Q. Please help! I am painting a piece for a friend and am loving what I am laying down but with the most recent washes, the bottom layers are bubbling and peeling off as I paint.
In some areas it is the most recent layer of paint coming off, but in others it is right down to the first layer of paint. Have you ever had this happen? Would varnishing the piece, once completed, lock in the 'weak' layers? Or should I just toss it and start over?
A. Congratulations on your commission!
It sounds to me like the source of your trouble is this: When we add as much water as we do to our paintings, the chemical bonds in the acrylic film do not form properly. Weak bonds mean your paint does exactly what you described: It bubbles, lifts and peels right off. This is what is frequently referred to as crazing.
In order to keep this from happening in the future, I suggest you varnish each layer before you add the next one on top. Varnishing in between paint layers will make sure that the paint stays where you want it to stay. However, if you are afraid to touch the roller and varnish to your painting at this point, (and I don’t blame you!) use a spray varnish instead. Good luck!
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