How To Paint Over Polyurethane

By Robert Robillard on How To

 How To Paint Over Polyurethane Or Varnish Finishes

Applying Wil-Bond:

• Saturate a rag with Wil-Bond and rub over the surface until the rag “pulls” or “drags.”

• Change the rag frequently as it picks up grease and dirt.

• Promptly dispose of these rags in a metal container. [They are a fire hazard]

• On heavily waxed surfaces use #00 Steel Wood saturated with Wil-Bond.

• Treat as much surface as you can prime in 30 minutes. The “tact” will only last that long.

How To Paint Over Polyurethane

Tip: Use the 3M green scrub pads to apply the Wil-Bond to contoured and detailed areas, such as moldings and window mullions.

Tip: Use a plastic pail or make one by cutting the top off a clean recycled container. Pour the Wil-Bond in your container and dip the green pad in to saturate.

How To Paint Over Polyurethane Or Varnish Finishes

Applying Primer

Make sure you have all of your priming supplies set up and ready to go. [oil paint, brush, paint thinner] Remember once you start applying the Wil-Bond chemical you have 30 minutes to apply primer.

Tip: Work in a left to right fashion and in a methodical manner.

For example:

  •  Do one side of a door at a time,
  •  One window sash at a time.
  •  Treat and prime one wall of baseboard at a time. [30 minutes]

How To Paint Over Polyurethane Or Varnish Finishes

9. Apply primer to woodwork: apply the oil based primer with a paint brush suitable for oil based paints. Prime all of the treated woodwork

10. Prime all of the surfaces you have applied Wil-Bond to with-in 30 minutes.

11. Apply Wil-Bond to a new area and prime.

12. Continue in this fashion until your project is primed.

Tip: You will need to keep your primer and paint brush handy.

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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:

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