1 Three reasons to varnish:
a) The wet-stone effect
Varnishing an acrylic, oil or watercolour painting benefits it on three levels. There’s the wet-stone effect that not only brings out the colours, but also increases their depth. This is particularly noticeable with the darker colours that tend to dry matt and chalky.
b) Colour protection and UV filter
A coat of varnish will not only enhance colours in your work, but add a layer of physical protection to your painting, too. Some varnishes also contain an ultraviolet light filter that prevents the scene from fading. These varnishes can be more expensive, but are well worth considering.
c) Preserving your work
There are permanent and removable varnishes, but in the case of conservation it’s always better to use a removable varnish. This will help matters if your work ever needs to be cleaned in the future. On the other hand, most permanent varnishes are archival and prevent discolouring and fogging in the first place.
2 Pick your type of varnish
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