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Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 01:21 PM #1
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: south co galway
Posts: 27
Default painting over old varnished wood, any tips please

Have 2 huge cupboards which have been stained very dark with varnish. The cupboards are built in. They make our room very dark. I want to paint them a cream colour. Is there a way to paint over varnish? To sand them down is a huge task and would take forever. Any tips or advice appreciated.
lovestuff is offline  
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Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 01:34 PM #2
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ballaghaderreen
Posts: 23

You can buy paint for melamine, this might work. Homebase might sell it, the do in the uk one.

rccrchickie is offline  
Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 01:43 PM #3
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Posts: 505
Default Painting over Varnish

Hi C Finnerty,

I can appreciate the problem you have, dark furniture in a room can make it appear far smaller and seems to swallow up the light.

The first thing you need to do is give the presses a good wash down to remove all grease or cigarette smoke tar, sugar soap is ideal for this make sure you rinse with clean water afterwards.

You next step is to give the varnish a key so that it will accept normal pain, the best product to use is dulux super primer or dulux ultra grip primer.

Giver the presses 2 coats of this do not try to put the primer on so thickly that it will cover all the timber, you're better off to apply 2 thin coats.

Give the primer time to dry minimum 24 hours between coats and lightly sand between coats with one of the sanding sponges you can get. The brand '3M' do a fantastic range of these. Make sure you get one that is very fine.

Once you have this job done you can paint away with a traditional undercoat.

The best type of finish coat to use on the furniture would b e a satin wood or eggshell finish.

Hope this helps if you want further information feel free to pm.


Fries-With-That is offline  
Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 02:05 PM #4
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dublin
Posts: 1,523
Default esp

I have tried this and found it does the job.

Isabeau is offline  
Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 02:20 PM #5
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kinsealy/Malahide, Co. Dublin
Posts: 478
Default painting over varnish

I have used ESP as well, you put on with a cloth ,check on the time how long to wait for it to "take" I think its after 4 hours, its a clear fluid, no need to sand after stated time paint 2 coats of eggshell paint.

I have also painted with cream or white emulsion paint and afterwards put
furniture polish over it it gives it a tougher finish, you could try on a spare piece of wood first to see which you prefer.

Hope this helps, happy painting.
noni is offline  
Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 02:48 PM #6
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: south co galway
Posts: 27
Default painting over old varnished wood

Thanks everyone. The info is great. cf
lovestuff is offline  
Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 05:21 PM #7
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Kilkenny city
Posts: 139
Default varnish/paint

You willreally have to sand them down , otherwise you will always have bother with the paint chippping off here and there . . You could get a pad they use in rubbing down cars at panel beaters, also you coud use a scouring pad with sugar soap mixed in,obtainable from a paint shop so rub down the paint and give it a key for good adhesuion . A good idea too to use aluminium paint for the first coat .( not aluminium primer , but PAINT)
noddytown is offline  
Old Posted: 22-11-2008 , 06:19 PM #8
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Co. Carlow
Posts: 203
Default Painting over varnished wood

Hi C
there is no need to sand the wood. It takes forever and would be very hard to get it even and the fumes from the varnish wouldn't be good to be breathing in. I think I would wash it with sugar soap(available in hardware shops and marvellous for getting off grime but wear gloves)and use a 400 wet and dry sandpaper(available in hardware or in motor factors) to lightly sand the wood. (You can use a sandblock instead of the sheets of sandpaper if you would prefer. It is easier on the hands). Leave to dry out for a day or two. I would then put on a WATER-BASED UNDERCOAT/PRIMER.Dulux make one. A 5 litre tin costs about 15. You may not be able to get the undercoat in cream but it definitely is available in white which would be fine under a cream finish. It is an excellent product, and being water-based there is relatively no smell and no fumes.
Very good for a bedroom and very good for covering varnish. It is an excellent base for the next coat which would need to be a WATER-BASED gloss or matt or silk. We got this in Aldi or Lidl but I don't think they have paints all the time. Not sure.
Good luck with the project.
julfren is offline  
Old Posted: 25-11-2008 , 10:00 AM #9
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: south co galway
Posts: 27
Default painting over old varnished wood

Thanks everyone this information is great. Will do a few samples and see what looks and works best.
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