How To Paint Over Polyurethane

By Robert Robillard on How To

 How To Paint Over Polyurethane Or Varnish Finishes

Etching And De-Glossing the Surface:

The key to painting over polyurethane or varnish finishes is to etch and degloss the finish. The key is in creating a perfect bonding environment.

Etching and De-glossing the poly or varnish finish ensures that the new paint finish goes on smoothly, bonds tightly and lasts longer.

1. Sand all surfaces lightly too etch the finish. Use the sanding sponge on contours and details on woodwork like door panel molding or baseboard trim caps.

2. You know you have etched the surface when you can see light scratches in the old finish. This is an important step and a common mistake. Take your time to sand everything lightly

3. Sand all at once: sand everything that you will be priming.

Tip: Use soft sanding blocks to sand detailed molding or profiles in your woodwork. [Example: door panels, baseboard trip caps.]

4. Vacuum all sanding dust.

5. Wipe down all of the woodwork with a clean, damp rag or sponge.

6. Apply Wil-Bond Liquid Surface Preparation to the poly or varnished wood. There are other brands out there but experience has shown me that this brand works best!

7. Follow the Wil-Bond directions on the can. Below is a summary of these directions:


Continue reading. . .

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of and ToolBoxBuzz, and a has a weekly column in the Sunday Boston Globe. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”. Contact Rob at:

All posts by Robert »

Not what you're looking for?

Search for more articles here. Enter keywords like roof leak, bookcase, deck, etc to find your topic.

© Copyright 2017 A Concord Carpenter · All Rights Reserved