this happens to leaves when clear satin varnish is applied

What happens if we apply varnish on leaves like we do on wood?

Well, I am doing an experiment to see what happens if we put varnish on leaves. I have collected some fallen leaves and applied Clear Satin Varnish. So, let’s see what happens. I will keep posting the results regularly from day one till the end that what is happening to leaves and their colours and how long the leaves and colours stay preserve for and in what states.

Leaves image before varnish is applied. Click to enlarge image.

leaves before varnish applied
16 Dec 2018varnish applied on leaves

Varnished applied. Click to enlarge image.

Couple of days after the leaves got dried, some leaves started getting curly and crisp and same things happen to other leaves a week later but the colour of leaves stayed the same.

 I have put some of curled leaves inside the book and that made them straight. This could happen to any leaves. Some leaves take long time to become curl and crisp and some don’t, it all depends on the condition and age of leaves . There is no changes in the colours of the  leaves. it is 10 days now and  some of leaves still not decomposed yet.

Within  this experiment,I also found that with the varnish, we cannot stop leaves being decayed if it is already been started. Decomposition will carry on and spread on leaves as much as it is bad, it depends how bad it is. The more older and strong fungus the more it will effect to leaves. The decomposition turn the leaves colour brown but some part of leaves does not get effect with decomposition. It all depends that how strong decomposition fungus is.


8 thoughts on “this happens to leaves when clear satin varnish is applied”

    1. Hello Nik, Thank you for your question, the answer is: Since I varnished the leaves on 16th Dec 2018 the leaves and the colour of the leaves are almost still the same because I kept the varnished leaves in the shade, but some parts of the leaves have faded. I will upload the latest pictures of the leaves which I had taken on 01/04/2022 so you can see the difference.

  1. well, thats the difference. the shade makes the difference. i’m trying to use preserved (glycerine- not dry) leaves for outdoors and the problem is with color fade and the glycerin bleeds through the leaves at higher humidity. they last quite long but also come with these drawbacks.

    1. Hello Nik, I have uploaded the latest image of varnished leaves now and you can see the difference now. I have mentioned the dates on both old and new images. I applied varnished on 16th December 2018 and taken their photos on 21st December 2018 and the new one on 07th April 2022.

    1. Hello Pan , thank you for your question, I haven’t tried laminating them after varnishing yet but I will try now on new leaves and will let you know. Also I’m going to do another experiment soon to preserve the leaves colour. I will post it later.

  2. I make and sell leaf artwork and have for the past two years. I pick the leaves before they fall and then continue to pick them up until mid winter. We live in Colorado. I apply polyurethane to each side of the leaf after collecting ( no longer than a day) Than I carefully sort and bag them. Than they immediately go into the freezer!! This slows decay down tremendously. I grab what I need the day of putting into frame. I ship same day.

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