Any protective coating that contains a drying oil, such as tung oil or linseed oil. Some early resin-oil varnish recipes in the 12th century contained a resin, such as sandarac, amber, or copal, dissolved in a boiled linseed oil. Oil varnishes dry by polymerization producing a tough, insoluble film. They have a dark initial color that darkens more with age. When used on oil paintings, they may cause cracking and wrinkling of the paint layers. Long-oil varnishes, such as spar varnish, have a high proportion of drying oil. Short-oil varnishes have a lower proportion.
Synonyms and Related Terms
"vernis à l'huile (Fr.); barniz al aceite (Esp.); vernice cotta (It);
Examples include: cooked oil varnish; hard oil varnish; linseed oil varnish; oil resin varnish;
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
- Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
- Paint in America, Robert Moss (ed.), John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1994 Comment: Ian Bristow "House Painting in Britain"
- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000