How to paint over varnished wood


When the painter left our little house a few weeks ago it was looking whiter, brighter and beautiful; with the dated wood balustrade gone I had high hopes of a builder following with lovely new skirtings and doors.  My hopes faded as I realised that the builders were all too busy with the big jobs and so I set about with a little DIY.  I am no stranger to DIY, back in my younger days the only way to get something done was to do it yourself, money is usually an object when you are starting out with your first homes!  Over the years however, as money becomes less of an object the desire to have someone else do the harder jobs overtakes the desire to do it yourself.

Our mezzanine floor with timber skirtings, door trims and balustrades

painting over varnished timber

Painting over polyurethaned or varnished wood is not an easy task and the right products are essential, it is worth paying a little more for good brushes, rollers and paints.

The first step was a light sand, followed by masking the carpet; using a paint scraper you can push the masking tape right down to the floor meaning your carpet is fully protected.  One coat of this amazing product was all it took to cover the old varnished rimu and it was dry and ready for a top coat within the hour.  One more top coat and voila!  Who needs a builder and new stuff when you can fix up the old?

painting over varnished skirtings

painting over varnish

The old rimu doors were removed and given the same treatment over the course of a day and then rehung the next morning.  Total Cost $181.00.  New materials and a builder would have cost well over $2500 and I still would have had to paint them!

how to paint varnished doors

how to paint over varnishAnd here is our Mezzanine floor today, complete with white skirtings and trims and black doorsblack doors

black doors

black painted doors

guest room ideas

I’m not suggesting that you must paint over timber in your home.  I have loved the rimu for its quirkiness and imperfections for the last 12 years but for my little house and its ever-evolving style it was time for a change.

I have to say I am going to think twice about employing people when all I need is a little patience and elbow grease to get the job done DIY style.

The walls and trims are Resene Black White and the Doors are Resene Bokara Grey which is slightly softer and warmer than pure black.

Photography and Styling by My Little House

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