Painting Over Varnish Without Sanding

I've seen some older posts already about painting directly over varnished furniture, but it's not exactly the same problem that I have. I was just wondering, I have a small, mahogany corner shelf unit that someone forgot to move when we were oil-painting the door next to it.

It's full of white spatters, but I don't want to toss it if I can paint over it to hide the spatters. It's very hot here where I live, would it be a good idea to stick it outside in the hot sun so as to fade away the varnish before I paint it. Sanding it down is too difficult as it is full of carvings and swirls. Anybody have any suggestions?


By Cettina from Malta, Europe

August 1, 20100 found this helpful

Cettina, are the spatters large? Are the spatters in the scroll design? You could always use a stripper to get the paint off but if it is in the scrolls that would be difficult. I think your only option would be to sand, at least get the worst of it done that way. Or, another possibility, you might take a putty knife and see if you can get some of the paint off that way.

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

Hi laniegirl. The spatters are large, with lots of drips over the scrollings. I could sand down the flat parts but there is no way I can get to the carved bits without scraping which would probably ruin the delicate engravings. Its a shame that the little unit was overlooked until it was too late. its not particularly valuable, its just pretty and i would like to save it if I can.

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August 5, 20100 found this helpful

I would sand what you can with a small sander and then use an attachment to try to get what you can of the decorative parts. You could hand sand the rest, but it will get old fast.

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August 7, 20100 found this helpful

Go to the hardware store and get liquid sandpaper, comes in a variety of names. It is a cleaner, slight stripper. I use this in my 100 year old house to clean woodwork without having to refinish anything. Cleans it up nice and shiny.

This is not tsp.

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August 10, 20100 found this helpful

Never heard of such a thing as liquid sandpaper but the concept seems exactly what I need. Thanks for the suggestion. I will go and see if such a thing is available in my country.

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Anonymous Flag
March 30, 20160 found this helpful

It's called sugar soap

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