Dammar gum is a resin secreted by a tree in the Indonesian Islands. It has been used since the 19th century in painting for the manufacture of varnishes and painting mediums. It produces a natural, transparent, satin-to-gloss finish, which does not yellow over time. Used as an adjuvant in oil paint and wax, it is soluble in the aqueous phases and is diluted in the essence of turpentine.

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Dammar gum is soluble in the oily phases. It can be used in varnishes. It will then form a natural and transparent varnish that does not yellow over time. The application of such a varnish will allow a final appearance that can vary from satin to gloss.

Manufacture of varnishes for wood and painting : Grind 200 to 250 grams of Dammar gum. Let the gum infuse for a few days in 1/2 litre of turpentine. Filter. We obtain 700 ml of natural varnish to cover about 7 m², paint 1 to 2 coats spaced at least 24 hours apart. The satin or gloss aspect of the varnish once dry will depend essentially on the number of coats applied : the more they are, brighter will be the finish.

Oil painting : Mix 1/2 volume of linseed oil + 1/4 volume of turpentine + 1/4 volume of Dammar varnish (see above). Add the crushed pigments to give the desired colouring. Dammar gum is used as an adjuvant in oil paint. It allows the paint to be "workable" longer after application on the canvas. During the paint drying process, the gum dammar will form a surface film on the paint. This film is transparent and hydrophobic, making it possible to waterproof the surface. This film will also allow a better fixation of the pigments on the support, prevent cracking in time and avoid oxidation of the pigments allowing a better stability of the colors in time. The gum dammar is rather neutral in color and will not give any particular tint to the paint. 

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