Varnish with a paint roller?

franksmom_2010June 4, 2010

Ya'll are going to think I'm nuts, but has anyone ever done that?

I've got the series of paintings done, and I think they just look a little flat. I'm going to use a water based varnish to protect them, and was wondering if I applied it with one of those small touch up paint rollers, rather than a brush, if it would add just a bit of texture to the finished surface? Or will it just make a huge mess? I'd do a test patch on the back, first, but just wondered if anyone had ever done this?

I envision either a wonderful subtle texture, or a blobby, lint-filled mess. Help?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've never tried this, but my first impression was that you would get bubbles using a roller. Maybe Kraftymom has some advice. Can't wait to see your finished pictures. ;o)


    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Franksmom and Luvs.

I've never tried it but I personally wouldn't recommend it. Air bubbles and lint as both you and Luvs have mentioned above would be a concern but it wouldn't be my biggest concern.

I use sponge rollers to apply sky backgrounds in acrylic paint on some of my paintings and my biggest concern would be that a roller unlike a brush applies a very thin coat and an uneven one at that leaving gaps so you can't apply even coverage of an area without rolling over it several times. When using paint that is not a problem because it's all going to dry in color.

But....Water-based acrylic finishes dry very quickly just like acrylic paints and the coat applied with a roller will begin drying almost as soon as it hits the surface. If you have to keep rolling over it to get coverage, water-based finishes when layered upon while in the drying process will become a sticky milky-white mess and may not recover by drying clear.

If you still want to try using a roller I would suggest using a foam roller but certainly do a test piece first.

If you want to add texture to your finished piece without a roller you can apply a thin coat of finish with a synthetic bristle brush using different brush widths and strokes (half circles, swirls, etc.) to mimic the look of an oil painting. The brush strokes will leave ridges creating a textured finish. A good finish for achieving this effect is decoupage glue because of it's density, I use Plaid's Royal Coat brand. You could even use Elmer's Glue as many people do for decoupage. Once the decoupage finish is completely dry you can apply a water-based acrylic clear finish over it for more protection.

NOTE: The above technique will only work if you are using a thick finish. Some finishes are self-leveling and will naturally even out and become smooth before they dry.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 1:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much Luvs and Kraftymom!

Krafty, yes, that's the look I'm going for! I like your idea much better, and will definitely give it a try. I especially like the idea of using Elmer's, since that's what handy. And I'll absolutely do a test piece first, since that seems like a one-shot deal.

I'm excited about the paintings! I'm finished with the painting (unless I get an itch to redo something) and my frames are all painted and finished. I'm letting the paintings cure for a bit, and I've got them pressed with heavy books, since the cardboard kind of warped when they were covered with paint. I'm hoping that the finished look will turn out like it looks in my head, but you know how that goes.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 9:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Can't wait to see your finished works of art! :-)

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I want to see some projects from both of you, please. Sounds like you are about to share a great project with us, Franksmom. It's so great to have more joining in here on the painting forum.


    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 11:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, Punk! I'm hanging out here when I can, and reading old threads, and learning a LOT.

Well, I did some poking around, and found a product made by Mod Podge called "Brushstroke" that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for. It may just be very expensive Elmer's glue, but I'm going to give it a try. Just for grins, when I do a test piece, I'll do a side-by-side with Elmer's just to see how they compare.

I made the trip to the city today, and came home with more paint by numbers. They were on sale, I HAD to get them! LOL! I also bought one of those cheapo brush assortments. I'm not sure they're really high quality (but made by Plaid) but I thought it would be a cheap/fun way to try out different brushes, and there were enough rounds in there that I'll use that it was worth the price.

I'm going to be really busy the next week or two, but hope to get that texture on the paintings, and hopefully get them finished. I'll be sure to post pics of all of it when I'm done.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Franksmom, I could tell from how well you did the rose painting that you have a nice steady hand and some natural talent. While you paint the new pictures, notice how they have you use darker colors where the item would be shaded and lighter colors where the light would hit an object. Those are the basics for decorative painting--and once you get that concept, you are ready to tackle painting any pattern. You don't have to design your own, just look for free patterns online to start with. On our exchange page, there are a few books listed that some of us are ready to part with--they are free and most of us don't even expect an "exchange". Just think how much fun you can have adding a design to a flowerpot, or making a sign for your garden, etc.


    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:30PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Peg people
It has been years since I picked up a paint brush. I...
Valentine painted items
Have a couple of items I've painted for Valentines...
Crazy Turkey
I forgot to post this crazy turkey that I painted for...
1970's-1980's decorative painting books?
Can someone help me please? I painted from some books...
New projects in the Gallery!
If you haven't checked out the Gallery in a while,...
Sponsored Products
Fitzgerald Sectional - Lucky Turquoise Blue
Joybird Furniture
Spyder Dining Table
| Italy Design
Polaris Floor Lamp by FontanaArte
$2,895.00 | Lumens
Highland Large Tray
$475.00 | Horchow
Bamboo Rug Rectangular: 5 Ft. x 8 Ft.
$129.00 | Bellacor
Mushroom Stain A-Frame Swing Stand
$199.99 | zulily
Rotaliana | Luxy H0 Ceiling Light
$369.00 | YLighting
AXO Light | Kudlik 50 Suspension Light
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™