What Is Varnish – A Complete Guide to the Different Types and Uses in Packaging

what is varnish

The application of various finishing options can improve the display of objects and make them more appealing. Usually, the experts apply some coating on the surface of different items to glorify their appearance and entice potential customers. The additional coating layer offers more security besides improving the product’s appearance. Varnish is one of the most common methods used for coating purposes and provides a premium experience. 


A concern that frequently arises in industrial usage is rust or other corrosive debris. Materials that are tough in nature are also prone to rusting over time. They can suffer greatly if kept in improper conditions. Therefore, the varnish protects the products and keeps their surfaces clean by applying a firm layer that offers stern protection.


What Is Varnish


Varnish is a type of paint consisting of resins, solvents, and oils that protects the objects through a coating. They act similar to the paint and provide a more solid look to the items. It’s transparent in color, hard in nature, and used on wooden surfaces and other materials. Naturally, it gives a glossy look but can also deliver a semi-gloss look and feel to the items. 


It has minimal or no color and pigment, unlike paint or wood stain, which contains pigment. Some varnishes are also advertised as stains and varnish in one package. One of the most challenging aspects of varnishing is the lengthy drying time, permitting dust particles to gather and assemble on the surface.


You should expect varnish to dry in about 24 hours, though newer water-based formulas and polyurethane often dry faster. Although the drying time is more, the final coating it produces is of acceptable quality and doesn’t allow the material to rust.


What Does Varnish Mean


The terminology “varnish” refers to the product’s final appearance. It isn’t a phrase for a particular or unique chemical formula or composition. When applied, a varnish effect can be achieved using a variety of designs. Although there is a distinction between spirit-drying “lacquer” and chemical-cure “varnish,” it has historically been a broad term.


What Is Varnish Used For


For decades, marketing gurus have understood that most purchasing choices are made subconsciously. People often think about what is varnish and how it can benefit a business. Its importance can be gauged by the fact that customers make purchase judgments based on minor clues about a product’s quality and worth. Most buyers form opinions about items and businesses based on their initial impressions.


Varnish coating is also used in the packaging business to assist brands in defining the final product presentation and make it more secure while also capturing the attention of passersby. We are mentioning some of the critical uses of varnishing that highlight its importance:


  • It can be applied to the packaging box or the printed design to enhance its worth and make it look more premium. The varnish can fully protect the design underneath and give a suitable contrast. 
  • Fingerprints, dust, and smudge can hamper the display and turn the product into a complete mess. The varnish applies a coating layer, and usually, we can do it through spot finishing or any other technique. Its application on wooden surfaces makes it easier to clean them. 
  • During the printing process, you have the luxury to apply the varnish with wet ink, and it results in an outstanding and distinct design.
  • Varnish can also be applied to the walls, ceilings, and wooden furniture. You can mix the watery varnishes with the color of your liking to produce the desired effect.
  • As far as the wooden structures are concerned, it offers excellent protection against hazardous chemicals, moths, moisture, humidity, and other substances that can tear the wood. 
  • We can apply the polyurethane varnish on metallic surfaces because of its anti-corrosion features that are also water-resistant. 


The uses and application of varnish are diverse and are not limited to a specific industry. All varnishes are not alike, and there are differences in their properties which doesn’t make their usage restricted. 

Packaging Republic is a go-to platform for classy, sophisticated, professional, and glamorous printing designs applied to the object by skillful designers.


Different Types of Varnish 


The varnish coating options are limitless in the world of printing. The experts use cutting-edge technology and the latest printing equipment to apply the finishing on packaging boxes and printed designs. You can check out the types of varnish that are related to the printing industry:


  • Gloss


The printing experts can guide you better on what is gloss varnish and how you can use it in a firm’s branding. Gloss can be applied on the entire object surface or on the particular areas where you want the coating. It blends well with the color and adds more depth. As a result, the colors appear fascinating to potential buyers and entice them to check them out. 


The gloss varnishing is available in UV and aqueous form. The aqueous finishing is more appropriate for a solid finish, and if you want a higher gloss with more scuff resistance, UV is the right option. 

  • Matte


The matte finishing allows us to easily read the text or labels on the printed object. Compared to the gloss varnish, it provides a softer touch and has non-reflective properties. We can also apply it with great accuracy. The matte varnish offers extra protection against the fingerprints on coated and uncoated papers making the images look a lot softer.


Customers love to get the feel of a product or the printed design. This matte varnishing enhances the user experience by making the touch experience worthwhile for the shoppers to check the design before purchasing the product. 


  • Satin


The satin varnish lies in between the gloss and matte. It gives a softer touch to the images and, at the same time, offers supreme protection from the fingerprints and scuffs that can impact the whole design. The gloss and matte are mixed to produce the satin. 


The subtle touch makes the satin varnish more popular because others don’t recognize the coating applied to the box. This varnishing is also suitable for any oil paint used during the printing process and improves the artwork of creative designers by making it more presentable. 


  • Strike-through Matte


Using this varnishing type, we can apply the matte finishing to all areas, excluding those that need some glossy touch. This produces a strike-through matte effect and gives that area the shine while giving the soft matte look to the other regions. All the shiny patches remain untouched, adding glitter to the object’s surface. 


This varnishing technique results in brilliant color contrast and creates ease for the onlookers to recognize the two different types, gloss and matte, applied simultaneously. Get your packaging boxes coated with the appropriate varnish options by acquiring the services of America’s eminent custom packaging provider, the Packaging Republic.


Varnish Vs Lamination, Which One Is Better


Varnish and lamination are two different coatings applied on packaging boxes, unique prints, and book covers. They safeguard the ink and valuable designs by protecting them from fingerprints, dust, and damage. 


  • Varnish is a watery liquid applied to the design and completely seals the ink. Whereas, in the case of lamination, a plastic film polypropylene is used to magnify the look and offer the highest degree of protection from the tear or any other damage factors. 
  • You can go for the UV, Matte, or gloss varnish coating option. The lamination also comes with a smooth matte lamination and shiny gloss lamination. 
  • The varnishing option is a lot cheaper as compared to the lamination. Another significant aspect of varnishing is its eco-friendly nature.  
  • If you don’t want to add more shine to the packaging box, or a printed object, opt for the gloss varnish because it’s not as glittery as the lamination.


Advantages of Using Varnish


The varnish adds desired texture and luxury feel to the product and enhances its face value many times. You can use it to make a particular printed image or typography more prominent. 


Varnish also enriches the colors in the image printed on various things. The varnish coating dramatically helps when used on packaging boxes and business cards, owing to the professional touch and finesse that it adds. Materials like wood can absorb moisture and become swollen. However, the coating applied on the wooden surfaces prevents moisture absorption, keeping the material in its original state.


Want to Find Out More About the Use of Varnish in Packaging?


You can contact our packaging and printing experts to determine how we use varnish to craft the perfect designs according to your requirements. The appropriate way is to give us a call or request a quote by filling out a form on our website. The professionals at the Packaging Republic are great at handling all sorts of requests put forward by clients from different businesses.


We are one of the top-performing custom packaging enterprises in the USA. Even if you have any queries regarding the design, there are no blockades. You can acquire our free-of-cost design support service and get guidance from expert graphic designers. They will guide you properly and help produce the best-coated design for your packaging boxes. 


Apart from the varnishing, you can also explore how we apply different finishing options such as Gloss, Matte, and Spot UV lamination to make the final look more beguiling for the end-users. We have free shipping across the USA, and we will guide you through the whole process, starting from order placement to receiving the final order.