Can I Undercoat and Gloss Over Varnish, Oils and Stains?

Yes, but first you have to remove the varnish and oils because they are designed to be waterproof and will make the paint undercoat (separate).

Glossing Over Varnish, Oils and Stains
Glossing Over Varnish, Oils and Stains

Before undercoating your wood you must sand the wood so the paint will adhere to the wood below.

If you just paint over oils, varnishes and stains then your paint will have a barrier between the wood and the paint, this will make your paint crack and peel away.

You must create a key so when you undercoat it seals the wood and is ready for a final coat of gloss or satinwood.

Painting Over Varnish – Method

Here is the method of painting wood that has been treated with varnish, oils and stains. You will want to start with a rough pad or sandpaper for a woodblock.

Rub the wood until it has become lighter. Once you have taken away the oils and stains you will notice the wood has become much lighter.

When this happens you should use lighter sandpaper, less grit sandpaper will smooth the wood ready for undercoating.

  1. Rough sand the wood
  2. Light sand for smoothness
  3. Apply two coats of undercoat
  4. When dry apply one coat of premium gloss

Conclusion – Painting Over Oils, Varnishes & Stains

Varnish, oils and stains can be hard to remove from your wooden accessories around the home. They soak deep because they are designed to protect the wood against moisture retention.

You will find stains and oils on mantelpieces, fire surrounds, handrails and newel posts to mention a few.

For this DIY job to be successful you must make sure your wooden accessory is much lighter before undercoating and all stains and oils have been sanded away.

This also applies to varnishing and staining, simple sand the paint back to the wood. Be sure to remove “ALL” paints because they will stick out once varnished.

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