We are making some changes at home or we are going to renovate some furniture and doubts begin to arise. Can I paint this varnished door white? Can I paint over the varnish I gave to the window years ago without peeling? …

These are common questions that have arisen for all of us and that can have many nuances.

The first thing to clarify is that can be painted over varnish. Not at all and with no product, but it can be done. However, it is also worth mentioning that it will always be better to remove all the varnish before applying the first coat of paint or primer.

This consideration must be taken into consideration especially when the surface to be painted will be subjected to intense use: the surface of a table or a floor, for example. In these cases, it is better not to use half measures.

When the varnish is in poor condition (Varnish painting)

If the varnish is in bad condition, that is, it is falling and / or cracked: do not paint over. The result will be bad and short-lived. Don’t waste time looking for magic solutions.

In these cases it is best to peel, remove all the varnish and then paint. There are basically three methods for removing varnish:

  • Mechanical. Using sandpaper, blades and / or spatulas.
  • Chemical. Using removal chemicals, solvents, etc.
  • With heat: heat gun, torch, etc. Only for experienced people.

Varnish and paints based on oil or water

In general terms, the two most common types of paints and varnishes are water-based or oil-based (solvent). They may have certain incompatibilities.

If the varnish layer is solvent based We can paint on it using water-based and solvent-based paint.

However, if the varnish is water based We can only use water-based paint on the top. If we use a solvent based enamel, this will affect the varnish layer.

The problem would be in knowing what type of varnish was used initially. Ideally, remember or at least keep the can. Otherwise, you can always test.

Today the most common is to use both water-based paints and varnishes. In recent years, their performance has improved a lot, and they are also less polluting and smell a lot less. So, if the varnish is recent, I would probably say it is water based. If you are over 10 years old, oil based.

Regardless of the ink we end up using, it is always advisable to sand, even if it’s good. The objective is simply to “scratch” the surface, to favor the adhesion of the paint.

Chalk Paint or Chalk Paint

Chalk paintings have been back in fashion for some time, after years of neglect. This type of paint offers a matte finish with a “vintage”, Which has become the favorite choice of many lovers of DIY and furniture restoration.

This type of paintings we can use it directly on the varnish without any problem. It is always advisable to sand first and apply a coat of primer, although it is not essential as long as the varnish is in good condition.

melamine painting tutorial

Varnish painting