Coating varnish based on Punic wax.
The varnish is based on the legendary Punic wax, described by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia in 77 AD. It is designed to cover the painting layer of an icon created by: wax tempera (you can buy it here), oil, encaustic, and egg tempera.
Punic wax is obtained from natural beeswax using a technique that has been used since ancient times in the Roman Empire.
The lacquer contains turpentine.
Wax varnish is not intended to cover the gold on an icon, the varnish should only be applied to the colorful layer!
Advantages of a coating varnish based on Punic wax.
* The lacquer will never turn dark or yellow.
* The lacquer dries quickly without collecting dust.
* After drying, the lacquer gives a matte surface, which is recommended to polish to the desired shine with a dry brush or a soft cloth.
* Applying varnish to an icon covered in olive oil significantly reduces
The “peeling off” of the linseed. Olifa is less likely to yellow under a layer of Punic wax varnish.
Recommendations for varnish application.
The varnish is applied with a flat synthetic brush to the colorful layer of the icon, including the assisted cutting of the clothes, but do not allow the varnish to get on the gilding of the background and the halo.
We recommend applying 5-10 thin coats. (A thin layer of varnish dries for 3-5 minutes). The more coats you apply, the shinier the surface you can get when you finish polishing the varnish.
Allow the lacquer to finally dry for 1 hour, after which it is recommended to polish the surface with a wide synthetic brush, thus increasing the transparency and luster of the coating. After that (better the next day), in addition, very lightly polish the surface with a soft cloth (best to use a cloth that is usually used to wipe glasses).
Punic wax varnish dries in two stages. The first stage for a few minutes, immediately after evaporation of turpentine varnish. The second stage is additional hardening of the wax, which occurs after one to two days.
If the wax gets a little on the gold during coating, it is not a problem, after coating the gold with a protective oil varnish, the area where the wax varnish came out on the gold will be transparent. (or carefully remove the wax that has come out on the gold with pinene).
It is recommended to cover the gold at the end of the work, after covering the painting with wax varnish.
About wax varnishing an icon painted in egg tempera:
Icons painted in egg tempera (painting only) must first be covered with a thin layer of varnish, let the varnish dry (2-3 days). Then cover with a layer of wax varnish, let the varnish dry and then polish it off with a brush. The next day, you can additionally wipe the coating with a soft cloth to give an even shine.
You can also read more about this technique here http://zharovstudio.com/ru/statyi/tehnika-enkaustiki-v-sovremennoj-praktike-ikonopisaniya
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