The Dos and Don'ts of Painting Varnished Furniture

HGTV Magazine has the tips and tricks you need to know.

Photo by: Thomas Liggett

Thomas Liggett

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DON’T attempt to paint over varnish 

The clear protective coating that shields furniture from scratches and scuffs is so slick that it almost repels paint. A telltale sign you’ve painted over varnish: The paint bubbles and peels.

DO try to remove the varnish...

With sandpaper first. Start with coarse 150-grit sandpaper, followed by a finer 220-grit sandpaper. For varnish that refuses to budge or lingers in crevices, apply a paint-and-varnish stripper like Citristrip, then sand with a fine-grit paper. 

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