How to Varnish Soft Wood In Chester, PA like a Pro

May 2, 2020
How to Varnish Soft Wood In Chester, PA like a Pro (1)

How to Varnish Soft Wood In Chester, PA like a Pro

Due to the soft texture and irregular grain pattern, woods such as pine can be difficult to varnish.
Generally, attempting to varnish softwood results in incompatible stains and shades. The secret to the perfect finish is to seal the wood before varnishing it.

That way, you prevent it from absorbing more pigment in some areas than others.

Usually, we recommend hiring a painting contractor for such a job, but if you want to try DIY, here are some tips;

Sand the Surface

Sand the wood with fine paper to remove inconsistencies. Start with a number 100, scrubbing it over the wood in wide, circular movements.
This first step aims to wear out marks, contours, and ridges characteristic of softwoods, leaving the surface more uniform.

Block-type sandpaper will allow you to apply more consistent pressure than regular sandpaper.

Sanding helps to open pores on natural wood surfaces, ensuring that varnishing is flawless.

Apply Two Layers Of Wood Conditioner.

Spread the sealant over each exposed area of the piece, including the edges, if you are going to varnish it.

The first layer will penetrate the pine instantly. After the second coat, you may notice that the sealant starts to accumulate in the grain.

Wipe off excess conditioner.

Use a clean cloth to remove as much aqueous sealant as you can. There should be no wet spots or visible moisture when finished.

Let the wood dry for two or three hours. Find a cool, clean place with low humidity to store it.
Once the sealant is absorbed in the pores, you can successfully varnish it without worrying about saturating the wood and making a mess.


Apply the varnish to the wood surface. Absorb a small amount of product with a brush and apply it to the wood.
Start spreading the varnish across the wood surface in a circular motion or smoothly back and forth.
If you want a darker shade, you can get it with additional coats little by little.

A sponge can be useful for working in corners and other spaces that are difficult to access if you don’t have a brush.

Work The Varnish On The Wood.

Continue brushing the product in all directions until it spreads to the edges of the surface.
The finish should have weak and consistent coloring. If it is too dark or light in an area, it probably means that the varnish has not been appropriately spread.

Do not forget to varnish the ends of boards, blocks, or other forms of raw wood.

After letting it sit for a minute or two, take a clean cloth and wipe it over the surface to remove any excess.
If you don’t, the leftover varnish will change the color of the wood.
Thanks to the preliminary sealing, you should not find any unpleasant defects in the pine’s appearance, such as stains.

It is important to remove any excess varnish that has not yet penetrated the wood.
Allow the wood to dry. Wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next.

Get FREE Wood Refinishing Quote

If your cabinets, furniture, etc. are looking a little worn out but still physically intact, you don’t have to replace them, our team at Left Moon Painting can help.

At a fraction of the cost of replacement, we can repaint, re-stain, or reface your pieces to a brand new look.

We have years of experience offering furniture, cabinet and woodwork refinishing and repairs, along with residential repainting services in Kennett Square, PA, and West Chester PA.

If you would like to give us a try, request a FREE estimate below to get started or call us at (484) 757-5295 for more information.

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