How To Varnish Wood & Make Your Furniture Look More Shining?

Paint varnish has the outstanding advantages such as light brown color which is the same with the color of natural wood. It is suitable for antique furniture and for those who love natural color furniture.

Varnishes distinguish with the PU paint line of the only very thin layer on the wood surface, deep penetration into wood fibers. The varnishing process is quite complicated; the technique is difficult and suitable for the classic sofa, the value of the rustic, highlight the “real” wood.

>>> Read here to know what is the difference between varnish and polyurethane


If the less-used furniture such as frames, stairs, antique wooden cabinets; then, you should use the varnish paint. Also for the furniture such as wooden doors, tables, chairs, kitchen cabinets, wardrobe, and then you should use PU paint.

Varnishes take the surface of the wood as the center of the appearance of the items, honoring the nature of them, quite durable, easy to renew for the next painting.

Let’s see how to varnish wood and apply then.

The things you need:

✓ Gloves

✓ Mask

✓ Goggles

✓ Paint

✓ Varnish for polishing the wood (optional)

✓ Heat gun (only used in hot air gun)

✓ Water (only for use with a heat gun); Unplug the power first! High risk of electric shock!

✓ Abrasive paper (with different particle sizes, if you want a smoother surface, try using more sandpaper with more grain, if you want to work faster with a rough surface, use paper. The grain size is less. Refer to the instructions provided at the store!)

✓ Electric grinding machine (if any)

✓ Chemical detergent (if any)

How do you apply varnish to wood?

Step 1: Polish furniture

Use the 100 – 120 sandpaper grit to polish the surface of furniture. Carefully brush the corners and edges of the furniture for a perfect finish.

Step 2: Clean the furniture

Do not use soap to clean up the furniture. You should use a damp cloth to remove dirt entirely on the surface of the furniture.

Step 3: Repair furniture (if any)

If your furniture is deeply scratched or cracked. Use wood glue and fine sawdust. Mix well and fill in cracks. Let the fills dry, then use fine sandpaper again and polish thoroughly before applying varnish.

Step 4: Use Wood Varnish
Varnish makes your wood surface more shining and polishing. Source:

Varnish makes your wood surface more shining and polishing. Source:

Like painting furniture, varnishes should be applied in the direction of the wood vein.

However, you do not need to worry too much about accuracy because the varnish has a good coverage.

Step 5. Wood furniture protection

Each coat of varnish should be dried for 4 to 5 hours. Choose a beautiful day to beat the varnish.

The temperature should not be too low or too high. If the temperature is low, the varnish will be drier longer. If the temperature is too high, it will make the varnish dry faster, and it is easy to remove the varnish.

What is the best way to apply varnish?

Choose the right time

It is not always possible to varnish wood. Choose the right time to shorten the time and use the varnish layer with the best wood color. It is advisable to avoid the wet weather so that the varnish is infused with wood for long periods of time.

However, it is not advisable to varnish wood when it is too hot or dry. At high temperature, Varnishes penetrate too fast so it is possible after finishing to be easily peeled.

When the dirt is dry, the paint surface will not be smooth. This issue is a popular question when preserving wood furniture. Therefore, choosing the right moment is extremely important.

Clean and smoothen furniture before applying varnish

Varnishing is to wear a new shirt for old furniture. Before you use the old wood, you should clean the old color to ensure that the nature of the original color. This is important if you choose a color completely different from the old colors.

Make the surface of the wood is clean, when the new varnished hands, new lumber smooth and beautiful. Just forget to clean the wood, and you will see a small layer of wood when painting the first layer.

Select the solution and apply the varnish layer accordingly

If you choose to varnish yourself for home furniture, do not forget to mix the varnish with clean water in the ratio of 1: 1.

Also, you can also buy ready-to-use varnishes to ensure the accuracy of the color consistency and consistency of the coating.

For the varnish surface to look thick and have good wood protection, you should apply two to three layers of wood. Four to five hours apart from each other so that wood has a long infiltration time. When applying varnish paint, you should pay attention to follow the lines of wood to make a regular color and have clear wood grain.

Clean the furniture after the varnish
Clean furniture. Source:

Clean the furniture. Source:

After finishing the varnish, it is recommended to use light sandpaper to remove the dirt particles or paint on the surface of the wood. Then wipe the surface with a damp towel to clean the surface thoroughly.

Can you varnish over wood stain?

If your furniture is deep scratched or cracked, you’d better use wood glue and fine sawdust. Mix well and fill in cracks. Let’s the furniture dry, then use fine sandpaper again and polish thoroughly before applying varnish. When you finish, wait for dry and polish the surface.

The most common way to remove paint on the floor is to use gasoline. The paint will melt in petrol solvent, so you will easily remove paint stains with gasoline.

You just need to prepare a dry towel and pour the gasoline on the towel, then use it to wipe the paint. However, because gasoline will smell, you need soap or floor cleaning chemicals to scour the floor.

Another alternative way you can apply is sandpaper. This is the simplest and most handy way to do just because you only need to make strong brushing onto the paint pots. However, the sandpaper should only be used with smooth and flat brick flooring.

In addition, there is an easier way that you can use to remove paint on the floor is using chemical paint remover. Using chemical paint remover will save you time and effort when cleaning paint. Depending on the type of floor you will select the appropriate chemicals to fly the paint.

Can I varnish over varnish without sanding?

The answer is NO.

The sanding process is an important step in furniture production. If the surface of wood products is smooth, not rugged, the production should be passed through with the careful sanding process.

Sanding furniture is not a compulsory step, but experts encourage to do this step. For example, if the paint surface of your furniture is bright, you will start pouring the paint for a short time without sanding.

If you have to paint on a previously painted surface or painted furniture without the abrasive, the work will be very difficult and require a primer and a rather cushioning coating to keep the color.

In addition, some furniture also has rough patches, holes or paint spills on the surface that requires sanding. Coatings in such cases are considered mandatory.

Anyway, sanding is always a good start to the paint process is smooth and finished products as you like.

How to sand the wood?

Wood sanding process
Sanding wood. Source:

Sanding wood. Source:

Sanding in the production of furniture is usually made in three times.

✓ Sanding bucket

✓ Fine sanding to paint

✓ Sanding after primer

Depending on the requirements of each product, there will be a sanding process to suit the product. All sanding steps are handcrafted and require a thorough inspection before moving to the next stage.

Bucket Sanding

Sanding is a process for rubber wood after being grafted and prepared for cutting. This process requires the wood surface to clean the wood glue entirely and the wood surface must be flat

 Fine sanding

Fine sanding is the process after the final assembly of the finished product and preparation begins with the primer. This sanding process requires the surface and edges to be sanded clean, reaching roughness from 240 # to 400 #.  The product surface must be smooth, not to touch…The angles should be tapered to reduce sharpness and ensure high safety.

Sanding after primer

This is after the primer. It ensures that the primer density is uniform, no color, no paint, no blistering. This stage also ensures that the product surface is smooth. The edges must be clean; the sharpness should also be from 240 # to 400


  • Finish with a varnish layer for high shine.
  • Use the sandpaper (which can be purchased in different grain sizes at the paint shop) will help to make the sanding work smoother and more efficient.
  • You can also use propane gas lamps instead of heat guns. This will be faster, but you must be ready to put out the fire.
  • Use rough scraps to shave faster, but if you want the surface of the furniture is smooth, then you need to use more fine sandpaper.


  • Be careful when using a gun and any other equipment. Paint and paint solvents are very flammable. No possibility of electric shock; you must be careful!
  • Veneers on the surface can make the errors appear more clearly (remember to sand the wood grain).
  • Wear gloves and do not sand too hard. Otherwise, you will be upset and overworked.

Now, do you know how to varnish wood?

It can be seen that the PU paint for furniture is not too complicated, but to get the product you want, you need to carefully note the compulsory and important steps above.

Hope that with the useful varnishing tips of painting the old furniture we just shared above, you will quickly carry out and get satisfied with the product by yourself.