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An Essential Guide to Varnishing (2022)

by Maria Haider 19 Jan 2022

Everyone wants to keep his/her furniture and artwork safe from abrasions and scratches.

Varnish is here to serve the purpose.

No matter if you’re an individual, business owner, or carpenter, finding out about varnish does matter.

In this comprehensive post, we will cover:

  • What is varnish
  • How to varnish oil painting on canvas
  • What varnish can i use on acrylic paint
  • and lots more

Let’s get started.

What is Varnish:

Varnish is a hard, transparent, and protective film or finish used over various types of material, including wood finishing, artwork, and so on. The varnish is a mixture of resin, drying oil, and a solvent or thinner. With varnish, you can embellish a material with a glossy look. Varnish can also produce semi-gloss or satin sheens by adding flatting agents into it.

Proper use of varnish helps acrylic painting or finished oil look its best for longer. 

The varnish protects a material from dust and dirt. In addition, it’s among the easiest ways to enhance the overall appearance of a material, especially a painting.  

How to Varnish Oil Painting on Canvas

Before applying varnish to the canvas, make sure you spray the varnish underneath the canvas to even out its coverage. 

You should use thin layers of paint. In case you have to apply 2-3 layers of varnish, spray a coat and wait for 10 minutes to let it dry. 

Later on:

Apply the spray coats one after another, only after letting the previous coat become dry.

Varnish Oil Painting on Canvas

Suggested Read: Types of Oil Paint Brushes

Can You Use Varnish Over Acrylic Paint

It’s important to varnish over acrylic paint to protect it from UV rays, dust, and yellowing. 

On top of that, the varnish brings shine into your painting, and that shine makes the painting look even more vibrant in colors.

Here’s a recommendation:

Make sure you apply an isolation coat over the acrylic paint before varnishing over the painting.

An isolation coat is a transparent layer that keeps the underlying layer of paint and the varnish separate. 

The isolation coat helps paint layers retain their condition even if the solvent is applied over the paint to dissolve the varnish.

What Varnish Can I Use On Acrylic Paint

Though the varnish comes in satin, matte finish, or gloss, we recommend the gloss one. The reason is its glossy finish looks more attractive. 

You can still go with your own preference. 

You can mix up any of those types of varnish to bring out the finish you want. Keep in mind that you need some experiment to get it done your way.

What Is The Best Way To Varnish An Acrylic Painting

Whether you should use the spray varnish or the brushing one, that depends on the texture and surface of your painting.

As far as acrylic painting is concerned, we recommend brushing varnish. It’s because an acrylic painting has a smoother surface, and it’s also non-moveable.

Varnish An Acrylic Painting

Also Read: Acrylic Paint: Origin And Making

What Do You Use To Seal Acrylic Paint

The best way to seal an acrylic painting is varnishing. 

In the past, the varnish was brought out with natural material. The varnish was used as paintings’ covers, and when the varnish used to show the signs of aging, they were removed and reapplied. 

The benefit of using varnish is it preserves the actual colors of a painting.

Today, science has finally come up with permanent varnish made of synthetic material. The permanent varnish has been getting a tremendous response and popularity among buyers.

What Is The Difference Between Varnish, Polish And Paint

Varnish and polish are totally different products with different functions. 

Varnish is a sort of solvent paint that evaporates and leaves a transparent, glossy, and hard film. 

On the contrary, polish is a substance used for polishing various types of material.

When it comes to their functions, the varnish keeps paint from scratches. However, polish helps bring shine and smoothness on a surface by cleaning, grinding, and rubbing.

Difference Between Varnish, Polish And Paint

Regarding the difference between varnish with paint, varnish is transparent or has little or no color. Plus, it has no added pigment. On the other hand, the paint ranges from being translucent to opaque. In addition, it comes with pigment. 

Final word:

We hope this comprehensive post will help you get all about varnish, its uses and benefits. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below now.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Also Read: 

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