Painting over varnished door frames

Donna R
by Donna R
Is there a way to paint over varnished door frames without sanding the frames?
  7 answers
  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on Dec 05, 2013
    I wouldn't paint over varnished anything without "roughing up" the finish first. You will be so disappointed when the pain 1. doesn't dry smooth. 2. The paint could just "slide" off the finish. The KEY to any paint job, and I have primed, painted over 2400 sq. ft of sheetrock walls and wood trim in my current house, is the prep work. I found when I skimped on the prep, I ended up regretting it. You don't have to sand hard just enough to scuff up and smooth out any rough spots on the finish. Good Luck.... you will be glad you took the time to prep....
  • Donna R Donna R on Dec 05, 2013
    @Cyndi Moore Tippett - thanks for the response. I've sanded and painted (or refinished) varnished wood before but with these decorative door frames it will be very difficult to even rough up the inside of most of the groves. A while ago a friend mentioned a product that can be painted on varnished wood, allowed to dry and then you can paint right over it, but I don't know the name of the product. Was hoping some member would know.
  • Linda S. Porter Linda S. Porter on Dec 05, 2013
    You might try going to a paint store and see what they would suggest or call a professional for an idea.
  • Shari Shari on Dec 05, 2013
    I used KleenStrip Liquid Sandpaper (sold at Home Depot) on all my doors, door frames and baseboards but any liquid sandpaper (also called deglosser) product should work. Then use a good quality BONDING primer before painting. The bonding primer step is really important so don't be tempted to skip it (and don't use an all-in-one primer/paint combo). It's been 4 years since I painted 13 varnished doors and miles and miles of moldings and 99% of it still looks great. I also use the KleenStrip Liquid Sandpaper in place of sanding when I paint furniture.
  • Sheila O'Riley Sheila O'Riley on Dec 06, 2013
    Use a chalk style paint. It sticks to anything. No need to sand, but you could lightly sand if you want. It will need some type of clear coat. Usually, the brand of chalk paint has a clear coat too. Don't use wax, though as is not durable enough. There are a few good brands with Annie Sloan being one of the best known. My shop sells Old Town Paints brand.
  • Donna R Donna R on Dec 06, 2013
    Thanks @Maria DiTondo and @Shari -- that's what I was looking for, and it's good to know that someone has actually used it and can recommend the product. Home Depot here I come!