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8Convulsions's avatar

Can you varnish over polished wood?

Asked by 8Convulsions (2177 points ) May 3rd, 2011

I bought some wooden jewelry and I’d like to put a black varnish over them. I found out that they had been polished with Fabulustre. I know you’re not supposed to put a varnish over paint or lacquer without sanding it, but I want to know if this Fabulustre polish is any different?

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7 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

My web searches for Fabulustre are turning up a metal polishing compound. Polishing compounds like this are very fine abrasive particles in a matrix of wax or grease. If this is what was used, then there is probably a thin residue of wax or grease on the surface of the piece. Any wax would have to be removed before varnishing or it can impede the drying of the varnish. Benzine, turpentine, or denatured alcohol would remove the wax.

You’d then just be applying the varnish to a very smooth bare wood surface. The varnish would adhere well to that, because it will still be able to enter the grain of the wood.

WestRiverrat's avatar

You probably will want to sand the wood surface very, very lightly with the finest grain sandpaper you can find. This will give the varnish a little extra surface area to adhere to.

8Convulsions's avatar

Alright, so I bought some Kutzit liquid and stripped the wood. Did some light sanding and put the ebony stain on. It was a success! Now my question is, am I supposed to put some kind of finish on it? I mean, it’s not like I’m staining a deck that I have to protect from the elements. I’m assuming that as long as I don’t get them wet, normal wear won’t hurt them. I do have some aerosol sealant I use for my acrylic paintings… Would that work? Or should I use something else? Or just leave it how it is now? The stain I used does say that it “Penetrates, Stains, and Seals.”
Thanks so much guys!

WestRiverrat's avatar

You probably don’t need to seal it, but if you do it will help protect against dings and knicks. Another option would be to get some wood friendly oil or wax and use that to shine it.

thorninmud's avatar

Your question details said you were applying a “varnish”, but now you’re using the word “stain”. Look at the label for this product. Is it a combination stain and varnish (example), or just a stain (example)?

If it’s one of the “one-step” combination products, then you’re done. If it was just a stain, then I personally would want something on top of that. Protection aside, a stain usually doesn’t usually leave a very attractive surface, especially if you did some sanding.

If you used an oil-based stain (like the one I linked above), then your acrylic spray isn’t going to want to cover that. If you used a water-based stain, the spray would work.

8Convulsions's avatar

Okay, yeah, sorry for the confusion. I used the oil based Minwax stain. I wish I would have noticed the other one! Haha. So what would you recommend to put over the oil based stain? Could I put the two-in-one over what I have now? The spray I have is for oil and acrylic (Grumbacher Picture and Oil Painting Varnish), but I’m thinking if there’s something I could brush on it would come out better and more even.

thorninmud's avatar

For this piece, I’d try automotive “clear coat” on top. This is the very hard and very clear final coating that’s applied over the color coats of auto body paint. It won’t look as plastic-y as a polyurethane varnish. won’t change the color like a shellac, and will be very protective.

You can get it at a large auto supply store. Most even sell it in little touch-up bottles, so you don’t have to buy a large quantity. It dries very quickly while you’re brushing it on, so you can’t overwork it with the brush, or you’ll leave brush marks. If you’re not happy with the evenness of the coat, let it dry completely and then sand it smooth with ultra-fine paper, and apply another coat.

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