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homogeneous solution of gum or of natural or synthetic resins in oil (oil varnish) or in a volatile solvent (spirit varnish), which dries on exposure to air, forming a thin, hard, usually glossy film. It is used for the protection or decoration of surfaces and may be transparent, translucent, or tinted. For oil varnishes a hard gum or resin, often a fossilized plant exudation such as kauri or copal, is dissolved in oil (commonly linseed oil or tung oil) and is diluted with a volatile solvent such as turpentine. Spirit varnishes are commonly made of soft resins or gums, such as shellacshellac,
solution of lac in alcohol or acetone. In commerce the name is applied to the resinous substance (lac) itself rather than to the solution. It ranges in color from orange to light yellow depending upon the extent to which it has been purified; the darker shellacs are the
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, dammer, mastic, or sandarac, dissolved in a volatile solvent, e.g., alcohol, benzene, acetone, or turpentine. Enamel is varnish with added pigments. Lacquer may be a cellulose derivative dissolved in a volatile solvent, or it may be a natural varnish made in the East from the sap of trees. Among the varnishes named either for their constituents or for the proposed use are japanner's gold size, cabinet, carriage, bookbinder's, patent-leather, insulating, photographic, shellac, and copal picture varnish. Varnish has been known from antiquity; the Egyptians coated mummy cases with a pastelike form made of soft resins dissolved in oil and applied when warm. Another early use was for coating oil paintings. Stradivarius and other violinmakers used a slow-drying linseed oil varnish on their instruments.


See Oil & Colour Chemists' Assoc., Paint Technology Manual (2 vol., 1961, 1962); C. R. Martens, Technology of Paints, Varnishes, and Lacquers (1968).


A resin dissolved in oil or spirit, which dries to a brilliant, thin, protective film.


A transparent surface coating which is applied as a liquid and then changes to a hard solid; all varnishes are solutions of resinous materials in a solvent.


A clear, unpigmented preparation consisting of resinous matter dissolved in alcohol (spirit varnish) or other volatile liquid, or in oil (oil varnish); when applied as a thin coating on a surface, it dries leaving a hard, smooth, transparent, glossy protective film.


1. a preparation consisting of a solvent, a drying oil, and usually resin, rubber, bitumen, etc., for application to a surface where it polymerizes to yield a hard glossy, usually transparent, coating
2. a similar preparation consisting of a substance, such as shellac or cellulose ester, dissolved in a volatile solvent, such as alcohol. It hardens to a film on evaporation of the solvent
3. the sap of certain trees used to produce such a coating
References in periodicals archive ?
Ozen and Sonmez (7) investigated the effects of external factors on the varnish layer hardness of Oriental beech, Scots pine, and chestnut wood samples.
Patients are advised only to refrain from brushing or eating crunchy foods immediately, to aid in retention of the varnish on the teeth.
Like Varnish, Tennant has also already medalled at the Games as part of the men's team pursuit quartet, which took silver, but struggling with illness, he was unable to complete the final.
But with former world junior champion Becky James on the anchor leg, Varnish trounced Spain in the gold medal race at the Track World Cup in Glasgow.
I don't train for the sprint, I just train specifically for the team event and that's really paying off for me at the moment," said Varnish.
The Australian Open range has a green varnish and black shatter top coat, with the her French Open selection featuring pink varnish with a red shatter top coat and a gold lacquer plus white shatter top coat.
The 30-year-old from Stotfold, Bedfordshire, has twice won the world title with BMX ace Shanaze Reade, but now Varnish is the woman in possession of the crucial starting spot.
There's no need to remove existing varnish if it's in good condition - simply sand to provide a key, and clean with a damp cloth.
In this case, though, the varnish has diminished the value.
The effect of Duraphat [R] fluoride varnish and Cariestop [R] silver diamine fluoride did not differ significantly (p > 0.
Varnish accused former technical director Shane Sutton of using sexist language towards her after she was dropped from the elite performance programme 18 months ago.
A remarkable Jacobean re-emergence after 200 years of yellowing varnish 1/2 pic.