Why You Should Always Varnish A Painting?

Every creative thing that is made by an artist need some sort of finishing once it’s completed. Similarly, when you are done making a painting then you need to provide finishing to it. In the world of painting, we do it with the help of varnishing.

In simple terms, varnishing is applying the final layer of paint on the painting once it’s completely dry and finished. The aim of varnishing is to protect the painting from dirt and dust in case you decide not to frame it. On the plus side, varnishing helps in rectifying minor errors in painting that are still left even after it’s completed.




There are 2 types of varnishing available to go for. One is the matte varnishing and the other is gloss varnishing. Both of them provide different sort of finishing to the painting and have its own advantages and disadvantages. A matte varnish will leave a slight frosted-glass appearance when applied whereas the gloss varnish will provide a completely clear appearance. Depending upon the needs of your painting you can opt for the either. Commonly, both of these varnishes are applied directly with the help of a brush or via a spray can.

Varnishes are not permanent on your painting. They are usually removable in time if in case it gets damaged due to pollution in the environment or becomes discolored. For acrylic paints, special sort of varnishes is used because of their characteristics. The varnishes available for acrylic paints will usually be solvent or water based.




In order to bring out perfection in varnishing, here are some useful tips to help you out!

  • Varnishing should always be done when the painting is totally complete that is when the paint becomes completely dry. If you apply varnish while paints are still wet then most probably your painting will get ruined.


  • Varnishing is a process that needs to be done with a completely cool mind. So, there is no need to hurry when you are varnishing unless you want to destroy your hard work. Mistakes are quite often in varnishing and then tend to occur only because of impatience of painters.


  • Make sure that varnishing flows without any brush marks if you are using a brush to varnish. If brush marks appear then dilute the brush in some water and then apply the varnish.


  • Always opt for a removable varnish. You never know when you get the need of bringing in certain changes in your painting. A removable varnish will also give you the advantage to always keep your painting as good as new in case it gets dirty too much.


  • Varnishing acts as a protective layer on the painting so that it remains in perfect shape. However, if you are going to frame your painting then varnishing is optional but is a good thing to do.


  • Do not get done with just a single coat of varnishing although you may feel it’s okay. Apply at least 2 coats of varnish up to a maximum of 5 coats.


  • Varnishing is just like painting. The only difference is that you are just finalizing your painting with it instead of making it. So, remember the same painting tips and painting precautions to follow in this case too.

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