Can Watco Clear Wood Finish be used on acrylic paint?
Reader Question: Can Watco Clear Wood Finish be used on acrylic paint? I want to varnish my acrylic paintings - one I did on canvas and the other on a wooden cabinet, so is it okay to use the wood finish for both or do I need to buy a special artist varnish? Thanks for your help.
Although it may be tempting, I wouldn't recommend using Watco Clear Wood Finish (or any wood varnish) on either of your acrylic paintings, whether on canvas or on wood. You will get the best results by using a varnish that has been specifically created for use with acrylics, such as Golden Polymer Varnish
or Golden MSA Varnish
Since wood finish is designed as a final sealant for furniture, doors, cabinets, etc, it doesn't have the same chemical composition (and resulting qualities) as acrylic varnish has.
Here are three reasons why artist varnish is more suitable for acrylic paintings than wood varnish:
- Most artist varnishes are UV-resistant, which protects your acrylic paintings from the discoloration that can occur from exposure to sunlight. Wood varnishes may or may not be UV-resistant - you'll need to check the label.
- Even though a wood varnish like Watco Clear Wood Finish may dry clear, the varnish will probably yellow over time. An artist varnish won't - it will remain clear.
- Additionally, most artist varnishes are removable, which means that they can be removed if the artwork underneath needs to be cleaned.
If you don't mind that your paintings will turn yellow or discolor over time, then you technically can use Watco Clear Wood Finish as a final varnish - just be aware of the drawbacks!
I personally like to use Golden Polymer Varnish
on my acrylic paintings, whether on wood or canvas. Whichever varnish you choose for your acrylic painting on canvas
, make sure it is a "flexible" varnish (as opposed to a "rigid" varnish, which will crack if applied on canvas).
For your acrylic painting on the wooden cabinet
, it would be ideal to varnish the wood with something like Golden MSA Varnish
, which is tougher than the polymer varnish and less susceptible to dirt and dust.
Hope that helps and best of luck with it!