A random babbling on creative spirits-

Random babbling on the creative spirit~painting, sewing, baking, boys, an irresistable God and the next 200 feet~

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Life in art: buffing encaustic

Hem of His robe
To get a good shine and to reveal  depth in encaustic it is essential that you buff the surface of your painting. This can not be done when it is still warm or just newly completed but must wait until the (waxen) layers have had time to settle and cure. It is not done just this once, but frequently, at regular intervals throughout the life of the painting. As is the case with all works of art they must be cared for, tended to, cleaned and even repositioned in order to be used and appreciated to their full value. As glass covered watercolors need Windex and a rag; acrylics need feather dusting and assemblage a sometimes vacuum, so encaustic takes well to a buffing.
There is no need to be rough or course in this cleaning; encaustic is most receptive to a soft, nonabrasive cleaner. It's beauty and depth is most clearly revealed through a gentle application of this nonabrasive attention. If having been left for a long duration unattended to, it may take a time or two of this cleaning in order to reveal its true depth and potential, but notice increased pressure or hand in the stripping away of accumulated layers will not effect it nearly as well as this gentle hand applied more frequently and with intention to stripping away the accumulation in layers: As they accumulated so they must be removed.
It is this beautiful attention to consistent attention that will reward the most beauty, value and worth from your encaustic painting. Of course it is durable enough to withstand long periods of neglect, after all its very nature is one of ancient invention and creative largess. But never will you find the best it has to offer coming from neglect or ignorance of this type; so prescribed regular attention is always preferred-with benefits far outshining the investment of effort put forth to maintain its beauty. And know, as you establish this routine of regular attention, care and maintenance along with cleaning, the work of it becomes more and more easy. You find yourself, if not enjoying the task of cleaning away accumulation, at least finding no extreme difficulty in coming to it as a routine in your regularly scheduled living.
Come here to Me
 It becomes not so much cleaning and maintaining as renewing and refreshing. Care for your work of art to its fullest with these simple, achievable guidelines and it will give back to you a lifetime of abundant joy and pleasure~

in love. trish


  1. A great post. I'm obsessed with buffing my encaustics.

    1. I can tell from the great work on your site Serena :) Thank you~

  2. I like to use plain tissue paper-not the Kleenex tissue, but the gift wrap tissue. I wad it up into a ball and buff away. It buffs up nicely with it!

  3. Today is my official buffing & hanging day. Getting ready for a show this Friday!

  4. What do you use to buff your paintings, Trish ?

  5. Do you use the adhesive remover pictured to buff your paintings?

  6. I use pantyhose! LOve :) Sometimes the end of my tshirt...but don't tell~