Varnishes also known as clear coats or topcoats are a transparent layer that acts as a protective barrier of everything below it, from decals to paint from mechanical and chemical aggressions. The term topcoat is used when this layer is the last one and finishes the model.
Like paints, there are different types of varnishes depending on their composition, either acrylic or solvent based that have similar characteristics to paints of the same type. This is important to pay attention to since a solvent-based varnish may damage layers below it if they're not resistant to this solvent. For example, MR. SUPER CLEAR UV CUT is a solvent-based varnish while MR TOP COAT is acrylic.
On this same line, we can have different varnish finishes with the main four being gloss, semi-gloss, satin and matt or flat.
Varnishes are used when we want to protect our work and before proceeding to another phase of it. For example, after painting we'll seal this paint with a gloss varnish so the decals and panel liner can flow properly. Do note that this is essential to take into account since each varnish finish has a different physical composition. Those varnishes that are glossy allow light to reflect thanks to their smooth surface but flat ones interfere due to their roughter surface.
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