As I understand it the wax or varnish is used to increase the contrast of a matte print and does very little, if anything, to actually protect the print. Ansel Adams in his book The Print describes the use of lithographer's varnish. I have done this in the past and the contrast and overall appearence of the print improves. Actually very little varnish is left on the print so there is nothimg to collect dust.
Any wax applied to a print should be a hard wax like carnauba and not a soft wax like beeswax.
Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 07-10-2012 at 08:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.
A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
I have experimented with a product called Renaissance Wax -described as a "micro-crystalline wax polish".
Refined waxes blended to a formula used by the British Museum and restoration specialists internationally to revive and protect valuable furniture,leather,paintings,metals,marble,ivory etc.
Apply sparingly with soft cloth and buff gently. Dries hard instantly. Resists spillage. Does not show finger marks.
All that's printed on the tin. I use it for prints that will be displayed,unprotected by glass.
Several years on - no adverse affects noted.
I, also, have used Renaissance Wax. I tried several coats on a few palladium prints on Arches Platine and on Bienfang Graphics 360 that had been dry mounted to a heavier paper. In each case there was a slight increase in apparent d-max and a very slight sheen. I also tried it on some lith prints that were on a semi-gloss paper. Again, there was a very slight increase in the gloss - not all that much different than what one would see after buffing the print with a very soft cloth. I did this 3 or 4 years ago and I don't see any adverse effects.
I hadn't considered it but I like Smudger's idea of using it on prints to be displayed without glass.
I agree with Darkroom Dan on this -the effect is subtle,by no means a panacea.By which I mean a print with poor D-Max won't be saved - Small effect,but just noticeable. Atmospheric crud wipes clean without effort (fly specks for example).
I'm rather reassured by this - I'd rather show a print than hide it in a box because I can't afford to glass and frame it.
Excellent on silverware too ,which I guess is what silver/gelatin is anyway..