Polyvine Decorators Varnish Review

Updated Jun 15, 2024 | Posted Mar 21, 2023 | Product Reviews, Paints | 3 comments

Polyvine Decorators Varnish is a clear product which can be used on multiple surfaces inside or out. Available online in Satin, Gloss, or ‘Dead Flat’, drying time can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour depending on conditions. However, it does take several days to fully cure, especially if you apply multiple coats in quick succession.

You can use Polyvine Decorators Varnish to seal and protect timber surfaces such as pine or oak, but it is mostly used as a protective membrane for wallpaper, murals, kitchen splashbacks and more. It’s fully water-based and remains micro porous, so allows a surface to breathe.

As a Professional Decorator, I’ve been using Polyvine Decorators Varnish for several years. It’s a product I think more people should be using. Click here to see online prices.


My Polyvine Decorators Varnish Review


The first thing you notice about Polyvine Decorators Varnish is how quick and easy it is to apply. It isn’t thick and sticky like some of the oil-based varnish products available. I like to apply it using a foam roller on any flat areas, then lay it off with a brush. The quick drying time also helps.

Polyvine Decorators Varnish does alter the aesthetics of a surface slightly, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something to bear in mind. ‘Dead Flat’ is the most desirable finish, but you should always apply 1 or 2 coats of Satin first to help with durability and depth, followed by a coat of Dead Flat to reach your desired sheen.

It doesn’t make a surface look plasticky and cheap like you might expect, quite the opposite in fact. Polyvine Decorators Varnish adds depth. My advice would be to use it on a test patch before coating any large areas.

The only time I think you may have a problem is when coating a very dark surface. In which case, you need to be careful to avoid brush marks. You won’t have an issue providing you apply thin coats. The overall finish is good.


How Well Does Polyvine Decorators Varnish Stand Up?


We’ve done ease-of-use and aesthetics, but you’re probably wondering how well Polyvine Decorators Varnish stands up as a protective barrier. I’m happy to report, it does well. It protects against moisture, scuffs and even UV radiation.

A couple of coats of Polyvine Decorators Varnish over the top of contract matt will turn it into a durable emulsion. I put it to the test in the video below and EMULSIONED a chair, then protected the emulsion with Polyvine. As you can see, the Decorators Varnish is like a wonder product! It was solid!

I’ve used it in other extreme circumstances too. I wallpapered a shower room last year with some expensive Harlequin paper. I applied two coats of Decorators Varnish in Satin over the top, followed by one coat of Dead Flat. The paper looked even better with the Polyvine, and it still looks mint now, 13 months on.


Review Summary

Polyvine Decorators Varnish Review - Decorator's forum UK

A clear varnish designed to be applied over paint or wallpaper to protect it.

Product Brand: Polyvine

Editor's Rating:


  • Durable.
  • Waterproof.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Seems to go for miles.
  • Doesn’t change the appearance of a surface much.
  • Great for bathrooms, or splashbacks.


  • You need to apply multiple coats.
  • It can change the colour of a surface slightly.

Final Thoughts


It’s safe to say I like Polyvine Decorators Varnish. I genuinely think it’s the answer to a lot of decorating issues. I saw someone on Facebook a few weeks ago asking why her expensive Farrow and Ball Estate Emulsion was marking easily, and what she could do to prevent it. After some advice from me, she came back a few days later and told me she had used Polyvine Decorators Varnish and wanted to thank me for suggesting “something so quick and easy”. It was the perfect solution.

I would wholeheartedly recommend this varnish to anyone wanting to add durability to just about any surface. From wallpaper, to furniture, to anything in-between. Click here to see online prices.

Updated Jun 15, 2024 | Posted Mar 21, 2023 | 3 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.
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  1. Kate

    I’m about to start my first mural and polyvine seems the best choice to seal it. But how do you decorate over polyvine?

    • Slinger

      Was wondering that myself with emusions but imo Good prep and an acrylic adhesion primer should probably be adequate

  2. normand nantel

    I’m applying the Polyvine dead flat over a textured natural cork wallpaper. For the first coat I added a little water. Using a very soft synthetic brush, the varnish feels thick and sticky. The container was opened several weeks ago for a small test but I didn’t notice if it was sticky. Could the product have dried out or been changed by exposure to air?


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