First I unframed the piece and adhered just the drawing to a 12x16" Ampersand Claybord with Grafix double tack mounting film adhesive. Next I sealed the drawing with Lascaux UV Protect spray, let it dry and then sprayed two coats of Krylon Kamar Varnish to seal and protect the drawing. I thought the spray might darken the colors but they were vibrant enough and remained so. The drawing sat for 24 hours and next I brushed on several coats of Golden UVLS Polymer Varnish Gloss letting each one dry in between. Here came the problem; I wasn't careful enough when brushing on the varnish, not only was I getting tiny air bubbles but I was getting brush marks. I tried to smooth out one "gloppy" area after the varnish had begun to dry and thus ended up with brush marks. Because the surface is so glossy, if I held the piece to the light, one could see all the imperfections. I learned that you have to be very, very careful when applying the Golden UVLS Polymer Varnish, any imperfection on the surface can be easily seen and detracts from the artwork.
I remembered that when I called Golden company tech support, the person I spoke to told me to be sure the artwork was sealed and protected with a spray varnish before brushing on the polymer varnish. The polymer varnish is water based and he told me that for conservation purposes, if museum quality artwork needed to be cleaned and re-preserved years from now, the polymer varnish could be easily washed off, the piece cleaned and preserved as the layer of spray varnish would not wash off and preserve it.
I was very frustrated with my piece so I took it to the sink and proceeded to wash off all the layers of the polymer varnish, holding my breath and just hoping I wouldn't damage the artwork. All of the polymer varnish washed off but the piece looked wet and cloudy for about a day. I was worried and discouraged I might have ruined it but was pleasantly surprised when I came back to the studio two days later and found the drawing perfectly dry, looking like it had before I started. The double tack mounting film kept the drawing perfectly adhered to the claybord also. I was really happy! I began again brushing on coats of the polymer varnish, much more carefully this time. I made sure I diluted the varnish exactly two parts varnish to one part water and let each coat dry before I applied the next. I didn't count how many coats I applied but I think probably about 6 or 8. I'm very excited because I accomplished what I set out to do, with a little bump in the road in which I learned from. I'm ordering a frame and will exhibit the piece in my studio or in a gallery and will most interested in viewers' comments.