How to Varnish Furniture with a Paintbrush

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In this video, you will learn how to protect your furniture by varnishing it using a paint brush.

For more videos on finishes for your furniture projects, take a look at the other videos in our Furniture Restoration program.

Varnishing is a great way of protecting your furniture from marks and scratches. Learn how to do this with a paintbrush by watching this short tutorial video.

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In this video, you will learn how to varnish a piece of furniture with a paintbrush.

Applying varnish will help protect your furniture from stains and marks

For your safety, you will need:

Thin latex gloves,

and a protective mask

To varnish furniture with a paintbrush, you will need:

A flat 30mm paintbrush,

A round 18mm paintbrush

A plastic container

And a towel.

You will also need a pot of varnish.

There are 2 steps to this video which we will explain to you

The varnish finish is applied to furniture which has either been smoothed or sanded, or which has a painted finish.

Remove any dust or dirt from your piece using a slightly damp cloth.

Pass the cloth along the same direction as the woodgrain.

If you're not sure how to identify the direction of the woodgrain, take a look at our video on "Learning the Basics

Leave your furniture to dry.

Allow around 20 minutes at an ambient temperature, checking that the wood is no longer damp to the touch.

Pour the varnish into a plastic container.

It's best to pour only a small amount to start with, then top it up regularly, so as to avoid wasting varnish.

Lightly dip your brush into the varnish, without coating it too heavily

Start with the corners, using the round brush.

Then use the flat brush to cover the flat surfaces.

Use the cross-coat technique.

A first coat in one direction, from top to bottom in this example,

then a second coat, perpendicular to the first, from left to right in this example.

For more information on this technique, take a look at our video on painting with a brush.

Always work systematically section by section.

Reload your brush with varnish regularly

If you put too much varnish on the brush, remove some of it into the pot and spread the varnish until the colour is uniform on your work surface.

Once you've applied the first coat,

Remember to cover the plastic container and the varnish pot.

Leave your furniture to dry, checking the drying time between coats on your varnish pot.

In this example, it's 3 hours.

Apply a second coat using the same technique.

Once you've finished the second coat, be sure to pour any remaining varnish back into the pot and close it carefully.

Leave your furniture to dry for the time indicated for the final coat on the instructions.

In this example, this is 12 hours under normal conditions.

Your piece is now finished.

Now you know to varnish a piece of furniture using a brush.

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