Varnishes are clear coatings used to protect a label. They cost less than laminates and UV coatings but are the least durable. Varnishes are available in gloss and matt and can be applied to the whole label (flood varnish) or only certain parts of the label (spot coating) to create interesting visual effects.

UV coatings cure during printing by exposure to ultraviolet light. UV coatings tend to be more durable and have a high-quality gloss finish.