Acrylic Finishes for Watercolor

I’m often asked about the acrylic mediums I use to finish watercolor paintings.
Here are the products I use.

American Easel in Salem Oregon makes a wonderful birch cradled panel that is reasonably priced. Most art stores carry them. Or order special sizes, 6 at a time, direct from the factory.
They come in deep — 1 5/8 inch
or extra deep — 2 1/2 inch

This orchid painting is on a panel 40 x 50 inches

Golden makes top quality, archival products and has a great technical support staff. I trust Golden over other brands for protecting my art. Available at most art stores — order the larger sizes up to a gallon.

  Archival Varnish MSA with UVLS: An aerosol spray used as a fixative for
coating Aquabord or to use on watercolor, to keep paint from lifting
when applying wet acrylic mediums. Use several coats of gloss. If you’re
not using top coat you might add a final coat of satin if it’s too

GAC 100: Use two coats to seal wood panel, preventing acids from leaching into paper and turning it yellow over time.

Soft Gel (gloss): Use as a glue to adhere paper to panel.

Top Coat with UVLS (semi-gloss): Apply over well varnished painting to protect surface without using glass. I brush on two coats, one horizontal and one vertical. Can be thinned with water if needed. Brushes on white, dries clear!

This medium is an alternative to the acrylics above. Used as a protective finish, it can be applied without using any varnish, as it isn’t water based and will not lift paint.

Brush from paint supply store – usually 1 to 2 inch
Blue painters tape
X-acto knife
sheets of plastic, cardboard or wax paper

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