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Varnish is obtained by dissolving resins in oil or Oil varnish differs from spirit varnish, in that oil takes a permanent place as part of the dried film; whereas spirit simply dissolves the varnish resins and then evaporates from them. The mixture that results, when pigment is added to varnish, is known as an enamel or varnish paint. In such paints, varnish, instead of oil, is the vehicle.

Varnishes are solutions, and thus differ from paints, which are mechanical mixtures. A paint may or may not be prepared by the consumer, but a high-grade varnish, which can be manu factured only by a chemical process, can seldom be prepared by the consumer.

The subject is one that must be considered in three parts, namely: the materials of which paints and varnishes are com posed; the methods used to apply paints and varnishes, with the influence of such methods upon durability; and the preparation of woods to receive paints and varnishes.