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Thread: Aerosol varnishing?

  1. #1

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    Aerosol varnishing?

    Excuse the noob question here (just putting my toe in the LF arena) but is anyone using modern day clear varnish for tintypes (aluminum) and glass delivered through an aerosol spray can? Im thinking this would be handy for when you are doing portraiture at art events and want to cut down on the time of the whole process by using clear aerosol varnish.
    Does anyone use this?

    Thank you for any feedback on this.

  2. #2
    Foamer
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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    I too have been thinking about this.


    Kent in SD
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  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    Butyl acetate print lacquers are probably still made, though might be banned in some states. Nasty stuff requiring caution. They're quite clear, but start to noticeably yellow within a couple decades. Don't underestimate either their flammability or the hazards to your lungs and nervous system! Clear acrylic art store sprays from Krylon (not the hardware or paint store variety) would be far safer; but I don't know if they'd have any adverse reaction with the emulsion or not. You'd have to test.

  4. #4

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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Butyl acetate print lacquers are probably still made, though might be banned in some states. Nasty stuff requiring caution. They're quite clear, but start to noticeably yellow within a couple decades. Don't underestimate either their flammability or the hazards to your lungs and nervous system! Clear acrylic art store sprays from Krylon (not the hardware or paint store variety) would be far safer; but I don't know if they'd have any adverse reaction with the emulsion or not. You'd have to test.
    Way back in the day many portrait studios used McDonald sprays to texture and to protective coat prints. Most of the more successful studios used a spray booth that was vented to the outdoors and had an exhaust fan in them. Overtime the spray residue accumulated within the booth and the ventilation duct.
    Several studios burned down when a short in the fan caused the residue to ignite.

    When my daughter got married Monte Zucker and Clay Blackmore did the photography. A couple of weeks after the affair we received a beautiful book of their proof prints. A couple of days later Montes studio burned up destroying almost everything, including the negatives of her wedding before we could order proofs.

    That stuff can really be dangerous! Plus the spray fumes are not good to inhale!

  5. #5
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Edd Carlile View Post
    Excuse the noob question here (just putting my toe in the LF arena) but is anyone using modern day clear varnish for tintypes (aluminum) and glass delivered through an aerosol spray can? Im thinking this would be handy for when you are doing portraiture at art events and want to cut down on the time of the whole process by using clear aerosol varnish.
    Does anyone use this?

    Thank you for any feedback on this.
    I have a few glass ambrotypes I have sprayed on from a rattle can that are several years old and still looking fine. It's not as smooth a finish as poured on varnish, but it does dry quick and that counts for something. Give it a try.

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    Flaming sandarac varnish isn't all that safe either.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7

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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    Much obliged to hear some experience and opinion on this.
    Cheers!

  8. #8
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    The quickest "varnish" for event-tintypes would be Renaissance Wax, which people were using a few years ago. I don't know how much archival protection it offers... Anyone?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Aerosol varnishing?

    It's a pure microcrystalline paraffin wax, so shouldn't yellow. But being a wax, things can get embedded in it. I use a well shaken out microfiber cloth for application, to avoid lint. But I'd never use wax on a potentially valuable print.

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