1. Having a smooth coat of varnish depends on a dust-free environment.Before beginning, be sure your work area and instrument are completely clean.Clean out the inside of the instrument by blowing through the end button hole or using a reverse-suction vacuum.Use a knife or pointed scrape to remove the meniscus in the rib-plate joint.Remove any “pickers” with a plastic scraper. Brush off any remaining debris and then use a tack cloth to pick up any extra particles.
2. Mix the siccative with the varnish thoroughly on a glass plate. Use 2-3% siccative, where 1 drop=.018 grams and roughly 1 teaspoon of varnish=3 grams.
3. Mix in any pigments until the desired color is achieved. Lacca Rubia® can be mixed up to 30% by weight to varnish.If you want to adjust for any differences in the color of the wood, be sure to reserve a section of regular varnish.
4. Begin by dipping the foam into the varnish and dabbing it onto the instrument.Then tap or “print” over the area to distribute the varnish evenly.This is done rapidly, at about 2 impressions per second.By repeatedly tapping over areas, the varnish is transferred from a thicker area to a thinner area until the layer is completely even.
5.Due to the longer drying time, you can work in larger areas, or even over the entire instrument.This allows you to put on as thin of coat as necessary, depending on how much varnish you have mixed.
6.To apply varnish to the ribs and around the volute of the scroll, use a small sable brush.Tap with a foam pad to blend into the rest of the varnish.Separate a small portion of varnish from your main batch for use with your brush.This will prevent in loose hairs or dust from contaminating the rest of your instrument.