How to Fix Varnish on Table

Are you looking for a simple fix to restore the lustrous shine of your wooden table that has been tarnished by time and wear? Varnish can be an effective solution. Not only will it give your furniture a renewed look, but it can also help protect its surface from future damage.

How to Fix Varnish on Table

In this blog post, we’ll explore how to fix varnish on table and provide helpful tips for maintaining its beautiful finish. Whether you’re tackling this project yourself or calling in a professional, these steps will make sure that the job is done right!

What is Varnish?

Varnish is a transparent, hard protective finish that is applied to wooden surfaces. It provides a glossy or matte appearance and helps protect against moisture, scratches, and other types of damage.

There are different types of varnish available in the market such as polyurethane, shellac, lacquer, and oil-based varnish. Each type has its unique qualities and benefits, so make sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Tools and Materials Needed to Fix Varnish on Table

Before you start fixing varnish on your table, make sure you have the following tools and materials handy:

1. Sandpaper (in various grits)

2. Paintbrush

3. Varnish of your choice

4. Mineral spirits or paint thinner (for oil-based varnish)

5. Clean cloth

6. Protective gear (gloves, goggles, and mask)

Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Fix Varnish on Table

Step 1: Prepare the Surface

Begin by clearing off any items on the table and laying down a drop cloth or newspaper to protect your floor. Then use a sandpaper with low grit (around 100-150) to remove the old varnish. Sand in the direction of the wood grain until you reach bare wood. Once done, wipe away any dust with a clean cloth. Preparing the surface will ensure better adhesion of the new varnish.

Begin by Clearing Off Any Items on the Table

Step 2: Apply New Varnish

Using a clean paintbrush, apply a thin and even coat of varnish in the direction of the wood grain. Make sure to cover all areas including edges and corners. If you’re using oil-based varnish, remember to use mineral spirits or paint thinner to clean the brush. Let the first coat dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Sand and Repeat

Once the first coat is dried, lightly sand it using a higher grit (around 220) sandpaper. This will help smooth out any imperfections and prepare the surface for subsequent coats. After sanding, wipe away any dust with a clean cloth and apply another layer of varnish. Repeat this step until you are satisfied with the level of shine and coverage. While sanding, make sure to keep the surface clean and dust-free.

Step 4: Final Touches

After applying the final coat of varnish, let it dry completely for at least 24 hours. Once dried, give a light sanding using ultra-fine (around 320) sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish. Wipe away any remaining dust with a clean cloth and your table should look good as new. Make sure to properly dispose of any used materials and clean up your work area.

Following these simple steps will help you fix the varnish on your table, giving it a fresh look and added protection. Remember to always read the instructions on your chosen varnish product for any specific guidelines and precautions.

Additional Tips and Tricks to Fix Varnish on Table

1. Regularly wiping down your table with a damp cloth can help prevent the buildup of dirt and grime that could potentially damage the varnish. This is especially important if you use your table for meals or other activities where spills are likely to occur.

 You Can Try Using a Wood Filler

2. If you notice any small scratches or nicks in the varnish, or putty to fill them in. Once dried, sand down the area and apply a fresh coat of varnish over it. This will help to keep your table looking smooth and new.

3. Avoid placing hot items directly on the surface of your table, as this can cause the varnish to blister or melt. Always use trivets or hot pads to protect your table from heat.

4. Using coasters and placemats is also a good practice to prevent scratches and stains on your table’s surface.

5. If you have children or pets, consider investing in a protective cover for your table when it’s not in use. This will help to protect the varnish from any accidental spills or scratches.

6. When cleaning your table, always use a mild cleaner specifically designed for wood surfaces. Harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners can damage the varnish and strip away its protective layer.

Always Use a Mild Cleaner

7. If you have deep scratches or discoloration on your table’s surface, it may be time to consider refinishing the entire table. This involves sanding down the old varnish and applying a new coat, which can help restore its original appearance.

8. Lastly, make sure to allow ample drying time between coats of varnish and avoid using the table for at least 24 hours after the final coat has been applied. This will ensure that the varnish sets properly and results in a smooth, glossy finish.

By following these tips and tricks, you can maintain the beauty of your varnished table for years to come. Remember to always handle it with care and give it the proper upkeep it deserves. Good luck!

Things You Should Consider to Fix Varnish on Table

  1. Clean the table thoroughly before applying varnish. Remove any dust, dirt, or debris from the surface of the table to ensure a smooth and even coating of varnish.
  2. Sand down any rough or uneven areas on the table’s surface. This will help the varnish adhere better and give you a smoother finish.
  3. Decide on what type of varnish you want to use. There are many different types of varnish available, with different finishes and levels of durability. Choose one that best suits your needs and preferences.
  4. Make sure to work in a well-ventilated area when applying varnish. The fumes can be strong and potentially harmful if inhaled for prolonged periods of time.
  5. Use a high-quality brush or roller to apply the varnish. This will ensure a more even and professional-looking finish.
  6. Apply thin and even coats of varnish, rather than one thick coat. This will help prevent drips and bubbles from forming in the finish.
  7. Allow each coat of varnish to dry completely before applying another one. Read the instructions on the varnish can for recommended drying times.
  8. Sand down the surface of the table lightly between each coat of varnish. This will help create a smooth finish and remove any imperfections.
  9. Clean your brushes or rollers thoroughly after each use to prevent them from hardening with dried varnish.
  10. Consider using a sealant on top of the varnish for added protection and durability. This will also help enhance the shine and finish of the varnish.
Apply Thin and Even Coats of Varnish

Following these considerations and taking your time with the process will help you achieve a beautifully restored and protected table. Remember to always read and follow the instructions on the varnish can for best results. With proper care, your table will look as good as new! So, take your time and enjoy the satisfaction of fixing the varnish on your table yourself. Happy DIYing!

Precautions Need to Follow for Fixing Varnish on Table

  1. Wear gloves and a mask to avoid any health hazards.
  2. Work in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling toxic fumes.
  3. Keep all flammable materials away from the work area.
  4. Make sure to test the varnish on an inconspicuous area of the table before applying it to the entire surface.
  5. Sand down any rough or uneven spots on the table before applying the varnish.
  6. Clean the table thoroughly with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris.
  7. Use a high-quality brush or foam applicator to apply the varnish evenly.
  8. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for recommended drying times and the number of coats to apply.
Use a High-quality Brush

Following these precautions will not only ensure a successful varnish fix but also keep you safe while working with potentially hazardous materials. Additionally, it is important to properly dispose of any used materials and clean up the work area afterward.

Tips for Maintaining Your Table’s Varnish

  1. Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals on the table as they can damage the varnish.
  2. Use coasters and placemats to protect the table’s surface from scratches and spills.
  3. Wipe up any spills immediately to prevent them from damaging the varnish.
  4. Regularly dust and clean the table with a soft, damp cloth to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris.
  5. Apply a new coat of varnish every few years to maintain its protection and appearance.
  6. Consider using a protective furniture wax to add an extra layer of protection to the varnish.

By following these tips, you can prolong the lifespan of your table’s varnish and keep it looking beautiful for years to come. Remember to always take precautions when working with chemicals and maintain regular upkeep to avoid any major fixes in the future. With proper care, your table’s varnish will continue to add a touch of elegance to your home. So, take care and enjoy your furniture! Happy decorating!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Fix Varnish on My Table Without Professional Help?

Yes, you can fix varnish on your table without professional help! With the right tools and materials, repairing damaged varnish is a relatively simple and straightforward process.

It’s important to note that fixing large or extensive areas of damage may require the expertise of a professional. However, for most minor repairs and touch-ups, you can easily do it yourself. Just follow the steps outlined in this document to get started.

How Do I Prepare the Surface for Varnish Repair?

Before beginning any varnish repair, it’s important to thoroughly clean and prepare the surface of your table. This will ensure that the varnish adheres properly and provides a smooth finish. Start by gently sanding the affected area with medium grit sandpaper.

Then, wipe away any dust or debris with a soft cloth. Next, use a small amount of mineral spirits on a soft cloth to remove any remaining residue or grease from the surface. Once the surface is clean and dry, you are ready to move on to repairing the varnish.

How Do I Fix Small Chips and Cracks?

For small chips and cracks, start by using your putty knife to gently remove any loose or damaged varnish from the surface of your table. Then, use wood filler to fill in the gap or crack. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for drying time, and then sand down the area until it is smooth and level with the rest of the table surface. Once dry and sanded, you can move on to applying a new coat of varnish.

How Do I Apply Varnish?

When applying varnish, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Start by stirring the varnish thoroughly to ensure an even consistency.

Then, use a high-quality brush to apply the varnish in thin, smooth strokes following the direction of the wood grain. Allow the first coat to dry completely before lightly sanding and applying subsequent coats as needed for desired coverage and finish.

Dry Completely Before Lightly Sanding


Now you know how to fix varnish on table without professional help! With the right tools and materials, you can easily repair small chips and cracks, as well as apply a new coat of varnish to restore the beauty of your table.

Remember to always properly prepare the surface before applying varnish, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

Don’t be afraid to tackle minor repairs on your own – with a little bit of time and effort, your table will look good as new! So go ahead and take on that varnish repair project with confidence. Happy fixing!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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