or just mixed cold? Should the oil colour be diluted first then mixed? What proportions should be used?

Tony

The transparent iron oxide dispersions that I have can be mixed directly cold, without prior dilution. I don't have proportions for you though.

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Hi,

Is there a correct way to mix artists oil colour with say spar varnish? Should it be mixed then heated or just mixed cold? Should the oil colour be diluted first then mixed? What proportions should be used?

Tony

The iron oxide pigments are a bit dilute. The best use of mixing oil colors would be for reddish tints. You can also buy oil-soluable colors, of course.

Ten percent dilution of spar varnish with xylene may be better for brushing thin coats. Use the xylene to disperse the oil colors before adding to the spar varnish.

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Hi,

Is there a correct way to mix artists oil colour with say spar varnish? Should it be mixed then heated or just mixed cold? Should the oil colour be diluted first then mixed? What proportions should be used?

Tony

When I used the spar varnish, I just poured some varnish into a small jar (2 oz.) about 3/4 full, then squeezed a bit of Windsor Newton artists oil color from the tube onto a small glass square and mixed it in directly with the spar varnish with a wooden stir stick. They are both linseed oil based and very compatible. You can mix the artist oil colors (in order to alter the basic color, if it isn't exactly what you want) to suit, and then try some on a sample piece of ribstock.

This was the first violin I varnished with spar varnish colored with W/N transparent oil colors from the tube.

I like it

post-3950-1279928155_thumb.jpg

post-3950-1279928176_thumb.jpg

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Oil colors like Windsor Newton often come in both permanent and transparant versions (will have a marking on the tube). I have had far better results with the transparant tubes. If I'm adding it to oil varnish, I dissolve it in a little turps first, then strain it into the varnish to get any leftover lumps out (there will always be some of you mix it directly into the varnish). Works for me.

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I agree with David; the transparent iron oxides are much more transparent than any tube color I have tried. They are not absolutely transparent, but probably close enough for all but the darkest violin finishing.

I found that 10 - 20% gives a very strong color. The transparent iron oxide itself has quite a bit of binder in it, and I found that 100% colorant still formed a dry film, much like a varnish, but way too concentrated.

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The iron oxide pigments are a bit dilute. The best use of mixing oil colors would be for reddish tints. You can also buy oil-soluable colors, of course.

Ten percent dilution of spar varnish with xylene may be better for brushing thin coats. Use the xylene to disperse the oil colors before adding to the spar varnish.

I dont know where I can obtain xylene. Could I use turpentine for the dilution?

Tony

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When I used the spar varnish, I just poured some varnish into a small jar (2 oz.) about 3/4 full, then squeezed a bit of Windsor Newton artists oil color from the tube onto a small glass square and mixed it in directly with the spar varnish with a wooden stir stick. They are both linseed oil based and very compatible. You can mix the artist oil colors (in order to alter the basic color, if it isn't exactly what you want) to suit, and then try some on a sample piece of ribstock.

This was the first violin I varnished with spar varnish colored with W/N transparent oil colors from the tube.

I like it

Hi CT,

That is the exact colour that I have been trying to acheive.

I have been using Lukas Studio Fine Artists oil colour. I mixed Indian Yellow and Alizarin Crimson and it didnt turn out too bad.

What colours did you mix to get that colour.

tony

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Oil colors like Windsor Newton often come in both permanent and transparant versions (will have a marking on the tube). I have had far better results with the transparant tubes. If I'm adding it to oil varnish, I dissolve it in a little turps first, then strain it into the varnish to get any leftover lumps out (there will always be some of you mix it directly into the varnish). Works for me.

Hi polkat,

I have been using the transparent ones also and they seem to work pretty good.

What do you use to strain it with?

Tony

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Here's a photo shot through varnish on a slide, of a tree about 50 feet away, colored with violins88 supplied iron oxides. I've never seen transparency like this with tube colors. Lack of clarity around the edges is optical distortion due to a meniscus.

IMG_2750%20mod.jpg

David..that is amazing. I'm going to have to try iron oxides.

Thanks...Tony

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thanks for the info, all. Craig what are you using now instead of spar varnish?

I am still using Ace brand oil based Spar varnish...

i have added iron oxides as a colorant - which I really like, as mentioned above, but the fact is that transparent artist oil colors also work well for me as a colorant, and are redially available everywhere.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend using them.

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Hi CT,

That is the exact colour that I have been trying to acheive.

I have been using Lukas Studio Fine Artists oil colour. I mixed Indian Yellow and Alizarin Crimson and it didnt turn out too bad.

What colours did you mix to get that colour.

tony

I'm pretty sure it was Van Dyke brown and a touch of thalo blue in spar varnish.

Over thin Garnet shellac (from flakes) as a ground/base coat.

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The iron oxide pigments are a bit dilute. The best use of mixing oil colors would be for reddish tints. You can also buy oil-soluable colors, of course.

Ten percent dilution of spar varnish with xylene may be better for brushing thin coats. Use the xylene to disperse the oil colors before adding to the spar varnish.

Pardon my ignorance. Are we speaking of some kind of special expensive violin spar varnish or the spar varnish I am familiar with--the regular spar varnish off the shelf in the hardware store?

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Pardon my ignorance. Are we speaking of some kind of special expensive violin spar varnish or the spar varnish I am familiar with--the regular spar varnish off the shelf in the hardware store?

Hi Jemallie,

I cant speak for the others, but I am using ordinary spar varnish straight off the shelf of Home Depot. Behr, Super Spar, Clear gloss No.45. It seems to work well. BTW I'm new to this and stiill learning. The help you get on this website is fantastic. Thank you all for your friendly advice and expertise

Tony

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