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Topic: Painting varnished wood?? (coffee table)  (Read 6070 times)
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« on: July 15, 2009 08:34:30 PM »

We have an old coffee table that is pretty dinged up and crappy looking. I decided I am going to try to paint it before I take it down to my apartment this fall. But it has a shiny finish to it (varnished, I assume?) and I don't know how the paint would work with that. I've never refinished anything before (although I have a couple other pieces lined up..) and I just wanted to know what would be best to use?

Is it best to sand it down fully, then prime it and THEN paint the colour you want? Or is there some way you can prime and then paint without sanding it down fully? Or is primer even necessary if you are painting a dark colour? It is medium wood colour and I am gonna paint it black I think.

I cann't quiet the creative monkey in my head!
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2009 09:32:35 PM »

You should do at least a little sanding, rough up the finish a little, then use KILLS, it's one of the best primers out there, before you paint and you should be O.K.

« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009 04:13:34 PM »

Great, thanks so much! Smiley

I googled and came up with KILZ, is this what you meant? : http://www.kilz.com/pages/default.aspx?NavID=23
I cann't quiet the creative monkey in my head!
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009 07:29:59 AM »

Yeah, I'm horrible at spelling brand names lol.  I just know it's the white can with the red lettering on it, bad huh. 

« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2009 01:37:26 PM »

Refinishing and Finishing Wood by Black and Decker Home Improvement Library, has a section on identifying old finishes.
It is best to use the least toxic you need to first. If lacquer use lacquer thinner. Dentured alcohol is best used for shallack and is effective with wax. Mineral spirits dissolves wax, most oil top coats and pure varnish. Chemical stripper is the most powerful finish removal but it is also the most toxic. It can remove most varnishes and polyurethane and paint.
Sanding you will need to use probably a medium grade and go down to a fine finish to get rid of some scratches. I like to use the foam sanding blocks.
I had some trouble when I painted my cabinets because I don't think I sanded the finish off well enough and I would get areas that the paint wouldn't cover. They were only small pin hole areas but it irritated me.

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