Painting Varnish – Purpose & Protection

Painting Varnishes What does a Varnish do for a Painting? The varnish layer plays a dual role: it has and effect on the final appearance of the painting and also serves as a protective coating for the paint surface. Varnishes intensify the appearance of pigments on the painting surface by the refraction of light. This is called "saturation." Although varnishes are traditionally clear, they can be toned or altered with the addition of pigments and other materials. Toned varnishes may be utilized to balance a painting whose appearance has changed with age.