Can you put new varnish over old varnish?

Asked By: Marilina Hilbertz | Last Updated: 5th February, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests painting
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Short answer: yes, you can apply wipe-on over previous varnish. Whether it'll work well in this specific case nobody can say, you'll have to try it and see. But following the basic prep guidelines it'll usually work fine. It isn't as simple as just wiping on the Minwax product over the existing varnish.

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Likewise, can I varnish over varnish without sanding?

Painting Over Varnish Without Sanding. It is often recommend that you sand any surface thoroughly prior to painting it. Painting over varnish without sanding is not a best practice but it can be done.

Beside above, can I put polyurethane varnish over Spar varnish? Spars have a greater oil ratio than an interior varnish or oil base polyurethane. Coating over it with either of those would maintain that softness/flexibility as a base coat. High End spar varnishes ( I wouldn't use these indoors) tend to take much longer to dry and stay much more flexible than spar urethane.

Similarly, you may ask, can you varnish over existing varnish?

It is possible to apply stain over varnish, as long as you aren't expecting results similar to those when staining untreated wood that drinks in the stain. Clean and rough-up the varnish first to remove any grime, dust or debris and also to give the surface some texture the stain can cling to.

How do I remove varnish?

You can use a stiff-bristled scrub brush to remove varnish from fancy, curved details. Some of the stain may linger after scraping. To remove it, dampen a soft, fine-grade steel-wool pad with more paint stripper and rub it against the wood, following the wood grain, then wipe off the softened stain with a rag.

29 Related Question Answers Found

Should you sand between varnish coats?

Note: Sanding between coats is not necessary, but it will provide a better finish. After a coat has dried, use 220 or 240 grit sandpaper or extra fine steel wool to lightly sand surface. Sanding produces a white film over the finish, but will disappear as you apply the next coat. Do not sand the final coat.

Can I paint over varnish?

The short answer: yes. There is a big misconception where you can't paint over varnished wood when, actually, you can. While possible, painting over wood varnish comes with good and bad news. The good news is that painting over varnished wood is possible using either oil or water-based paints.

What is the difference between stain and varnish?

While a stain deeply penetrates wood, a varnish remains on the outside of your surfaces, forming a protective barrier. A varnish is usually clear and transparent, and it will harden along the outer layer of your wood. Some varnishes do include colour to enhance or alter the wood shade.

What do you use to apply varnish?

Method 2 Applying Varnish to Wood
  1. Brush varnish lightly onto your wood. Dip just the tip of your brush into the varnish-thinner mixture, and gently apply it to your piece.
  2. Tip off while the varnish is still wet.
  3. Apply two thin coats of varnish, then sand and apply another.

Can you put polyurethane over old varnish?


Some of these would bond well to polyurethane (the varnish could actually be oil + poly) and some may not. The only way to know for sure is to do a test in an inconspicuous area. Short answer: yes, you can apply wipe-on over previous varnish.

Does varnish make wood waterproof?

Varnish, a combination of resin, solvent, and drying oil, gives a hard-shell finish that resists scratches without yellowing. To waterproof wood that will be placed outdoors, choose marine varnish, which contains UV absorbers to resist sun damage.

How long does varnish last?

Gloss oil-based varnish, polyurethane and Danish oil can last 10 or 20 years, though satin finishes and stains may fail sooner as pigments and flattening agents disable the driers. Water-based coatings and paints can also be viable longer than three years. Shellac, though, can go bad in under a year.

Does clear varnish darken wood?

The difference is that they will slightly darken the colour of the wood, applying a little water to the wood will give you an indication of the final finish. We have had samples of varnishes that claim to keep the wood "Looking exactly as it is before applying the varnish" but they don't actually work.

How do you prep wood for varnish?

Use 180 to 220-grit sandpaper and sand with the direction of the grain. Clean the wood and your work space with a damp cloth and let it dry. Your work space will need to be free of any dust or dirt before you can start applying the varnish. Clean your wood piece by wiping it down with a damp cloth.

What is the difference between varnish and polyurethane?


While polyurethane is water- or oil-based plastic resin, varnish is older and made from resins, oils, and solvents. Because of the higher ratio of solids, varnish is less susceptible to ultraviolet light damage. This finish gives a more tinted color when applied and requires more coats than polyurethane.

How many coats of varnish do I need?

Many varnishes require two or even three coats for a smooth finish -- use your own judgment, and follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Between coats of varnish, let the first coat of varnish harden or dry, as recommended by the manufacturer.

How do I get a high gloss varnish finish on wood?

  1. Sand the bare wood as needed to smooth it and remove the old finish.
  2. Fill the grain with an oil-or water-based wood grain filler.
  3. Spray one coat of lacquer.
  4. Apply one more coat of varnish.
  5. Allow the varnish or lacquer to dry for one day, then level-sand with 400-grit sandpaper to remove bumps and imperfections.

How can I dry varnish quickly?

Wipe the surface of the varnish lightly with a rag moistened with turpentine or mineral spirits. Don't rub the varnish, just wipe it lightly enough to remove the tackiness from the surface. Give the varnish another day or two under the breeze of a fan to cure.

Can you clear coat over varnish?

2. Don't apply automotive clear over varnish. They are not compatible and the urethane will probably delaminate from the varnish .

How many coats spar varnish?


How Many Coats to Apply. This depends on how many are already there and what kind of environment your boat is exposed to. If you start with bare wood, six to eight coats provide a solid basis for adding more during regular maintenance. Some varnishers apply as many as ten coats.

What is the best marine varnish?

VALUE GUIDE: Varnish Alternatives
PRODUCT PRICE INITIAL RATINGS
Epifanes Rapidclear $26/ quart Excellent
Interlux Sikkens Cetol Marine (alone) $25/ quart Excellent
Interlux Sikkens Cetol with Marine Gloss $25/ quart (Gloss $28) Good
Interlux Sikkens Cetol Marine Light (alone) $25/ quart Excellent

What is the difference between varnish and spar urethane?

The main difference between the two is spar varnish will eventually chip or chalk off over time, while spar urethane will maintain a hard, shiny surface.