Getting Ready to Varnish Woodwork

Varnish is mainly used for wood finishing tasks, to preserve the natural state of the wood applying no additional finish, to preserve a stain coating, and to maintain and refinish an old furniture.

It is easy to create varnish finishes. The wood, of course, should be filled, and then shellacked, then it is readied for a light sanding for finishing. The common varnish finish consists of one or two coatings of rubbing varnish followed by a coating of sealant.

There are various varnishes that are used in finishing, both for cabinetry and for other functions in the home.

Start out with all your equipment ready and in place:


clean varnish pots


closed brush keeper

picking stick

tack rag


sheets of 6/00 split-garnet polishing paper

For wood staining and shellacking, the surface must be properly ready for varnishing because varnish is generally sheer. Old wood may be washed with laundry soap or dishwashing detergent, and then lightly sanded with No. 00 paper. Be careful not to remove parts of underlying color that should remain visible. Once the original paint has cracked or peeled, remove it through sanding or by applying chemicals.

Varnishing must be performed in a dust-free, well ventilated room, at a temperature higher than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply use a varnish brush for this varnishing job.

Read more about varnishing techniques:   DIY Varnishing: Tips on Creating a Good Varnish Finish 

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