Page:Cyclopedia of Painting-Armstrong, George D (1908).djvu/392

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384
CYCLOPEDIA OF PAINTING

brush into the varnish, to apply it almost in the same manner as paint across the work, and then to finish by lightly stroking the surface all in the same direction with the tip of the brush, so that the varnish flows and the brush marks are obliterated. Special brushes are required for varnishing, and it is useless to attempt to do good work of this character with an ordinary paint brush. There is no economy in buying a cheap varnish brush. The work done with one is very likely to be marred by the bristles coming out, and such tools only last a comparatively short time. A varnish brush when put aside for a day should be put in either raw linseed oil, or, better still, in some of the same varnish in which it has been used. It should be suspended and on no account to be left to rest upon its bristles. When not required for further use for some time it should be washed out first with raw linseed oil, and then with turpentine, and then wrapped in paper and- put away in a cool dry place.

When to Varnish. It might appear that it is unimportant when varnish is applied so long as the work is inside, and is not exposed to showers of rain. As a matter of fact, varnish is the most susceptible material used in painting, and the better quality it is the more sensitive is its nature. In hundreds of cases of varnish which turned out badly, it is safe to say that in nine cases out of ten the trouble is to be attributed simply to the state of the weather. If varnish is applied on a foggy day, for instance, it is almost certain to bloom, that is, a dull appearance almost like the bloom on fruit will appear on the surface. This is difficult to get rid of, although a rag dipped in kerosene oil passed over the surface will often assist. It sometimes happens that a day may be free from rain, and yet a very bad one to do varnishing because the atmosphere may be charged with humidity. A dry day and a warm one is the best for applying varnish. Still, there are other considerations which should not be overlooked. A hall which was var-