Dammar Oil Varnish and Oil Painting Medium

Dammar (or damar) or soft copal varnishes are soft, very flexible, and transparent but dry slowly. These varnishes have a bright appearance and a faint pale yellow color. The color may be varied from golden yellow to yellowish brown by gamboge, dragon's blood, and asphaltum.

The proportion of the different ingredients varies between:

Ingredient Parts
Dammar 100
Boiled linseed oil 50 to 120
Spirits of gum turpentine 200 to 500


The dammar is pulverized and dissolved in spirits of turpentine, and boiled linseed oil or linseed oil to which a liquid drier has been added is run into the solution.

If the harder kinds of dammar are used, they may be more soluble in linseed oil by adding a small quantity of soft dammar.


Based on the text from John Geddes McIntosh, The Manufacture of Varnishes and Kindred Industries, Based on and Including the "Drying Oils and Varnishes" of Ach. Livache, Vol. 2, Greenwood & Son, 1908, p. 163