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Thread: Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

  1. #1

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    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    I haven't finished my testing yet, but I have found some favorable results with an acrylic varnish made by Golden. They claim is is made with convervators in mind: it is removable, and contains an anti-UV agent.



    It is called GOLDEN Polymer Varnish with UVLS. The trick is to follow their instructions about applying an "isolation layer" before proceeding with thicker coats. Be sure to get the Gloss version, since the Satin and Matte lighten the low values in the print.



    I have been using it on Pt/Pd prints, and notice an increase in dMax. It's not a huge increase, but it's enough to remove the "dead" look that some can have. Not all Pt/Pd images need this treatment, but it's nice to have it available as another tool.



    A helpful trick is to polish lightly between coats, with a plastic "steel-wool-like" scrubber, either 000 or 0000. This will prevent bumps and irregularities as you apply more coats.



    The Golden Varnish does much better than any wax I have tried. Of all the waxes, Gamblin Cold Wax did the best, (which was very little) but Mr. Gamblin told me that he has no idea how long or how well that wax would hold up on Pt/Pd prints on fine-art paper.



    As Bruce so aptly stated, none of these products will likely give you the fabled "air dried fiber darkroom print" look. My lame attempts have given me a deep respect for the people who developed it.



    So far, I have had no luck with turp-based varnishes on watercolor-type papers. They penetrate the paper instead of staying on the surface. Additional coats merely sink deeper, until the entire print is saturated, and dries like a large potato chip, but still no gloss per se.



    Shellac stays on the surface, but even the best quality Shellac contains some yellow coloring, and this is objectionable on most prints. On the other hand, when applied and lightly polished between coats, it has given the best coating to date. I can understand why it is used on fine furniture.



    If anyone has some helpful information to share, I would be most grateful !

  2. #2

    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    Terry King reported that if you pre coat the paper with albumen before coating with the pt/pt solution, that you get the "wet" look.....did not work for me, extended printing times too long, but it might work for you... :-)

  3. #3

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    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    Ken if you intend to use varnishes your paper will require an isolation layer... such as some waxes ... then you can apply the classic varnishes.... (strangely... Marshall's photo oil 'Dryer' acts as a wonderful isolation layer on smooth papers even adding a soft luster and increasing Dmax on it's own) once you have an isolation layer suitable to your paper you can varnish your print to anywhere from luster to high gloss...... the process is rather time consuming though!!

    Cheers Annie

  4. #4

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    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    Annie -

    Thanks - I don't mind the time spent, if the result is worthwhile.

    I will try the Marshall's product.

    If you can recommend a particular wax, that would be very helpful ! When I tried varnish over wax, the wax was dissolved by the solvent of the varnish.

  5. #5

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    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    Ken... most of my stuff is still packed away (moved again!!) so I don't have my notes to hand. However, as I recall it would not have been a pure wax but most likely a wax medium (these also contain resin among other things) used in oil painting burnished into the surface... my suspicion is that the Marshall's dryer is a similar product. Also I think there is a wax product specifically for photographs made by Dorlands... if you wish to proceed with the varnishing much depends on the strenth of dilution and medium for the resin of the varnish... you might also wish to consider an acrylic isolation layer as varnishes will also adhere to these. I really didn't end up doing a lot with varnishes as I felt it separated one from the image (also the dust factor was a nightmare!) and am now looking for something to size papers with that will get the dmax but still allow you to 'enter' the paper surface. Cheers & good luck!

  6. #6

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    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    Just a thought.... keep it simple... they still don't know what caused all the problems with Stieglitz's platinum work.... might have been the varnish or the wax!! : )

    aic.stanford.edu/jaic/articles/jaic34-01-001_indx.html

  7. #7
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    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    Ken, instead of the isolation coat, you can also try Golden's Airbrush Transparent Extender. It functions like an isolation coat, but has more levelers in it, and may do a better job of going on without raising the grain of the paper. This was recommended to me by the people at Golden. I also recommend calling them ... their tech support is great.

    My teacher used to coat pt/pd prints with gelatin. He showed me how to do it ... not very hard to get good results. Not quite as glossy as an air dried silver print, but close. I haven't heard of other people doing this since then.

  8. #8

    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    I haven't heard of other people doing this since then.

    Did your teacher coat before coating with the pt/pd solution? This might be just a gelatin sizing and most papers dont need it for pt/pd, although some do. If he coated after the print was made, I tried that too.......it did not work as well to bring back the wet look of the print. I am thinking some kind of acrylic coating might be the solution, applied while the print is wet and let it dry with the coating. Who knows? I am in the process of trying similar solutions. One of the reason we have the "thud" IMO is the shrinking of the paper, it is the only reason I can think for the Dmax to get lower as the paper dries, and it is the reason why a few people do a double or triple pass on the same print. Is there a tape that would adhere to wet paper and dry surfaces?

    I know watercolor artists tape their paper and wet it, this might be a way to do it. I tried pre shrinking the paper, but that did not work. So here you have a few thing I have tried Ken, or thinking of trying.

  9. #9

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    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    "One of the reason we have the "thud" IMO is the shrinking of the paper, it is the only reason I can think for the Dmax to get lower as the paper dries, and it is the reason why a few people do a double or triple pass on the same print".



    Is this the same as filling in the irregularities of the surface ? When I think of a car that needs waxing, I think of the paint having a rough, gritty surface under magnification. Once the wax or polish is applied, the surface becomes smooth, and light which reaches the dark areas no longer scatterswin many directions. The surface becomes more mirror-like, more "plano-parallel", and the light which reaches the dark areas bounces off, so the darker areas look darker. (?)

  10. #10

    Coating Pt/Pd prints: results to-date

    Could be Ken. I was looking at the Golden link you provided and the have a hard Varnish made of acrylic....this might be the ticket. Apply it when the print is wet and it might prevent it from getting too much dry down...

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