I don't varnish or paint hardware, never have. The finish on the AN hardware was as outa the box. The drag wire was stainless. The bolt holes were varnished with the same varnish and best I remember the shanks were also corroded; I looked back for pics to confirm that but don't have any so not gonna say that for sure. Pops is right if the inside of the holes aren't varnished the hardware will corrode in the hole. On repairs/rebuilds I always remove what hardware I can reasonably get to and inspect/finish the hole and the area behind any washers, plates, fittings etc(with epoxy for about the last 30 years or whatever it is) Beats me.