UKPCS Science Chemistry: Varnish: #58

Oracle IAS, the best coaching institute for UPSC/IAS/PCS preparation in Dehradun brings to you UKPCS Science Chemistry (paper 6). 


Varnish is a transparent, hard, protective finish or film that is primarily used in wood finishing but also for other materials. Varnish is traditionally a combination of a drying oil, a resin, and a thinner or solvent. Varnish has little or no color, is transparent, and has no added pigment, as opposed to paints or wood stains, which contain pigment and generally range from opaque to translucent. Varnishes are also applied over wood stains as a final step to achieve a film for gloss and protection.


  • Drying oil: There are many different types of drying oils, including linseed oil, tung oil, and walnut oil. These contain high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Resins that are used in varnishes include amber, kauri gum, dammar, copal, rosin (pine resin) etc

Solvent: Traditionally, natural (organic) turpentine was used as the thinner or solvent, but has been replaced by several mineral-based turpentine substitutes such as white spirit or “paint thinner”, also known as “mineral spirit”.

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