To paint over stained and varnished furniture, test the varnish, apply trisodium phosphate, fill and sand the wood, prime it, and paint the wood. This three-day project requires rags, drop cloths, denatured alcohol, lacquer thinner, a bucket, water, trisodium phosphate, sandpaper, wood filler, a putty knife, primer, paintbrushes and paint.Continue Reading
Wet one rag with denatured alcohol, and moisten another with lacquer thinner. Rub them on small areas of the wood. If neither chemical loosens the finish, the furniture is sealed with varnish, and it is safe to proceed.
Wash the wood with a solution of trisodium phosphate and warm water. Let the table air dry.
Load a putty knife with wood filler putty, and pack it into cracks and other imperfections. Let the putty dry according to the instructions on the package.
Sand the dried putty with medium-grit sandpaper, and remove the dust with a dry rag.
Set the furniture on a drop cloth, and use a paintbrush to apply oil-based primer. Do not proceed until the primer dries.
Apply several coats of paint. Sand each coat after it dries, and then apply another coat. Do not sand the final coat. Give the paint 48 hours to dry.