Protect Your Painting with the Best Spray Varnish – ARTnews.com

Varnishes are used as a top layer to protect works of art from discoloration, moisture, dirt and UV rays. Which paint you choose will affect the finished look. A glossy finish makes the colors appear more vivid, matt reduces glare and softens the colors, and a satin varnish provides a finish between glossy and matt. Often preferred over brush application, spray paints work well on delicate surfaces that could be destroyed by a brush or on paintings with a rough or impasto texture where brushes can foam or bubble. Make sure the work is thoroughly dry before application and allow the varnish to dry completely after each application. Please note that most of these products are extremely flammable and must be used with adequate ventilation. Our picks below will help you find the best spray paint for your project.

1. Winsor & Newton high gloss lacquer

Winsor & Newton’s high gloss paint (13.5 oz) is great for arts and crafts projects, protecting work from dust and moisture. Ideal for paper, wood, metal and modeling materials. It offers a clear, high gloss finish for superior sheen. The lacquer can be removed with mild solvents.

To buy:
Winsor & Newton high gloss lacquer

$ 12.79

2. Grumbacher gloss finish

This 11-ounce Grumbacher varnish is a resin-based formula and clear, quick-drying spray that gives a smooth, glossy finish. Suitable for acrylic and oil paintings and offers permanent protection against dirt, moisture and abrasion. This non-yellowing varnish can be removed with mild solvents if necessary.

To buy:
Grumbacher gloss varnish

$ 11.75

3. Krylon Kamar varnish

Inspired by damar resin, which is traditionally used to protect oil paintings, Krylon Kamar is a synthetic formula with the same properties as natural varnish without any contamination or discoloration. Kamar varnish can be used to protect oil, acrylic and water-based paints, and allows the overhaul of paintings. It is sold in an 11-ounce can and is good for canvas, wood, metal, plastic, paper, glass, plaster of paris, ceramics, and more. It gives a clear, matte finish. It can also be removed for preservation purposes.

To buy:
Krylon Kamar varnish

$ 5.97

4. Liquitex Professional varnish

This 12 ounce Liquitex spray is an acrylic polymer lacquer that provides a breathable protective layer. It is available in gloss, satin and matt finishes. Ideal for acrylic media, it also seals mixed media, collages, murals and giclee prints, providing a durable surface that resists discoloration and protects against dirt and UV light damage. This spray paint adheres permanently to the surface of your work and cannot be removed. While a little more expensive than some of our picks, it’s water-based, low-odor, and safe for educational purposes.

To buy:
Liquitex Professional lacquer

$ 15.99

5. Golden Gloss Archival Lacquer

Golden’s Archival spray paint is made from solvent-based, reversible acrylic copolymer resin and provides a permanent protective surface that can be removed for preservation purposes. It is suitable for acrylic, oil, pastel, watercolor, tempera and inkjet prints. This archive spray in a 10 ounce can offers a glossy finish and great protection against dirt, dust and moisture. It contains UV filters and stabilizers to prevent photodamage. The adjustable fan spray tip enables precise application and reduces overspray.

To buy:
Archival Golden Gloss varnish

$ 21.35

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