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Varnishing wood furniture: A Step-by-Step Guide

Varnishing is a simple, yet effective way to protect and enhance the natural beauty and elegance of wood. It is a suitable option for both revitalizing old furniture and preserving new pieces. Just follow these six easy steps, and you will ensure the success of your project whether you have decided to bring life to your old furniture or to protect your new one.


1. Prepare the surface

Start by thoroughly cleaning the furniture. Use fine - grit sandpaper (around 220 grit) to smooth out any rough spots on the surface and wipe the wood down with a cloth to remove any dust or debris.





2. Choose the right varnish

When selecting a varnish, you have several options to pick from. The most widely used are oil-based and water - based. Oil - based varnishes offer higher durability and water resistance but take longer to dry and have a strong odor. On the other hand, water - based varnishes dry considerably faster and have lower levels of VOCs, making them a better choice for indoor use.



3. Apply the varnish 

Using a paintbrush or a paint roller (a flocked roller would be the most suitable product for this task), apply a thin layer of varnish onto the treated surface. Work in small sections, making sure to cover the area evenly and smoothly. Avoid using too much varnish at once, as it can drip and create drops and sags.



4. Let it dry completely

Follow the manufacturer's drying time recommendations for the type of product you have chosen (usually around 24 hours). Once the varnish is dry, sand the wood again with fine-grit sandpaper to remove any bumps or imperfections. Use a cloth to remove any accumulated dust or debris.



5. Apply a second coat of varnish

Based on the type of wood and preferred level of protection, you might have to reapply the varnish several times. Repeat the process until the desired result is achieved.





6. Finish up

Let the final coat of varnish to dry completely and enjoy the beautifully finished furniture!






Varnishing wooden furniture is a simple, yet effective process that can help not only protect, but beautify your wood surfaces. With a little bit of patience and attention to detail, you can achieve great results. Happy painting!

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