A finishing step in which a clear varnish is applied to the surface of a printed sheet in order to create a glossy finish. The varnish is usually applied on the printing press. See also FINISH; FINISHING OPERATIONS; GLOSS; VARNISH
As a final step, negatives and prints are often coated with a shellac- or resin-based liquid that provides a smooth appearance and an extra layer to protect against scratches or other injury. Varnishes dry relatively quickly, producing a hard finish. To help reduce processing time, before exposure photographic papers can be coated on both sides with a plastic material similar to varnish. "Supercoats" were introduced around the late 1960s.
To apply oil, synthetic, spirit, cellulose or water varnish to printed matter by hand or machine to enhance its appearance or increase its durability.