Wood Varnish Price. Full details

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Varnish is a clear, hard, protective coating or film. It’s not a blemish. It often has a yellowish hue due to the production process and ingredients used, although it can also be colored as desired and is commercially available in a variety of colours.

Varnish is generally utilized as a wood finish where the particular tones and grains of the wood are desired to be apparent, whether stained or not. Varnish sheens are often glossy, but satin/semi-gloss and flat sheens are also available.

Categories Of Varnish

Varnishes are classified into four types based on the type of solvent used:

Oil varnishes

Linseed oil is used as a solvent in these varnishes, and hard resins such as amber and copal are dissolved by heating. These varnishes dry slowly but generate a firm and long-lasting surface. To make the varnish more workable, a little amount of turpentine is sometimes applied. For all exterior woodwork, as well as joinery and fittings, oil varnishes are recommended.

Spirit varnishes or lacquers

These varnishes use methylated spirit of wine as a solvent to dissolve soft resins like lac or shellac. They dry rapidly but are not long-lasting. This style of varnish is known as French polish. It is frequently found on furniture.

Turpentine varnishes

Turpentine is used as a solvent in these varnishes to dissolve soft resins such as gum dammer, mastic, and rosin. The varnish dries rapidly but is not very long-lasting. These are less expensive than oil varnishes.

Water varnishes

These varnishes are made by dissolving shellac in hot water with a sufficient amount of ammonia, borax, potash, or soda. Water varnishes are used to protect wall papers, maps, photographs, book jackets, and other items.

Types Of Varnish


Violin varnishing is a multi-step procedure that includes primer, sealer, ground, color coats, and clear topcoat. Some systems, as described below, employ a drying oil varnish, but others use spirit (or solvent) varnish. Only spirit varnish is used for touch-ups in repair or restoration.

Drying oils, such as walnut or linseed oil, can be combined with amber, copal, rosin, or other resins.

Traditionally, the oil was made by cooking or by exposing it to air and sunshine, but current stand oil is prepared by heating oil at high temperatures without the presence of oxygen.

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The refined resin is occasionally available as a translucent solid, which is subsequently “run” in a pot over heat without the need of any solvents.

The thickened oil and prepared resin are then combined and thinned with turpentine (away from an open flame) to create a brushable solution.

The ingredients and techniques of violin varnish are extremely diverse, with some highly acclaimed antique specimens exhibiting faults (e.g., cracking, crazing) caused by incompatible varnish components.


The majority of resin or gum varnishes are made out of a natural, plant- or insect-derived component dissolved in a solvent, which is known as spirit varnish or solvent varnish. Alcohol, turpentine, or petroleum-based solvents are all possible. Some resins are soluble in alcohol as well as turpentine. In general, petroleum solvents, such as mineral spirits or paint thinner, can be used in place of turpentine. Amber, dammar, copal, rosin, sandarac, elemi, benzoin, mastic, balsam, shellac, and a variety of lacquers are among the resins.

Certain varnishes and paints may contain synthetic resins such as phenolic resin as a secondary component.

Many formulations involving the mixture of resins, oils, and other materials such as specific waxes have been devised over the years. These were sometimes well held secrets because they were thought to lend distinctive tonal properties to musical instruments. Because the combination of multiple elements is difficult to anticipate or replicate, competent finishers were much sought after professionals.


Shellac is an alcohol-soluble single-component resin varnish that is frequently used. It is not recommended for use on outdoor surfaces or in areas where it will come into touch with water on a regular basis, such as around a sink or bathtub. Shellac resin is a brittle or flaky secretion of the female lac insect, Kerria lacca, found in Assam and Thailand woods and extracted off the bark of the trees where she deposits it to create a sticky hold on the trunk.

Shellac is the foundation of French polish, which has been the chosen finish for exquisite furniture for generations. Shellac that has been “dewaxed” has been processed to remove the waxy components found in original shellac and can be used as a primer and sanding-sealer substrate for various finishes such as polyurethanes, alkyds, oils, and acrylics.

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For the production of a protective coating, modern commercially made varnishes use some sort of alkyd. Alkyds are resistant to solvents, moisture, and UV radiation. Alkyds are chemically modified vegetable oils that perform well in a variety of environments and can be developed to accelerate the cure process and so harden faster.

Typically, this is accomplished through the use of metal salt driers such as cobalt salts. Better (and more expensive) exterior varnishes use alkyds derived from high-performance oils and contain UV-absorbers, which improves gloss retention and extends the finish’s lifetime. Various resins may also be mixed with alkyds as part of the formula for commercially available “oil” varnishes.

Spar varnish

Spar varnish (also known as marine varnish) was initially designed to protect ship or boat spars from the ravages of sea and weather. Spars sag beneath the weight of their sails. The essential criteria were water resistance and flexibility, so that the spars would remain adhered while they flexed.

Elasticity was also required for weatherproofing, as a cracked finish would allow water through even if the remaining film was impenetrable. The importance of appearance and shine was quite modest. Modified tung oil and phenolic resins are frequently employed.

Drying oils

Drying oils, such as linseed and tung oil, are not real varnishes, though they frequently perform the same function in modern parlance.


Polyurethane varnishes are robust, abrasion-resistant, and long-lasting coatings. They are popular for hardwood floors, but some wood finishers believe they are difficult or inappropriate for finishing furniture or other detailed pieces. Polyurethanes have the same hardness as certain alkyds but produce a harder coating.

Polyurethane varnish, when compared to ordinary oil or shellac varnishes, generates a harder, noticeably tougher, and more waterproof layer. A thick layer of regular polyurethane, on the other hand, may de-laminate when subjected to heat or shock, splitting the film and leaving white areas.


Lacquer refers to solvent-based, quick-drying varnishes or paints. Despite their similar names, lacquer is not the same as shellac and cannot be dissolved in alcohol. Lacquer is dissolved with lacquer thinner, a highly flammable solvent that commonly contains butyl acetate, xylene, or toluene. Lacquer is often sprayed on in a spray booth, which removes overspray and reduces the risk of burning.

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Acrylic resin varnishes are often water-borne varnishes with the lowest refractive index and highest transparency of any finish. They are resistant to yellowing. Acrylics have the advantage of being water-cleanable and emitting no solvent fumes, but they do not penetrate wood as well as oils. Brushability and self-leveling properties of solvent-based varnishes are not always present. They are often UV-resistant.

Two-part epoxy

Several epoxy resin systems have been developed as varnishes or floor treatments, with two components mixed directly prior to application. The two parts are sometimes of identical volume and referred to as 1:1, however this is not always the case, since 2:1, 3:1, 4:1, and even 5:1 mixing ratios are commercially available.

Part A and Part B are the common names for the different components. All two-part epoxies have a pot-life, or amount of time that the mixed substance can be used. The pot-life is typically a few hours or less, but this is highly temperature dependant. Waterborne and solvent-based epoxies are both used.


When a fast-curing, robust, hard finish is necessary, such as for kitchen cabinets or office furniture, this product is used. It is composed of two parts: a resin and an acid catalyst. The first is an alkyd-amino resin mixture. The acid catalyst is added immediately prior to application in a predetermined ratio defined by the manufacturer.

Most cause only little yellowing. However, there are two drawbacks to this finish. The first is that as the finish cures, it emits toxic and carcinogenic formaldehyde. The second issue is that if too many layers are applied, the finish may fracture or craze.

Wood Varnish Price

Below are the prices of wood varnish in south africa.

Dulux Woodgard Rubbol Varnish – Mid Brown (1L) R749each
Silkseal Varnish Timber – Meranti (5L) R530each
Silkseal Varnish Timber – Mahogany (5L) R530each
Silkseal Varnish Timber – Teak (5L) R530each
Plascon Woodcare Ultra Varnish – Teak (1L) R319each
Plascon Woodcare Ultra Varnish – Teak (5L) R849each


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