A varnish is a liquid coating applied to a printed surface (for example the outside of a presentation folder) to add a clear glossy, matte, satin, or neutral finish.
Varnishing, also referred to as Coating or Sealing, can be carried out ‘online’ (the varnish is applied directly (within seconds) after the ink is put on the paper), or ‘offline’ by a separate machine, some time after printing.
There are various kinds of varnish that can be applied to printing, but all share some common characteristics:
- A varnish increases colour absorption and speeds up the drying process.
- By 'locking in' in the ink under a protective coat, the varnish helps to prevebt the ink rubbing off when the paper is subjected to handling.
- Varnishes are used most frequently, and succesfully on coated papers.