To enjoy your Alcohol Ink artwork for a long time, you should fix it and provide it with a UV protection. The reason for this is not only the protection against dust and surface damage, but also the use of dyes, which give the Alcohol Inks their special flowability. In this article we have summarized a short explanation of dyes, pigments and their light resistance for you.
Most varnishes for acrylic and universal varnishes are also suitable for Alcohol Inks. They are available as clear varnish on acrylic basis. Often these varnishes can be diluted with water and thus be applied even easier. Take care with the ingredients that no alcohol is contained. This would otherwise dissolve the alcohol inks and let the colours flow into each other again.
Especially if you have created a so-called "Whispy" using a large amount of isopropyl alcohol, it is necessary to protect the surface from scratches. For Whispy Alcohol Ink Art the alcohol inks are strongly diluted with isopropyl alcohol. This results in very fine and delicate ink structures. However, the protective resins contained in the Alcohol Inks are also diluted so much that they no longer act as a protective layer over the ink. Here you should use a spray varnish, because fixatives applied with a brush could damage the delicate paint layer.
Whether matt, silk matt or high gloss, for painting or spraying, it's all a matter of taste. An important rule of thumb for Alcohol Ink fixation is that the fixative must not contain any alcohol.