How to store your Varnish

Today we will talk about the difference between Spirit and Oil varnish. 

As we said in this blog post, we have two different types of varnish:  

  • Spirit Varnish evaporates with time. Just like you dry clothes you also dry instruments thanks to the air, that makes the alcohol evaporate. As long as you close the jar everything is fine. 
  • Oil Varnish is completely different from the previous one. The non-saturated oil boils and you mix it with resin. The heat launch the process of polymerization, which is the equivalent to the evaporation in spirit varnish. What causes this process is UV light (aka the sun) and air, oxygen. If the environment is warm it will be quicker.

These two processes also determine two different ways of storing the varnish: 

  • Spirit Varnish – you can leave a little bit inside the jar and nothing will happen. As long as you close the lid it will stay that way. Keep the jar clean and close it well, it will stay intact for years.
  • Oil Varnish – you have to fill all the way up the jar, in order to have no air inside. If there is even a bit of air inside, the varnish will polymerize and even break the glass. The key here is to find smaller jars to put your varnish in, to be able to keep it away from the oxygen.
    Here the jars I use: https://www.amazon.it/Lotto-piccole-marmellata-Nutley-coperchio/dp/B008N6NV3Q/ref=sr_1_44?__mk_it_IT=ÅMÅŽÕÑ&keywords=small+jar&qid=1583507005&sr=8-44
    Once you filtered your varnish, you can put it into small little jars up until to the top. In this way the varnish will stay in the same stage for years, otherwise the polymerization will make it more dense and harder to apply. 

Why am I using both varnishes? 

I think it is nice to keep an open mind, every kind has some advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to know both and choose the best for your instrument. 

All the best,
Edgar Russ

Contact master edgar russ