A handy how to for painting varnished doors

September 14, 2015

If you've got stained and varnished doors and trim in your house and just want to paint the whole works, you're probably wondering: what's the best way to go about it? Here's a handy how to for painting varnished doors.

A handy how to for painting varnished doors

Keep these things in mind

  • If you're using a paintbrush, keep this in mind: "sidewalk patting" (striking the brush against a hard surface to get excess paint out of the brushes) can void even a lifetime guarantee.
  • If your home was built before 1979, check the paint for lead before you scrape or sand.
  • Check with your local hardware or municipality on how to properly remove lead-based paint.

Preparing to paint

  • To start, sand the surface you want to paint with a random-orbital sander and 150-grit paper.
  • Use a fine-grit sanding sponge to get into crevices.
  • The reasons you want to sand are to remove any flaky varnish and to roughen the surface so that your primer can make a good bond.
  • Wipe off the dust with a brush.
  • Then roll on a coat of primer sealer.
  • Have your home centre or paint store tint the primer to a greyish colour to help cover the underlying varnish.
  • Colouring the paint also helps the paint to cover the surface with fewer coats.

Painting a varnished surface

  • Apply the primer with a 15 centimetre (6 inch) high-density foam roller to avoid brush marks.
  • If you want to keep the wood grain from showing through the paint, trowel a thin layer of spackling compound over the entire surface.
  • Use a 10 or 15 centimetre (4 or 6 inch) putty knife to work the compound into the wood grain pores and to fill holes.
  • Wait for the compound to dry, then hand-sand with 220-grit sandpaper.
  • Roll on a second coat of primer.
  • Let the primer dry overnight, then sand it again with 220-grit sandpaper, and use a new foam roller to apply the next coat of paint.

Follow this handy how to for painting varnished doors and you'll be able to make your doors and trim look great.

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