Sanding and varnishing window and door frames

I have never done this before, I need help, simplest way for an amateur to understand please. What tools do I need?
  6 answers
  • Pgl Pgl on Feb 16, 2016
    need a little more info.What is on the frames now? Is their paint or stain? are they new?
    • Nookie Nookie on Feb 16, 2016
      @Pgl Hello, there is old varnish, yes they are are quite an age, thank you for answering
  • Laurie Powell Laurie Powell on Feb 17, 2016
    If you are wanting to stain them a darker, richer color, I have an easy solution. The trim in my house has turned a yellowishcolor through the years.My birch cupbards in my kitchen are that same color. I hate the color & this is what I have done on the inside of my cupboard doors. Regular minwax stain can be brushed right over the existing varnished finish! You can still see the wood grain too! You might have to put 2 coats on, to get the color you want. I just haven't had the time to do my cupboards yet. Talk to someone at a paint store if you want to paint it instead. You will probably have to prime before you use the paint. Good luck!
  • If the varnish is intact, I don't recommend brushing a stain over it! varnish is meant to be a top coat. stain is like nail polish. some color absorbs, but it really sits on top. So, if you brush that on top of an existing finish, I don't know how long it will last. Stripping varnish and stain down to bare wood requires some know-how. I would suggest watching some you tube videos or going to a woodworkers forum and reading. stripping off the old finish is a must. some people will say you can just sand it off, which you can. However, the remaining original color is still in the pores of the wood. If you want to completely change stain colors, you have to remove the old stain completely. That's what stripper does. Then you sand. with varying grits. Then you stain. Then you topcoat. at least 3 times, sanding in between each coat. windows and doors are a lot of work. Good luck!! do your research!
  • Jackie I Jackie I on Feb 17, 2016
    I would suggest a sponge type sanding block that shapes to the wood you are sanding. As long as you want to keep the same color or darker just sand them until there is no gloss left. Vacuum all the dust and the sanded wood then wipe it down with a lightly dampened cloth. If you feel they need to be restained, now would be the time to do it. Consult your paint department for an appropriate varnish or sealer. Make sure you get one that will not turn yellow over time. Nowadays a poly urethane is more commonly used. You can get it with no shine all the way up to high gloss. It's your decision. Good luck!
  • Pgl Pgl on Feb 18, 2016
    Stop! Varnish is most likely oil based you either sand it off or get a primer for oil based products. Is their someone around you that refinishes furniture or restores old wood? They could give you the best advice or go to a reputable paint store and ask. The old expression 'better to ask questions before,less work than asking later
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Feb 22, 2016
    If it is before the 1940's, you can likely wipe the outer layer off by both wet sanding (120 grit) and wiping with methyl hydrate; then rejeuvenate the oil finish by wiping with varsol/mineral spirits and rubbing to a shine. Follow safety precautions on pkgs. Test on a smal area first to preview results. once cured, wax coat.
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