Windsor Newton has information about varnishing fine art paintings on their website. I can't help but notice that some of the paintings in the art shows I have been in are very shiny and intense. Mine, on the other hand, are more matte because I have not varnished them. Why did I not varnish? Because I use thick paint layers and oil paint normally takes 6 months to a year to thoroughly dry. You are not really supposed to varnish a painting before that. Still, I know that my paintings would be much more vibrant in color if I varnished them. So, before every show, I debate whether I should varnish or not. Is it dry enough, I ask myself? I usually decide not to. Besides, varnishing is very difficult to get just right. The Windsor Newton website also says that acrylic paintings actually need varnish more than oil paintings do. I never knew that!