Garnish wood

Wood is a material that always gives a different touch to any space. Best of all, with the right product it is possible to easily stain wood or achieve a natural wood finish.

If we look around us, we will find varnished wood in many elements of our home. These include 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 on the market today.

However, the varnish tends to dull 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 will teach you how to varnish a piece of furniture, a door or any other element in 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 choose a product that is suitable for said use. If we take a look at any shelf of a DIY store or the catalog of a manufacturer of wood varnishes, we will see how the offer is considerable. Something reasonable, on the other hand, given that the same properties of a varnish for interior wood are not required as for a floor or the one used to varnish exterior wood, such as that of railings and pergolas.

Therefore, it is key to properly choose the product to use according to what corresponds. To varnish wood indoors, you can resort to water-based varnish, easy to apply and odourless. If it is for exteriors, you should use synthetic varnishes with UV filters, which deteriorate less in the sun. And if it is for floors or platforms, the best is the 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 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 must be the one that marks the grain. It is important that we do not load the varnish brush too much, to avoid residues remaining 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’re using takes to dry, just read the product label. 

Once dry, we will give a second coat of sandpaper to the product, although in this case using a finer grain. The idea is to eliminate possible excesses and create a greater adherence for this second layer. Don’t forget to clean any dust left 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 this is dirty and worn, surely we want to clean it before sanding. If you don’t know how to clean old wood, don’t worry. Simply mix a little turpentine with a dash 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. Then, rinse with soap and water and let it dry for a couple of days.

Once the wood is clean, we just 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, it is necessary to take into account three issues. One of them is to choose a suitable product for that use, as we said at the beginning. Another important point is sanding in depth, to completely renew the existing varnish. And the last aspect is the number of layers to give. Generally, exterior wood varnishing requires 3 or 4 coats, compared to the two required for an interior door or piece of furniture.

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 carry out any varnishing.

  • Take advantage of the sanding process to repair damaged surfaces , matching them or filling in 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 paint stripper.
  • It is essential to mix the varnish well inside the pot, so that it performs as well as it should. It is also key to respect the dilution percentages indicated by the manufacturer.

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