Can you paint over varnish?

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by kcat, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. kcat

    kcat Frequent Poster


    We have a varnished front door and i wanted to paint it white. I think i remember hearing/reading that you can't paint over varnish. is this true? if so, is the only way around it, to get the door stripped down?

  2. Leo

    Leo Moderator

    Advice you need is in here.
  3. mct1

    mct1 Frequent Poster

    I'm sure the advice to sand down is the correct one, but I've just repainted a varnished cupboard without sanding and it's fine. I don't use oil based paints out of preference so the varnish would have been acrylic. I used Bullseye 123 which is my favorite all-purpose primer - 2 or 3 coats of it, then 2 or 3 more coats of Colortrend satin sheen. I dried it with a hairdryer so I could recoat immediately. The whole project took an afternoon - I just hate sanding..
  4. NHG

    NHG Frequent Poster

    You don't say what type of timber in in your front door, but if it is a hardwood door, you would at least need to break the seal on the varnish (ie light sanding) and apply a coat of alum wood primer and then your undercoat and other coats.

    Have you ever heard people saying 'you can't paint teak' - well alum wood primer sorts out that problem as teak is an oily timber (hardwood) and the alum wood primer holds the oil in the wood and alows the paint to stick properly.