Encaustics 101

Definition of Encaustic

  • Encaustic: a paint made from pigment mixed with melted beeswax and resin and after application fixed by heat; also : the method involving the use of encaustic or a work produced by this method

Care of your Encaustic Painting

  • In order to keep your encaustic painting in pristine condition, you’ll want to buff the surface (exceptions may apply) in order to bring out the shine and vibrancy of the colors

How To Buff:

  • Gently (but firmly) buff the surface of the painting, using small concentric circles, with a soft, lint-free cloth (an old t-shirt or pantyhose) whenever you notice dust or a hazy appearance. This hazy appearance is called “bloom.” Bloom is a natural part of the beeswax hardening process. Over time, the bloom will stop as the wax cures and the painting matures. Once cured, your painting will shed dust easier and keep it’s polished look.

Temperature Considerations:

  • You should avoid extreme temperatures, such as leaving your painting in a hot car, or transporting it in very cold conditions as this can soften or crack the surface. Don’t worry, it’s not going to melt unless it reaches 142º F or higher. Like all fine art, your encaustic painting should be kept out of direct sunlight.

Encaustic Quick Tips:

  • Keep out of direct sunlight (as with all fine art)

  • Keep at normal room temperatures, avoiding anything above 100º F and below freezing.

  • Avoid buffing areas with mixed-media elements or any areas with a considerable amount of texture. There’s a possibility that you could damage the painting by buffing some sections too vigorously.