Learn how to paint over stained furniture. Find out how applying liquid sandpaper can help paint to adhere to varnished or stained furniture without the need for stripping.
LESLIE: Debbie in North Carolina needs some help with furniture refinishing . What can we do for you?
DEBBIE: Well, I have got a piece of furniture that I got out of a – well, I got it out of an old hotel suite. It’s one of those real heavy pieces of furniture. I had looked at it. It looks like it possibly could be particleboard but if it is it is really, really heavy.
DEBBIE: And I want to refinish this thing but the exterior coating on it is such that I can’t sand it; I can’t paint over it  because the paint won’t adhere to it; and I don’t know how to refinish it or to take the varnish off of it. Can you all tell me any ways that I can change the color or paint this thing?
TOM: It sounds like you need to apply like liquid sandpaper, which will rough it up …
DEBBIE: Liquid sandpaper?
TOM: Yeah, rough up the exterior surface just a little bit. And then, if it’s got a varnish on it I would definitely prime it because you’re going to have an adhesion issue. But if you prime it with a good-quality oil-based primer that should solve that.
LESLIE: Then it should stick.
LESLIE: I mean because it sounds even like it’s got like a heavy-duty resin coating. A lot of times these commercial furnishings will be so heavily varnished that it’s almost as if it’s like a thick coat of resin, which could be part of the weight issue that you’re feeling, and if you suspect that it is particleboard you can’t chemically strip it and you can’t sand it down because if you get below whatever this finish is or if it’s a laminate, you’re not going to have anything to paint.
DEBBIE: Alright, I appreciate it. Thank you.
TOM: Well, you’re welcome, Debbie. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.