Mastering Oil Varnish

Masterclass on the preparation and application of oil varnish for luthiers


Programm for 2019:

The masterclass reveals a great part of my own experience, based on practice and experimention, fulfil with lectures and sharing with collegues and chemists.

A theorical part will help trainees to understand the mechanism of chemical reactions in order to anticipate the different steps of varnishing.

We will focus on varnish preparation, cooking and application.

The trainees will receive matured varnishes in order to start varnishing from the first day.

These varnishes are prepared on the same basis of those we will be making.

Coming with an already stained instrument (or with a ground) is recommanded. A protocole can be sent by e-mail if needed.

At the end of the week, each trainee will carry home a bottle of each varnish made during the course.


Theoritical part :

  • Security

  • wood finishing and ground

  • Relationship between ground and varnish
  • Characteristics and finishing of the varnish surface
  • The different pigments used in violin varnish
  • Sanding and polishing
  • Reflection and shine
  • The ustensils and the impact on cooking
  • Defects, problems and possible solutions

Pratical part:

  1. Initial stage (if not already done)

. Wood finishing / Staining

  1. Ground (if not already done)
  2. Varnish making
  • How to prepare and improve drying oils
  • Cooking of different type of resins
  • Natural colorants used as ingredients in the cookings
  • Differents type of solvants
  • Siccatives
  • Filtering and storage

4. Application

  • Drying of varnish coats
  • Preparation and mixing of pigments in a medium
  • Brushes choice according to viscosity
  • Finishing work for a desired shine, according to the surface state

 5. Drying and polymerisation

  • Ventilation / light
  • Time
  • U.V

Price for the Masterclass 2019

900€ for the trainees residing abroad

For the residents in France, please go to the page in french, or contact me for further informations.

The price includes materials used during the masterclass, the teaching and the varnishes that will be made.

A list of accessories and protections to bring will be sent after application received.

Payment, made by check or bank transfer, is made in two time: the deposit (20% of the total) is paid at the time of booking. The rest is paid no later than 30 days before the beginning of the masterclass.

A receipt will be given at the end of the course.

Cancellation :

If a trainee is forced to cancel his participation in the course, the deposit will be returned to him but he will then be asked to provide the documents justifying this situation.


This year the next session will takes place from the 7th to the 14th of september


For further informations, please contact me.