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    Can I paint emulsion over varnish

    If you ever thought of painting matt emulsion straight over varnish, then don’t!

    This was acrylic matt emulsion from a sampler applied straight onto a varnished wooden kitchen door. The paint was 3 days old and “looked” solid. A quick rub over with wet n’ dry sandpaper turned it to sludge. An accelerated vision of a gradual self destruct peeling process where the paint has no key.

    Ordinarily, paint needs a key. There are high adhesion primers that will stick to non keyed surfaces, but emulsion isn’t one such product.

    Better to do nothing than slap the wrong paint on, without cleaning, sanding and priming! Of course, if you want to paint waxy furniture without too much prep, try Annie Sloan chalk paint. That is easy to apply, but like most things that work, it isn’t all “easy”, because you need some hard graft applying the wax for protection.

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    One comment to “Can I paint emulsion over varnish”

    1. David Stone

      I havbe a room that is T Boarded and emulsioned then distressed then varnished. Now 8yrs old and looking poor.
      Would like to redo similar? Is it enough to just sand and washdown. How do I treat the grooves?

    Please ask a question or leave a comment



    Recent Comments

  • Andy Crichton { Hi Sam, in short, as long as you don't break through clear lacquer on the pine furniture when sanding down, you do not need to... } – Jul 24, 8:24 PM
  • Sam { Hi I am about to paint some pine bedroom furniture, I've just been to a little greene stockist to buy my oil based eggshell where... } – Jul 23, 5:21 PM
  • Andy Crichton { Hi Dani, that sounds like a good plan, except I would probably try a quick test to remove the wax with a degreaser before sanding.... } – Jul 21, 12:28 PM
  • Andy Crichton { I have had some interesting feedback since the article was published. In no particular order: The value of the painters trousers that people buy is... } – Jul 21, 11:59 AM
  • Dani Mee { I have a waxed, pine bedframe that I want to make over. I plan on sanding it down, priming with a shellac based primer and... } – Jul 21, 11:50 AM
  • Andy Crichton { Royal and Langnickel There are a couple of pointers here } – Jul 21, 11:15 AM