Wood is a material that always gives a different touch to any space. Best of all, with a suitable product it is possible to stain wood or achieve a natural wood finish comfortably.
If we look around us, we will find varnished wood in many elements of our home. Among them are the doors, but also all kinds of furniture and even other accessories, such as the fronts of built-in wardrobes. We are talking about a material that gives a special touch to any room and that does not require much maintenance, thanks to the quality of the wood varnishes that we find today on the market.
However, the varnish tends to fade over time and requires periodic renewal. You may also want to change the look of that varnished wood and give it a different touch, especially after painting a room. To make it easier for you to carry out this task, we show you how to varnish a piece of furniture, a door or any other element of your house that is covered with this product.
Choosing the varnish
The first thing we must do, regardless of what we are going to paint, is to choose a suitable product for that use. If we take a look at any shelf in a DIY store or the catalog of a manufacturer of varnishes for wood, we will see how the offer is considerable. Something reasonable, on the other hand, since the same properties are not required for an interior wood varnish as for a floor or that used to varnish exterior wood, such as railings and pergolas.
Therefore, it is essential to properly choose the product to use according to what corresponds. To varnish wood indoors, you can use water-based varnish , easy to apply and odorless. If it is for exteriors, you should use synthetic varnishes and with UV filter, which deteriorate less in the sun. And if it is for floors or platforms, the best is polyurethane varnish , which gives you greater resistance and durability on contact.
How to varnish a door
If we have to varnish a door, the first thing we must do is remove it from the hinges and disassemble them, as well as the knobs, handles and other metallic elements that it has. Next, it is necessary to sand the wooden door with a coarse sandpaper, in order to remove the remains of old varnish that it has. A key point when it comes to knowing how to varnish an already varnished door since, if we do not do it, it is likely that the result will not be adequate.
Once we have the door sanded, we will begin to apply the new varnish, moving the brush gently and always in the same direction, which should be the one that marks the grain. It is important that we do not load the varnish brush too much, to avoid that there are remains during the process. We will give a first coat, which we will let dry completely. If you don’t know how long the varnish you are using takes to dry, just read the product label.
Once dry, we will give the product a second coat of sandpaper, although in this case using a finer grain. The idea is to eliminate possible excesses and create a greater adherence for this second coat. Don’t forget to clean any remaining dust on the surface before painting again.
How to varnish a piece of furniture
The process of varnishing a piece of furniture is quite similar to the one we have discussed for the door. To begin with, we disassemble the handles, fittings, guides and other elements that may be mounted on the furniture. If it is dirty and worn, we are probably interested in cleaning it before sanding. If you don’t know how to clean old wood, don’t worry. Simply mix a little white spirit with a splash of ammonia and soak the wood with it to remove embedded dirt. In addition, the mixture hydrates the material, which will come in handy for the painting process. Afterwards, it is rinsed with soap and water and left to dry for a couple of days.
Once the wood is cleaned, we only have to sand it, starting with a coarse sandpaper and ending with a finer one. The idea is to remove all the varnish and dirt that may have remained, but leaving a pleasant surface.
We will proceed to varnish with a product suitable for the finish we want, although if the furniture has a natural finish and has not been painted before, it is recommended to use a wood sealer before applying the varnish. In any case, it is necessary to sand again after sealing and between the first and second coat. With this we further enhance the beauty of the furniture and reinforce that exterior.
How to varnish outdoors
Whether you have to varnish doors, furniture or railings outdoors, there are three things to keep in mind. One of them is to choose a suitable product for that use, as we said at the beginning. Another important point is to sand in depth, to completely renew the existing varnish. And the last aspect is the number of layers to give. Generally, the varnishing of wood outdoors requires 3 or 4 layers, compared to the two that a door or an interior furniture needs.
This extra layer works together with the components of the chosen paint to adequately protect the wood against inclement weather, cold and humidity, improving its durability.
To close our article, we leave you some extra tricks to make any varnish.
- Take advantage of the sanding process to repair damaged surfaces , equalizing them or filling any gaps that may exist with putty.
- Always follow the direction of the grain during varnishing, especially in the case of transparent finishes.
- If you find it difficult to remove the old varnish with sandpaper, you can use a heat gun or a stripper.
- It is essential to mix the varnish well inside the bottle, so that it performs as well as it should. It is also key to respect the dilution percentages indicated by the manufacturer.