Behlen Violin Varnish

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Behlen Violin Varnish

Item # 0747
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Behlen Violin Varnish

A hard, water-resistant finish with superior flexibility for violins.

A natural spirit varnish containing super blonde shellac flakes, gum mastic and gum sandarac resins. Ample drying time required.

One 16 oz. bottle will finish one violin, mandolin, dulcimer or other smaller bodied instrument. Use 10-20% mineral spirits to retard trapped moisture in humid conditions.

Behlen Violin Varnish has a traditional amber-orange color. We recommend our ColorTone Concentrated Liquid Stains for changing the hue if desired.

Thin with Behkol™ solvent .

California Residents: Click here for Proposition 65 information.

Customer Reviews

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  • 2.75 average rating from 4 reviews
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Understand it to Use Successfully

(Customer's Reviews)

This makes a much more durable finish than shellac, but you have to understand it. Drying time is inversely related to sunlight and temperature - as room temp goes up, drying time goes down. Humidity is positively related to drying time - as humidity goes up, drying time goes up. Best to hang it outside in warm weather for a few hours then put it in a air-conditioned room for the low humidity. I live in Georgia, USA so, during the summer, I put it in sunlight only in the morning as mid-day temps and humidity will adversely affect the glue joints.


Agreement; too long a wait.

(Customer's Reviews)

Joseph, I completely agree with you. I am pleased with the things I have ordered from StewMac, except this varnish takes too long to cure. I varnished my first fiddle (a kit from StewMac) a natural, blonde color, after waiting probably 5 weeks if not more, the varnish imprinted very easily. I too got those bridge foot marks and an imprint from the chinrest and my shirt when I strung it up. (SO anxious to hear it!!) sorry to say, but I did not have a good experiance with this product.


Waiting 8 weeks now and varnish still soft! :-(

(Customer's Reviews)

I refinished an old violin 8 weeks ago which I tested after two weeks. Finish was still very soft. Waited two more weeks. Still unusable. I called StewMac support, they said wait a couple more weeks - it will eventually harden. I've waited 8 weeks now and finally gave up and just put the hardware on the instrument.

I just wanted to play the instrument that I restored. I'm still getting big "footprints" left in the finish under the bridge feet after setup of the instrument. The chinrest cork also leaving big rumpled impressions in the finish along the edge.

I will likely strip off the finish at some point and reapply with homemade spirit varnish which I've had cure completely in 2 weeks on another instrument.

I wouldn't buy this product unless you have extreme patience and a long time to wait to use the instrument after usage. VERY disappointed.

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Shown on page 44 of our latest catalog.
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