The varnish on wooden doors, window trim, and wooden furniture can fade over time. Direct sunlight, water, household cleaners, and other elements all contribute to this fading. Sometimes, you just want to put a coat of paint over it to give the piece a fresh, new look. Paint, however, may not stick well over varnish if the surface is not prepared well.
Here is a quick guide on how to apply paint over varnished surfaces:
- Clean the surface you wish to paint of dust, build-up, and other residue;
- Prepare your working area by making sure the room is well-ventilated, as well as putting a painter’s cloth on the floor;
- Remove any hardware from the piece you are going to work on. For doors, removing the door from its frame will make the job easier;
- Sand the surface with fine sandpaper in the direction of the wood grain and wipe away any residue left behind;
- Apply wood filler to visible scratches or chips and sand once the surface is dry;
- Make the surface clean and dull by applying paint thinner or denatured alcohol;
- Apply a coat or two of primer. Oil bonding primer is your best bet to ensure your paint will stick well;
- Choose an oil- or latex-based paint in the color you want and paint the piece with as many coats as necessary to cover the varnish completely and achieve the desired shade.
Let the surface dry well before reattaching any hardware or returning the door to its frame.