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Can I paint emulsion over varnish

Listed under Annie Sloan, Blog, preparation Posted Mar 14 2012

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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2 comments 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?

  2. patsy

    Hi. Please can you tell me which is the best brush to use on Little Greens oil based eggshell. The top priority for me is to reduce brush strokes. I have tried a Purdy monarch elite 2″. The actual brush strokes arn’t too bad, but I can see areas where you can see a definate 2″ wide mark, which is obvious the the brush head. It looks like I have overbrushed. I did find it hard to keep the brush and paint flowing. I thought I’d done alright, till it dried. Should I have used a pure bristled brush.Could do with some advice please. Also the finish on the primer was a better finish?

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