April 17, 2021

5 Best Varnish for Acrylic Painting on Canvas

Using varnish in acrylic painting is the easiest and most popular way to make your painting look better even greater archival-quality protects your painting from dirt, dust, UV rays, and yellowing. Most essentially, varnish also unifies uneven tones caused by using various mediums and water in different areas throughout your painting.

Ideally, varnishes are made from solvent and resin that create good gloss that can enhance the vibrancy of the colors in a painting, especially dark colors giving it the look of an oil painting.

When you are choosing the Best Varnish for Acrylic Painting on Canvas, at first, you need to decide whether you want to use a brush-on varnish that is mostly used by acrylic artists or spray varnish. It might be better for you to prefer brush-on varnish because it gives greater control over the outcome. But some artists might prefer a spray varnish. Here you will get both kinds of the best brand of varnish for acrylic painting on canvas.

Best Varnish for Acrylic Painting on Canvas

Brand Name Image Rating Price
Liquitex 5216 Matte Varnish 16Oz Multicolor 4.7 View on Amazon
Sargent Art 22-8808 16-Ounce Acrylic Gloss and Varnish 4.5 View on Amazon
Grumbacher Hyplar Gloss Varnish Spray for Acrylic Paintings 4.6 View on Amazon
Pro-Art Golden Polymer Varnish 8Oz Gloss for Acrylic-Multicolour 4.7 View on Amazon
Golden Polymer Varnish W/UVLS, 16 Oz, Gloss 4.7 View on Amazon

1. Liquitex 5216 Matte Varnish 16Oz Multicolor

When you are looking for the best varnish for acrylic painting on canvas, Liquitex 5216 Matte Varnish 16Oz Multicolor would be your first choice.

It comes in several different sheens which can all be intermixed for a customized sheen. It is a low-odor, permanent and durable medium with water-based technology, translucent when wet, clear when dry.  Liquitex 5216 Matte Varnish resists discoloring due to humidity heat and ultraviolet light. You can use it with spray paint, heavy body, soft body.

The varnish dries to a non-tacky, hard, flexible surface that is resistant to dirt retention. It is hard, archival, non-yellowing, and water-resistant when dry that protects acrylic color from harsh elements for interior and exterior use.

The Liquitex varnish mediums protect the painting surface from the environment and protect the pigments from ultraviolet light. Moreover, varnishes you can use to change or unify an acrylic painting’s surface sheen.

Liquitex varnishes are either permanent or removable and can be applied to both flexible and rigid supports.

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2. Sargent Art 22-8808 16-Ounce Acrylic Gloss and Varnish

Then you can choose confidently the Sargent Art varnish that dries to a permanent, waterproof, and protective finish. It is non-toxic, acid-free, and safe to use as it is AP certified. You can also mix it with acrylic paint or use as a clear coat.

It works great as a paint finish but you especially would like it using with acrylic paints by mixing some volume of Sargents and a little water as a medium to get the preservative effect. It also brightens the paint colors. It actually turns a greenish color as it dries.

When you will apply it for the first time, it looks like it is in a deep fog, but after some time approximately 20 minutes later the coat would be clear and strong. Once it dries you will love the finished product.

Moreover, you can apply it to the oil painting if the painting has some uneven spots. You can use it on thinly painted oil works great for what you needed so far.

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3. Grumbacher Hyplar Gloss Varnish Spray for Acrylic Painting

If you would like to get a stunning gloss for your acrylic painting and a protective coating, then you can decide on this spray varnish that provides an even and brilliant gloss surface. Grumbacher Hyplar Gloss Varnish Spray is non-yellowing, transparent that dries quickly and creates a permanent effect.

Potentially it protects paintings from dirt, moisture, and scuffing. It is removable with paint thinner or other mild solvents contains no fluorocarbons.

The only negative thing you will find is that it does have a very strong smell that seems to last a long time after spraying. You might need to spend a few weeks drying it before you bring it into the house. Eventually, the smell will wear off.

But, in fact, this varnish is very easy to apply to canvases and you will get a super gloss. Despite the smell, you can go to use this product because the results are that fascinating you want to.

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4. Pro-Art Golden Polymer Varnish 8Oz Gloss for Acrylic Painting-Multicolour

Pro-Art Golden Polymer Varnish would be your perfect suit that is a waterborne acrylic polymer varnish that dries to a protective flexible dust-resistant surface. You can use it as a final sealant over acrylic paint on canvas. You need to make it thin before use. It is formulated thicker than traditional varnishes to maintain an even suspension of matting agents. This varnish is removable with ammonia for restoration purposes. This package contains an 8oz jar of polymer varnish that conforms to ASTM D 4236.

Highly suitable for acrylic painting projects that acid and toxic-free designed for easy uses.

It is suitable for using either cover entire paintings or only on portions of a painting for visual effects gives your paintings an extra added glow.

Before coating an acrylic painting with a satin finish, this has to be used first to create a coating that will protect what’s underneath if restoration is ever an issue.

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5. Golden Polymer Varnish W/UVLS, 16 Oz, Gloss

And finally, it would be a great deal if you go with Golden Acrylic Polymer Varnish with UVLS, 16 oz, Gloss. This waterborne acrylic polymer varnish dries to a protective, flexible, dust-resistant surface over acrylic paint. Ultraviolet light stabilizers reduce the damage caused by the sun. It can be removed with ammonia.

There are acrylic-based spray polys that are better suited for gloss finishes on alternate surfaces.

If you apply it to a very large acrylic canvas painting it will turn out great. You can mix the two varnishes to get a medium glossy finish. It goes on great and really made the colors bright. It also will bring out your brush strokes a lot more which adds a nice textured look to the painting. Eventually, you will get a very consistent and high-quality finish.

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Things to Keep in Mind When Applying Varnish for Acrylic Painting on Canvas

You should take a day or two for the acrylic paint to be completely dry, then apply the isolation coat (optional), and wait another day or more before varnishing. If you paint with thick acrylic paint like impasto, it is better to wait a couple of weeks before applying the isolating layer of varnish.

It is good applying varnish on acrylic artwork between the temperature of 65-75° F and the humidity between 50-75%. Keep in mind that too much humidity or cooler temperatures may cause moisture to get trapped between the varnish and paint layers, resulting in whiteness or opacity.

You can brush or spray the acrylic varnishes. When applying, watch out for foaming, non-uniform coverage, releasing of particles from the applicator, etc. Let them dry flat in a place with no dust, leaves, or other things that might fall on the wet surface. You can also read How to Varnish Acrylic Painting in a simple way.


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