Mounting (and sealing) my watercolors on canvas – Varnish Update

In my quest for the best methods and materials to use to mount and seal my art, I’ve discovered a new varnish that I like to use for the final finish on my watercolors that I mount on acrylic-embellished canvas.  Liquitex Satin Varnish has a great, light consistency for a final varnish finish and contains a UV filter to protect against UV damage.

I’m currently using this varnish “straight up”, without mixing in any matte varnish because I like the satin balance of gloss and matte.  Here in Denver, Meininger always seems to have this in stock.

Note: Be sure to visit my other post with more details on my canvas-mounting process here!

liquitex-satin-varnish-labe.jpg

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15 thoughts on “Mounting (and sealing) my watercolors on canvas – Varnish Update

  1. Elaine Dube July 9, 2007 / 2:34 pm

    Do you spray it on, I have used the watercolor canvas and sprayed it on that. Would love to do paper this way. Any tips appreciated. Thank you

  2. davidcastleart July 10, 2007 / 5:50 pm

    Hi Elaine! I actually paint my watercolors on paper that I then mount (basically glue) to acrylic-embellished canvas. So, I use a spray varnish for the watercolor on paper and the acrylic varnish above for the entire artwork.

    I posted details on my entire process here. Hope that helps!

  3. Karen Bicknell March 28, 2008 / 4:23 am

    My question lies in the fact that I like to use full sheets of watercolor paper. How can I mount my sealed watercolor to a gallery style canvas? What would I do with the corners overlapping the canvas? – Do you just wrap them around and brush with the varnish to seal the whole painting? And what type of stretched canvas can you use?
    Any help would be wonderful!
    Thanks!
    p.s. Love your work. Karen
    Karen

    • chris January 10, 2012 / 3:57 pm

      Typically I deckle the edges of the 300lb watercolor paper that i use so that it fits a standard canvas wrapped surface… and then i use the liquitex satin varnish on the whole thing… works great… you can use windex to wash the surface after at least 2 coats and drying inbetween…
      LOve it

  4. davidcastleart April 10, 2008 / 10:21 am

    Karen – Thanks for your comment and questions about how I mount my watercolors on canvas.

    Basically, I always mount my watercolor paper onto stretched canvas that is larger than the paper, so there isn’t any paper overlap. So, for a full-sheet watercolor paper, I build a stretched canvas that is either 24″x32″ or 26″x34″, depending upon how much of a canvas “border” I want to have around the mounted watercolor paper.

    For some of my standard sizes, I use factory-made stretched canvas (“The Edge” made by Creative Mark, available from online supply stores such as dickblick.com and aswexpress.com). For custom sizes and anything larger than 30″x30″, I buy the appropriate 1.5″ deep stretcher bars and stretch my own canvas.

    I typically embellish the stretched canvas with acrylic paint around the edges and on the sides to create a “finished” canvas before mounting my watercolor paper.

    Hope this helps!

  5. nakedpastor June 28, 2008 / 3:56 am

    hi david. i googled “mounting watercolor paper to canvas” and your blog came up. what kind of glue do you use to adhere the paper to the canvas? and is the varnish water or oil based?

  6. Barbara Alpert July 25, 2008 / 2:10 pm

    Hi David, I also would like to know what kind of glue you recommend to adhere paper to canvas. I believe you answered this question on June 28th but I do not see the answer on this site.

  7. Justin Brett March 18, 2009 / 11:00 pm

    Hi David

    I would like to know what the name of the spray varnish you use to seal your watercolours with?

    Thanks

    Justin

  8. Mary December 5, 2010 / 1:47 pm

    When gluing watercolor paper to gallery wrapped canvas, how to you prevent or get rid of air bubbles?

    • Steve December 20, 2011 / 8:35 am

      There is a link above in a comment covering the entire process. He uses a piece of plywood which fits in back of the canvas frame to press down on the painting. I do acrylic on paper, and I just used medium to “glue” it to the canvas, then sprayed the entire piece with the varnish. It looks great.

  9. chris January 10, 2012 / 5:13 pm

    My question is … how to preserve a watercolor painting done directly on the canvas… the paint is developing a crackling effect after about 4 years on the canvas… can i paint more watercolor on it and seal it??? and seal it with what???
    OR do i use watered down acrylics to retouch the original painting??? I’d appreciate any advice and or experiences of other artists…
    Thanks
    Chris

  10. chris January 10, 2012 / 5:13 pm

    January 10, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    My question is … how to preserve a watercolor painting done directly on the canvas… the paint is developing a crackling effect after about 4 years on the canvas… can i paint more watercolor on it and seal it??? and seal it with what???
    OR do i use watered down acrylics to retouch the original painting??? I’d appreciate any advice and or experiences of other artists…
    Thanks
    Chri

  11. Nan June 22, 2016 / 6:16 am

    Have you tried this on the (cheap) canvas wrapped panels?

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